The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare reports these facts. In 2017/18:

  • 25% of children and adolescents (2 to 17) were overweight or obese
  • 67% of adults were overweight or obese
  • 31% of all Australians were obese – up 12% from 1995

It is estimated that there will be $88 Billion additional costs to the Australian economy in the 10-year period 2015 to 2025, if no action taken to slow the rise of obesity.

Schools and teachers play a critical role in teaching Australian children the benefits of leading an active and healthy lifestyle. Along with parents, the community and government, the obesity trend line can be changed. To help reverse the trend, we need to ensure that quality health and physical education (HPE) is being delivered into our primary and secondary schools.

HPE is one of the eight learning areas in the Australian School Curriculum. Research shows that children’s participation in physical activity leads to better student engagement, improved academic achievement, and better health outcomes in adult life.

HPE can help change the upward obesity trend.

But not all students are getting the benefit of quality HPE says ACHPER CEO, John Stokes. “Inconsistencies in curriculum delivery throughout the country, means that many students are missing out on learning about the importance of embracing an active and healthy lifestyle”

That’s part of the advocacy focus of ACHPER’s annual National HPE Day on 12 September.

“The day aims to raise the awareness of the value of HPE in the Australian Curriculum; the important role it plays in the learning development of children and the long-term benefit to the community” says John Stokes.

100,000 Australian school students are participating.

Sport Australia and Tennis Australia are major Partners.

John Stokes says, “We have a vision to create a unique annual event and send a great message to the rest of the world – Australia is 100% committed in teaching all of its children about the real benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle”.

In 2019, Physical Education New Zealand (PENZ) held their first HPE Day. It has mirrored ACHPER’s format.

Participation in ACHPER’s National HPE Day continues to grow.

Currently over 55,000 school students from around Australia are registered for this year’s event. This is an important sign that schools recognise their role in helping young people to take steps towards leading healthier and more active lives.

National HPE Day is an advocacy event that seeks to highlight the importance of HPE within the Australian Curriculum. The greater the participation, the stronger our advocacy message is to our key stakeholders in the education and health sector.

2019 sees new Partners join with ACHPER to support promotion of this event. ACHPER welcomes both Sport Australia and Tennis Australia.

The involvement of Sport Australia is very timely, given the recent release of the Australian Physical Literacy Framework and the imminent release of their Position Statement on Physical Literacy. To coincide with National HPE Day, ACHPER will be releasing its new Position Statement – Quality HPE & Physical Literacy. Please watch out for the social media launch on 12th September.

In addition, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) will have two Ambassadors participating in each Australian jurisdiction. By speaking about their own personal stories and experiences, these athletes will help spread the message of the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle and their lifelong benefits.

Thank you to the teachers and Schools that have registered so far for the 2019 event. If you are a primary or secondary school teacher, there is still plenty of time for your school to register – Click Here to register your school.

And how do we all promote the importance of HPE via participation in National HPE Day? ACHPER encourages schools and teachers to take photos and videos of active participation in physical activity and upload them to social media using the #HPEday hashtag.

We look forward to sharing the outcomes of National HPE Day with our stakeholders next month.

Celebrate National HPE Day – Register Now! 

National Health & Physical Education (HPE) Day is a nationwide initiative that highlights the importance of HPE in the Australian Curriculum, and its influence on the learning and development of children.

The theme is Good for Children, Good for Schools, Good for Communities, and this year’s event will be celebrated on Thursday 12th September 2019.

The latest National #HPEday eNews is out now!

To keep up-to-date with all things National #HPEday visit

Register your School

It’s no surprise that schools play a significant role in the intellectual, physical, social and emotional development of children. Learning in Health and Physical Education makes an important and positive difference because it encourages lifelong participation and results in better health outcomes.

Getting your school or class involved in National HPE day is easy! Visit our Resources page for ideas on how your school can be involved.

Click here to register your school for National HPE Day!

You might have read the Media Release issued by ACHPER on National HPE Day. This media release highlighted the importance of HPE within the Australian Curriculum and how it helps enhance the health and well-being of our children.

The 2018 National HPE Day has been and gone, and I am pleased to report that momentum for this national day continues to build.

