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Health promotion involves working with people before they show the signs of disease – optimising their opportunities to make healthy choices and thereby preventing disease.
Sustainable Farm Families program addresses farmer health, well-being and safety issues by providing health awareness and education workshops. Farmers are responsible for the continuing success of SFF by continually helping to shape the program, therefore ensuring that it remains highly relevant to farm family needs. With support of Department of Primary Industries and Western District Health Service 21 farmers have attended years 1 and 2 of the program and we have been successful in obtaining funding for another 20 farmers in 2010.
In 2005 the Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health, Flinders and Deakin University published results of a research project that showed Corangamite Shire to have significantly high occurrences of the risk factors for Cardiovascular (heart) disease, such as high blood pressure, low physical activity rates, smoking and poor diet.
This evidence, along with evidence to suggest that cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of premature death in Australia, prompted local government, health services, organisations and businesses within the Corangamite Shire to band together to help raise awareness of these overwhelming statistics and work towards reducing the incidence of lifestyle diseases. From this the Heart of Corangamite Network was formed.
Timboon and District Healthcare Service staff play an active role within the four working groups (Leadership, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Respectful Relationships) as well as being responsible for mentoring the Heart of Corangamite Project Worker.
In 2007 the School approached the Youth Worker and Community Health Nurse to assist in the development and implementation of appropriate health and wellbeing initiatives. From here the partnership between the Health Service and the School has blossomed into a positive and supportive working relationship which ensures that this important work for young people is not done in isolation and is in fact a key role of community stakeholders.
Underpinning this is the benefit students have received which include working with community organisations to gain a consistent understanding about factors pertaining to safety and wellbeing whilst having access to specialist support for young people and their families
The programs have been growing and evolving since their inception. The programs have been formally integrated into the curriculum and become annual or biannual in nature since 2007. It was recognised that the programs had become an important part, not only of the school curriculum, but also of the Health Services’ Integrated Health Promotion Plan.
In 2010 the Health Service and School decided that, to ensure long term commitment and sustainability of the partnership, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was to be formally drafted and signed by the two organisations. This MOU has been effective since term 1 2011 and ensures that in the event of staff change over in either organisation the programs will still go ahead.
In 2011 Timboon and District Healthcare Service presented the results of the partnership and programs at the Australian Health Promotion Association Conference in Cairns. The partnership was again rewarded in 2011 with a successful Schools First Impact Award and $50,000 funding.
The Community Garden project is a response to community identified need.
Timboon and District Healthcare allocated funding and established a Community Steering Committee to establish the garden.
While awaiting a suitable location for the community garden, a smaller project was undertaken between the Steering Committee and Glenormiston Tafe Pathfinders students to establish the sensory garden located beside the Planned Activity Room within the new Community Health Building.
The sensory garden is open to community members as well as patients and clients of the Health Service