Retail & Hospitality

In October 2018, Wannon Water's Hamilton Water Treatment plant, supplying Hamilton Dunkeld and Tarrington communities, was deemed the best tasting water in Australia!    After taking out the Victorian title in September, the water was tasted in a 'blind' taste test by over 150 people to claim the national prize.  Local tap water is easily accessible, free and now Australia's tastiest - why not #choosetap ? To celebrate the win, share the news and encourage locals to #choosetap when eating out, Wannon Water has recently provided glass bottles to cafes, restaurants and hotels in the area. Have you used them yet?  Access clean, tasty water for free when you eat out in Hamilton next, there's no need to purchase a bottled beverage!   Photo: Wannon Water, courtesy of Cafe' Gray   Big congratulations again to Wannon Water on the acheivemnt and thier work in encouraging people to #choosetap , ultimatley making the healthier choice the easier one! To read more, see following media release from Wannon Water - 

There are a growing range of healthy options to choose from at the Hamilton Indoor Leisure and Aquatic Centre (HILAC) Cafe!    In an exciting time for HILAC users and the broader community alike, staff have been busy trialing healthier options and assessing them using the Victorian Healthy Eating Advisory Service's Food Checker tool to give each option a Red, Amber or Green rating in line with the Healthy Choices Guidelines.  The Healthy Choices Guidelines for sport and recreation centres recommend the food and drinks available at facilities are at least  50% GREEN, and no more than 20% RED.  Red foods should be limited as they provide little nutritional value and generally large amounts of sugar, salt and/or fat. Amber foods need to be consumed carefully, as although they have nutritional value, still have notable amounts of sugar, salt and/or fat. Green options are the best! (                                        Just some of the changes implemented to date at HILAC include;  Removal of ALL red drinks from sale!  Reduction in variety of amber drinks (currently only low-joule sports drinks and coke zero varieties) Reduction in the variety of fried foods available – Dim sims and dino nuggets have been removed Introduction of a range of alternative food options, including ;sweet potato chips, focaccias, soup, fruit and vegetable muffins, mini pizzas, smoothies and fruit salads.  Reduction of confectionary range and size of mixed lolly bags Reduction in milkshake size (some great feedback from parents here, kids weren't drinking a whole milkshake anyway!) Changes in the brands of some products sold to offer more nutritional value, for example yoghurt   As well as making all the great changes listed above, HILAC have also extended opening hours of the Cafe, so there are options available on basketball nights, even for those late game-ers! HILAC's Jackie Wilson recognises the role the facility has to play in promoting healthy lifestyles, 'It's important that we are not just selling junk, as we are a health and fitness centre'. Jackie see's one of the next steps being to hang signage around the centre to educate consumers around what are the healthiest choices, and what the red, amber and green status of foods mean.    Have you been to HILAC to try any of the new options yet? Regardless if your a HILAC user or not, the cafe is a friendly space open to all members of the public, so pop in and give it a try!   Congratulations to the leadership and staff cohorts at HILAC for making some significant change so that the healthier choice is now much easier!   Is your facility or sporting club looking to make healthy change whilst ensuring profits remain stable? GenR8 Change can support you in the journey, get in touch with Ebony on 5551 8475 or at [email protected]

Fundraising and food provision has turned a corner and has a bright and healthy future at Southern Grampians Adult Education (SGAE)!   Back in April 2018, all foundation, intermediate and senior Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students participated in a GenR8 Change workshop. The students spent time thinking about what makes it easy or hard to make healthy choices in their local environments, and together produced a Causal Loop Diagram, or Systems Map, to represent the complexity and connections between all the factors that impact their choices. The students then used their new shared understanding to generate ideas for actions they could lead to change some of the factors leading to unhealthier choices, such as; unavailability of healthy foods, cost of healthy foods and knowledge and skills needed to prepare healthy foods.                                                                  Since compiling this list of potential actions in April, the VCAL student and staff cohort at SGAE have been chipping away at making changes so that the healthier choice is easier to make by incorporating healthy change into their existing learning environment, fundraisers and curriculum - and look what they've achieved so far!  Students planned, prepared and promoted a number of healthier options at their internal and external fundraising event, Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. Students spent time prepping and assembling fruit kebabs, rice paper rolls, dips, sausage rolls and veggie quiches. Not only did they build their own skills, but they provided healthy options for guests that had not been present in the past! :) The cohort raised more money this year than last, we think it's thanks to the bright and colourful healthy additions!                                                        Students now have a fruit bowl present in their student lounge, making a healthy snack option accessible and free. There is never any fruit left and wasted at the end of the week, and we hear there is now a separate staff bowl provided too. The students have found it much easier to hit their two serves per day when fruit is at their fingertips! The intermediate student group are working towards establishing an SGAE Vege Garden onsite! This is a work in progress with one out of three garden beds being assembled by the students so far. What a great way to test numeracy and team skills! Here's hoping the remaining beds can be assembled by springtime, ready for planting come sunny term 4!   Congratulations to the entire VCAL team at SGAE for making a strong start in turning those workshop ideas into realities! We know all these changes and healthy swaps add up and help to build a healthier culture. We can't wait to share whatever is in store next!   Could your school group, sporting club or workplace benefit from a GenR8 Change workshop to build shared understanding and appetite for healthy change? If so we'd love to hear from you, contact Ebony at [email protected] and an engagement session can be tailored and offered in your setting! Alternatively, if your school, club or organisation has already taken action to make the healthier choice the easier one, let us know! Sharing is caring! :) 

