Addressing obesogenic environments is complex. In 2018/19, Population Health at Southern NSW
Local Health District undertook a range of activities to support the Goulburn community to improve
their health and wellbeing. The Goulburn Local Solutions project presents a broad-based approach to
community-led initiatives to local health development. Place-based investment was used to improve
health outcomes, maximising positive cycles of health development.
Through the Goulburn Local Solutions Grants, $97,154.20 was provided to local organisations to
deliver 15 individual projects. Proposed projects were assessed against criteria outlining current
health promotion priorities by a committee with expertise in community development, health
promotion, population health and public administration. Ongoing support was provided to grant
recipients, to help them enact their projects and achieve their stated goals
To support the development of a common vision, the Goulburn Play & Health Forum, held in July
2019, brought together those experienced in place-based initiatives with key change-makers from the
Goulburn region. Collective impact concepts were introduced by working collaboratively with
organisations delivering initiatives under the Goulburn Place Plan, and supporting existing NSW
Health initiatives, such as the Healthy Children Initiative, and the Koori Cook Off.
The Collective Impact framework identifies five conditions that must be present to address complex
social issues. A number of these conditions were identified through the Goulburn Local Solutions
project as being present in the community, meaning Goulburn is well-placed to adopt this model for
Key Learnings and Impacts
Local health promotion grants programs can be effective vehicles for identifying community-led approaches to health development.
The Goulburn Local Solutions Grants program has helped to make a reality of a place-based,
community-centred preventive health approach. Health promotion grants programs place the
community as collective problem-solvers and active delivery partners, rather than passive recipients
of programs and developments. The program provided an avenue for empowering the community:
building their collaborative skills, allowing for them to self-organise, and supporting them with the tools
to solve the problems in the areas where they live, work and play.
Community-led projects achieve a range of valuable outcomes around health development but
sometimes only for relatively small numbers of people. However, it is important not to assess small-
scale, local-level activities only using quantitative measures as they cannot be expected to tackle
larger scale disadvantage or poor health outcomes in isolation1.
The Goulburn Local Solutions Grants program has resulted in a sustainable and effective use of
resources, as the relationships formed through the process will support future work. Although the
program provided one-off funding for projects, these did not occur in isolation. In working across a
local system, and in the context of growing demand and constrained resources, the grants program
and supporting projects demonstrated how to make more effective use of resources across a place –
as well as improve health and wellbeing – through the use of joint commissioning, pooled budgets
and joint delivery arrangements with local non-government organisations (NGOs).
Population Health involvement at place-level is achievable as well as at system-level.
Preventive health can build upon existing community-driven approaches when approached in a place-
based manner. This project focused on the Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area and
engaged with existing networks and systems within the LGA. Local coordination with a health and
wellbeing focus is required to bring a strategic approach to prevention, ensuring this sits at the heart
of ambitions for integrated services, extending the goal beyond health service and community
navigation to wider voluntary and community sector provision2.
This includes ensuring that prevention encompasses wider wellbeing and the wider determinants of
health, helping to keep people well in the first place, rather than managing ill health better3. Providing
support for Place Plans (described below) offer an opportunity for cross-government coordination to
create well-connected communities, addressing key determinants of health.
The particular skills and leadership qualities of key individuals, as well as the existence of an active
and supportive voluntary and community sector infrastructure, also emerged as important elements of
success. One implication is that the approaches used may have varying levels of transferability to
other locations. Successful transferability of this project will require having a good understanding of
what others are doing locally, developing good working relationships and complementing and adding
value to other relevant activity in the area.
1 State of Victoria, Department of Health and Human Services, 2016, Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Framework 2 Australian Public Service Commission, 2007, Tackling Wicked Problems: A Public Policy Perspective 3 McGovern L, Miller G, Hughes-Cromwick P, “The relative contribution of multiple determinants to health outcomes”. Health Policy Brief: Health Affairs. 21 August 2014. DOI: 10.1377/hpb20140821.404487
Working in partnership enables collective impact.
“Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination,
yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations.”
Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2011
In recent years, an increasing number of initiatives across Australia have adopted the Collective
Impact approach to drive collaborative activity. Collective Impact is a collaboration framework used to
address complex issues in a given community, providing a basis for engagement across sectors and
groups who share a common interest4. The Collective Impact Framework consists of five conditions
drawn from case studies of collaborative projects that have achieved population-level change:
(Kania & Kramer, 2011)
Collective Impact theorises that meeting these five conditions will lead to population-level change on
complex social issues through the emergence and implementation of previously unidentified or
unachievable solutions. A number of these conditions were identified through the Goulburn Local
Solutions project as being present in the community, meaning Goulburn is well-placed to adopt this
model for future interventions.
