Award winning drug project

Three teachers with their award.

When Wollumbin High School decided to take part in an innovative project and develop their Life without Drugs project last year, they didn't think they'd end up winning a national award.

Now they are the proud recipients of the Excellence in School Drug Education Award from the Australian Drug Foundation.

A student survey has said the program encouraged them to stand up against peer pressure and  warned them about dangers.

When taking part in the pilot program, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education  teachers Mitch Lambert, Chris Brooker, and Brent Trembath saw the opportunity to embed drug prevention as a whole-school approach and not just focus on drug education at the classroom level.

 "We developed the project along with the regional drug education officer," Mr Brooker said. "The most important element was to get the students involved. We needed to talk their language and use their technology."

"We already had a great relationship with them, and from an initial 40 students signing up to receive SMS messages, we now have more than 200."

More than half of the Year 8-12 students were involved, with 35 of them writing, producing and filming video clips to be sent to students' phones by MMS on the weekends. They've received professional help in producing the videos, with the students acting out parts.

Wollumbin High principal Karen Connell said a lot of the success was because the school was a community of staff and students that cared for and looked out for each other.

Photo:  Mitch Lambert, Chris Brooker and Brent Trembath. Photo supplied by Wollumbin High School.

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