Author Archives: Michael

Healthway and Little Athletics promote healthy era for WA kids

A new partnership between Healthway and Little Athletics WA will promote the Go for 2&5 healthy eating message to thousands of young athletes aged between six and 17 and their families.
The partnership, announced on 16 September 2017, will also support increased availability of healthy food and drink choices at Little Athletics WA events across 85 clubs, 8,700 participants and 35 event centres across the State. Read more…

How you helped shape Healthway’s future

Many stakeholders took part in an extensive process of consultation during May, June and July to help determine the future strategic directions for Healthway.

Your comments, views and advice are currently being reviewed and will play a significant part in the development of Healthway’s Strategic Plan for 2018 and beyond.

The consultation process was organised and coordinated by Haeberlin Consulting who reached out in three main ways, through interviews, workshops and an online survey of around 4,000 stakeholders from Healthway’s database.

So who were the stakeholders who helped with this important and comprehensive process? And what did you tell us about how you saw Healthway’s future?

A wide and diverse range of organisations took time to get involved in the process and provide their feedback. Around 20% were sporting organisations, 19% community organisations, both research and arts organisations made up 11% each and health made up 10%. Other sectors involved included local government, state government, charity groups and racing.

The majority of organisations had received funding from Healthway in the last 18 months (41%) with 26% having received funding more than 18 months ago and 10% had previously applied for Healthway funding but had not been successful. Others who contributed to the survey either work with recipients of Healthway funding, or work with Healthway to share advice and expertise and to deliver programs.

Feedback provided was comprehensive and overall, the stakeholders were generally positive about Healthway’s current performance. There was room for improvement with more flexibility in working with funding recipients and more clarity about what Healthway stands for and what it will fund.

Overall, 72% rate Healthway’s performance as a health promotion funding agency as good or very good, with 23% rating performance as fair. Areas where Healthway could improve include:

  • Improving clarity on Healthway objectives
  • Simplifying application processes
  • Being more transparent on application assessments,
  • Being more modern in the approach to health promotion

Generally, stakeholders expressed a strong desire to see Healthway focus more on the social determinants of health and collective outcomes.

There was positive comment around Healthway being the broker for creating or linking partner organisations, more flexible and targeted funding and for Healthway being more proactive and active as a partner rather than a passive funder.

However, other stakeholders feared they may lose funding under a new Healthway direction or that Healthway could become too proscriptive and long term focus could suffer if Healthway focussed on shorter term objectives.

Healthway’s Strategic Plan for 2018 and beyond is currently being finalised.

Healthy eating helps turn an AFL dream into reality for Aker

Twelve year old Aker Athoi demonstrates that a healthy lifestyle and determination to succeed can be the recipe for achieving a sporting dream.

The dream for Aker is playing Australian Rules football. And the dream came true when she was selected to play for the Brighton Seahawks last year.

Aker and team mate Joice Tabaga were the only girls selected to play for the team and both credit their sporting success to the partnership between Healthway and the Edmund Rice Centre at Mirrabooka.

The partnership has created the Youth Engagement Programs which work with over 600 young people each year, encouraging healthy eating through Go for 2&5 for children and young people from culturally diverse backgrounds including refugees, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people who face barriers to taking part in sport.

The programs, which include the Butler Falcons Multicultural Aussie rules team, is also about encouraging healthy food choices and physical activity through grassroots sports programs in local parks, an all-female culturally and linguistically diverse AFL team, a leadership program and a coaching program.

Aker’s maturity, both on and off the field, has also resulted in her selection in the WA State Under 15’s program as well as Edmund Rice’s Female AFL Academy.

“The Go for 2&5 message means eating healthy, 2 fruits and 5 vegetables a day and if you are in sport you need to keep healthy and that’s a good way to do it,” says Aker.

“It’s very important to eat healthy when playing sport so that you are able to keep up your energy levels.

“The Butler Falcons means a lot to me because the program has helped me play at State level.”

Aker Athoi (right) in action for the Butler Falcons

Aker Athoi (right) in action for the Butler Falcons

Community connections are in fashion

Healthway’s partnership with the Fashion Council of WA will encourage community connectedness through this year’s Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.

The Festival will take place from 6 to 17 September with the positive mental health message Act-Belong-Commit playing a key role for the first time.

Lovers of all types of fashion will be drawn together to share their interests at the festival with Act-Belong-Commit featuring prominently at Fashion Central and the Festival’s Cultural program.

Fashion Central in Perth’s Forrest Place appeals to young people and will feature an Act-Belong-Commit wellness pod, a place where festival goers can gather and get involved in activities designed to help them feel great about themselves and to connect with others. Fashion Central runways will showcase fashions by Aboriginal designers and those from different cultural backgrounds.

The Festival’s cultural program features events and workshops about the fashion industry which provide an opportunity for participants to get together and share their fascination and inspiration about fashion.

Festival Creative Director, Mariella Harvey-Hanrahan, said: “Fashion is much deeper than just what you wear.

“Feeling great on the inside is when you look your best, that’s why Act-Belong-Commit is such a great message for the Festival and, with the myriad of free events this year, there are more opportunities than ever to get involved and let your creativity shine.”

In the lead up to the event, there will be an Act-Belong-Commit social media competition to engage and encourage people to Act-Belong-Commit.

Check Healthway’s website for more details closer to the event.

