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Use healthy food to improve your mood   Poor mental health is one of many factors that influence the wellbeing of local families, and right now as our community feels the impacts and continues to respond to covid-19, likelihood of increased anxiousness, stress and worry are high. What we eat every day plays a big role in our overall health and well-being. A rapidly expanding body of research now highlights the importance of food and nutrition for our mood and mental health. GenR8 Change encourages community members to link into a virtual lunchtime session from 12:30-1:15pm on Friday October 9th to learn more about the correlation between food and mood, and explore simple and practical tips families and individuals can use to help improve their mental health through nutrition. Amelia McGuiness and Melissa Lane from the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University will share their extensive knowledge, building understanding around why it is important to think about mental health, briefly discuss mechanisms through which diet influences mental health, and share practical strategies for improving mood and mental health through food and nutrition. Ms Lane looks forward to addressing our region, “One in four people will be affected by a mental disorder some point in their lifetime, meaning even if we don’t suffer from mental illness ourselves, we all probably know someone who is” Ms Lane says. “Research conducted at the Food & Mood Centre helps to explain how and why we should consider our food as the basis of our mental and brain health throughout the lifespan”. The virtual session happening on Friday 9th October from 12:30pm can be accessed via the following Zoom link on a smart phone, tablet or computer https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84407937142 For any queries please contact Ebony Jenkins at ebony.jenkins@wdhs.net or on 0413249377.    

Encouraging physical activity in children right now is hard. Demands of remote learning, the halt of any formal sport and recreation activities and even the weather are all commonly heard barriers to keeping kids active. At Good Shepherd Primary, they’re leaning on a shared goal and teamwork to say motivated, by ‘running around Australia’! The Run Around Australia challenge started during remote learning 1.0 with the aim to keep kids moving. The school asks each child to record how far they run or walk each week. Each week the school updates the map and reports back to the school community through the newsletter. There is also a map updated weekly at school as some students are still in attendance. A little snippet of information is also shared weekly about whatever town the cohort have reached that week. Up to the start of September, Good Shepherd have ran/walked 4279km! They are currently at Meadow in Western Australia. Whilst this is a super achievement to date, the school still have around 11500kms remaining to return to Hamilton. Could you help the students achieve their goal? Good Shepherd are welcoming any local runners or walkers to contribute some of their weekly km’s to help the kids move along their journey. Call or email through your weekly tally each Friday to Caryn at the Good Shepherd Junior Campus via phone: 5571 2236 or email primary@gsc.vic.edu.au Good Shepherd teacher Ali Wedding says although it’s a big ask to make it around the whole of Australia by the end of the school year, the kids are enjoying keeping track and learning about different Australian towns along the way, “Hopefully the information about each of the places we end up helps families to realise what an amazing country we have and inspire them to travel once we're allowed”, she says.                                                                 

Get creative and get moving these school holidays and be in the running to win some super local prizes! Kicking off on Sep 19th and running through the school holiday period, South West Moves is a virtual challenge encouraging people to “draw” creative images by moving around their neighborhood! You can use Strava or any other free tracking app to 'draw' your masterpiece, or alternatively we welcome any photos you capture to be submitted. At the end of the holidays, prizes will be awarded for the most creative images! Prizes include; a fitbit, gym memberships (including two to our very own Hamilton Indoor Leisure and Aquatic Centre), learn to swim lessons, casual swim passes and Budj Bim Tours.  Head to the event page here and follow the link for all the instructions on how to participate. We look forward to following your fun 'maps' and pictures!