Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Walk Safely to School Day 2009

The Australian Government is again supporting Walk Safely to School Day, providing $50,000 for this national event which promotes the value of physical activity and good nutrition for school aged children.

This is an important event in National Families Week and is timed to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Families which is also being celebrated today.

I am very pleased to support the tenth national Walk Safely to School Day, and the positive messages it has for our school children.

The event aims to get children to be more active by highlighting the health benefits of walking as well as the need to develop regular walking habits from an early age.

It encourages families to take time out from a busy day and spend time together, promotes pedestrian safety, encourages older children to provide a positive example to their younger brothers and sisters.

It is part of a whole of government approach to promoting the positive benefits of regular physical activity.

The private sector’s continuing support of Walk Safely to School Day also demonstrates the role it can play in encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, including the importance of a healthy breakfast.

I want to join with the Pedestrian Council of Australia and encourage all parents, carers and teachers to play a part in teaching kids the importance of physical activity, as well as promoting safe walking habits.