10 July 2008

Good for Kids. Good for Life Equity Focused HIA Wins Minister's Award for Aboriginal Health

The Hunter New England Area Health Service's work on HIA has been recognised by receiving the 2008 New South Wales Health Minister's Award for Aboriginal Health. The Good for Kids, Good for Life Equity Focused Health Impact Assessment looked at potential health equity impacts of a $7.5 million childhood obesity prevention program, with specific reference to impact on Aboriginal children.

Minister Paul Lynch, NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, presented the Award on behalf of the NSW Minister for Health. "This project brings together a variety of agencies, community groups and industry to provide practical information... to make it easier for Aboriginal children to be active and eat well," Mr Lynch said.

The HIA was undertaken as part of NSW HIA Project with the support of the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE).

The Minister's Award is the second HIA-related award for Hunter New England Area HEalth Service this year after they received the UNSW Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity's Health Impact Assessment Award in May.

About the Program
Good for Kids, Good for Life is Australia's largest ever population-based childhood obesity prevention trial. It brings together a variety of agencies, community groups and industry to provide practical information, as well as new programs and systems, to make it easier for children to be active and eat well. Good for Kids program undertook an equity-focused Health Impact Assessment (HIA) in order to improve the equity with which the program was delivered to Aboriginal children and non-Aboriginal children and ensure that its implementation did not exacerbate existing inequalities. The HIA produced over 80 recommendations. These recommendations were made to ensure Good for Kids strategies did not directly or indirectly exclude Aboriginal children and communities by failing to acknowledge and plan for differences in how health eating and physical activity is understood and approached in Aboriginal communities.

About the Award
The Minister's Award for Aboriginal Health is presented to the NSW Health Area Health Service or organisation that demonstrates the most outstanding commitment to improving Aboriginal health across a range of indices including excellence in program delivery, strengthening access to primary care, improved access to mainstream health services for Aboriginal people and collaborative partnership arrangement with Aboriginal people.

A full list of the 2008 New South Wales Aboriginal Health Award winners can be found on the NSW Health website. More information on equity focused HIA can be found on HIA Connect.