HALE W18 Masthead

Walk your kids Safely to School this Friday!

Amanda Whitley

When I was in primary school, I lived in a town of 300 people.

My sister and I walked or road to school every day from the time we were old enough to safely traverse the 700m (and two crossings). It meant that—before we’d done any running around during the day—we had 30 minutes exercise in the bag. It’s not so easier for my kids, who live a 40-minute walk from school.

But since we moved into our Barton office nearly a year ago, the game has changed and my girls are able to walk the short distance from my work to school  confidently and safely. I can’t tell you what this has done for their sense of independence and confidence, and my stress levels!

Walking to school is great for many reasons, and that’s why parents and carers across Australia are encouraged to walk their children to school this Friday 19 May for National Walk Safely to School Day. The community initiative, now in its 18th year, encourages children to walk to school not only on Friday, but every day, in order to raise awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking (especially to and from school) can provide for long-term health.

On a national scale, 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese. This is expected to reach 1 in 3 by 2020 unless children become far more active and have healthy diets. Children require 60 minutes of physical activity daily. These alarming statistics highlight the significant changes that need to occur!

Many people are too busy to schedule in regular exercise, therefore it’s important to teach our kids to incorporate exercise into their routine. If children can’t catch public transport and parents have to drive, a good routine is to get out of the car at least 15 minutes from school and walk the rest of the way.

For more information, please visit www.walk.com.au.


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author