Category Archives: Newsletter article

Young Australian males most vulnerable to using e-cigarettes

Healthway-funded research recently published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia concluded that young Australian males were most vulnerable to using e-cigarettes, with the most common reason for their use among smokers and non-smokers of traditional cigarettes being enjoyment.

The online survey of 1,116 Australians aged 18 to 25 years found that young males are particularly vulnerable to both trialing electronic nicotine delivery systems and becoming regular e-cigarette users.  Just over 10 per cent of young adult e-cigarette users reported using the devices to quit smoking.

Lead author Dr Michelle Jongenelis, from the School of Psychology at Curtin University said the popularity of e-cigarettes had grown rapidly around the world,  and the growing range of electronic devices capable of delivering nicotine available on the market represented new challenges for the public health community.

The research was co-authored by researchers from the School of Psychology at Curtin University, Cancer Council Western Australia, and The University of Western Australia.

The research paper titled: ‘Differences in use of electronic nicotine delivery systems by smoking status and demographic characteristics among Australian young adults,’ can be found online here.

What’s happening at Healthway?

Welcome to Healthway’s e-news. We would like to introduce you to some new staff members who have joined Healthway in recent times and to re-acquaint you with some familiar faces on the Healthway team.

First, here’s an update on recent developments and a few that are still in the pipeline.

Healthway is governed by the provisions of the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 which also covers tobacco sales and licensing. This year, the State Government introduced the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation Bill 2015 into the WA Parliament. The proposed stand-alone Act positions Healthway’s role as being to “promote and facilitate in Western Australia good health and activities which encourage healthy lifestyles.”

The Minister for Health, the Hon. Dr Kim Hames, has appointed a Board to oversee the operations of Healthway during this transition to new legislation and governance arrangements, including the appointment of a new Board.

The current Board consists of five people led by Dr David Russell-Weisz, Director General of the Department of Health, who is also Deputy Chair of the Board. Other Board members are Mr Ron Alexander, Director General of the Department of Sport and Recreation, Ms Emma White, Director General of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support, Mr Duncan Ord, Director General of the Department of Culture and the Arts, and Ms Ricky Burges, Chief Executive Officer, WALGA.

During the year, there have also been some staff changes although you’ll find many familiar names and faces among your Healthway contacts.

Healthway staff
Corporate Executive

Maree De Lacey joined Healthway as Acting Executive Director in June. Leading a government agency is a familiar role for Maree who has over 30 years’ experience in senior positions across a wide range of organisations ranging from small, strategic regional agencies to large very complex state-wide government departments.

Dr Jo Clarkson, who joined Healthway in 2002, continues to head Healthway’s health promotion team, which has responsibility for grants, research, health promotion and evaluation support for the sponsorship program, and strategic health promotion advice across the organisation.
Bill Ongley, who is already well known to many Healthway stakeholders as Sports Program Manager, has stepped up to be Acting Director Sponsorship. In this role, Bill is responsible for the administration of Healthway’s sponsorship program which encompasses sport, racing, arts and community events and projects. This includes overseeing the application and contracting processes across all these areas and the sponsorship leveraging team which manages the health promotion aspect of Healthway’s sponsorships after they are approved by the Board.
Lina Barbato leads the Corporate Services Division and, as the Chief Finance Officer, her responsibilities include finance, organisational development, governance, contract management and information, communication and technology.

Healthway staff
Health Promotion team

Healthway’s health promotion team is led by Dr Jo Clarkson as Director, Health Promotion. The health promotion team is responsible for applications for grants for health promotion projects and for health promotion research and for administered grants once they are awarded.

Queries about any matters relating to health promotion research should be directed to Laura Hunter, Health Promotion Policy and Research Officer.

The role of overseeing applications for health promotion projects is shared by Joanne Graham-Smith and Andrea Boss. Any queries about health promotion project grants should be directed to Joanne or Andrea.

