Category Archives: Latest News

Tackling childhood obesity one superhero at a time

Gymnastics WA’s Gymsquad and Foodbank WA’s Superhero Foods characters have joined forces to launch a new educational initiative to make everyday foods like fruit and vegetables the superheroes in children’s diets.

Healthway Chief Executive Officer Susan Hunt PSM said the innovative project supported by Healthway sees Gymnastics WA and Foodbank WA working together to teach children the benefits of healthy lifestyles and provides fun resources and recipes to encourage and engage children and their families in healthy eating.

“While 44% of children aged 5-15 years reach the recommended levels of physical activity, only 5.3% of Western Australian children are meeting the recommended daily serve of fruit and vegetables,” Ms Hunt said.

“Childhood obesity continues to be a major public health issue, so these sorts of projects are vital.”

Overweight and obese children are also more likely to become obese adults and develop chronic conditions at younger ages, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Currently, the State Government, through Healthway, provides Gymnastics WA $260,000 over two years to promote the Go for 2&5 healthy eating message throughout its clubs. During 2016 and 2017, Healthway provided Foodbank more than $200,000 to deliver a range of educational resources.

Gymnastics WA Executive Director Ruth Gibbons said it was important for the club to work with Healthway and Foodbank WA to take a more holistic and proactive approach towards health by also making a difference to the eating habits of our children.

“I look forward to children making fruit and vegetables the supehero part of their diet,” Ms Gibbons said.

Foodbank WA Chief Executive Officer Greg Hebble said eating more fruit and vegetables is one of the most important dietary changes needed to improve health and reduce the risk of disease in children

“The recipe cards creatively engage children in increasing knowledge, attitude and skills towards healthy food and cooking,” Mr Hebble said.

To view the recipe cards visit  www.gymsquad.asn.au and for further Superhero Foods recipes and resources visit www.superherofoodshq.org.au.

 

Healthway and LiveLighter seminar

On Monday, 30 April, Healthway and LiveLighter hosted a seminar on Food Environments – Local, National and Global Perspectives.

This special session featured three expert speakers, Kirsten Corben from VicHealth, Dr Kathy Chapman Public Health Consultant, and Professor Rob Moodie from the University of Melbourne.

Kirsten Corben presented on strategies to decrease the availability of sugary drinks in healthcare and community settings.

Dr Kathy Chapman presented on children’s exposure to junk food marketing and actions that can be taken at the local level.

Professor Rob Moodie presented on how supranational corporations are affecting our health.

Watch the two hour session here.

UPDATE: Lotterywest and Healthway merger

I would like to take this opportunity to update our partners about the Lotterywest and Healthway merger.

I am excited about this opportunity as this amalgamation is focused on delivering benefits for the community; building on synergies between the organisations; and supporting great projects which help build a better Western Australia.

I hope that you can appreciate that amalgamating two organisations takes time, and we will soon have a clearer idea about how we will progress together. The plan is for integration of the two business systems to be in place by 30 June 2018.

During this transition phase Healthway and Lotterywest will continue to operate business as usual. At this stage the only difference will be that we plan to move Healthway staff to the Lotterywest head office in Subiaco over the next few months.

Both Healthway and Lotterywest are focused on continuing to enhance the lives of community members for a healthier and better Western Australia. So please continue to submit your applications for project funding and sponsorships to Healthway and Lotterywest.

To keep up-to-date with news on the amalgamation, sign up to Healthway’s eNewsletter. Any updates will also be posted on Healthway’s website. These updates will be communicated to our stakeholders as soon as we can.

Susan Hunt PSM
Chief Executive Officer
Lotterywest and Healthway

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