The Goulburn Place Plan is one of 20 place-based projects being rolled out by the NSW Department
of Family and Community Services to strengthen social housing communities across NSW. Plan
Plans adopt a ‘place-making’ approach to building community, and form one of the service
improvement actions of the 2016 Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW strategy.
The Goulburn Place Plan focuses on the concentrated social housing estates of Mary’s Mount and
Bradfordville and works to break the cycle of disadvantage by strengthening community. There are a
wide range of community-led approaches used and health improvement-related outcomes vary
across and within approaches in terms of scale, nature and timing. The plan and its activities are co-
4 Kania, J. & Kramer, M, 2011, ‘Collective Impact’, Stanford Social Innovation Review, http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/collective_impact
A 'backbone' coordinating
A common agenda for
Shared measurement for data and
Mutually reinforcing activities
Open and continuous
designed and implemented with the community, in partnership with state and local government and
local support providers. Through the Goulburn Place Plan, substantial, targeted and sustained
investment for community-led activities in low-income areas increase the scale of outcomes.
The lead partner agency for the Goulburn Place Plan is Mission Australia. Activities undertaken by
Population Health through this project remain differentiated yet coordinated through the mutually
reinforcing plan of action. The Goulburn Mulwaree Council has supported a number of activities
undertaken as part of this project, and as part of the Goulburn Place Plan. The council has organised
itself around creating successful public spaces, enabling it to accomplish a broad range of existing
goals more efficiently. In turn, the community can organise to better contribute to the public realm
and shared value5.
Further work is required to ensure that collecting data and measuring results is undertaken
consistently across all participants, to ensure that efforts remain aligned, and in incorporating the
health system into the governance structure. This could be achieved by further exploring systems
practices alongside local project partners. The importance of ensuring the governance structure,
strategic direction and oversight, and evaluation was co-designed with the community, rather than by
external funders, was described in a case study of The Hive Mt Druitt, who provided leadership and
governance training and support for stakeholders before forming a local leadership group6.
5 Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2017, Collective Impact: Evidence and Implications for Practice 6 Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, 2017, Data and Community: How Collective Impact Initiatives in Australia Use Data to Support Action
Goulburn’s Health in Summary
The Goulburn Mulwaree Council Local Government Area (LGA) is located about 200km south-west of
the Sydney CBD, and 95km north-east of the Canberra CBD, in the northern sector of the Southern
NSW Local Health District. The LGA is bounded by the Upper Lachlan Shire in the north and west,
Wingecarribee Shire and Shoalhaven City in the east, and the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional
Council area in the south. The LGA comprises of the city of Goulburn and the smaller localities of
Bungonia, Lake Bathurst, Marulan, Tallong and Tarago.
The LGA has a total population of 30,8527, living in 13,642 dwellings8, with population growth
projected to reach 34,400 by 20369. While median weekly household income, labour force
participation and rates of home ownership are on-par with other communities in Regional NSW2, the
health of people in Goulburn is generally poorer when compared with the NSW average.
Rates of potentially avoidable deaths for residents are improving, but are still significantly higher than
NSW averages for cancer, diabetes, circulatory diseases, COPD and suicide and self-inflicted
injuries10. Rates of adult health risk factors contributing to the burden of disease (such as smoking,
obesity, risky drinking, physical inactivity and high blood pressure) are all higher Goulburn than the
Since 2011, the rate of obesity has risen faster in the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA than in other LGAs
within Southern NSW Local Health District11. Obesity rates have risen fastest in males in the LGA
(from 28.5% to 38%)11. The 45-74 years age groups are more likely to be overweight or obese, and
ages 75+ rates are rising fastest5.
7 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018, Regional Population Growth (3218.0) 8 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016, Census of Population and Housing 9 NSW Department of Planning & Environment, 2016, New South Wales State and Local Government Area Population and Household Projections, and Implied Dwelling Requirements 10 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014-15 National Health Survey 11 NSW Ministry of Health, Population Health Survey
Goulburn Local Solutions Grants
Grants programs are a common health promotion approach used to uncover community-led
approaches to health development. The Goulburn Local Solutions Grants were a funding initiative to
support a range of activities and campaigns designed to promote and encourage healthy lifestyles
within the Goulburn LGA.
