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SAFE returns to Loddon Mallee
In the Loddon Mallee Region we have a unique program called SAFE which has been delivered across the region since 2004 (with the exception of 2012). SAFE was the brainchild of then Community Education Coordinator Karen Marini.
For those who haven’t heard the news, in late 2012 it was announced that we had been successful in winning a grant from the Department of Planning and Community Development. This meant that in 2013 SAFE would return like never before.
What is SAFE - SAFE is an acronym standing for Safety Awareness Field Education and is a structured and interactive program delivering safety education to children in grades 3 & 4. It is a multi-agency event, coordinated by the CFA.
The program is interactive, allowing students to learn a wide range of safety messages, rotating through 5 structured lessons (35 minutes duration) throughout the day in order to gain maximum impact and benefit from the educational sessions. The event is free and matches with the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) and dovetails into Health and Safety programs as well.
Between sessions 4 and 5 it is time for lunch and an interactive activity. The activity, dependant on the venue and weather conditions, could be a treasure hunt or indoor entertainment such as a band playing. In previous years at some SAFE events we have been lucky enough to have one of the Victoria Police bands attend – Code One, Victoria Police Showband or the Pipe Band.
At the end of the day every child attending SAFE receives a bag containing resources for prompting change in the home from the various agencies, and each teacher is given a resource pack to take back with them to utilise in the classroom to enhance the lessons learnt during the day.
Benefits of SAFE – It is all in one location for schools to receive multiple educational messages and from different agencies within the same day. On a large scale there is school and media interest, as well as a safety focus. It also means from an agency point of view, messages can be delivered to a large number of groups in a condensed time, rather than visiting each school individually.
CFA’s commitment – As a region and from the grant received, we have appointed an Administration Support Officer to work with both CEC’s in coordinating and managing the program. The event will be held in five locations, along with a colouring competition being run for participating schools. In addition to this CFA will also be presenting at each event, with members of the Loddon Mallee Region Community Education Group undertaking this task. Event dates and locations are:
- Mildura – 16, 17, 18 April
- Swan Hill – 23, 24 April
- Kyneton – 24, 25 July
- Bendigo – 10, 11, 12 September
- Echuca – 17, 18 September.
Schools in these areas have received an invitation to attend. This is a free day with a huge educational benefit and we would ask you to encourage your local school to participate. This event would not be possible without the support of our fellow agencies, some continued and some for the very first time:
- Parks Victoria
- Ambulance Victoria
- Victoria Police
- Mallee Domestic Violence Services
- Victorian Prison Service Dog Squad.
Loddon Mallee Region Community Education Team