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Healthy Communities Initiative Wollongong: Eat Healty, Be Physically Active!

Healthy Communities Initiative Wollongong

‘Eat Healthy and Be Physically Active’

National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health from the Australian Government

Wollongong City Council has received funding from the Australian Government to provide a series of community-based physical activity and healthy eating programs, and develop a range of policies to support healthy lifestyles.

The activities and programs are targeted at adults who are not predominately in full time paid work, and who are at risk of developing weight-related chronic disease.  This may include unemployed people, part time and casual workers, and older Australians.

Activities, programs and policies from the Wollongong Healthy Communities Initiative are all part of a program to encourage people to be more physically active, and eat healthy. The project will be launched in December 2011, and will run until December 2013.

As part of the Healthy Communities Initiative Wollongong project, Council will provide the following National Programs…

National Programs

BEAT IT – Physical Activity and Lifestyle Program

BEAT IT is a group-based program. It’s an innovative 12-week physical activity and lifestyle program that’s tailored to people who are at risk of, or living with, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Classes combine aerobic and resistance training exercises, and are run twice a week. Classes are fun, safe and supportive. They start slowly and build up as you become more confident and your health and fitness improve. The classes develop and change as confidence, health and fitness improve.

Council is running the BEAT IT – Physical Activity and Lifestyle Program from Beaton Park and Lakeside Leisure Centres. The next programs start in May and September 2013.


Heartmoves is a gentle physical activity program that combines aerobic activity with weight-bearing, balance and stretching exercises. The program is designed for people with lifestyle risk factors such as high blood pressure, and long-term health conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular disease that are stabilised.

Council is providing funding to expand Heartmoves into Wollongong’s culturally diverse communities in Wollongong’s culturally diverse southern suburbs. To date more than 250 people representing 14 diverse communities have participated in this program.


This is Australia’s only nationally-accredited cycling program that’s focused on providing bike education and training. Austcycle training sessions can be planned to suit everyone from beginners, through to intermediate and advanced riders.

AustCycle Level 1 (Beginner)

Covers basic bike safety principles and bike handling skills in a traffic-free environment. Once they’ve finished the course, participants should be able to demonstrate good bicycle control.

AustCycle Level 2 (Intermediate)

Develops road safety skills and traffic awareness. Initially, training takes place in an off-road environment. At the end of the course participants should be able to demonstrate safe cycling manoeuvres on quiet roads.

AustCycle Level 3 (Advanced)

Focuses on teaching advanced bike handling and traffic skills. At the end of the course participants can demonstrate safe cycling manoeuvres on busy roads, using complex intersections and road features.

PDF icon Expressions of Interest form for AustCycle Program

PDF icon AustCycle flyer

For more information on this program, you can also visit the AustCycle website.

In addition to the National Programs Council will also provide and/or support the following:

Local Programs

Outdoor Fitness Equipment

Council has installed Outdoor Fitness Equipment at Lakeside Park, Kanahooka  to enable people to exercise in an outdoor environment at times that suit them.

Stir it Up!

Council is providing funding to support Stir it up! Stir it up! is a peer education program designed to promote and support healthy eating. Volunteers from the community complete a free TAFE training program that covers a range of areas including basic nutrition principles, food safety, healthy eating on a budget and food presentation skills. They then become advocates for healthy eating and are partnered with trained mentors. The advocates and mentors are then linked up with local health and community workers who host healthy eating initiatives in their local communities. Ongoing training and support is provided by the Project Team.

For more information see the documents below:

PDF icon Information for Host Organisations.pdf

PDF icon Stir it Up Booklet.pdf

PDF icon Stir it Up Request Form.pdf

Policy Development Urban Design and Healthy Living

Council will undertake a review of its policies to look at ways to include the Principles of Active Living and Development in WCC guidelines, planning and policy.  This will better equip Council to ensure the built environment supports healthy lifestyles.

Healthy Living Books

Council will use our existing Living Book program, to foster face-to-face conversations between the community and ‘Living Books’ who have overcome obesity and its related health issues.  Through conversation, the Healthy Living Book events will build understanding of the personal experiences of tackling obesity and inspire people to reflect on how they can introduce healthy changes to their lives.

Aboriginal Health and Lifestyle Program

Council is working in partnership and consultation with the local Aboriginal Community to deliver a series of healthy education activities. To date funding has been provided to Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Cooperation to run the "Coomie Cooking program" and a Bush Tucker Cooking Workshop with Mark Olive, aka the Black Olive, has been held.

Healthy Books and DVD’s for Council Libraries

Council has purchased books and DVDs about healthy eating, healthy cooking on a budget, and physical activity and exercise DVD’s for Council libraries.  These resources can be accessed by all members of the community.

PDF icon Healthy Communities - Books purchased by Wollongong City Libraries

PDF icon Healthy Communities - DVDs purchased by Wollongong City Libraries​

Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Information Seminars

Council is running a series of information seminars about healthy eating and physical activity talks to be held at various locations across the city. If you are part of a community group and would like to host an information session, call us on (02) 4227 7184.

Community Based Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Programs

Council is engaging with local communities to help with the setup of community based physical activity and healthy eating programs.

Healthy Communities Initiative Advisory Group

Council has established a Healthy Communities Initiative Advisory Group to help Council with the development of the project and provide expert advice and links to the target groups.


Sarah Leussink
Healthy Communities Project Officer
Phone: 02 4227 7184 

‘This initiative was funded by the Australian Government’​

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