Happy 20 years to winning student lifestyle program

Students received certificates of appreciation for their contribution to the SALSA and Triple A programs.

Western Sydney is celebrating two decades of healthy lifestyle promotion delivered by students to other students in high schools and universities.

The projects Students As LifeStyle Activists (SALSA) and Adolescent Asthma Action (Triple A) reached the 20-year milestone thanks to long term collaboration between Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and the University of Sydney.

The peer education programs give students the techniques, skills and confidence to educate younger teens about the importance of healthy living.

Triple A is specifically focused on asthma and preventing smoking uptake.

They use an evidence-based, innovative peer education program to make students the drivers of both the teaching and learning process.

WSLHD Primary Health Care Education and Research Unit Associate Professor Smita Shah was delighted to celebrate 20 years of educating students in the programs she co-founded.

“It’s rewarding that these programs have helped many families in Western Sydney and encouraged young people to think about their health and wellbeing,” Smita said.

“We hope by educating and empowering students that it will have a positive impact on future generations of communities.

“Over the past 20 years we have provided these life-changing programs to more than 50 high schools and six universities. We have identified and mentored more than 450 educators from universities who have led the program with Year 10 peer leaders in schools.”

More than 25 students attended the celebrations and received certificates for their contribution and participation in the programs from WSLHD Research and Education Network director Emeritus Professor Stephen Leeder.

For more information about SALSA, click here.