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TAFE Students bring Harold to life

Just say ‘Healthy Harold’ and any Australian who went to primary school during the last four decades will know you're talking about the country’s most lovable giraffe.

Over its 40-year history, Life Education along with their iconic mascot Healthy Harold have been Australia’s largest provider of specialised health and safety education to school-aged children.

And now, Life Education has joined forces with TAFE Queensland to bring Harold to the screen via 3D animation thanks to screen and media students from the Coomera creative campus.

As part of their final assessment, eight screen and media students majoring in interactive digital media spent countless hours modelling Harold into a delightful 3D animation.

Twenty-year-old Maddison Davis spent more than 48 hours working on the project and said it was initially overwhelming to know she was animating such an iconic mascot.

“I kind of felt that there was a lot of pressure to get it right, but now I'm just really proud of what we've accomplished,” she said.

“To be able to gain experience working with a real-world client was exciting, and to contribute to something that is so pivotal to the early learning of the younger generations was very rewarding.”

“The best part of the project for me was getting to work as a team with my peers and seeing everyone's hard work come together to create something we can all be proud of," she said. 

Fellow student Roger Jarvis said it was challenging and motivating to be able to put the skills he had acquired throughout the diploma into practice on a live project.

“The skills we learnt throughout the course armed us with everything we needed to get the job done in a timely manner and to industry standard — along with the ongoing support from our teacher whenever we needed it,” he said.

“Overall, it was really cool knowing that what I did gave Harold personality and life.”

Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt praised the students’ work, saying the animated ‘cartoon’ Harold would enrich the charity’s new online learning platform, Life Education Hub.

“We were delighted to work with the TAFE Queensland screen and media students, many of whom can recall a Life Education visit from their own primary school years,” Mr Fawsitt said.

“Not only has the collaboration given the students vital experience in animation design, but as a charity, we've benefited too."

“The engaging 3D Harold is a great addition to our continually-evolving Life Education Hub. The online platform is the ‘go-to’ place for all of our educational content and resources, so the animated Harold will enhance the user experience for thousands of parents, teachers and students who utilise the platform.”

TAFE Queensland General Manager on the Gold Coast, Karen Dickinson said the organisation is extremely honoured to collaborate with another longstanding and iconic education establishment.

“TAFE Queensland and Life Education have both been firmly entrenched in the lives of students for many decades and it's such a privilege to work with them to empower future generations with Healthy Harold for years to come,” she said.

“Life Education’s dedication to bringing a number of important topics into our schools is to be commended and it's an absolute joy to see TAFE Queensland’s screen and media students enriching their learning experience by putting their skills into practice on this real-world project.”

“Our students have done an amazing job animating Healthy Harold and I'm sure they're proud to leave their mark on such an iconic childhood mascot,” she said.

Ms Dickinson said it was a vital opportunity for students to connect with industry professionals.

“Industry-relevant learning experiences like this ensure that our students graduate with the confidence, capabilities, and the hands-on skills employers are looking for and expect from our graduates,” she said. 

“At TAFE Queensland, we know the power of training and skills and by working together, hand-in-hand with industry partners, we are helping our students to change their lives and to achieve their career aspirations.”