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Great opportunities for Health students with Menzies School of Health

Over the past five years, NTSDE has developed a great working relationship with the Menzies School of Health Research.

Our Stage 2 Health and Stage 2 Community Studies: Health students have had the chance to benefit from this professional relationship both at Residential Schools and through the Community Contact and Student Mentor Scheme.

This year the relationship is building again with Menzies providing increased access to their resources through:

  • An increase in  Community Contact (student mentor) professionals to work directly with Stage 2 Community Studies students.
  • Increased Health Lab visits to remote schools where NTSDE students live and study.
  • Menzies staff presenting Health Labs on site at NTSDE during Residential Schools - enabling all students to be part of this process.
  • Increased networking between NTSDE Health/Human Movement teachers and Menzies Staff.
  • Onsite visits by NTSDE Students and Staff to Menzies.

The NTSDE/Menzies program involves:


Menzies Health Lab is an innovative, interactive, mobile laboratory that promotes healthy lifestyle behaviors through evidence-based education. Participants measure their own biomedical risk factors for chronic diseases and learn how to reduce their lifetime and intergenerational risk of disease. Through direct engagement, Health Lab has the potential to impact on health outcomes for our students by ensuring that they are fully informed that the lifestyle choices they make today have long term consequences on their health and that of their future children. Four key lifestyle choices of poor diet, inadequate physical activity, smoking and excess alcohol consumption represent the main focus of Health Lab education. Lifestyle factors have the potential to be changed through Health Lab by empowering students to take ownership of their health decisions.

The core stations that address the SNAP (smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity) factors are:

  • Body fat percentage and its association with chronic disease. This is measured using bio-impedance scales.
  • Exhaled carbon monoxide relating to smoking or second hand smoke. This is measured using the Smokerlyse.
  • Demonstration of effects of alcohol on coordination using alcohol goggles, and education related to management of alcohol intake with respect to driving and health.
  • Activities focused on the importance of physical activity.
  • Demonstrations of the poisons in cigarettes and sugar in soft drink varieties. Participants engage in discussion about healthy eating and other lifestyle choices with a dietician.


The Health LAB Student Ambassador Program increases the impact and sustainability of Health LAB and aims to provide capacity building opportunities for senior school students interested in a career in health. NTSDE health teachers are looking at ways that our students can be further involved in this program, and will be looking for Health LAB Ambassadors among senior Health students undertaking their major projects.

Ambassadors select a Health LAB associated project, are mentored by the Health LAB team, help to organise Health LAB visits, reinforce Health LAB messages within their schools and remote communities, and visit Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. As part of their projects, Ambassadors also assist with Health LAB evaluation by gathering data such as school/community feedback on Health LABs, and hurdles to change in health behaviours in the community so that Health LAB can respond with tailored programs.

These are exciting programs to be involved in and we are looking forward to seeing our students grow and develop as they get involved in their Health projects and build relationships with the Menzies Health Lab team.