Health Education
Wellbeing is not just the absence of disease or illness. It
is a complex combination of a person’s physical, mental,
emotional and social health factors.Wellbeing is linked to
how you feel about yourself and your life.’
Better Health Channel.)
In Health Education, we try to develop the skills needed
for optimal wellbeing. Through units such as Mental
Health, Risk Taking, Body Image and Relationships, we aim
to develop resilient young women; women who accept
responsibility, who have self-respect, who have personal
relationships that are satisfying and lasting, and who can
make wise and informed decisions regarding risk taking.
This year, the Health Department has continued to address
the issues which concern the youth of Australia. Drug
use is one such issue and, for the first time, we invited Mr
Paul Dillon to speak with the students, staff and parents.
Paul is the founder of Drug and Alcohol Research and
Training Australia and through his discussions the Ruyton
community was able to gain valuable knowledge and
an insight into the dangers of drug use. Making regular
appearances in the media, Paul is an expert in his field and
Ruyton was very fortunate to be able to welcome such an
esteemed presenter. Ms Sonya Karras was another notable
speaker on the issue of drug use. Sonya spoke with our
Years 9, 10 and 12 girls and also presented to the parents
of Ruyton. Sonya is fromWhole NewWorld and combines
humour with the sharing of personal experience to teach
the girls about safe partying and drug and alcohol use. Her
wealth of stories adds to what is both an interesting and
informative presentation that adequately tackles one of the
main issues facing youth today.
Relationships are an area of great importance within
the Health curriculum. This year, we welcomed
Brainstorm Productions to launch the unit in Year 7 and
The girls watched a play called
Verbal Combat
addressed issues such as cyber-bullying, harassment and
responsibility. In Year 9, Dr Sally Cockburn spoke to the
girls about conflict resolution. Sally is a GP who also works
in radio and writes for
magazine. She is well
known as her alter-ego Dr Feelgood. Sally used role plays
and discussion based on real-life examples to get the girls
to think about appropriate and inappropriate ways of
resolving conflict.
Cyber-safety is a growing area of concern within our society.
Young people today are immersed in digital technologies.
They use the internet and mobile phones to socialise, study,
exchange ideas and play.While online activity has many
benefits, there are also risks. To discuss these risks, we were
fortunate to have an Australian Media and Communication
Authority (ACMA) guest speaker visit Ruyton for the first
time to speak with our students, staff and parents.
Having a positive body image is crucial for young people’s
self esteem. For this reason, the Year 8 and 9 students
enjoyed presentations from the Butterfly Foundation. Year 8
listened to a presentation entitled
Getting Media Savvy
Year 9 enjoyed a presentation entitled
Avoiding Body Image
The Butterfly Foundation also spoke to parents
for the first time in 2012. The aim of this presentation
was to help parents better understand body image in
today’s world and to provide parents with helpful tips and
strategies that empower them to become positive body
image role- models for their children.
Stress management and mental health are key focus areas
throughout the curriculum and are explicitly addressed
in the Year 9 and 10 programmes. The units of work are
designed to empower students with knowledge and skills
for boosting and maintaining their health and wellbeing so
they can handle challenges in life. As part of the curriculum,
Year 9 students received a range of Beyond Blue resources
and Year 10 students participated in a range of stress relief
activities, including yoga. They also watched a play from
Brainstorm Productions called
This play explores the
reasons why young people can become stressed and/or
depressed and acts as a springboard for discussion about
physical and emotional balance and wellbeing.
At the end of this year the Health Department will
review the curriculum, exploring any areas that may
need improvement as well as reforming the guest speaker
programme with the hope of introducing new and exciting
speakers. The Health Department aims to continually
maintain a curriculum suitable for a changing social
environment while equipping girls with as much necessary
information as possible. I thank all the staff for their
support throughout this year.
Mrs Amanda Tierney,
Dean of Health
Annual Report 2012