Recommended strategies for successful grant programs adopted by Population Health included
facilitating linkages between sectors and developing skill base and resources of communities,
organisations and individuals to improve health. Adopting these approaches as a funder meant
having early conversations with the people and organisations applying for funding, and getting people
involved in decision-making in their area, building on our own knowledge so that we could find out if
what was proposed will be effective.
The grants were available to support clearly defined health promotion activities and programs,
particularly those focusing on priority health issues of reducing harm from smoking and reducing rates
of overweight and obesity. The application guidelines identified priority areas for health promotion
projects as well as target groups which include children, young people and disadvantaged groups.
Applications for innovative, sustainable projects that reach these target groups were particularly
Applications were sought from organisations and appropriately registered and insured individuals to
fund new approaches to promoting healthy lifestyles through changing community attitudes and
behaviour, and creating environments that support people to make healthier choices.
Applications were required to focus on one of the below three priority areas:
Children and Young People
Applications were encouraged for innovative projects that support healthy eating and physical
activity amongst children and young people that are consistent with the Australian Dietary
Guidelines and Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. Projects
that support the NSW Premier’s target of reducing overweight and obesity in children by five
per cent by 2025 were also encouraged. For adolescents, applications were also encouraged
for innovative projects that reduce smoking related harm.
Applications were encouraged for innovative projects that promote healthy lifestyles in older
people that reduce harm from smoking, increase physical activity or reduce overweight and
Applications were encouraged for projects with groups who may experience poorer overall
health outcomes, or who may be economically or socially disadvantaged, including:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
people with an intellectual disability
people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
people experiencing or at risk of homelessness
people with a serious mental illness
children in out-of-home care
All grant applications were assessed by a grant review panel on their merit against seven criteria:
1. Contribution to improvement in health
The application proposes innovative solutions which will contribute to improvements in the
funding priority areas. The application demonstrates the ability to improve health and
wellbeing, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours.
2. Evidence of need
The application provides evidence of need for the particular project and describes the specific
health issues it will address.
3. Value for money
The application represents value for money by matching a realistic budget with potential
population health improvements.
4. A preventive health approach
The proposed project is based on primary or secondary prevention and community based
Projects are innovative and not just ‘business as usual’.
6. Project planning, evaluation and partnerships
The application states clear objectives, realistic timeframes and engagement of appropriate
partners where required. The application demonstrates the capacity to collect and interpret
data, and to evaluate project outcomes.
7. Evidence of health promotion principles
The proposed project incorporates health promotion principles in its design and delivery.
Applications closed on 14 December 2018, with all recipients informed of their application outcome by
21 January 2019, with successful projects also announced on the Southern NSW Local Health District
website and in the Goulburn Post. Project funds were disseminated between March and June 2019.
Funded projects were delivered between March and December 2019.
The Goulburn Post, 30 January 2019
Funded Project Summaries
Encourage, Support & Promote Breastfeeding in Goulburn Mulwaree Organisation Australian Breastfeeding Association ACT/SNSW Branch Amount Funded $7,759 Project Summary Although breastfeeding is recommended for babies and mothers, it doesn't always come easily and is a learned skill. This project supported mothers and their babies in Goulburn to gain confidence to initiate breastfeeding and continue breastfeeding as their baby grows.
Two Breastfeeding Education Classes were delivered to parents expecting their first baby, to provide expectant parents with the knowledge and confidence to successfully breastfeed their babies. These workshop-style classes were delivered free-of-charge, and attendees also received a 12 month membership to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, to ensure they were supported through their first year. These sessions expanded upon the knowledge gained at antenatal classes, to give up-to-date information and insights into breastfeeding a baby and parenting in the early days. 21 Goulburn families participated in these classes, held on 25 May 2019 and 10 August 2019.
As a follow up to each class, the Australian Breastfeeding Association partnered with accredited dietitians at Nutrition Australia to offer two ‘Introducing Family Foods’ workshops, to help new parents learn about which foods are best to begin with, about baby-led approaches to introducing solids and how to get their baby eating healthy family foods. Attendees received complimentary copies of Australian Breastfeeding Association publications. 24 Goulburn families participated in these sessions, held on 26 June 2019 and 4 September 2019. Two social catch ups were also held in Goulburn in July and October, facilitated by a Canberra-based volunteer. The organisation will continue to support these social catch-ups as they work toward recruiting and training volunteers based in Goulburn.
