It has been an exciting year of growth, innovation, achievements and challenges for SDERA and I look forward to sharing these with you in this annual report.
From little things, big things grow! SDERA originated as a one-year WA School Health Project with a modest budget of $120,000. From there we developed as the School Drug Education Project and then amalgamated with Road Aware to form School Drug Education and Road Aware, or SDERA. Twenty years have passed since our humble beginning and we continue to successfully support public, Catholic and Independent schools, the early learning sector and community agencies across WA in their implementation of road safety and alcohol and other drugs education. Our long history is testament to our amazing team, Management Committee and Peak Governance Group, and would not be possible without the ongoing support of our funders.
During this reporting period SDERA has driven improvements in delivery and quality of services at an operational level, while increasing efficiencies, service agreement compliance and risk management. Our targeted strategies have successfully increased school engagement in our road safety and alcohol and other drugs education programs and in particular, with metropolitan schools.
Guided by our three year strategic plan we have continued to develop high quality prevention and early intervention programs informed by evidence and evaluations. Our teaching and learning resources, professional learning workshops, education programs and whole school frameworks provide children and young people with best practice road safety and alcohol and other drugs education.
SDERA’s statewide consultancy service continues to create an important connection between schools and agencies who work to support students and staff. SDERA’s input into local Alcohol and Drug Management Plans and road safety strategies ensures that education and early intervention approaches are focused on meeting the needs of children, young people and their school communities.
We have furthered last year’s goal to enhance our website profile and increase our digital footprint. As we move to build greater awareness of SDERA and increase our school engagement, the implementation of a diversified social media presence has proved essential in achieving these goals. SDERA’s investment in a quality website has driven improvements in delivery and quality of resources. The download data from our website indicates that traffic has increased by 23% and that our resources are being accessed by schools not only in WA but also across Australia and overseas.
As it is our intention to offer evidence-based programs, we partnered with Telethon Kids Institute to determine if interventions such as alcohol education events for parents will influence their decisions and behaviours related to supply of alcohol to children under 18 years of age. I look forward to sharing the results in the next annual report.
A project between Healthway and SDERA resulted in the highly anticipated Think Again professional learning workshop for sporting coaches working with young people. The project has since enabled coaches to run alcohol education warm-up activities. Feedback from coaches indicates the project to be highly successful.
With informative keynotes from acclaimed researchers Professor Dan Lubman, Professor Lynne Cohen and Dr Stacey Waters, SDERA’s inaugural conference was a highlight for the 250 educators in attendance. This opportunity not only cemented our position as a leader in road safety and alcohol and other drugs education, but created interest from schools who were still to discover the amazing benefits of engaging with SDERA.
We were delighted to present the SDERA Health and Wellbeing Award to Scott Guerini at the 2018 WA Young Achiever Awards. At the age of four, Scott started Scott’s Great Walk and has not only raised $140,000 for Telethon by walking 340.5km but has also written and illustrated a book called Did you know you can change the world? Scott regularly speaks about his journey at schools demonstrating the importance of determination and courage. He aims to motivate young people to action by asking “what can you do?”
Commencing in January 2019, SDERA will become a program delivered by the new Road Safety and Drug Education branch at the Department of Education. The program will continue to be delivered to all public, Catholic and Independent schools.