Through his work at the Wayside Chapel, Ted witnessed how health and social issues were impacting the lives of Australian children and wasn’t prepared to watch it get any worse.
The year was 1979. Along with other health challenges, the issue of illicit drug use was exploding. As a community, we were struggling to understand how to deal with this problem. While still committed to providing crisis relief and rehabilitation, Ted saw an opportunity to address the issue before it became a problem… through education.
His vision for Life Education was centered on a powerful concept.
Each and every child is unique. A true marvel in body mind and spirit.
The Reverand Bill Crews teaches using an early version of Tam-E
Ted was really clear. 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. The same approach to education continues to inspire the development of our program today.
When the demand for the newly founded program soon outgrew the classroom in Sydney’s King Cross, innovation stepped in. The first mobile classroom (van) was built in 1982, enabling us to take our program to where it was needed most.
Since then, we have expanded our delivery. We now reach 700,000 Australian children each year*. Our educators are on the road, delivering education in our vans, pop-up classrooms, and directly into classrooms. We also reach children via our virtual and online studios.
We are continually updating our program to met the needs of children today. Our lessons are independently verified by external research and continuously tested on the ground by 120+ education specialists.
Throughout these changes, one thing remains the same. Children are at the heart of what we do. Because every child – no matter where they live, or what their circumstance – deserves to thrive.
* In a non-COVID year