Aboriginal children in SESLHD set to benefit from new healthy lifestyle programs

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District's (SESLHD) Health Promotion Service recently launched the Aboriginal Healthy Lifestyle Grants initiative, funding seven projects that will address healthy eating, physical activity and reducing screen time.
The initiative aims to collaborate with local Aboriginal organisations and groups, supporting them to utilise existing strengths and assets to meet the health and wellbeing needs of their community.
Margaret Broadbent, Deputy Manager, Aboriginal Health Unit, said grants of up to $5,000 were awarded to create more opportunities for Aboriginal children, youth and families in south eastern Sydney to live healthy and active lives.
“The Aboriginal Healthy Lifestyle Grants is a great initiative for developing or continuing vital community programs which engage with the local Aboriginal community in combating issues that impact on the health of Aboriginal people,” Ms Broadbent said.
Myna Hua, Manager, Health Promotion Service SESLHD, said healthy lifestyle programs initiated and managed within communities are more likely to be effective.
“The Aboriginal population in south eastern Sydney is continuing to grow at a greater rate compared to the general population – and we know this community experiences a higher prevalence of many long-term health conditions, as well as a higher rate of hospitalisation,” Ms Hua said.
In 2016, there were 8,281 people living in the Local Health District who identified as Aboriginal. In this same period, the rate of hospitalisation among Aboriginal people in SESLHD was 34 per cent higher than non-Aboriginal people.
The Aboriginal Healthy Lifestyle Grants initiative supports the Childhood Obesity Prevention Framework developed by SESLHD, which guides local action to reduce and prevent childhood overweight and obesity. The Framework outlines priorities for action across the health sector, local community and children’s everyday settings.
An official grant awards ceremony was held at Georges River Sailing Club on Tuesday 10 December, 2019.

Winners accepting their awards at the official Aboriginal Healthy Lifestyle Grants ceremony