Community connections are in fashion

Community connections are in fashion

Survey shows Healthway sponsorships help create a healthier WA

Sponsorship of community activities supports Healthway’s work encouraging Western Australians to be healthier.

Independent evaluation of the effect of Healthway’s sponsorship program has confirmed its effectiveness in raising awareness and understanding of health issues and messages and helping influence people to choose healthier lifestyles.

The 2016/17 Sponsorship Monitor is an evaluation of 35 major sport, arts and racing sponsorships by the Health Promotion Evaluation Unit at The University of Western Australia. It found that while the number of people who said they were aware of and understood health messages promoted at Healthway sponsored events was similar to previous years, the proportion of people who said they intend to act on the health advice in the message is increasing.

The growing number of people who are intending to take action to improve their health as a result of attending Healthway sponsored events, reflects a trend over recent years. The researchers said this indicates Healthway’s recent increased efforts with sports, arts and community partners to incorporate opportunities for people to engage with the health message at events and encouraging healthier action is working.

“Studies have shown that sponsorship as a strategy is effective in raising awareness and comprehension of health messages which can also lead to a change of behaviour,” the researchers said.

The 2016/17 Sponsorship Monitor full report can be found at,-arts-community-event-sponsorship/the-effectiveness-of-healthways-sponsorship-program-2016-2017/

Healthway funds research in schools to prevent skin cancer

A health promotion research grant will see Healthway partner with researchers, the Cancer Council WA and the Department of Education WA to investigate the effect of placing UV meters in WA schools.

The objective is to determine if this will prevent skin cancer in the long term by encouraging young people to be sun smart while outdoors.

The project will be led by Professor Simone Pettigrew from the WA Cancer Prevention Research Unit at Curtin University who has been awarded a Healthway Exploratory Research Grant.

UV meters provide a minute by minute reading of the UV radiation at its location, which is a measure of UV strength and the risk of skin damage.

Childhood and adolescence are critical periods when overexposure to UV radiation can increase skin cancer risk in later life. Skin cancer prevention and programs targeting children and young people are high priorities for Healthway.

This research will guide the future of UV meter use in WA schools, and the community. The findings will also provide valuable information for the Cancer Council WA’s SunSmart program which provides support, resources and advice to schools across WA.

A UV meter installed at a Perth high school

A UV meter installed at a Perth high school

Research Scholarships and Fellowships available in 2017

Healthway will be offering health promotion research scholarship and fellowship funding opportunities again throughout 2017.

There will be no closing dates, with applications accepted anytime.

Health Promotion Graduate Scholarships, Indigenous Scholarships or a Post-Doctoral Fellowships are available.

Projects must be aligned to one of Healthway’s priority health areas, and the research component of the training must be conducted in collaboration with a health or community-based agency to ensure practical application of the study to health promotion in WA.

Visiting Fellowships will also be available to enable WA-based institutions and agencies to apply to Healthway to support a leading overseas expert to visit WA.

The application forms and more information will be available on our website at

Over $50,000 sponsorship applications closing soon!

Applications for Healthway sponsorship of over $50,000 for events and activities planned to commence at the beginning of 2018 are due by the end of July 2017.

All applications are due no less than five months prior to the commencement of the sponsored event or annual program. If the activities are aligned to a calendar year (1 January to 31 December), applications are due by 12 noon 31 July.

Applications for activities aligned to a financial year (1 July to 30 June) are due by 12 noon 31 January 2018. For more information, visit

Our relationship with the natural environment: What happens when we ignore it?

Healthway, with support from the Public Health Association of Australia (WA Branch), the Australian Health Promotion of Australia (WA Branch) and Public Health Advocacy Institute, invites you to hear from Professor Carmen Lawrence, Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Change in the School of Psychology at the University of Western Australia. This lecture will explore how the environment impacts on health and wellbeing. For more information about the event or to register to attend, please view the attached flyer

Calling all Western Australian hockey clubs and associations…

Hockey WA and Healthway have launched an exciting new initiative aimed at improving the health and well-being of all players, club and association members and supporters.

The new Hockey for Health Club program encourages participants to establish and promote a Club Health Policy, including a smoke free environment. To participate, clubs must identify priority health issues affecting their club or association and address these by developing and implementing a program to increase healthy behaviour.

Healthway’s Acting Executive Director, Maree De Lacey, said: “We are delighted to be working with Hockey WA to create healthy places for everyone within the hockey community in WA.

“The Smarter than Smoking message encourages young people to remain non-smokers and to make healthy lifestyle choices.

“The Hockey for Health club program will support hockey fans of all ages to make healthy choices by creating smoke free environments and identifying more opportunities within their clubs to help members and visitors to be healthy.

“We congratulate Hockey WA for taking this big step forward for the health of the hockey community.”

Phil Nillsen, President of Hockey WA, said: “Hockey WA is firmly committed to improving the health and wellbeing of its members and supporters and is therefore delighted to be teaming up with Healthway to launch this worthwhile initiative.

“As a result, I’d urge all of our clubs and associations to get involved in the Smarter Than Smoking Hockey For Health Club Program and help shape the future the future of our sport throughout the State and leave a positive and healthy legacy for generations to come.”

For more info, visit

Smarter than Smoking and the health benefits of being a non-smoker support the Hockey for Health Club program. Picture by Shane Paull