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LEAF Project

Life Cycles – The LEAF Project is delivered in schools across South Australia to provide young people with education on death, dying, grief and loss.

LEAF Project Mercedes College Group 2019

LEAF = Life. Education. Art. Feelings.

THRF Group – Palliative Care values the importance of encouraging young people to become fully aware of how precious their life here on earth is, that every life will experience a beginning, middle and end. In line with this, we have developed Life Cycles – The LEAF Project.

The LEAF concept is more than just an acronym – it represents the natural foundation of the project. Just as a leaf on a tree matures, withers and returns to nature, so does the human life with a range of experiences and emotions along the way. Schools are encouraged to support this concept with the integration of community beliefs at the completion of the project.

Why is the LEAF Project needed?

When a young person returns to school after a significant change, such as the loss of a loved one or transition in the home – in a school environment, this can often be confronting.  There can be discomfort and uncertainty when a peer is considering how best to support a fellow classmate. As a result, at this time when a young person needs heightened support, they can often feel isolated. The LEAF Project begins to normalise and create avenues for discussion between peers and teachers regardless of the content. 

New efforts need to be made to demystify death and dying, and there’s more to it than simply getting people to talk about death – although this is a positive step.  Directly educating the younger generation is an important shift towards empowering people to understand the interplay between law, medicine and ethical issues surrounding death and dying. 

By creating transparency through education, death, dying, grief and loss can all become part of everyday life.  By normalising talking about death within schools, it may well be that students can help their families fear less and make more informed decisions about the end of their lives. 

Watch the LEAF Project in action to see the benefits and impact of this unique education. 

Video: LEAF Project Presentation Short V2