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Former AFL star turned Senate candidate David Wirrpanda has joined Bindi Irwin's call for federal legislation to encourage children's hygiene, including having soap in all school toilets.
His push centres around a program called GrimeStoppers from Perth-based group Children's Global Hygiene Foundation. A media statement from Mr Wirrpanda said GrimeStoppers used a 'web-based platform to encourage children to positively influence hygiene standards and motivate governments to provide hygiene legislation for school'.
Mr Wirrpanda said that he believed in the basics of hygiene being taught to every young person and that GrimeStoppers was a wonderful opportunity to drive this message. 'Bad hygiene is inherently related to poor health in many Aboriginal and schooling communities, so anything to help improve the situation has my support,' Mr Wirrpanda said.
The GrimeStoppers co-founder Keith Gregory, who established the organisation in June last year with Albany Aboriginal elder Carol Pettersen, said the foundation particularly aimed to increase hygiene among Aboriginal children in regional WA by empowering them to take control of their personal health. He stated that the major issue is that there is no enforced legislation regarding toilet or hand hygiene in public schools in WA. 'Health and hygiene protocols are handed by the Education Department to school principals, who do their best to enforce them.'
He said the program aimed to reduce absenteeism with sick students and teachers, increase community infection control, reduce hospital admissions, create healthier Aboriginal and school communities, reduce sickness in families with greater hygiene compliance driven by children, and 'proactively respond to schools struggling to raise funds for toilet upgrades'.
Source Herald Sun, GrimeStoppers
Children's Global Hygiene Foundation
5A Samson Street
Mosman Park WA 6012
Mobile: 0418 938 360
Fax: 08 9285 2694