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This week and next, students in the Senior School (Years 10 to 12 on Monday 1 May and Years 7 to 9 on Monday 8 May) will have Associate Professor Andrew Fon (HWK 2000) speak with them regarding the health risks associated with vaping. Andrew, an old scholar and current parent, has expertise in respiratory health and works on the front line with patients who are facing life altering health conditions due to engaging in vaping and the use of e-cigarettes. Andrew’s message to the students is simple: due to the significant adverse health impacts they should avoid using e-cigarettes and vapes and, if they are currently using them, seek immediate assistance to stop.   

For our older students, this builds on the advice and support provided by Paul Dillon who supports our students each year through presentations that provide factual information regarding the use of alcohol, drugs and other social trends including vaping. Paul visited in Term 1 and provided tailored year level talks to Years 10 to 12. The support from Andrew and Paul is in addition to our curriculum offerings in Health and Physical Education, RAVE and Wellbeing.  

Guidance and advice provided by both Andrew and Paul is timely, as a recent study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health found when over a thousand teenagers aged between 15 to 17 were asked if they knew where to find vapes, four-fifths said they found vapes easy or somewhat easy to buy in retail stores. This week, the Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler, said vaping had become the number one behavioural issue in high schools and a growing issue in primary schools. “This is a product targeted at our kids, sold alongside lollies and chocolate bars” when announcing a crackdown on access to vapes in the community (ABC News, accessed 2 May, 2023.

It will take some time for any government responses to be effective. In the meantime, it is important that we, as a school community, make every effort to prevent young people taking up this habit and becoming addicted.  

It is important to highlight that we have support staff available on campus who can provide meaningful assistance as needed for both our students who are struggling in any way and our parents who may like advice on how to manage this ongoing health issue. Additionally, please note there are also external support options available should you wish to engage them. 

Please make contact with: 

  • School Psychologists
  • Pastoral Care staff (Mentor or Head of House)
  • QUIT helpline on 13 78 48
  • My office at  

Barnaby Eaton
Acting Head of Senior School