All events were promoted with flyers placed at Goulburn Hospital Maternity and Goulburn Library, and with community advertising on 2GN/Eagle FM and in the Goulburn Post. The local State and Federal Members of Parliament displayed flyers at their office, and the Australian Breastfeeding Association also promoted events using Facebook groups and pages targeted at Goulburn families.
“Introducing solids to our babies can be loads of fun but many of us have questions about when, and how to begin. Babies are individuals, and we can help you find out
what works for your family to start your child on the path to healthy eating.”
Megan Fox, Australian Breastfeeding Association
Cooking Club Workshops Organisation Goulburn Agricultural, Pastoral and Horticultural Society Incorporated Amount Funded $2,990 Project Summary The 139th Goulburn Show was held on 2 and 3 March 2019. A Goulburn Local Solutions Grant funded interactive healthy cooking workshops for children, led by Bubble Muffin, aka Kevin Kapusi-Starow, a chef and educator with a passion for inspiring children to cook fresh food. Eight workshops were held across the two days of the show, in the Pavilion alongside the show’s produce and cookery entries. The workshops used local produce, linking with the goals of the Goulburn AP&H Society to help children to understand where their food is grown and sourced from, and seeing the possibilities of fresh, local produce. The workshops received social media coverage, and were included in the Goulburn Post’s coverage of the event.
Creating Water Efficient Water Beds Organisation Goulburn Community Garden Inc Amount Funded $2,500 Project Summary A Goulburn Local Solutions Grant funded the purchase of materials for the Goulburn Community Garden to construct wicking beds for use at community workshops. A workshop on ‘How to Build a Wicking Bed’ was held on Saturday 11 May 2019. The Goulburn Community Garden developed the workshop material, provided teaching resources and plants. A second workshop on 28 September 2019 followed up the development of the bed over time, and to construct two new wicking beds using another method. The establishment of the wicking beds has allowed the Goulburn Community Garden to promote healthy lifestyles to those in the community particularly with limited mobility and/or language skills. The wicking beds have made gardening more accessible and easier to grow healthy vegetables. The project successfully built on existing community assets and the inclusion of a community education element has meant that the project is sustainable with the wicking beds now available to the community to use all year round.
Water Wisely Organisation Goulburn West Public School Amount Funded $4,150 Project Summary A Goulburn Local Solutions Grant funded the establishment of filtered water stations for the students at Goulburn West Public School. The project provided better water drinking facilities to minimise packet juice and energy drinks being brought to school. Classes tracked their pre- and post-installation water consumption using the ‘My Water Balance’ App, which demonstrated increased intake of water across the student population following installation of the water stations.
4M (Meals, Mindfulness, Movement, Mentoring) Organisation Mulwaree High School Amount Funded $15,000 Project Summary 4M is a whole-school healthy lifestyle program developed by the school, aimed at improving the nutrition and wellbeing of students at Mulwaree High School. The Goulburn Local Solutions Grant funded a pilot with 224 Year 7 students, implemented during Term 3, 2019. Students, in weekly timetabled classes, participated in hands-on activities that promoted and modelled healthier lifestyle choices. Participants in the program spent time in a productive vegetable garden and home-style kitchen every week. Students were able to grow fresh, seasonal produce and use it prepare nutritious and delicious food. Student also participated yoga, activities on growth mindset, and exercise sessions run by the Goulburn PCYC. In Term 4 2019, the school offered a showcase day, where parents and students from local Goulburn public schools were invited to participate program taster sessions. The school’s overall vision is to become a health-promoting school, constantly strengthening its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working. Internal evaluation of the program will be used to determine whether to fund future programs within the school’s Resource Allocation Model (RAM) funding.
