Health promotion in schools

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The Building Healthy Communities in Melbourne’s West was funded by Macedon Ranges North Western Melbourne Medical Local and coordinated by Larter in partnership with another consultant. The project aimed to address the health and wellbeing issues of a primary school in Brimbank, through the funding of health promotion activities, health resources and/or health based infrastructure.

Larter provided great support with regard to this project. Larter worked closely with the school community, council and other stakeholders to ensure that the project was a success whilst another consultant was employed to manage the project. Without Larter, this project would not have been a success. As it was, Larter was instrumental in ensuring the timeframes and preparing the final report. Larter were also incredibly flexible in their approach, taking initiative and the lead when pre-empting upcoming needs and also when completing tasks that were assigned to them to oversee. I would have no qualms with recommending their services in future. 

Vanda Fortunato, Chief Executive Officer, Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local

Client: The Building Healthy Communities in Melbourne’s West was funded by Macedon Ranges North Western Melbourne Medical Local and supported by a number of partners, including:

  • Western Melbourne Regional Development Australia
  • Brimbank City Council
  • University of Melbourne
  • Victoria Police.

Over its three years of operation, Macedon Ranges North Western Melbourne Medical Local committed itself to improving the health and wellbeing of communities in Melbourne’s west through a range of initiatives.

Larter has previously provided project and operational support to Macedon Ranges North Western Melbourne Medical Local, including assisting with its health needs assessment as well as administering and managing programs.

Challenge: The project aimed to foster community engagement and convey key health promotion messages at a grassroots level, through a primary school with significant health and wellbeing needs including:

  • High level of socioeconomic educational disadvantage compared to national averages
  • High proportion of students developmentally at risk or vulnerable
  • Students not having breakfast or lunch
  • Low levels of participation in sport
  • Poor oral health and personal hygiene among some of the students.

Response: Larter managed the project by supporting Steering Committee meetings between project partners, helping the school to incorporate a Gratitude Garden aimed at improving mental health, as well as organising a health promotion event for the school community.

Outcome: The success of the health promotion event was evident in the high number of attendees (over 700) and positive feedback received from students, parents and families. Student learnings included increased understanding of health indicators (such as BMI) and improved knowledge around the importance of good oral hygiene. Feedback from parents showed that the free health screenings organised at the event were effective in raising awareness around key chronic disease factors such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

The Gratitude Garden is being used by the school for quiet and calming activities such as reading, drawing and gentle exercise. The school has begun exploring mindfulness programs that could be incorporated into the school curriculum through the use of the garden.

Larter has extensive experience in project management and administration. Read more about the range of support we provide to health and community services, Primary Health Networks, workforce agencies and peak bodies.