Posts Tagged ‘health’

Walking Maps for the Holidays

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 23rd, 2011

From the Victoria Walks December Newsletter:

How about letting your own two feet take you on a few adventures these holidays? There’s no better way to get the wind in your hair while taking a sticky beak at what’s going on around you.

If you’re heading out of town:

Or, if you’re wandering closer to Melbourne:

Better still, show off your own walks to by creating a walk on!

Check out the Victoria Walks site.

Social Isolation and Older People: National Roundtable Forum

Posted in Events, Policies, Research by Kate Archdeacon on October 19th, 2011

14 November , 2011
9:00 amto5:00 pm

This National Roundtable Forum will seek to develop a common understanding of the problem and identify key areas for action.  Social isolation amongst older people is known to lead to poor health outcomes and to increased demand for services ranging from home help to residential care. We are seeking to identify strategies to reduce or prevent social isolation. The forum will facilitate dialogue between decision makers and service providers while engaging older people in the policy development process. Successful approaches should be identified, supported and replicated. The forum will have a focus on evidence based best practice and developing ongoing collaborations between participants. Topics to be covered that impact on social isolation of older people will include:

  • Mental Health
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Technology
  • Age-Friendly Cities
  • Late life learning
  • Social Participation, Intergenerational Opportunities and Community Services
  • CALD community issues

Monday 14 Nov 2011 from 9:00am to 5:00pm
ZINC at Federation Square, Melbourne

Conference fee: $190 Concession: $140

To register, visit

Victorian Oranges for Healthy Fundraisers

Posted in Movements, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on June 21st, 2011

Source: Melbourne Community Farmers’ Markets

Want to raise funds for your community or school? Want to support the Australian Citrus Industry? Want to promote rural education? Move over crap chocolate, Nangiloc Primary School has a great idea! In a nutshell, during the Navel orange season (July – Oct) you place an order for 3kg bags of fresh oranges for $5. Local fruit, packed at a local packing house will be processed by the children from Nangiloc Primary School as part of an enterprise learning program. Then, for every bag your school or organisation sells, you will earn one dollar whilst supporting Victorian citrus growers, seasonal fruit and Nangiloc Primary School. Find out more by phoning (03) 5029 1483 or email Nangiloc Primary School

Design for an Active City: Competition

Posted in Seeking, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on June 6th, 2011

Source: Australian Design Review

Victoria’s State of Design Festival has launched an urban design competition inviting Victorian designers to transform a major thoroughfare in central Melbourne. The Design for an Active City competition seeks “implementable, site-specific proposals to improve the pedestrian experience on the northern footpath side of Collins Street Bridge as it spans Wurundjeri Way, and thereby increase pedestrian activity.”

Proposals for the temporary installation should address a 50-metre stretch of the 350-metre bridge, which runs from Spencer Street to Batman’s Hill Drive. Shortlisted submissions, selected by a panel of experts, will be on show during the State of Design Festival, with the winner announced at a public panel discussion held on 25 July. The winning entry will then be constructed and installed as a temporary project from October to December 2011, serving as a short-term installation while the development of the bridge linking the CBD with Spencer Street Station and Docklands is still under construction.

Event partner VicUrban will provide $25,000 towards the development and construction of the project. The competition spotlights the role of design in stimulating increased physical activity through interventions in the built environment, and supports the 2011 Festival’s theme, Design That Moves.

Entries to the competition are now open.

Site visit 3.00pm June 8 2011
Submission deadline July 6 2011
Winner announced, exhibition opening and public panel discussion July 25 2011

Design for an Active City is run by State of Design in partnership with VicUrban and GHD.  For full submission requirements and resources go to

Get Moving At Work: Walk The Block Next Tuesday

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on May 11th, 2011

17 May , 2011

Source: Victoria Walks

Victoria Walks is aiming to combat workplace physical inactivity by developing the event – Walk the Block. The aim is simple: to get people away from their desks and onto their feet. Walk the Block will be a fun and lively event that brings together employees from corporate organisations, government departments and other workplaces across Victoria to walk their block on Tuesday 17 May (download flyer).

The event has been developed by Victoria Walks to promote four simple workplace walking ideas:

  • ‘In your stride’ – quick and easy tips to keep staff moving at work
  • Walking meetings – step out for active and productive conversations
  • Walkabout inductions – for new staff to learn what is close by
  • Walking groups – regular walks for fit and friendly workplaces.

Resources for each of these initiatives will be sent to workplaces so that walking can easily be incorporated into organisations’ working culture.

Register as an individual or an organisation.

Increasing Access to Public Transport: Melbourne Medical Companion Project

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 30th, 2011

Source: Victoria Walks

Image: RaeA via flickr CC

It is believed that the new Melbourne Medical Companion Project will improve access for many people who live in rural Victoria, who are frail, disabled, ill, or anxious about their journey, and will encourage many people to consider using public transport to attend their health care appointments instead of using the family car.

Volunteer companions are now available to accompany people from the Flinders Street Station and the Southern Cross Station train and bus terminals to health care appointments in central Melbourne.

As part of the Melbourne Medical Companion Project, Travellers Aid volunteers will meet passengers at the Flinders Street Station and the Southern Cross Station train and bus platforms, and accompany them to their Melbourne health care appointments and back again. Passengers will have the choice of using taxis, trams or buses whilst in Melbourne, and the volunteer companions will be experienced in using all three modes of transport. It is believed that the new Melbourne Medical Companion Project will improve access for many people who live in rural Victoria, who are frail, disabled, ill, or anxious about their journey, and will encourage many people to consider using public transport to attend their health care appointments instead of using the family car.