Fighting Fit, Food Wise Organisation Mission Australia Amount Funded $12,200 Project Summary Fighting Fit, Food Wise is a new ten-week group program for young people aged 12-18 years. A pilot of the fitness and nutrition program was held during Term 3 2019 to support disadvantaged young people and their families. This project was delivered by Mission Australia in partnership with the Goulburn PCYC. The program consisted of meeting twice a week on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoons between 4pm and 6pm over a 10 week period. Participants were supported by a personal trainer to design a fitness program they could maintain beyond the classes, and parents were also invited to attend the cooking workshops, to learn how easy it is to eat tasty, healthy food on a budget. Seven youth completed the program, ranging in age from 12-15 years - four boys and three girls. There were additional participants that attended up to four sessions, but not on a regular basis. The program builds on the successful Fit For Life program, delivered by Goulburn PCYC in partnership with the Goulburn Place Plan and a number of local community service organisations. Fighting Fit, Food Wise builds on the existing program by specifically helping vulnerable young people and their families who are facing potential adverse health outcomes from poor health-related behaviours. Participants underwent an initial assessment with a personal trainer and dietitian to establish an exercise and nutrition plan. Each week, participants met with a personal trainer for a group session incorporating a number of activities, including cardio, weight and resistance training, components of boxing training, outdoor walks and activities, stretching, mindfulness and meditation. Participants received clothing, footwear, a sports bag, lunch box and drink bottle to support their participation in the program. These items where worn and/or brought along each week, to ensure participants were well equipped for the program. This also appeared to provide a sense of responsibility and commitment. A PCYC participant mentor was employed to work with each young person and their family throughout the program, and to coordinate all components of the program. The mentor also worked with the group for 2 hours per week delivering education sessions on healthy eating, physical activity, lifestyle choices, sleep, hygiene and screen time. Sessions with local services provided education to participants and families on healthy choices, budgeting and promoting physical activity as part of a regular family routine. Specialist support service information was provided by Headspace and the Hume Police District Participants were supported to explore options for exercise and activities which are of particular interest to them, and to experience new activities. Exercises were aimed at the age and capability of the participants, including light weights training, cardio and stretch exercises. As well as using the PCYC gym, community assets such as walking/hiking paths and outdoor gyms within Goulburn were used to expose participants to low cost/free activities available within the community.
Healthy Eating Organisation Country Women’s Association – Mulwaree Branch Amount Funded $3,400 Project Summary The Mulwaree Branch of the Country Women’s Association ran six cooking sessions from May to June 2019 to increase the knowledge and skills of women to be confident in preparing healthy meals for their families. Women were supplied with recipes that were easy to follow and prepared with an emphasis on healthy eating. The sessions included information on budgeting, purchasing food, correct storage of food, and the benefits of bulk cooking. The workshops catered to a broad demographic, although attendance was not always consistent. At the completion of the project, community members that attended lessons were given a recipe book containing simple and easy to cook meals plus a hamper with all of the equipment they have used to prepare these meals. A referral partnership was developed with Anglicare, and surplus funds were used to purchase cooking equipment for future workshops. The group plans to continue to support emerging community cooking initiatives, to share their unique skillset with the Goulburn community. The group were connected with Goulburn Mulwaree Council to volunteer at the ‘Tasty Tuesdays’ cooking program alongside headspace Goulburn and Mission Australia, providing weekly cooking lessons to adolescents. Leftover funding was used to provide cooking equipment to the group.
“After we completed our project, we had some surplus funds available and were
keen to keep going. Emma suggested other cooking programs in our area that we could support. With that in mind, Mulwaree CWA have been assisting with a project
being run by Headspace and Mission Australia, providing cooking lessons for children 12 - 18yrs each Tuesday.
Most of these children are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and we feel this is a fantastic project in helping children learn living skills. Not only have we provided
cooking equipment to the group, we are also volunteering as adult helpers.”
Denise Crouch, Country Women’s Association, Mulwaree Branch
Permanent Orienteering Course Organisation Orienteering ACT Amount Funded $12,155 Project Summary With the support of Goulburn Mulwaree Council, a permanent orienteering course was installed within the Victoria Park recreation precinct. Permanent orienteering courses offer flexibility and cater to a range of levels of experience and fitness. The course is suitable for families, school groups, community groups and individuals, and was launched in August 2019. Orienteering is a sport which involves finding marked control points with the aid of a map and compass. From the starting point adjacent to the centre of the park, there are options for short, moderate and long courses, providing a journey around the park. The course map and an instructional video can be downloaded at http://act.orienteering.asn.au/permanent/. Orienteering exercises have been shown to support participants to practice of map skills while actively exploring their community. In particular, children and school groups are supported to not only practice map reading skills, but to develop an eye for terrain, slope and accessibility, as well as an appreciation of map scale. Orienteering can help to develop confidence with maps and self-reliance outdoors, giving participants for making their own decisions. The permanent orienteering course encourages provides another level of use for Victoria Park, which is undergoing a significant redevelopment, and provides a lasting legacy for the Goulburn Local Solutions project.
PONi (Paediatric Oral Nutrition Initiative) Support Project Organisation Public Dental Service, Goulburn Community Health Centre Amount Funded $1,500 Project Summary PONi is a dental treatment pathway, designed to identify and educate children and their families who report poor eating behaviours and dietary habits. To support the adoption of PONi at the Public Dental Service at Goulburn Community Health Centre, a tablet was purchased to enable children to be screened using the tool. The project assisted the unit to address childhood dental caries and provide early intervention strategies for addressing childhood obesity.
