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

Over 30 Southern Grampians community members came together on Thursday 13th September for the GenR8 Change celebration breakfast.  A great start to the day was had by all, as four community members shared their stories of making healthy change.                                          Thanks to Jackie Wilson from the Hamilton Indoor Leisure and Aquatic Centre - HILAC, Amanda Adamson representing the Australian Breastfeeding Association Hamilton Branch, Julie Pickering from Hamilton North Primary School and John Hedley from Western District Health Service for sharing information around their actions to make the healthy choice the easy choice, and key lessons learnt through their endeavours! Keep an eye on future blog posts as we prepare more detailed reports of each action shared.  There was certainly lots of buzz in the room following the story telling and we hope everyone walked away motivated and ready to keep driving and supporting actions that make healthy easy! A big thank you also to Cafe Gray Hamilton for a yummy healthy breakfast spread.              Do you have an idea for change that will make the healthier choice the easier choice? Have you started working towards healthy change? Let us know about it! email: [email protected] or phone (03) 5551 8475 

A strong partnership between Western District Health Service dietetics department and Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation has enabled a new and exciting series of Teen cooking classes!   The new 'Healthy Cooking classes for Teens' is a four week program run for an hour after school where a savoury and sweet item is cooked, and a nutrition related topic is discussed in a casual manner, this included healthy eating, healthy snacks/drinks and meal planning. The final class of the program includes some different activities, including; an unusual foods taste test, and presentation of a cook book (Winda-Mara Deadly Cookbook for Teens) to participants so they can continue developing their skills at home!   The teens whom have participated in the program so far have enjoyed their learning journey and the social benefits of cooking as a team. Dietitian Noel Kelly says, 'The kids seem to really enjoy it, particularly the eating at the end! The same cohort attended for most of the weeks'.                              Some of the healthy recipes cooked in class and included in the cookbook include; Healthy Pizzas, French Onion Dip with Veg Sticks, Roo Burgers, Jacket Potatoes, Chickpea, Pumpkin and Pomegranate Salad, Muesli Bars, Fruit Smoothies and Banana Pancakes.  The WDHS Dietetics team has also attended other groups such the Women’s Well-being Group and the Strong Spirit Program and discussed healthy eating and made other healthy foods, such as; fruit and vegetable smoothies and wraps.  In future, both Winda-Mara and WDHS plan to continue the classes with differing cohorts of Teens and are looking to include more  discussion, tasting and education around traditional foods.  To find out more about the Healthy Cooking classes for Teens program, or other health and well-being opportunities at Winda-Mara, please contact;    Jessica Lovett-Murray Healthy Lifestyle Promotions Officer Email: [email protected] Ph: 03 5527 0000