It is Free

Mr Robert Bulmer (Chief Executive Officer, Cohuna District Hospital) said that “the new volunteer service will be free throughout the trial period, with the program designed to take the worry out of travelling to Melbourne for health care”. Ms Thorson (Executive Officer, Southern Mallee Transport Connections Partnership) added that “it was hoped that the program would be extended beyond its initial trial period of March – December, 2011, however this was dependent upon further funding”.

Help Is Only A Phone Call Away

People interested in accessing the new volunteer-assisted service when travelling to Melbourne should telephone Travellers Aid on 1300 700 399 at least 24 hours prior to their expected travel date.

Regional Assistance

If travellers also need a volunteer to accompany them on the bus or train from their rural town to Melbourne, then a small number of rural volunteers from the Buloke, Gannawarra and Swan Hill municipalities will be available from April, 2011. For more information, please refer to the Regional Companions tab on the Melbourne Medical Companion Project webpage.

About the Project

Thirteen transport connections projects from across Victoria have formed a partnership to develop this new trial service. The Cohuna District Hospital has undertaken a lead agency role in the new project (on behalf of the Southern Mallee Transport Connections Partnership), and Travellers Aid Australia have been engaged to provide the day-to-day coordination and delivery of the project.  Travellers Aid already provide a range of travel related assistance and information at the Flinders Street and Southern Cross Stations in Melbourne, and will now provide this additional volunteer service for people who are unfamiliar with Melbourne and its health and transport systems.

The new Melbourne Medical Companion Project is funded through the Victorian Government’s Transport Connections Program, which is a cross government initiative that helps communities work together to improve access and local transport options.

Finding Real Food at the Supermarket

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on February 1st, 2011

Green Renters put this great flowchart by Darya Pino up on their site, and it’s too good not to share.

Darya Pino:
Green Renters:

Walking Breaks: Banishing 3.30-itis

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on August 4th, 2010

Source: Victoria Walks

Workplace Walking Ideas: Walking breaks and walking groups

Are you regularly stuck between four walls and a desk? How about stepping out for some fresh air? The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, preferably everyday. You can achieve this through short ‘snack sized’ bouts of activity by doing simple things like taking a few 10 minute walking breaks every day, or joining a regular workplace walking group. Here’s how:

* Banishing 3.30-itis with a daily power walk - Michelle’s story
* Lunchtime walking group a hit at work – Gabrielle’s story
* How to start a workplace walking group
* Walking group poster (you can adapt this for your workplace)

Visit Victoria Walks for more information and ideas.

Dialysis Project Saves Lives and Water

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on July 19th, 2010

Source: Smart Water Fund

Image: Bill Peckham CC 3.0

One of Australia’s largest providers of dialysis, North West Dialysis Service (NWDS) is set to save up to 1.68 megalitres of water a year per site through an innovative water recycling system. A Smart Water Fund grant enabled NWDS to investigate a system that captures clean reject water generated during the dialysis procedure for reuse in a number of its facilities. This water would otherwise go directly to sewer.

“We’ve worked with 23 of our sites to find beneficial uses for waste water that also have an acceptable project payback timeframe,” said James Gerrish, NWDS Business Activity Coordinator and Project Manager.  “Instead of going straight to sewer, it’s possible to use the water for toilet flushing in health care facilities, as wash down water, in air- conditioning cooling towers and to water gardens in regional facilities.  For example our Wodonga site could rescue six litres of water per minute during dialysis and use it for toilet flusher tanks or cooling towers,” Mr Gerrish said. “This equates to 1.68 megalitres of water a year – that’s enough to half-fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.”

A key aspect of the project’s success has been to determine the quality of the reject water and ensure water use demand matches the consistent quantities of water produced during dialysis.  “Many regional dialysis centres are co-located with aged care facilities in regions with tough water restrictions,” Mr Gerrish said. “While demand for irrigation water fluctuates throughout the year, these sites place a high value on this water use as they see the therapeutic and aesthetic value of maintaining their gardens.”

In addition to saving millions of litres of clean water a year, a key project outcome will be the development of a dialysis water reuse handbook for dialysis providers across Australia. NWDS project sites will also receive a detailed individual site report and an overall project report enabling benchmarking with similar facilities.

Part of Melbourne Health, NWDS, provides haemodialysis (blood filtration) for approximately 580 Victorians with kidney failure at 30 centres and 150 homes. NWDS dialysis units range from regional and rural healthcare centres to metropolitan dialysis services, including the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Read more about the project.

Health benefits of ‘grow your own’ food in urban areas: Research paper

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on April 21st, 2010

Source: SustainWeb

Research Paper: The health benefits of ‘grow your own’ food in urban areas: implications for contaminated land risk assessment and risk management? by Jonathan R Leake, Andrew Adam-Bradford, Janette E Rigby

This paper, by researchers from University of Sheffield, demonstrates that although urban environments are more contaminated by heavy metals, arsenic, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and dioxins than most rural agricultural areas, evidence is lacking for adverse health outcomes of growing your own (GYO) in UK urban areas. By contrast, the health benefits of GYO are a direct counterpoint to the escalating public health crisis of ‘obesity and sloth’ caused by eating an excess of saturated fats, inadequate consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables combined with a lack of exercise.

Read the rest of this entry »