Sensory Garden Organisation Windellama Public School Amount Funded $6,500 Project Summary Windellama Public School engaged Sam Tabner Landscaping to design an outdoor learning space, incorporating a sensory garden that can be used by the whole school community, to explore their senses and nature within a safe environment. Outdoor learning environments are important for encouraging healthy behaviours and improving the physical, educational and mental wellbeing of children and young people. They allow children to experience nature play for all the benefits it provides: fostering interaction, autonomy, exploration and curiosity. The installation of the sensory garden was augmented by other garden projects within the school. With support from Goulburn Mulwaree Council, a tree was donated and planted to commemorate National Tree Day on 26 July 2019. The K-2 garden bed was replanted with support from Bunnings, who provided staff, plants, potting mix and gardening equipment for the project. The Goulburn Teapot Club donated a Friendship Bench for the space. A gardening roster was implemented, so that all students have the chance to care for the garden, connecting students to the natural world contributing to a sense of responsibility for the environment. Windellama Public School formally opened the garden in November 2019. Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Bob Kirk and deputy Peter Walker attended the opening of the special new space for the students.
Photos courtesy Sam Tabner Landscaping and the Goulburn Post
Creative Fitness Organisation Southern Tablelands Arts Amount Funded $15,000 Project Summary Southern Tablelands Art’s Creative Fitness program explored the positive link between the arts and exercise. Running through March and April 2019, the program was supported by research that has shown physical, social and mental health to improve in those who engage with artistic activities. Classes involved light walking and creative activities in the grounds of the Goulburn Waterworks for people beginning their fitness journeys. Experienced art tutors and a personal trainer were also be on hand to help guide participants’ creative and fitness journeys. The program was intentionally designed for participants just beginning their fitness journeys, with no scales or weigh ins, boot camps or breathlessness. The series of workshops encouraged people to step outside, connect with others and begin the process of finding their fitness through mild exercise, companionship and creativity. Participants were able to choose between four creative practice streams, with three weekly sessions available for each stream:
Creative Writing with Sarah Rice
Ceramics with Camille Kersley
Dance with Zsuzsi Soboslay
Painting and Storytelling with Peter Swain A personal trainer attended each workshop to show participants how to get our heart rates up and exercise within their individual abilities. Over 40 participants were involved in the program with many returning for different artforms and continuing to increase exercise and fitness. There was significant community support for the program, which Southern Tablelands Arts developed into a regular program called Monday Crafternoons. Using leftover funds, the organisation offered 8 more free sessions from October with personal trainer Tess Wharton, followed by a lazy crafternoon at the Goulburn Waterworks, with participants working on their own projects or learning a new skill.
“Participants and instructors were all so open, welcoming and accommodating – only do what you can was a motto for the fitness aspect. It gave me a wonderful
sense of community and I feel that I got to know some wonderful people I otherwise wouldn’t have met.”
Participant Feedback, Creative Fitness
Artworks from the Creative Fitness Ceramics stream with Camille Kersley
Targeted Support for School Canteens
The Goulburn Local Solutions project provided an opportunity to enhance existing work being
undertaken with school canteens by Population Health through NSW Health’s Live Life Well @ School
Around half of schools in Goulburn Mulwaree LGA have a school canteen. Canteens may be run by
the school, the school council or P&C, or leased to a private operator. In some schools, food is
provided by an external provider, such as a community group, a bakery or a general store. The
canteen manager acts as an employee (paid or unpaid) who is managed by the management body.
The NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy promotes healthy food and drink choices for all students
in NSW. All public schools in NSW must meet the Food and Drink Criteria by the end of December
2019 and Catholic and Independent schools are also encouraged to participate in the strategy. Local
Health Districts are supporting schools across NSW to implement the strategy.
