Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Sessions a hit at Barunga Festival 2016

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Children participating in nutrition and health lifestyles session at Barunga Festival 2016

For the second consecutive year Indigenous Allied Health Australia attended the Barunga Festival to promote allied health careers and healthy lifestyles over the course of the four-day-long event. The Barunga Festival, held 10 – 13 June 2016 and now in its 31st year, celebrates music, sport and culture and is held in the small community of Barunga, 80kms from Katherine in the NT. More recently, the festival has been promoting health foods and is a smoke free event.

Joining IAHA staff member Kylie Stothers was Kamilaroi woman, IAHA Board Director and nutritionist Nicole Turner, who has over 20 years working in health, who was on hand to lead a number of fun and interactive nutrition and healthy lifestyle sessions and over 200 children participated over the duration of the festival. The sessions provided a fun space for children and adults to learn more about nutrition. Topics included talking about the amount of sugar in popular soft drinks and sports drinks, tips on brushing your teeth and why it’s important, why getting enough sleep and rest is important as well as the importance of being active and doing exercise.

Water was promoted as the drink of choice of children with the session focusing on how much water children should drink each day. The children finished each session by yelling out “I love water”, which could be heard across the community.

Overall, the sessions were popular amongst the participants with many children asking to participate in the nutrition and healthy lifestyle sessions with ‘Miss Nicki’.

Festival goers gathering at the IAHA stall.

Festival goers gathering at the IAHA stall.

Robyn Williams, Bachelor of Health Science (BHSc) course coordinator, Charles Darwin University worked closely in partnership with IAHA staff to promote existing and future pathways for current and potential Indigenous allied health students in the NT. It provided an exciting example of how well the university and allied health sector can work together in a community context to meet common aims of improved health outcomes for Indigenous peoples. “It is really exciting to be working with ‘industry’ and education partners and demonstrate what can be done with a dash of passion, a pinch of commitment and a sprinkle of humour!” said Williams.

The BHSc at Charles Darwin University has an OT Pathway, Health Promotion, Public Health and Health Services Management stream and currently about 20-25% of the students are Indigenous.

June 29, 2016


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