RESPOND is a community based systems approach to improving the health and wellbeing of children across the Ovens Murray – Goulburn region. The project is supported by a $1.5 million National Health and Medical Research Fund (NHMRC) Project Partnership Grant and a further $2.6 million in partner contributions. Deakin University’s Global Obesity Centre is partnering with community leaders across the region to deliver the initiative.
Lower Hume PCP are supporting member agencies and the broader community to implement the RESPOND project across Mitchell and Murrindindi Shires. The initiative will work with each community to drive positive and practical changes from the ground up that assist in promoting healthy weight among children. This will include helping local people to identify their own community-specific actions which create healthier food environments and get local kids more active. It also works with organisations and community leaders to identify what changes can be driven at an organisational management and policy level.
RESPOND will build on similar successful prevention programs being run at a community level with support from the Global Obesity Centre in South West Victoria, and also at a school level in the ACT. These programs have produced positive improvements in health and wellbeing amongst children, including a reduction in obesity levels.
RESPOND is supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET), VicHealth, Goulburn Valley Primary Care Partnership, Central Hume Primary Care Partnership, Upper Hume Primary Care Partnership, Lower Hume Primary Care Partnership, and their member agencies.
Monitoring data (on health related measures) was collected from Grade 2, 4 and 6 children from about half of Murrindindi and Mitchell schools during term 2 of 2019 and the final data reports were released this year in March – see Mitchell and Murrindindi full reports and the Regional report below.
Community workshops were run in both Alexandra and Yea in July of 2019 during which current actions/programs that contributed to increased healthy eating and physical activity were identified and possible actions to address the identified factors were raised. Additionally, the outcomes of the mapping of factors affecting our children’s health were completed. Lists of actions from Alexandra and Yea as well as the Systems Thinking Maps of factors affecting children’s healthy eating and physical activity are included below.
“Grow Well Dindi” is the name the Murrindindi community voted on that would better represent to the community what RESPOND stands for. Through a community logo competition and voting process this is the logo chosen by community.
Grow Well Dindi encourages and celebrates community action that helps local children to eat healthy and be physically active. The logo design for Grow Well Dindi captures the complexities in improving the health and wellbeing of children within the community. The design features images representing different parts of the community led project – “physical activity, healthy eating, mindfulness, piecing everything together (puzzle piece), the health sector involvement (medical case), community ideas and actions (light bulb) and finally the system as a whole (cog).