There are plenty of healthy options to fuel or warm you up at the Hamilton Indoor Leisure and Aquatic Centre (HILAC) this winter!   The centre has been trialing a number of new healthy options recently, with lots more now on offer than just hot chips! HILAC started their journey to a healthier cafe' in 2016 when they gradually removed 'red' category drinks from sale, including; soft drinks, large flavoured milks, fruit drinks and sports drinks. Because contrary to popular belief, there is very rarely need for a sugary drink to fuel activity!  In the beverage department, there's now a number of amber and green options available. Water is clearly the BEST option, but there are also a range of small milks, juices and coconut waters to choose from. In the warmer months, HILAC will also offer real fruit smoothies!                                                        Any parent, friend, umpire, scorer or coach of a child playing basketball knows how chilly HILAC can be on a winters evening. Now, instead of only hot chips available to warm the belly, there are foccacias and vegetable soup for sale on game nights!                            Other healthy menu additions include real fruit muffins and fruit salads, perfect for a post workout snack or to fuel the kids post swimming lesson or basketball training.    Congratulations to HILAC staff and management for leading by example and making such awesome change!   Has your organisation, school, workplace or club made changes or additions to their menu or catering to make the healthier choice the easier choice? We'd love to know about it! Should you have a story to share, or be keen to hear more about the changes at HILAC, please contact Ebony at [email protected] or on 5551 8475 :) 

Following some great change made by the Hamilton Indoor Lesuire and Aquatic Centre (HILAC) over the past 12 months, especially their move to remove all 'RED' category drinks, there is now more to celebrate!   HILAC now offer fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, all made in-house! And for something a little less heavy but just as refreshing, coconut water!   In 2017 HILAC finished adapting their drink fridges so that no 'RED' category drinks were on offer. 'RED' food and beverages as classified by the Victorian Healthy Eating Advisory Service are those that should be limited and can contribute to weight gain and chronic disease if consumed in large quantities. It's a fantastic move to now have the drinks fridges stocked with ONLY GREEN and AMBER beverage options - who needs a soft drink post workout anyway?!   The addition of more GREEN and AMBER beverages to the HILAC menu is super exciting - we're spoilt for healthy drink choice!   Have you tried one yet?    

It’s easier than ever to choose a healthy drink at the Hamilton Indoor Leisure and Aquatic Centre.  In partnership with South West Sport and the GenR8 Change initiative HILAC has made some fantastic changes recently to their selection of drinks at the centre, making it much easier for patrons to make a beverage healthy choice. What was once a fridge full of sugary drinks is now stocked mostly full of water and other healthy choices, with only Green (best choices) and Amber (to be chosen carefully) options available according to the Victorian Healthy Eating Advisory Service.  Water is also actively promoted through its position at eye level and signage on display around the venue. The changes were made following community consultation through surveying that consistently indicated HILAC users were interested in and receptive to healthier food and beverage options at the centre. HILAC are to be congratulated on this change, hopefully the centre is the first of many locations across the Southern Grampians to implement changes that make the healthier choice the easier choice for our community! Has your organisation, workplace, school or sporting club made healthy change? We want to know about it! Leave us a comment below, email [email protected] or give Ebony a call on 5551 8475.

The student  BBQ has always been part of the Hamilton District Skills Centre (HDSC) end of semester celebrations and many other events as a great way for the students to celebrate, raise funds and in turn develop cooking and organisational skills. For a long time, like many other local BBQ’s, the HDSC cook up was characterised by hundreds of sausages whacked in some white bread and smothered in tomato sauce. Following their involvement in GenR8 Change, HDSC has now made a pledge to replace bangers with chicken skewers and/or burgers at all their BBQ’s! Burgers are homemade at the HDSC using a lean beef mince, whilst chicken skewers are bought.  Not only has the menu’s main feature, the meat, had a revamp, but wholemeal or multigrain bread is now used instead of the white variety, and soft drink has been replaced with bottled water!   The HDSC has also introduced through catering the promotion of self-serve water at events.  Last month, the HDSC catered for the Heritage Rally Dinner for 330 people (great effort!). The HDSC team along with the event committee organised large 60litre containers with taps to be filled with local water . They then froze sliced lemon , lime and orange into ice-cream containers which formed large ice blocks. These were added to the water prior to the event. There were lots of really positive comments from attendees. So simple!  Has your organisation or community group changed the way you BBQ or cater for the better? Let us know about it! Email Ebony at [email protected], or leave a message on our Facebook page!

Did you see the changes at the outdoor pools over summer? We were very excited to hear about the small but significant changes made in the kiosk at the Southern Grampians Shire Council outdoor pools. Previously an array of sugar-sweetened beverages have been available for purchase; this summer saw the drinks fridge change, in line with HILAC, to only have the availability of plenty of water, 200ml bottles of Diet Coke and Coke Zero, and Powerade Zero. A reduction in the abundance of confectionery was also implemented. In previous years, we were spoiled for choice when it came to confectionery – sherbet bombs, milkos, red skins, zappos, chocolate frogs, chocolate bars, raspberry twists and mixed lollies. Over the summer, choice was narrowed down to simply chupa chups, raspberry twists and small bags of mixed lollies! This is fantastic to see! In addition, only a small selection of small packets of chips and popcorn, and the icecream freezer was available. Part of creating a healthier environment includes limiting the range of RED choices available, as well as offering small portions sizes. The changes certainly are a positive step in the right direction!   Has your facility made some similar changes recently? Has this got you thinking about what you can do to make the healthy choice the easy choice? We’d really love to know about it - please email your story to [email protected]