International award winning celebrity chef Tobie Puttock will join the Victorian Coalition Government, the City of Greater Bendigo and Bendigo Community Health Services to spearhead the biggest-ever push for healthier lifestyles in Bendigo.
Minister for Health David Davis today announced the official launch of the Victorian Coalition Government's Prevention Community Modelfor Bendigo at Hargreaves Mall.
"We are committed to working with the community in tackling preventable diseases, obesity and chronic illness and promoting healthier lifestyles," Mr Davis said.
"We are targeting more than $100 million of state and National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health funding on a range of statewide and local strategies to turn around unhealthy lifestyles.
"The City of Greater Bendigo is one of 14 local government areas across Victoria that will be working with their community to create better health under the Prevention Community Model.
"The Prevention Community Model is a new and exciting initiative that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Bendigo residents where they live, learn, work and play.
"This will include Jamie's Ministry of Food mobile kitchen setting up for 10 weeks in Bendigo in early 2013, to deliver cooking and nutrition programs for the community."
Mr Davis said the Prevention Community Model was a unique partnership between all levels of government and would benefit more than one million people in 14 municipalities.
"It will see efforts that build health-promoting environments across Victoria. This means health-promoting schools, early childhood services, workplaces and communities – the places where people live their lives," Mr Davis said.
"Tailored healthy living strategies will be rolled out to target the underlying causes of chronic diseases and address issues such as smoking, poor nutrition, alcohol misuse and physical inactivity."
Today's event in Bendigo focused on healthy eating, featuring a cooking demonstration from celebrity chef Tobie Puttock. Children were also kept entertained with activities such as goat milking and seed planting, and Eaglehawk North Primary School provided a skipping demonstration.
City of Greater Bendigo Councillor Rod Fyffe said he was delighted that Bendigo had been chosen as one of the 14 local government areas in Victoria to participate in the Prevention Community Model.
"The City of Greater Bendigo will partner with Bendigo Community Health Services to develop a range of programs and projects to tackle chronic disease in our region," Cr Fyffe said.
"Through this initiative we hope to work together to build a healthy culture for our community, where making healthy choices is the norm."
The other municipalities involved in the Prevention Community Model are Ararat, Cardinia, Central Goldfields, Dandenong, Geelong, Hume, Knox, Latrobe, Mildura, Pyrenees, Whittlesea, Wodonga and Wyndham.
For further information about the Prevention Community Model visit www.health.vic.gov.au/prevention