Healthway staff
Sponsorship team

During the year, there have been some changes to Healthway’s sponsorship area with some familiar faces filling new roles and some new staff joining the team.

The sponsorship unit oversees the application process for sport, arts, racing and community events and activities and includes staff who work with sponsored organisations to maximise health promotion returns including promotion of health messages.

Bill Ongley now heads the Sponsorship team within Healthway as Acting Director, Sponsorship.

Applicants for sports sponsorships over $5,000 should contact Brianne James, who is Acting Sports Program Manager. For arts or community events sponsorship applications over $5,000, the contact is Shane Pavlinovich, Arts Program Manager.

For applications and queries about applying for sponsorships for under $5,000, please check Healthway’s website for details on how to apply. If your query isn’t answered there, contact Healthway reception and the staff there will put you in touch with the right person.

Organisations with existing sponsorships should continue to contact the Healthway sponsorship officer who currently manages their sponsorship or project.

Healthway staff
Corporate Services

The members of Healthway’s Corporate Services team ensure the business of Healthway runs smoothly. Their work underpins the functions of the other parts of Healthway including the health promotion and sponsorship teams.

As Director, Corporate Services, and Chief Financial Officer, Lina Barbato is responsible for overseeing all the business services required by Healthway including governance, contract management, information technology and financial reporting.

If you telephone Healthway, your call will more than likely be answered by either Vanessa Thompson or Bob Heron who will also greet you if you visit Healthway. Vanessa and Bob are multi-skilled in a range of administrative responsibilities underpinning corporate services.

Barry Cable and Michael Van Delft work in information technology services and support managing the online application processes.

Judy Hooi is the finance officer who can assist with invoice inquiries.

2016 Healthway Research Funding Round

The 2016 Healthway Research Funding Round is now open, with applications closing on Thursday 31 March 2016.

Healthway has made some changes to the Research Program in 2016, and all applicants are encouraged to read the guidelines and application forms carefully when completing their applications. This year the assessment criteria for Healthway research grants require applicants to demonstrate a greater focus on research translation, strengthening the requirement for researchers to engage and collaborate with the end-users of the research. Applicants will be required to describe policy and practice outputs to demonstrate how the research outcomes will impact on improving the health of the WA community.

There are three categories of funding available in 2016; Exploratory Research Grants, Intervention Research Grants and a Special Research Initiative focusing on disadvantaged groups. The guidelines and application forms are now available.

The Arts are just AWESOME

This year, the partnership between Healthway and AWESOME Arts gave over 700 children in regional and remote areas an opportunity to develop and use their own artistic talents while, at the same time, learning about the importance of healthy eating.

The 2015 AWESOME Arts Creative Challenge saw professional artists head to all parts of Western Australia with the aim of introducing children to the fun and enjoyment of art and how art can be used to tell personal stories in a unique and special way. The Challenge is part of Healthway’s sponsorship of AWESOME Art’s annual program.

The children, aged between 4 and 17 years, in communities including Gascoyne Junction, Mowanjum and Burringurrah, were shown how various art forms could be used to illustrate the theme of This is Where I Am while, at the same time, they learned why Go for 2 & 5 is such an important message about healthy eating.

Healthway supports AWESOME Arts to engage professional artists to work with young people in regional and remote communities. The program has many dimensions including using art to connect children to the rich cultural and environmental diversity of Western Australia and to explore and express the uniqueness of their local community.

At the Mowanjum Arts Centre, from 29 June to 3 July, artists-in-residence Calvin Chee and Matt McVeigh, worked with a group of 38 children aged 5 to 15 years to create a float for the Derby community’s annual Boab Festival. Using recycled materials including PVC pipe, textiles and papier mache, Calvin and Matt helped the children create stage props and costumes to depict the birthing story of the Wunggug (snake) and other Kimberley animals.

