Fourteen Southern Stay participants recently completed a 10 week cooking program at the Hamilton District Skills Centre under the guidance of Tony MacGillivray and Lisa Lowin, building their skills in food preparation and healthy choices.   Each week for 10 weeks, the group followed easy-read healthy recipes that utilised a range of fresh foods including; stir frys, chicken and vegetable kebabs and fish dishes to name a few. The cooks were encouraged to take their recipes home and replicate dishes with families, and they did! The chicken club sandwich has been just one of the recipes reported to have been repeated in the home.                        As well as doing the cooking, participants took trips to the supermarket to read product labels and select healthy choices, and an excursion to the local Kiss and Run egg part to learn where eggs come from before gathering their own and turning them into a frittata. To celebrate the conclusion of the program, participants cooked a showcase of recipes from throughout the 10 weeks for their families and friends, and were awarded an introduction to cooking certificate. A recipe book is now being prepared for each participant of recipes used throughout the program that will also be made available to other Southern Stay clients for a small printing fee. Participants are now armed with food safety and food preparation skills they wouldn’t have obtained otherwise! Congratulations to all involved, and to Southern Stay and HDSC for the thriving partnership that has made this program possible. A second program is planned to commence in July. For any more details, or to enquire about the next program, please Contact Lynne Millard, Operations Manager Southern Stay on 5572 1028.    How has your community group, workplace, school or sporting club been encouraging healthy choices recently? Let us know! Share your story with the GenR8 CHange support team through facebook, email , or phone 5551 8475. 

Congratulations to the GenR8 Change community on all the actions and changes made so far towards creating a healthier Southern Grampians!   The GenR8 Change support team keep an action register, recording all the great things we know are happening to make the healthier choice the easier choice - the 200th action was added to the register this week!   These are just the healthy changes we are aware of. Can you help grow the list? What is your community group, school, sporting club or workplace doing to make the healthier choice the easier choice? Let us know about it! As a community, let's keep building on these great efforts! They ARE having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our children, follow this link to find out how. The sky's the limit!   All completed community actions we know of are listed on our webpage, take a look!         

Congratulations to the entire GenR8 Change community for winning top honors in the ‘Supporting Healthy Population’s’ category at the Department of Health and Human Services Victorian Public Healthcare awards! The joint application between GenR8 Change and SEA Change Portland received the award in Melbourne on October 11.   GenR8 Change was one of four finalists nominated for the category, up against three city/metro counterparts our Southern Grampians community should be rapt to achieve top honors.   This award represents all the hard work Southern Grampians community members have put in to make a real difference to the health of our community. The win reflects the fantastic level of community ownership over and support for GenR8 Change.                                    Southern Grampians Glenelg Primary Care Partnership Executive Officer Janette Lowe said the win was something the whole community could be proud of. “This award is great recognition of the important role that everyday community members have, in making a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our community. Local communities have the power and skills to make a real difference and this win reflects the high level of community ownership over GenR8 Change” said Ms Lowe. “Together the Southern Grampians community has made hundreds of changes, big and small, to make the healthy choice the easier choice and ultimately improve the health of our local children.  Recently collected childhood health data is showing the distinct reduction in obesity rates and improvement in a number of childhood health indicators since GenR8 Change began.”   Local Principal, Don Beaton recognises the value in the GenR8 Change approach and has leveraged this to make healthy change to his schools lunch menu. "The GenR8 Change movement gave us the confidence and support to change our school's lunch order menu. The students are generally excited about new healthy choices”, Don says, “It’s great to know other community groups are also making change and we’re starting to get some really good outcomes”.   Whether you’ve been directly involved in an action to make the healthier choice the easier one, or you’ve simply supported healthy change in some way, thank you. Remember – every little change counts!   If you haven’t yet been involved in GenR8 Change, and would like to learn more or follow community happenings please join at