Healthy Harold celebrates his 40th birthday as a look at how the Life Education van has changed




[ad_1]

These days classrooms are filled with iPads, smart boards and laptops – but there’s one thing modern students still have in common with the kids from years gone by: Healthy Harold.

Anyone growing up in Australia will fondly remember the excitement of the iconic giraffe visiting their primary school in a colourful van.

Affectionately known as the talking puppet who’s the face of Life Education, Harold became such a memorable childhood of nearly every generation of Australians.

For four decades, the friendly giraffe travelled around the country talking to children from the back of his van about issues such as drugs, alcohol and healthy eating. 

And to celebrate Healthy Harold’s 40th birthday, Daily Mail Australia looks at the incredible transformation over four years – and it’s enough to make you nostalgic.

And my, how times have changed! Healthy Harold travels around Australia with an 'educator' to teach children  about issues such as drugs, alcohol and healthy eating (pictured in 2019)

And my, how times have changed! Healthy Harold travels around Australia with an 'educator' to teach children  about issues such as drugs, alcohol and healthy eating (pictured in 2019)

And my, how times have changed! Healthy Harold travels around Australia with an ‘educator’ to teach children about issues such as drugs, alcohol and healthy eating (pictured in 2019)

Anyone growing up in Australia will fondly remember the excitement of Healthy Harold visiting their school in a colourful van (pictured in 1990s)

Anyone growing up in Australia will fondly remember the excitement of Healthy Harold visiting their school in a colourful van (pictured in 1990s)

Anyone growing up in Australia will fondly remember the excitement of Healthy Harold visiting their school in a colourful van (pictured in 1990s)

The idea to launch Life Education came to mind after founder Ted Noffs (centre in 1980) saw an opportunity to address health challenges through education

The idea to launch Life Education came to mind after founder Ted Noffs (centre in 1980) saw an opportunity to address health challenges through education

The idea to launch Life Education came to mind after founder Ted Noffs (centre in 1980) saw an opportunity to address health challenges through education

Who is Healthy Harold? 

Lovable giraffe, caring and loyal friend and passionate advocate for the health and safety of all Australian children and their families, Healthy Harold is an Australian icon.

Alongside Life Education, Healthy Harold has been visiting schools for 40 years.

These visits are often remembered as ‘an amazing experience’ and ‘one of the best parts of my school year’ by students and a ‘fun, interactive way that really engages students’ by teachers.

More than six million young Australian students have participated in the educational program since 1979. 

More than six million young Australian students have participated in the educational program since 1979.

The idea to launch the initiative came to mind after founder Ted Noffs saw an opportunity to address the dangers of drugs and other health challenges through education.

‘Let’s not frighten our kids with scare tactics so they act in ways that we think are best for them. Let’s motivate and empower them so they can and will actively draw on their own knowledge to make safer and healthier choices,’ Mr Noffs said at the time.

And so Healthy Harold was born. 

Over the next four decades, the Australian icon went from a humble mobile learning centre to an educational van with cutting-edge technology.

Besides the twinkling glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and the talking puppet, most Australians are also familiar with Harold’s female counterpart TAM. 

She’s a ‘Transparent Anatomical Model’, designed to teach children about the workings of the body including the effects of drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

‘All the wonderful things children remember about our program are still there today – Harold, the lights on the ceiling and TAM,’ Life Education NSW CEO Kellie Sloane told Daily Mail Australia.

School children walking into the colourful van where Healthy Harold talks about the dangers of drugs and other health challenges through education (pictured in the 1990s)

School children walking into the colourful van where Healthy Harold talks about the dangers of drugs and other health challenges through education (pictured in the 1990s)

School children walking into the colourful van where Healthy Harold talks about the dangers of drugs and other health challenges through education (pictured in the 1990s)

Besides the twinkling glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and the iconic puppet, most Australians are also familiar with Harold's female counterpart TAM, designed to teach children about the workings of the body including the effects of drugs, tobacco and alcohol

Besides the twinkling glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and the iconic puppet, most Australians are also familiar with Harold's female counterpart TAM, designed to teach children about the workings of the body including the effects of drugs, tobacco and alcohol

Besides the twinkling glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and the iconic puppet, most Australians are also familiar with Harold’s female counterpart TAM, designed to teach children about the workings of the body including the effects of drugs, tobacco and alcohol

And my, how times have changed! PAM has had a major transformation over the years (picture of educator Bill Crews teaching school children in the late 1970s)

And my, how times have changed! PAM has had a major transformation over the years (picture of educator Bill Crews teaching school children in the late 1970s)

And my, how times have changed! PAM has had a major transformation over the years (picture of educator Bill Crews teaching school children in the late 1970s)

The Life Education van has changed over the years - this was spotted at Martin Place in 2012

The Life Education van has changed over the years - this was spotted at Martin Place in 2012

The Life Education van has changed over the years – this was spotted at Martin Place in 2012

Healthy Harold and his humble van travelled to different schools, along with an educator who helped him teach children about making safer and healthier choices (pictured in 2000s)

Healthy Harold and his humble van travelled to different schools, along with an educator who helped him teach children about making safer and healthier choices (pictured in 2000s)

Healthy Harold and his humble van travelled to different schools, along with an educator who helped him teach children about making safer and healthier choices (pictured in 2000s)

Besides the twinkling glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and the iconic puppet, most Australians are also familiar with Harold's female counterpart TAM (right) - who's the 'Transparent Anatomical Model'

Besides the twinkling glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and the iconic puppet, most Australians are also familiar with Harold's female counterpart TAM (right) - who's the 'Transparent Anatomical Model'

Besides the twinkling glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and the iconic puppet, most Australians are also familiar with Harold’s female counterpart TAM (right) – who’s the ‘Transparent Anatomical Model’

Did you know? 

