FitNSW 2016

FitNSW 2016: Supporting local communities to move more - interagency strategies to reduce childhood obesity


Wednesday 9 March 2016

NSW Parliament House, Sydney NSW, Australia


Session Objectives 


  • Promote greater understanding of international interagency initiatives and better practice examples to increase physical activity and reduce childhood obesity.
  • Examine current NSW legislative and/or policy frameworks promoting supportive environments for active living/active travel to increase physical activity across planning, transport and health.
  • Showcase better practice examples, identify forthcoming priority actions and emerging opportunities to implement more supportive environments for active living / active travel across NSW local communities to help decrease childhood obesity. 


Overview of the Session - Key Themes 


The Case for Action - examine  international better practice interagency examples that have prioritised physical activity and healthy eating to reduce childhood obesity levels.

A Framework for Action - outline current State and local Government initiatives integrating active travel, land - use planning and / or health and examine frameworks for enhanced collaboration across sectors.

Leadership and Action - Identify opportunities, challenges and required next steps to more systematically integrate active travel, health and land - use planning into all stages of planning and practice to help reduce childhood obesity levels.


A summary document from the day is available here.




Opening Address

The Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP, Minister for Health


Let's Move! keynote: Cities, Towns and Communities 

Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director, President Obama's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

Key topics include: Successful policies and programs from across North America that have led to better interagency coordination between Government, industry and community organisations to increase population levels of physical activity and decrease childhood obesity.  Key lessons learnt, innovative case studies and ongoing challenges emerging from the Obama Administration's "Let's Move" childhood obesity initiative.

Let's Move!: Cities, Towns and Communities (pdf)

(Video length 29:33)


Transport overview: Keeping NSW moving

Clare Gardiner-Barnes, Deputy Secretary, Transport for NSW

Key topics include: Delivery of walking and cycling as part of an Integrated Transport System; influencing major projects; investment, promotion, cycling towns, action update and ongoing priorities.

Transport overview: Keeping NSW moving (pdf)

(Video length 26:53)


Healthy Planning

Lucy Turnbull, Chief Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission

Key topics include: Purpose and function of the Greater Sydney Commission, opportunities to help facilitate health promoting communities and future priorities.

No powerpoint presentation.

(Video length 19:16)


Local government engagement

Melissa Gibbs, Director Policy & Sector Development, NSW Office of Local Government

Key topics include: Policies and resources available to assist local councils to facilitate health promoting communities, Integrated Planning and Reporting as an opportunity to promote active living and healthy eating, NSW Office of Local Government's future priorities.

Local government engagement (pdf)

(Video length  13:55)


Western Sydney Local Council Case Study

Kellie-Anne Gee, Media and Communications Officer, Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC)

Christine Newman, Deputy Director, Centre for Population Health/Manager Health Promotion, Western Sydney Local Area Health District (WSLHD)

Key topics include: in 2015 a collaboration between PCAL, WSROC and Western Sydney, Nepean-Blue Mountains and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts led to a number of initiatives to enhance healthy built environments in local communities across Western Sydney.  The collaboration led to eight WSROC Local Council Mayor's signing the Walk21 International Charter for Walking and committing to investigate opportunities to promote increased levels of physical activity across local council business,

Western Sydney Local Council Case Study (pdf)

(Video length 14:49)


Key take home messages and final remarks

Dr Jo Mitchell, Director, Centre for Population Health, NSW Ministry of Health

(Video length 04:36)


Speaker Biographies

Professor Chris Rissel – Symposium Chair
Professor Rissel is actively involved in promoting cycling as a form of active transport to increase population levels of physical activity. He has published numerous studies on aspects of cycling. Chris is Professor of Public Health in the School of Public Health University of Sydney, and Director of the NSW Office of Preventive Health.


Shelli Pfohl
Shellie Pfohl was appointed by President Barack Obama in February 2010 to serve as Executive Director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. She manages the activities and operations of the Council and leads the Council's efforts related to First Lady Michelle Obama's national Let's Move! initiative to solve childhood obesity within a generation. Shellie earned her BA in Community Health Education from the University of Northern Iowa and a MS in Exercise Physiology/Fitness Leadership from Northern Illinois University. She also has a certification in Non-Profit Management from Duke University and is a graduate of Leadership North Carolina Class XIII.


Clare Gardiner-Barnes
Clare Gardiner-Barnes was appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary, Freight, Strategy and Planning at Transport for NSW in August 2015.  The Freight, Strategy and Planning Division brings together all of Transport for NSW’s policy, safety, planning and regulation into the one area.  Prior to this, Clare was the Chief Executive at the Department of Transport in the Northern Territory.  She has held senior positions across a number of areas of government including Chief Executive at the Department of Children and Families in the Northern Territory and in reforms undertaken across the Department of Education and Training in Queensland. 


Lucy Turnbull
Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO is an urbanist, businesswoman and philanthropist with a longstanding interest in cities, and technological and social innovation. She chaired the Committee for Sydney from 2012 to 2015 and has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the new Greater Sydney Commission, tasked by the NSW state government to assist in delivering strong and effective strategic planning for the whole of metropolitan Sydney.  She was the first female Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney from 2003-4 and in 2011 she became an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community, local government and business. In 2012 she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Business by the University of NSW. 


Melissa Gibbs
Melissa Gibbs is the Director of Policy and Sector Development with the NSW Office of Local Government.  Prior to joining the Office, Melissa was the Deputy Director of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG), a position she held from 2009.  Prior to the Centre, Melissa assisted local government in a consulting capacity, primarily as an associate of the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Local Government. Melissa gained most of her practical local government experience while the executive director of a regional organisation of councils in Sydney.


Christine Newman
Christine is the Deputy Director of Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Centre for Population Health and manages the Health Promotion, Immunisation and Multicultural Health Services. She works in collaboration with WSROC on topical issues that span both health and local government sectors including the built environment as it relates to health.  Christine's extensive experience has crossed both clinical and population health strategies with a particular focus on injury and chronic disease prevention. 


Kelly-Anne Gee
Kelly manages the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils’ (WSROC) Health portfolio and in that capacity she has worked in collaboration with PCAL and three Local Health Districts across western Sydney to develop the Planning an Active Western Sydney forum.  As WSROC’s media and communications officer, Kelly also works on a range of regional advocacy campaigns, community education initiatives, and professional development opportunities on behalf of WSROC’s 10 member councils.


Dr Jo Mitchell
Jo Mitchell is the Director, Centre for Population Health in the NSW Ministry of Health. In this role she is responsible for leading the development of health promotion policy and strategy at the state level. She has over twenty years’ experience in health promotion at local and state levels and has a doctorate in Public Health from Flinders University.