Working together in the Victorian Aboriginal community
This year the Aboriginal Life! program (The Road to Good Health) teamed up with the VAHS Healthy Lifestyle team to include type 2 diabetes prevention into their Six Week Challenge.
The VAHS Six Week Challenge is a community program to help Aboriginal people and their families increase their physical activity and lead a healthier lifestyle.
The programs collaborated to incorporate topics such as ‘What is diabetes?’, ‘Finding fat in food’ and ‘Getting active’. The Life! team provided VAHS with culturally appropriate resources, including participant workbooks, recipes and healthy eating and exercise fact sheets.
As the Health Promotion Officer for Aboriginal communities in Victoria, I thought I would participate in the 6 week challenge and see how the program works for the community and how the participants work together to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
My experience participating in the 6 week challenge was very motivating and supportive. The VAHS Healthy Lifestyle team organise public figures, usually well-known sports people in the community, to come and meet the 6 week challenge participants and talk about their personal journey to a healthy lifestyle. It was an incredibly motivating and sometimes emotional experience.
One element that really stood out for me was the whole family participation. Parents brought their children along, some children participated while others watched on and saw their parents setting strong and healthy examples of what a healthy lifestyle can look like.
The results were exciting; participant engagement was strong, and feedback showed that a flexible, fun, family-friendly approach and a passionate facilitator were key factors to it’s success. Many of the participants felt better, both physically and mentally, after the Six Week Challenge and were inspired to continue their journey to achieving a healthier lifestyle.
Louise Green is the Health Promotion Officer - Aboriginal And Cultural Diversity at the Life! program. Louise’s passion is working with CALD, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to close the gap in health disparities.
VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team
The Road to Good Health