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Building or Demolishing Community Resilience?

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Second updated edition

Prevention strategies based on scientific evidence working with families, schools, and communities can ensure that children and youth, especially the most marginalized and poor, grow and stay healthy and safe into adulthood and old age. For every dollar spent on prevention, at least ten can be saved in future health, social and crime costs


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No Brainer AOD Education Overview

The No Brainer program aims to focus on factors that are best practice for a safe, healthy and more productive community, with particular emphasis on the United Nations aim within their charter for children’s rights that they be Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) free.  The International Declaration of the Rights of the Child: Principle Two states...

”The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.”

The Dalgarno Institute AOD curriculum education process embraces this imperative. ethical principle within the framework of the Australian Harm Minimisation Drug Strategy, focusing particularly on two of the key pillars of this strategy being DEMAND REDUCTION and HARM REDUCTION.

The Dalgarno Institute (Coalition of Alcohol & Drug Educators) through its “Zero Hero” program for Primary Schools (Years 5-6) and its “No Brainer” program for Secondary Schools (Years 7 – 12) caters for student learning within the framework of the Australian Curriculum.  The following table indicates some of the relevant links to Subjects and applicable Strands or Substrands.

Consequently, a “Zero Hero” or “No Brainer” program presentation can be planned to integrate student learning across a number of subjects and strands; or alternatively can be incorporated as a learning experience in a specific subject.  For example, within Health and Physical Education:

Being healthy, safe and active

No Brainer focuses strongly on the importance of protecting both the developing brain and body during this second most important phase of human development. There is no level of ‘safe’ alcohol and other drug use during the adolescent phase and so key learning and understanding of what informs best practice health, safety and activity for the developmental phase is a key element of curriculum.

Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing

No Brainer emphasises the need for clear relevant and creative communication of understandings not only to a student audience, but enables equipping for communication between peers.

Contributing to healthy and active communities

No Brainer informs, encourages and equips students with skills and actions which encourage and enable them to contribute to healthy communities through advocacy and other strategies which are embedded within the No Brainer curriculum program.

The following table provides information on some of the aspects of the Australian Curriculum which the Dalgarno Institute “NO Brainer” Curriculum Program addresses:


Learning areas


F-10 subjects

Links with the No Brainer Curriculum and Seminar



Focus on the Literacy Strand, and in particular on the sub strands of Creating Texts and Interacting with Others.

In the No Brainer Curriculum and Seminar, as well as receiving and processing information, both visual and aural, students are encouraged discuss their personal values and attitudes toward illicit drugs. They are also encouraged to create texts, both visual and auditory which project positive values and guidelines for preventing harm, both personally and across the broader community.




Most relevant strand is Statistics and Probability.

Students are presented with data on consequences of illicit drug use. They can develop their skills in interpreting the data and in some No Brainer activities are encouraged to investigate and report on the implications of data on the impact of prevention of illicit drug use.

Health and Physical Education

Health and Physical Education

Major Focus is on the Personal, Social and Community Health Strand.

The No Brainer Curriculum encompasses all three sub strands of

  • Being healthy, safe and active
  • Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing
  • Contributing to healthy and active communities




No Brainer engages students in “Science Understanding”, particularly in informing students on the biological effects of illicit drug use.  Better understanding and being wise to the effects of various illicit drugs on the body and the brain address several aspects of “Science as Human Endeavour”


Humanities and Social Sciences

F-6/7 Humanities & Social Sciences,

7-10 History,

7-10 Geography,

7-10 Civics and Citizenship,

7-10 Economics and Business

In encouraging students to create positive attitudes towards drug prevention, including the option of saying “No” to drugs, the major focus of the No Brainer program is on the subject: Civics and Citizenship, in particular, it promotes a resilient society through the development of students’ understanding of broader values such as respect, civility, equity, justice and responsibility.

However, if students undertake further investigation, then they may address historic, geographic and economic concepts related to illicit drug use.



The Arts

Drama, Dance,

Media Arts,


Visual Arts

Both in communicating issues and concepts to students, and in students undertaking projects and developing responses to the No Brainer program, there is potential to engage in all aspects of The Arts.





Design and Technologies, Digital Technologies

Focus on Technologies and Society substrand within the Design and Technologies Strand.


Students are encouraged to examine and prioritise competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations in the design of solutions to prevent harms caused by illicit drug use which will meet community needs for preferred futures.



Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Indonesian, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish, Vietnamese

An extension of some of the student activities in the No Brainer curriculum would be to communicate in another language other than English key concepts and ideas about avoiding harmful drugs




“NO Brainer” Curriculum Program also requires students to exercise and develop their skills and abilities in all aspects of the General Capabilities, namely:
  • Literacy,  Numeracy,  Information and communication technology capability
  • Critical and creative thinking,  Personal and social capability,  Ethical and Intercultural understanding


For further and full overview of program please feel free to download this PDF

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