The children were delighted to use a plastic tag gun and from that to understand how price tags are attached to clothes in stores. The young people prepared for the festival by painting themselves and helping each other into costumes. At the same time, they enjoyed eating an abundance of fruit, with many trying new kinds of fruit for the first time.

“The float that was created won first prize in the float parade and the kids were so proud and excited to be representing their community,” said Calvin.

While this artistic fun was happening at Mowanjum, it was a similar scene further south at Gascoyne Junction where the theme This is Where I Am was focussed on the Gascoyne River and what it meant to the local community.

Artists-in-residence Fionn Mulholland and Kathleen Szalay-Hoffmann worked with a group of students from the Gascoyne Junction Remote Community School who were eager to learn new creative skills to highlight the community’s frequent river visits for swimming and fishing.

The artists introduced the children aged 5 to 17 years to film equipment and encouraged them to record hours of film at the river which they enjoyed editing to include songs, choreographed dances, slow motion jumps and basketball moves.

All the participants enjoyed their daily serves of fresh fruit and some combined this into their video. The celebration event was a screening of the films in a school classroom.

Artists Fionn and Kathleen said: “The resulting films reflected the respect and pride the young people had for their community with tour videos of their school, veggie patch and the land around the river.”

AWESOME Arts’ Community Cultural Development Manager Sarah Commander said the partnership with Healthway helped AWESOME Arts work towards its mission of providing opportunities for Western Australia’s children to actively engage with the arts, intensifying their connectivity with the broader world in which they live.

“The Healthway sponsorship enables us to introduce children in remote communities to art and to learn about it from professional artists who would not normally be available to them,” Ms Commander said.

“We use the Creative Challenge Program and contemporary arts as the vehicle to actively promote positive change in young people’s lifestyles with a focus on increasing opportunities for disadvantaged, disengaged and marginalised youth populations to participate in healthy activities.”

Healthway’s Arts Program Manager, Shane Pavlinovich, said: “Both nutrition and physical activity are high priority health areas addressed in the Creative Challenge Program because of the importance of healthy eating, activity and fun for everyone including children.”

Hayley, 11, from the Mowanjum Community School enjoying a healthy snack in between costume and float making workshops. Photo – AWESOME Arts

Eight year old Ryan took part in the AWESOME Arts Creative Challenge at Gascoyne Junction and took photos of the community veggie garden as part of his story about the Gascoyne River. Photo – Fionn Mulholland

Healthway grant changes the face of Perth suburbs

A Healthway health promotion research project has helped to improved urban design and the physical and social health of people living in many suburbs in Perth and the Peel Region.

The RESIDE Environments Project has provided new data to guide planning policy that aims to improve human health in a way that has not been achieved before. It is highly regarded throughout the planning industry and has won several planning industry awards.

The RESIDE research team headed by Professor Fiona Bull, Director of the Centre for Built Environment and Health, at the University of Western Australia, set out to discover which features of suburbs were associated with healthy or unhealthy behaviour. It also looked at the impact of planning policy on the health and well-being of Perth residents.

The study was designed around 73 new housing developments under construction across metropolitan Perth and the Peel. A total of 1813 new home owners who had purchased land and home packages and were planning to relocate to one of the new developments agreed to join the RESIDE study.
They were asked to complete surveys across four time points – while their new home was being built, one year after moving into their new home, around two years after moving in and between five to seven years after the initial move.

The researchers looked closely at the health and well-being of the new home owners assessing many health related issues including walking, cycling, public transport use, diet, mental health, sense of community, perceptions of crime and feelings of safety as well as exploring why they chose their new neighbourhood.

The neighbourhood was defined as a 1600 metre road network buffer around the home, the equivalent of a 10 to 15 minute walk. Within this area, the research team studied urban features such as street connectivity, mixed land use, public transport, residential density, housing diversity, access to public open space, community facilities, shops and footpaths.
By comparing the neighbourhood features with the data obtained from the new residents, the RESIDE team determined the long term impact of urban design on the physical and mental health of residents.

