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Children’s wellbeing in focus at Nexus workshops

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

The first in a series of three workshops took place last week with multiple health professionals and community leaders in attendance to share their opinions on children’s health and wellbeing.

With a focus on the southern Mitchell Shire, the Reflexive Evidence and Systems Interventions to Prevent Obesity and Non-communicable Disease, RESPOND, workshops are designed to improve healthy eating and active living opportunities for children in the region.

The workshops have been organised by Nexus Primary Health and aided by collaborative health organisations and Deakin University researchers, with multiple similar workshops already having taken place across Victoria in recent years.

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Nexus health promotion officer Lucy Linton said the first workshop featured a lot of encouraging discussions.

“There were contributions from a wide range of health professionals and key stakeholders in our community, which provided a fantastic opportunity to understand different experiences and perspectives,” she said.

“Understanding our community’s strengths, challenges, and barriers for children’s health and wellbeing is a key aspect of moving forward with the RESPOND Project in the southern Mitchell Shire.”

Representatives from organisations including Victoria Police, Northern Health, Love in Action Wallan, and Berry Street all pitched in to provide their opinions, which will go towards informing programs and initiatives that will be made available for children through Nexus and other groups like Healthy Kids Mitchell.

Key concerns raised included screen time, nutritional education, sense of community and safety, availability of foods with low nutritional quality, local employment opportunities, residential planning, transport opportunities, parental time availability, and mental health.

Ms Linton said the idea of the first two workshops was to collate ideas, while the final workshop will be open to the community.

“The third workshop is designed to support the community to brainstorm ideas, initiatives, and projects that may contribute to improvements in areas of children’s health and wellbeing that are relevant to the southern Mitchell Shire,” she said.

“Following the third workshop, we can then support the community to work collaboratively to plan, implement and evaluate these ideas and programs, to increase local opportunities that promote positive health outcomes.”

Details of the final workshop will be made available in the coming weeks.

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