Souths Cares attended La Perouse Public School last Tuesday to continue their Oral Health Care Program for 2014.  

The program – designed to help spread the message ‘clean well, drink well’ – focuses on the importance of oral hygiene for young people within Souths Cares’ jurisdiction.

Rhys Wesser (Souths Cares Indigenous Program Coordinator) delivered to two sessions to 54 students, and was accompanied by graduate students from the University of Sydney, who were on hand to observe and evaluate the program.

The first session held for the day was from kindergarten to Year 2. Rhys started the first group by reading the children an Indigenous Dreamtime inspired storybook called The Healthy Tribe – I can help my body stay well. The book aims to educate children about oral health and general health, it focuses on the oral health message, eat well, drink well and play well.

The story is about a young boy named Marley who talks about his journey, gaining knowledge to live a happy and healthy life which is told through stories told by the Biripi and Worimi people. These stories were developed so that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can learn the knowledge of improving health in a culturally appropriate way.

Rhys then moved on to the second group – year three to six. As the students are of an older age group, the session differed slightly and was showcased through a DVD.

Rhys also distributed oral hygiene packs to the students, which included a toothbrush, toothpaste, water bottle and information on how to brush your teeth properly.

The school program is also the subject of university research that will reveal the positive impact the program has on the oral health practices of participants. Over the course of 10 weeks, graduate students from the University of Sydney will be reviewing the program across numerous schools as an evaluation and Consulting Project for their Masters of Business degree.

The graduate students will assess the social impact of the Oral Health Program, by measuring the participants’ changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. The final report will then be delivered to Souths Cares in coming weeks.  

Souths Cares will continue spreading the oral health message across South Sydney and South Coast region for the remainder of the year.

To watch the full video, please press play on the video player.