Friday, 01 April 2016 06:45

Getting Western Sydney walking

Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, Lucy Turnbull, presents at the FitNSW conference on March 9, 2016 Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, Lucy Turnbull, presents at the FitNSW conference on March 9, 2016 Premier's Council for Active Living.

WSROC and the Western Sydney Local Health District co-presented at the Fit NSW conference this month.

Fit NSW is run by the Premier’s Council for Active Living (PCAL), and brings together delegates from across multiple levels and sectors of government to look at how we can create supportive environments for active living and active travel to increase physical activity in the community.

Following the successful Planning an Active Western Sydney forum last October, WSROC was invited to share its experience at Fit NSW alongside forum partner the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).

The Planning an Active Western Sydney forum was unique in that it brought together a multidisciplinary group of staff from across 14 local councils to address health as a regional issue.

While not part of the traditional health sector, local governments do contribute to better community wellbeing through community development programs; traffic and transport planning; recreational facilities; and healthy urban planning.

Bringing all these efforts together under the banner of health, offers an opportunity to for councils to think about projects in new and innovative ways, and opens up the opportunity to work in partnership with the NSW health sector.

WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said Planning an Active Western Sydney was spurred by high levels of lifestyle-related illness in the region.

“Compared to the national average, Western Sydney residents suffer much higher rates of lifestyle-related chronic diseases such as diabetes; a condition that is two to three times more prevalent in Western Sydney than the Sydney CBD,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“The reason lifestyle-related illness is so hard to tackle is because it cannot be addressed by the health sector alone. A fact that was reinforced at Fit NSW,” he said.

“A number of speakers including NSW Minister for Health, The Hon. Jillian Skinner, Chief

Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, Lucy Turnbull, and Deputy Secretary, Transport for NSW, Clare Gardiner-Barnes emphasised the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach to health from all levels of government,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

Other speakers on the day included:

  • The Hon. Jillian Skinner, NSW Minister for Health
  • Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director President’s (Obama) Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
  • Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission
  • Melissa Gibbs, Director Policy & Sector Development, NSW Office of Local Government
  • Clare Gardiner-Barnes, Deputy Secretary, Transport for NSW
  • Dr Jo Mitchell, Director, Centre for Population Health, NSW Ministry of Health
Last modified on Friday, 01 April 2016 14:24