An innovative health and wellbeing project has brought organisations and community groups together to encourage Bundaberg residents to ‘Do Your Thing’ and make lifestyle choices that work for them.
Community members can now take part in the Do Your Thing initiative to take charge of their health and wellbeing.
The community-owned approach aims to improve health and wellbeing by supporting local organisations to work together.
The goal of the project is to create a supportive environment to improve health and reduce obesity across the Bundaberg Region, and to make it easier for residents to make healthy choices.
Do Your Thing is led by Bundaberg Regional Council, Health and Wellbeing Queensland (HWQld) and the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport in conjunction with several other peak health bodies.
The collection of organisations and community groups is committed to supporting people to do their thing and make healthy changes that matter to, and work for, them.
Do Your Thing aims to improve the way programs and services across nutrition, physical activity, and mental health and social wellbeing sectors are coordinated, delivered, and communicated across the region.
Do Your Thing developed from local alliance
Bundaberg Regional Council Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said the initiative came about on the back of the establishment of the Building a Healthy Bundaberg Alliance in 2020.
He said the group's main goal was to help reduce the region’s overweight and obesity rate to below the national average by 2030.
“This fantastic alliance was interested in better understanding what could be done to improve local health and wellbeing outcomes for the Bundaberg Region,” Cr Habermann said.
“The Do Your Thing initiative was created to implement these recommendations within the community, by community.
“It’s a simple concept that recognises there is no ‘one size fits all approach’ to health and wellbeing and aims to help people find the right lifestyle choices for them.”
Through community consultation Building a Healthy Bundaberg Alliance was able to collect information to help improve access to an already high-quality collection of local programs and services.
“Do Your Thing will bond the partnership between organisations and community groups to create a positive health and wellbeing identity in the Bundaberg Region,” Cr Habermann said.
“It will provide the opportunity to engage in regular community forums, participate in capacity building workshops, work together to promote change within the community, and collate meaningful data to be able to tell Bundaberg’s health and wellbeing story.”
One stop resource supports healthy lifestyle
Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Do Your Thing created a one-stop resource where people could learn about ways to lead a more active, healthy life.
“Getting more physically active and involved in your community is a choice and ‘Do Your Thing’ helps make that choice a little bit easier,” said Mr Hinchliffe.
Health and Wellbeing Queensland Chief Executive, Dr Robyn Littlewood said HWQld was delighted to be playing a part in making healthy happen for Bundaberg.
“Do Your Thing is an exciting and innovative example of a science-backed, community-led, place-based approach to improving the health and wellbeing of Bundaberg’s people,” Dr Littlewood said.
“This is just the beginning. We look forward to seeing the next phases of this project roll out to make healthy choices easier for everyone, including a new digital platform that will be a one-stop shop for residents to find health and wellbeing services.”
The prevention agency has been working in partnership with the Building a Healthy Bundaberg Alliance since 2000 and invested significantly in Do Your Thing. This started with the development of A Behavioural Science Strategy for a place-based health initiative in Bundaberg.
Between December 2020 and March 2021, 100 stakeholders were engaged across 33 organisations to support the development of this strategy, with 200 papers, reports, and reviews collated and analysed.
“The analysis confirmed that Bundaberg is a diverse, unique and beautiful place. We know the only way success can be realised is when the work is informed and led by local communities who needs to identify what works for them,” Dr Littlewood said.
“HWQld’s role is to wrap the right support around communities that allows them to make decisions easily and sustainably.
“We are listening to our community partners and feel privileged to be invited to be part of this important work.”
There are several programs currently participating in Do Your Thing including:
• Active and Healthy Bundaberg – A free program aimed at encouraging young women to improve their physical activity and mental wellbeing and adopt healthy lifestyle choices.
• Pick of the Crop – Whole-of-school nutrition program to increase opportunities for primary school children to learn about and consume more fruit and vegetables.
• Schools throughout the Bundaberg Region will collaborate through building the employment prospects of at-risk youth, stem-based education programs, and advocating for early education and awareness raising.
• PhD Program – Understanding the economic and societal benefits of investing in health and wellbeing.
• My Health for Life – Aims to reduce chronic health conditions by providing a practical program targeting nutrition, exercise, and mental wellbeing throughout the community.
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