News & Media

12 February 2015

Could you be a local Health Champion?

Healthy Together Latrobe is calling on Gippslanders to nominate local ‘Health Champions’ – people who have improved their own health and influenced the health of their families, friends and community.

Healthy Together Latrobe is calling on Gippslanders to nominate local ‘Health Champions’ – people who have improved their own health and influenced the health of their families, friends and community.

“Throughout Latrobe City there are people who are helping our community to move more, eat well and connect with others. The Latrobe Health Champions movement wants to share and celebrate these stories,” said Chris Rush, Manager Primary Prevention at Latrobe Community Health Service.

“The health statistics for Latrobe City are not great. But I think we lose sight of the fact that there are many people doing great things to change that.”

“Our current Health Champions have started a walking group, joined a community garden, helped at a community kitchen, started a craft group to connect local community members, and cooked healthy meals for their new Sudanese neighbours,” she said.

Ms Rush said it was important to recognise that most health champions are leading normal, everyday lives.

“We’re not looking for AFL footballers. This is about celebrating those people who, in their own way, are improving the health of the community.”

Carol Dalton was recognised in 2014 as a health champion for her work creating the Traralgon East Community Group. Among other achievements, Ms Dalton has been instrumental in setting up a community kitchen and creating a craft group. She said being a health champion is as much about mental health and creating social connection as it is about physical health.

“Health Champions is more than just about cooking and eating good, fresh food,” said Ms Dalton. “It also encourages a healthy way of living, communicating with people and laughter. A lot of friendships have formed within the group. We all have fun.”

Latrobe City mayor, Councillor Dale Harriman, said successful nominees would be provided with advice, support and events to inspire collaboration with like-minded peers.

“The first 2015 event is a Health Champions forum in March to celebrate their achievements and look at creating a formal network. Successful nominees will also have opportunities to complete healthy eating and physical activity training sessions in May.

“Our aim is to highlight the work our Health Champions are already doing, and encourage them to share their ideas with others who have shown an ability to get good ideas off the ground,” Cr Harriman concluded.

People can nominate themselves, a friend, family member or colleague.

Nominate a Health Champion