Have you say of a Nation Obesity Strategy

The COAG Health Council has committed to developing a national obesity strategy.

From now until 15 December 2019, you are invited to give your own or your organisation’s views on what a 10-year strategy to reduce overweight and obesity in Australia should focus on.

A range of social, environmental and economic factors contribute to obesity and impact a person’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. If the current trend continues, more than 18 million Australians will be overweight or obese by 2030.

Governments want to hear from you about what actions could be done to prevent obesity, particularly for communities where overweight and obesity are more common.

We encourage you to:

  • tell your stakeholders, members and communities you work with about the consultation process
  • complete the surveys – there is a long and short form survey to choose from. The long form survey provides the opportunity for organisations to submit comments against each of the proposed strategies and sub-strategies outlined in the consultation paper.
  • feature the consultation process in your next newsletter or on your website
  • spread the word about community forums in locations where events are being held. Please note that these forums are targeted for community and are designed to elicit local level community responses to consultation questions.

This is an opportunity to help shape a national strategy that focuses on what government will do and how government can work with communities, non-government organisations and industry to create environments that support a healthy weight and support and empower individuals and communities.

Resources are available on request, including a Communication Kit containing background information, key messages, example media releases, newsletter copy, social media tiles and web badges; and an Engagement Pack, should you want to hold your own consultation activity.

For more on how to get involved, go to the national obesity strategy consultation hub.

If you require any further information about the consultation process, or you would like to receive a copy of the Communication Kit or Engagement Pack, please contact engage@thesocialdeck.com

Would you like to host the Aboriginal surfboard tour in 2020?

After an extremely popular tour in 2019, the Aboriginal surfboard competition tour is returning next year between 13th January to the 20th July 2020. The Aboriginal Surfboard continues to raise awareness in the Illawarra & Shoalhaven around sexual health & blood borne infections while offering the opportunity to win the surfboard.

In 2020 the surfboard will again feature art work by Aboriginal local artist Lani Balzan, who says that the theme of the surfboard is the connection to sea country and the strength of the sea eagle that watches over us. Winners will be drawn on the 21st July 2020 after NAIDOC week.

The HARP unit invite you to display the surfboard at your service or organisation for a two week stay. All you need is a highly visible, safe area to display the surfboard to your clients or the wider public, giving them a chance to go into the draw to win by texting ‘Take Blaktion & postcode to the HARP Unit.

HARP will securely install and remove the surfboard.

This EOI will close Friday 22nd November 2019. Hosts will be advised week commencing 25th November 2019.

If you are interested, please email jennifer.farinella@.health.nsw.gov.au

More at www.caddyshackproject.com

New ‘shisha no thanks’ campaign encourages communities to know the harms of shisha smoking

The state’s Chief Cancer Officer today launched the new campaign ‘Shisha No Thanks’ urging communities to be aware of the harms of smoking shisha, also known as water-pipe.

Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow said it was important for people to understand smoking shisha is as dangerous to a person’s health as smoking cigarettes.

“A person who smokes shisha is at risk of the same health problems that a person who smokes cigarettes faces, including cancer and respiratory illness. A typical 45 minute long waterpipe smoking session involves inhaling as much smoke as 100 cigarettes.

Even if the shisha does not contain tobacco, it is not safe to smoke. While these products, also called ‘herbal shisha’, may not contain the nicotine in tobacco, the smoke contains highly toxic substances. The addition of fruit flavouring and sweeteners does not reduce the harmful effects of the smoke.

Smoking remains the largest cause of preventable death and disease in NSW.

The Multicultural Health Service of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District were awarded a grant by the Cancer Institute NSW to the value of $386,000 last year to lead a community-based project in Sydney, in partnership with the Lebanese Muslim Association urging shisha smokers to be aware of the harms of shisha. The initiative has been collaboration with the Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts, the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS) and the South Eastern Sydney Research Collaboration Hub, University of NSW.

Lisa Woodland, Manager, Priority Populations and Director, NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service said the project will include a number of strategies aimed at young people, their friends, family and social networks, particularly from the Arabic speaking community, through a social media campaign, information sessions and culturally appropriate community resources and social media and community engagement activities.

“We have co-designed with young people relevant resources including a ‘Shisha No Thanks’ video and a number of factsheets in English and Arabic that will help raise awareness about the health effects of shisha smoking,” added Ms Woodland.

“Tobacco is harmful and addictive no matter how you smoke it. It may seem that that shisha is not as bad for you as cigarettes because the tobacco is flavoured and passed through water, but this simply isn’t true.”

Ahmad Malas, Operations Director of the Lebanese Muslim Association, joined the call for people to avoid all forms of tobacco.

“Contrary to centuries-old perceptions, shisha is just as harmful as cigarettes. The fruity taste only masks the tobacco and does not make it a healthier alternative to cigarettes. Even though shisha has become socially accepted, people don’t need it to have a good time,” Mr Malas said.

People who smoke shisha can get support to quit by calling the Quitline on 13 7848 or visiting icanquit.com.au.