The results of have been used to create guidelines for urban design to improve residents’ health and social interaction within their neighbourhoods. Two in particular, the Healthy Active by Design and the Public Open Space (POS Tool) have been used extensively by State government agencies including the Department of Planning and the WA Planning Commission, local government authorities and property developers.

The POS Tool, launched in 2013, is the first of its kind in Australia. The web based tool can be used by the general public, planners and developers as a guide to the provision and location of public open space to encourage people to get out and about in their suburb. These details include trees and tree canopy cover, landscaping and footpath design.

Members of the public can use the POS Tool website to quickly find their closest public open space or a park with certain facilities they are looking for such as exercise equipment. Planners and developers use the website to help make planning decisions incorporating parks and other public open space and to assess future public needs in line with anticipated population growth.

The POS Tool has won awards from the Planning Institute of Australia (WA) and Parks and Leisure Australia (WA) for the use of technology and research. It has been used in many developments including the City of Canning’s public open space strategy and the City of Fremantle’s new 2020 Green Plan. Other local government agencies are currently using it to develop similar strategies. For more information, visit

The Healthy Active by Design Guidelines were developed through working extensively with other agencies and launched in 2014. They drew extensively on the knowledge gained from the RESIDE study and were welcomed by the planning industry receiving two Planning Institute of WA Awards for planning excellence that year.

The guidelines, which are administered by the Heart Foundation, consist of practical guides, checklists and case studies to assist planners to create urban environments that encourage healthy and active living by people who live there. The guidelines have been used by the City of Wanneroo for structure plan developments in Alkimos and South Yanchep, the City of Cockburn has developed its Cockburn Coast Structure plan using the guidelines and they have influenced the City of Kwinana’s Wellard village development.

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale has recently completed its ‘Draft Public Health Plan for 2015 and Beyond!’ The plan acknowledges that the urban environments where people live and work can have a significant impact on community health. The Shire has used the Health Active by Design Master Checklist to ensure new residential developments are based on healthy environments and has made a commitment to review its local planning policies “though a health filter to ensure physical activity outcomes are identified.”

The Shire’s Senior Environmental Health Officer, James Wickens, said that guidelines had been extremely useful in the development of the draft public health plan.

“We wanted to look beyond the usual environmental health topics of noise and sewerage and do something about preventing chronic disease in the community,” Mr Wickens said.

“The guidelines provide very useful health information and enable us to sit down with planners and talk their language.

“Serpentine Jarrahdale is the fastest growing local government area in the Peel and we have major urban developments at Byford and heading south towards Mundijong.

“If we were a coastal shire we would be looking to link our recreation areas with the coast and in our case the guidelines have shown us how to link our walk tracks with trails already in the Darling Scarp.”

Healthway’s Director, Health Promotion, Dr Jo Clarkson, said: “Healthway aims to help to add to the knowledge about what works to improve the health of the community.

“The RESIDE study has led to real health benefits for West Australians – it has put health on the planning agenda so that new suburbs are designed to get the best possible health outcomes for people who live there,” she said.

For more information visit: And

A wonderland of healthy eating and gymnastics for kids

The sport of gymnastics came out into the wide open spaces of the Fremantle Esplanade Park in November and around 200 young children clearly appreciated the chance to try some of the manoeuvres for the first time.

The Go for 2&5 GymFest event was organised by the team at Gymnastics WA in partnership with Healthway as part of an annual sports sponsorship. It aimed to encourage children aged from 3 to 12 years to get active and involved in the fundamentals of gymnastics, a popular sport requiring physical strength, agility and coordination.

A Mad Hatters theme added some entertainment to the day and fused the fantasy of Alice in Wonderland with the energy and precision required in gymnastics.