Here’s a snapshot:

  • 53,312 students participated (Up 48% from 2017)
  • 142 Schools participated (up 27% from 2017)
  • 27 Print, Online and Radio media stories throughout Australia Audience – 456,000* (*Isentia Media Monitoring)

Social media was also active with many great pictures and stories being posted about the activities being held on the day.

We were also very pleased that the Federal Sport Minister (Senator Bridget McKenzie) acknowledged her participation in National HPE Day too. Members would be interested to know that after leaving University, the Minister taught physical education and mathematics for several years at Yarram Secondary College in Gippsland. She also lectured in education at Monash University. She understands the importance of teaching the benefits of an active and healthy to our children.


Research shows that children’s participation in physical activity leads to better student engagement, improved academic achievement during school years, and better outcomes in adult life.

Health and Physical Education (HPE) is one of the eight Learning Areas of the Australian School Curriculum. Some of the focus areas of the HPE curriculum include – fundamental movement skills, games and sports, mental health and wellbeing and understanding the health benefits of physical activity.

“But not all students in Australia are getting the benefit of quality HPE” says ACHPER CEO, John Stokes. “Whilst HPE is part of the Australian Curriculum, inconsistencies in its delivery mean that many students are not receiving the benefit of daily PE”.

He continued “Given the research findings that link an increase in physical activity to better academic performance, the delivery of daily PE is a no brainer”. Unfortunately, with the pressures on student class-room time, often HPE is relegated in preference to subjects focused on literacy and numeracy.

“Delivering a balanced day of learning areas from the Australian Curriculum areas which includes HPE, is essential” John Stokes said. “Daily physical activity has been shown to not only have benefits at school but also in developing good habits for adult life”. The community benefits of improved health and well-being have both positive social and economic outcomes.

“This is where ACHPER steps in” said John Stokes. As Australia’s peak professional association representing teachers and other professionals working in HPE, ACHPER is staging its annual National HPE Day on Wednesday 5th September 2018. The nationwide event is designed to raise awareness of the value of HPE in the Australian Curriculum and highlight the important role it plays in the learning and development of children, the benefit to all schools, and the value to the wider community.


Submit your Parent Pledge

We get it – everyone leads a busy life, and sometimes it’s hard to spend time being healthy and active.

That’s why parents and caregivers can commit to a ‘parent pledge’ and show their intention to spend 30 minutes of physical or healthy activity with their children on HPE Day.

So put life on hold for a short while, spend some fun time with your youngsters, and show them the importance of living an active and healthy life – commit to the parent pledge today!

Click here to Submit your Parent Pledge.

Summary of National #HPEday 2017

On September 6, National Health and Physical Education (HPE) Day was celebrated across Australia. The theme, Good for Children, Good for Schools and Good for Communities, is celebrated over a three year cycle, and the 2017 event focused on how HPE is Good for Children.

ACHPER encouraged schools and teachers to get involved in National HPE Day by taking photos and videos of students engaging in active and healthy living and uploading them onto social media using the #HPEday hashtag and tagging ACHPER Inc. Congratulations to Dalyellup College (WA), Haileybury College, Brighton (VIC) and Thomas Hassall Anglican College (NSW) who are the winners or our competition!

Our ambassadors for the day also highlighted the benefits of quality Health and Physical Education for children:

“Quality physical education provides benefits of cognitive and academic results specifically relating to maths, numeracy and NAPLAN”. Kids participating in quality HPE are more engaged, active, social and also have fun!”.
Rob Narin (Executive Director of the Australian Secondary Principals Association)

“The health and physical education teachers play a significant role, however parents and other family members have a bigger responsibility to ensure that kids are living healthy and active lives. Children who are offered quality health and physical education are better equipped to understand the impact that physical activity has on their social, physical and mental health”.
Emma Kearney (Western Bulldogs AFL Women’s (AFLW) player)

“Quality health and physical education enables children to develop skills to participate in sport which is part of the DNA of Australia. There are so many career opportunities within the health and PE areas that it should be an integral part of any balanced education program. Many parents and families rely on/expect schools to provide HPE services for their children. Sector leaders, all teachers, parents, community sports clubs and of course community role models are all the enablers of the benefits”.
Steve Moneghetti (Accomplished long-distance runner)


Below is a snapshot of the impact of National #HPEday had in schools, in the media and on social media.

[View our #HPEday Infographic]