The strategy contributes to the Premier’s Priority 2015-2019 to reduce childhood overweight and
obesity by 5% by 2025. The NSW Department of Education and the NSW Ministry of Health,
Catholic Schools NSW and the Association of Independent Schools of NSW have all contributed to
Challenges commonly reported by canteen managers in Southern NSW LHD include recruiting and
retaining volunteers, accessing training, maintaining profitability and sourcing product suppliers in
rural areas. Tailored local support was provided through several articulating strategies:
Food Safety Supervisor Training
Individual Goulburn Local Solutions Grants
Establishment of the Goulburn School Canteen Network
As long-term adopters of the previous strategy (Fresh Tastes @ School) most canteens in Southern
NSW LHD are ‘healthy’, and are being actively supported by Health Promotion Officers to meet the
new benchmark by the end of 2019. Schools are invited to submit their canteen’s menu to the Menu
Check service, to provide evidence of their achievement of the criteria. Through this initiative,
Goulburn’s public schools had fully implemented the Strategy by the end of Term 3 2019, ahead of
Food Safety Supervisor Training
Food safety in school canteens is essential, particularly as children can be more vulnerable to
foodborne illness. While school canteens are not required to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor under
the Food Act 2003 (NSW), they still need to meet the food safety standards in the Food Standards
Code, and are subject to registration with, and inspection by, local council.
At an information session on the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy in early 2018, local canteen
managers raised that access to food safety training was a barrier to operating their canteen – the
training is required to operate a food business, is expensive for volunteers, and is not frequently
offered in regional locations.
TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute was engaged by Population Health to deliver face-to-face food
safety supervision units of competency, free of charge to local canteen managers, at Goulburn
Community Health Centre on 11 December 2018. 16 canteen managers from 7 primary schools and
4 high schools achieved their Statement of Attainment. As certified Food Safety Supervisors with the
NSW Food Authority, they are not able to provide a better level of onsite protection against foodborne
illness, and can prepare fresh food in their canteen with confidence.
“I feel much more confident to manage our canteen’s Food Safety program now.”
Food Safety Supervisor Training Participant
Goulburn Local Solutions Grants for Canteens
The NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy has a focus on increasing the proportion of fresh,
homemade food, and the current canteen facilities at selected schools limit the school’s ability to meet
the strategy. Many regional and rural canteens report difficulties in sourcing suppliers of products that
are modified for sale in school canteens, and supporting canteens to prepare their own food mitigates
this challenge, and also assists the canteen to maintain profitability. High quality facilities also
improve the recruitment and retention of volunteers.
Funding for canteen upgrades was provided to four Goulburn schools through their managing P&C
body: Goulburn West Public School, Wollondilly Public School, Goulburn High School and Wollondilly
The benefits of high-quality school canteen facilities extend beyond food provision itself. When
schools have upgraded their canteen facilities, they have seen a flow-on improvement to nutrition
education across the school – the facilities can be utilised by class groups, for fundraising activities,
and to support kitchen garden activities at the school.
Display cabinet purchased with a Goulburn Local Solutions grant, Mulwaree High School
“The P&C-supported canteen wanted to encourage a wider range of healthy eating options. A new display cabinet facilitates the active advertising and sale of fresh,
unprocessed foods in our canteen.”
Julie White, Canteen Manager, Mulwaree High School
Goulburn School Canteen Network
Canteen networks are a common strategy used to allow canteen managers to connect with other
managers, share ideas and receive policy updates. Funding was provided to the Goulburn High
School P&C Association to establish and facilitate a network of school canteen managers for
Goulburn and surrounds, modelled on the established networks in the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla.
The network held their inaugural meeting at Goulburn High School in Term 2 2019, allowing them the
opportunity to meet with representatives from the NSW Premier’s Implementation Unit, the NSW
Department of Education and Southern NSW Local Health District. Following the meeting, the
Healthy Kids Association delivered a workshop on profitability for school canteens. The workshop
provided a basic introduction to the principles of profitability and best practices for running a viable
The network will continue to meet each term, supported by Health Promotion Officers from Southern
NSW Local Health District.
Goulburn’s Koori Cook Off
To celebrate 2019 NAIDOC Week, the Aboriginal Health team partnered with Population Health to
host a Koori Cook Off in Goulburn, building on the success of the inaugural 2018 event. Over 300
community members attended the Goulburn Koori Cook Off at Trinity Catholic College on 2 July 2019.
Both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community members were welcomed at the event, including
representatives from the health, community services, justice and education sectors.
The Koori Cook Off is an initiative of the Heart Foundation, and presents an opportunity to engage the
community in cooking with healthy, fresh and traditional ingredients. The aim of the Koori Cook Off is
to promote healthy eating and showcase how easy it is to cook great tasting and healthy food. The
initiative aligns with the goals of the NSW Aboriginal Health Plan 2013-2023 and the NSW Healthy
Eating and Active Living Strategy 2013-2018, and is supported by NSW Health’s Make Healthy
Normal social marketing campaign.