Kids were able to try themed gymnastic circuits including “Alice in Tumbleland”, “Down the Rabbit Hole” and many more. Each circuit was unique and incorporated pieces of gym equipment like mini trampolines and spring boards, tumbling tracks and climbing frames, bouncy castles and balance beams.

There were also some great displays by young gymnasts from local clubs who showed just what exciting movements were possible when strength, coordination and experience combined to produce spectacular results.

The Go for 2&5 GymFest day was part of Gymnastics WA’s overall strategy to raise awareness of its “Start Here, Go Anywhere” message.

“The fundamental skills of gymnastics will help the physical development of a child and form a solid foundation of skills that can be easily transferred across to any sport,” said Gymnastics WA Executive Director, Ruth Gibbons.

“We are excited to be able to bring gymnastics out to the people on what turned out to be such a beautiful day in Fremantle.

“We would certainly like to thank Healthway and the City of Fremantle for making it possible for so many youngsters to come along with their families and give basic gymnastics a try in such a fun atmosphere.”

Healthway’s Acting Sports Program Manager, Brianne James, said the sponsorship of Gymnastics WA offered an excellent opportunity to promote the Go for 2&5 healthy eating message to children and young people.
“Gymnastics WA has proven to be a strong supporter of the health message and the team there have ensured the message has wide exposure right across the sport of gymnastics,” Ms James said. “The Go for 2&5 GymFest day in Fremantle is a great example of how to introduce a sport to young people while also teaching them about important health issues in a fun and interesting way.
“Gymnastics WA promotes the Go for 2&5 healthy eating message through numerous activities that encourage participation in sport across a wide range of settings including at schools and after school care programs.
“Healthway is also pleased to note the way in which Gymnastics WA involves the whole gymnastics community in embracing the Go for 2&5 message through education and providing healthy food options at all their events.”

Dylan Nolan, aged 10, shows his skills on the trampoline. Dylan is a member of the High Flyers Trampoline and Gymnastics Academy.

a young GymFest participant tries a new move.
Pictures courtesy Nikki Gray Photography

Healthway’s policy on the Portrayal of Smoking in the Arts by Sponsored Organisations

The Board of Healthway recently completed a review of the above policy.

Following discussion with health and arts organisations, the Board agreed to incorporate modifications to the policy to allow for greater discretion in decision making around applications to Healthway for sponsorship.

In summary, the new policy:

  • Remains consistent with the principle that the portrayal of smoking in arts productions as normal, acceptable or fashionable is inconsistent with the promotion of healthy lifestyles and the functions of Healthway;
  • Allows organisations applying for sponsorship to provide evidence, for Healthway’s consideration, that the depiction of smoking is essential to the performance and/or its historical setting, and does not glamourise smoking;
  • Does not automatically exclude organisations from Healthway sponsorship if smoking is portrayed in performances at any time during multi-year sponsorship agreements. Organisations may now submit evidence that they could not reasonably have been aware of or have control over the content of the performance at the time the agreement with Healthway was signed; and
  • Removes the condition that organisations are not eligible for Healthway sponsorship for the entire program or season if smoking is depicted in any performance or production by the organisation. Instead, a risk assessment approach will be applied.

Healthway’s Minimum Health Policy requirements, which all Healthway sponsored organisations are required to implement, have been revised to reflect the policy on the Portrayal of Smoking in the Arts by Sponsored Organisations.

The policy allows for some flexibility in decision making within Healthway’s role of funding activities related to the promotion of good health, with particular emphasis on young people. Smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable disease in Western Australia and we know that the majority of smokers take up smoking during their adolescent years.

Healthway continually reviews its policies and programs to ensure they are up to date and reflect stakeholder expectations. The above policy will be reviewed again prior to December 2017.

The updated policy on the Portrayal of Smoking in the Arts by Sponsored Organisations and the updated Minimum Health Policy requirements can be viewed on Healthway’s website at

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Healthway on telephone 9476 7000, WA State-wide telephone 1800 198 450 or email