Kiama council has been recognised for helping create healthy communities.
City of Sydney were named National Winners of the 2016 Heart Foundation Local Government Awards, which were presented at the Local Government NSW Annual Conference in Wollongong this week.
Kiama Municipal Council were jointly awarded National Highly Commended.
Heart Foundation Local Government Awards recognise local regions that demonstrate best practice in creating healthier communities.
Kiama council’s winning entry was based on some key initiatives.
The garden to table program aims to improve access to and knowledge of healthy affordable food and increase community capacity to incorporate sustainable food and gardening practices into their everyday lives.
Activities include a permaculture workshop series, a VIP Kiama Farmers’ Market tour, a locals’ long lunch and a ‘crop and swap’ meeting for local gardeners to share excess produce.
The other initiative is healthy cooking for solo seniors, a six-week series of cooking classes that increase social connectedness among the Illawarra seniors community to ultimately improve physical and mental health.
Heart Foundation NSW CEO Kerry Doyle congratulated the winners and said there are many preventative measures people can undertake to minimise the risk factors for heart disease.
“Local environments that promote sustained healthy behaviour are vital to Australia’s future health.
“All the councils recognised throughout Australia have shown how simple policy changes and a supportive local environment can alter the health of an entire community for the better.
“With local leaders advocating for the benefits of adopting healthy lifestyle practices, all Australians can continue to tackle heart disease and address the statistic we don’t want – that heart disease is Australia’s number one killer.
“These winning councils have implemented a range of health-based initiatives such as active transport schemes, Public Health Plans, healthy catering policies and community activities that get people of all ages active.”
The Heart Foundation Local Government Awards are now in their 24th year.