2017 Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia ‘Be A MATE’ Award

Northpine Christian College has been presented with the 2017 Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia ‘Be A MATE’ Award and here is a little glimpse why.

When our daughter was just 10 months old we discovered she had a serious food allergy and after subsequent testing revealed she was at risk of Anaphylaxis, we knew that like so many other medical conditions it would take a lot of research, planning, time and effort to manage.

I became a member of a wonderful support organisation, Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia and have appreciated the wealth of support and information they provide to the community.

Parents always try their best to minimise any risks their children may face with allergies.  It is a constant effort to achieve this, so when it was time to send our daughter off to school the anxiety started to rise as we now had to allow others the responsibility of caring for her during the day. After just a couple of phone calls and emails the communication between teachers and admin staff and we as parents began and continues. This has helped to develop a trusting and collaborative relationship with Northpine Christian College, doing their best to care for not just our daughter but all of the growing number of Allergy and Anaphylactic students attending at Northpine.

Over the past several years now I have observed the College face what no doubt is also a nervous situation for them with sincerity and genuine efforts to do their best to care for these students, train staff and educate the school community.

I certainly appreciate that there are many schools doing a wonderful job of addressing Allergies and Anaphylaxis and in a lot of cases it is the little things that really make a huge difference. There is a long list of wonderful policies and practices which have been implemented at NCC which of course were all included in my nomination of the College for the annual A&AA ‘Be A MATE’ Award which is awarded to one school in Australia each year for their efforts at making managing allergies easier.

I am sure that these type of awards sometimes make organisations feel a little nervous as they often see so much more they could do, but as parents and the broader community we all know that managing something like Anaphylaxis in our community is an evolving process and will require us all to make ongoing changes, update policies and continually strive for ways to improve our approach to it.

What really stands out to me though, is that our daughter feels cared for and she understands and is comfortable with the management of her allergy within the school environment.

The College should be very proud of their work in this area and in acknowledgment of this and on behalf of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia our Allergy and Anaphylactic students, their families and the College Community, it is wonderful to say thanks with this Award. For further information on Allergies or Anaphylaxis visit allergyfacts.org.au

-Zara Bichard