The Koori Cook Off is a fun, interactive event with four teams, each with four people. Each team
randomly draws a healthy, quick recipe which they then have to cook and present for judging based
on colour, presentation and taste. The event was opened by Mayor Bob Kirk, with an
Acknowledgment of Country from Chelsea Boney from Pejar Local Aboriginal Land Council, and a
performance from the Goulburn High School Didgeridoo Group.
Teams and judges were sourced from local schools and community leaders. The competing teams
were from Mulwaree High School, Goulburn High School, Crookwell High School, Trinity Catholic
College, The Hume Police District and Charles Sturt University (the NSW Police Academy), with
Goulburn High taking out the first round, and Mulwaree High the second.
The event also incorporated a service expo, with 13 local service providers attending. Wendy
Tuckerman MP also attended, and the event received media coverage in the Goulburn Post, Catholic
Voice and WIN News.
Goulburn Play & Health Forum
The project team partnered with the Play, Creativity & Culture Project at the University of Canberra
and Southern Tablelands Arts to host the Goulburn Play & Health Forum on 10 July 2019, to explore
the potential of play in Goulburn and surrounds, with three core objectives:
To promote the benefits of play for health and wellbeing across the life-span, within
individuals, community groups, businesses and institutions in diverse and positive ways.
To explore how to make Goulburn a ‘playful’ city by identifying current sites and sources of
play, and develop playful ideas, events and resources for Goulburn and region.
To support cross-disciplinary collaboration with local government to encourage creative
practice, innovation and the efficient use of available resources around play
The forum was facilitated by Dr Cathy Hope at the Play, Creativity and Wellbeing Project, in the
Centre of Creative and Cultural Research in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of
Canberra. The Centre has successfully delivered symposia in Canberra in partnership with the City
Renewal Authority and Canberra Museum and Gallery.
This forum provided an opportunity to explore health promotion in a novel way, with a focus on
activating rural communities through play. An exciting line up of speakers whose pioneering work in
regional place-making, creativity, the arts and health inspired attendees to think differently about the
many possibilities for enlivening and enriching regional environments. The forum also showcased
some of the work occurring in Goulburn now, with presentations from local community organisations
Attendees were welcomed by the Bridge to Sing Choir, led by music therapist Clare Jones. The choir
was formed in Goulburn in 2017 as a stepping stone for young people with disabilities to continue
singing once they had left school with the intention being a bridge into mainstream choirs.
Dr Cathy Hope, University of Canberra
Play in the Regions
Dr Kylie Bourne, Regional Australia Institute
Liveability in Regional Australia
Jeremy Smith, Australia Council for the Arts
Health and the Regions Through Community Arts and Cultural Development
Kane Sparks, Swan Hill Rural City Council
Engaging Youth in the Regions
Sarah Nash, Clarence Valley Council
Activating Place: The Plunge Festival
Sarah Robin & Carolyn Ardler, North Coast Primary Health Network
The Healthy Towns Initiative: Healthy Placemaking With Community
Deb Muddiman, Mission Australia
Collaboration: Bringing Service Together to Create Communities
Susan Conroy, Southern Tablelands Arts
Making It Happen
Population Health would like to particularly thank Bernadette Arnall, Holly Catt, Susan Conroy,
Kimberley Green, Dr Cathy Hope, Marion Knight, Rick Shipp, Daniel Strickland and Renee
Woodberry for their support of the Goulburn Local Solutions project. Thank you also to the following
individuals and organisations for their support:
Anglicare NSW South, NSW West &
Australian Breastfeeding Association
Barbara Nell Art Agent
Best Western Plus Goulburn
Bridge to Sing Choir
Charles Sturt University
Country Women’s Association of NSW
– Mulwaree Branch
Flourish Music Therapy
Goulburn Agricultural, Pastoral &
Goulburn Community Garden Inc
Goulburn High School
Goulburn High School P&C
Goulburn Mulwaree Council
Goulburn Soldiers’ Club
Goulburn West Public School
Goulburn West Public School P&C
Grand Pacific Health
Groweasy – Daniel Hartwell
Hume Police District
Mulwaree High School
Mulwaree High School P&C
NSW Police Force Academy
Pejar Local Aboriginal Land Council
Play Activation Network ACT
Rural Adversity Mental Health
Sam Tabner Landscaping
Southern Tablelands Arts
TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute
The Smith Family
Trinity Catholic College
University of Canberra
Windellama Public School
Wollondilly Public School P&C
“Coming together is a beginning,
staying together is progress, and working together is success.”