Although Life Education is turning 40, Healthy Harold isn’t … In fact, Harold a very special giraffe who is eternally youthful, and is always the same age as the students he teaches.

‘It’s still an exciting, interactive experience and one they children tend to recall into adulthood.

‘But in 2019 there are new challenges for children – issues such as cyber awareness and online bullying. We respond to the evolving needs of schools and students.

‘Whereas the first vans were equipped with 16mm projectors and pull down screens, now our mobile classrooms now have touch screens. 

‘TAM has been joined by TAM-e, a software tool which includes 3D and augmented reality fly-through of the human body, designed to teach children about the workings of the body including the effects of drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

‘So our mission remains the same but we have responded to changing times and have added new “wow-factors”.’ 

Affectionately known as the talking puppet who's the face of Life Education, Harold became such a memorable childhood of nearly every generation of Australians (pictured in 2019)

Affectionately known as the talking puppet who's the face of Life Education, Harold became such a memorable childhood of nearly every generation of Australians (pictured in 2019)

Affectionately known as the talking puppet who’s the face of Life Education, Harold became such a memorable childhood of nearly every generation of Australians (pictured in 2019)

More than six million young Australian students have participated in the educational program since 1979 (pictured in 2000)

More than six million young Australian students have participated in the educational program since 1979 (pictured in 2000)

More than six million young Australian students have participated in the educational program since 1979 (pictured in 2000)

Affectionately known as the talking puppet who's the face of Life Education, Harold became such a memorable childhood of nearly every generation of Australians

Affectionately known as the talking puppet who's the face of Life Education, Harold became such a memorable childhood of nearly every generation of Australians

Affectionately known as the talking puppet who’s the face of Life Education, Harold became such a memorable childhood of nearly every generation of Australians

Healthy Harold and his humble van travelled to different schools, along with an educator who helped him teach children about making safer and healthier choices (pictured in 2000s)

Healthy Harold and his humble van travelled to different schools, along with an educator who helped him teach children about making safer and healthier choices (pictured in 2000s)

Healthy Harold and his humble van travelled to different schools, along with an educator who helped him teach children about making safer and healthier choices (pictured in 2000s)

Over the next four decades, the Australian icon went from a humble mobile learning centre to an educational van with cutting-edge technology (pictured 2019)

Over the next four decades, the Australian icon went from a humble mobile learning centre to an educational van with cutting-edge technology (pictured 2019)

Over the next four decades, the Australian icon went from a humble mobile learning centre to an educational van with cutting-edge technology (pictured 2019)

What Healthy Harold looks like today! Modern students today still get the opportunity to learn from the nation's much-loved giraffe

What Healthy Harold looks like today! Modern students today still get the opportunity to learn from the nation's much-loved giraffe

What Healthy Harold looks like today! Modern students today still get the opportunity to learn from the nation’s much-loved giraffe

In 2017, the nation’s much-loved giraffe was facing the axe after the federal government decided to withdraw funding from the children’s program.

However, Healthy Harold was saved after a barrage of backlash from devastated Australians swayed the government to rethink its controversial decision.

‘We support #HealthyHarold & will work with Life Education to ensure the funding & the program continues,’ Education Minister Simon Birmingham tweeted at the time.

Earlier this month, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced $2 million of funding over the next four years to ensure the program reaches more children with an exciting new learning experience.

‘I was so impressed to see the way in which over the past 40 years technology has emerged and changed to help children learn about their bodies, healthy lifestyles, and eating right; setting up those healthy habits for the future,’ Ms Berejiklian said. 

‘It is so important that there is a platform like Life Education that reaches students on their level and helps educate them about the choices they will face.’

In 2017, themuch-loved giraffe was facing the axe after the federal government decided to draw funding from the children's program. But Healthy Harold was saved after a barrage of backlash from devastated Australians swayed the government to rethink its controversial decision

In 2017, themuch-loved giraffe was facing the axe after the federal government decided to draw funding from the children's program. But Healthy Harold was saved after a barrage of backlash from devastated Australians swayed the government to rethink its controversial decision

In 2017, the giraffe was facing the axe after the federal government decided to withdraw funding from the children’s program. But Healthy Harold was saved after a barrage of backlash swayed the government to rethink its controversial decision (pictured in 1990s)

More than six million young Australian students have participated in the educational program since 1979 (pictured in 2000)

More than six million young Australian students have participated in the educational program since 1979 (pictured in 2000)

More than six million young Australian students have participated in the educational program since 1979 (pictured in 2000)

Earlier this month, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced $2 million of funding over the next four years to ensure the program reaches more children with an exciting new learning experience (pictured in 2000s)

Earlier this month, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced $2 million of funding over the next four years to ensure the program reaches more children with an exciting new learning experience (pictured in 2000s)

Earlier this month, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced $2 million of funding over the next four years to ensure the program reaches more children with an exciting new learning experience (pictured in 2000s)

[ad_2]

Source link

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*