THE Geelong Football Club’s “Just Think” initiative was one of the winners at the 2018 VicHealth Awards, announced last month.
The awards are the state’s highest accolade for health promotion, recognising the impact of initiatives across Victoria in improving the health and wellbeing of Victorians.
Just Think is an education program for students and parents delivering messages to change underage drinking culture in a variety of ways, linking in with other community initiatives such as Respectfu Relationships and Communities that Care, and won the Preventing Harm From Alcohol Award.
The initiative uses the Geelong Cats’ presence in the AFL as well as local football to extend its reach as far as possible, reaching more than an estimated 1.3 million people last year.
The full day education program takes place at the Deakin Community Cats Centre at GMHBA Stadium and operates weekly during school terms.
Shorter, targeted sessions are delivered in local sports clubs and are available to other groups and organisations as requested.
VicHealth chief executive officer Jerril Rechter recognised the collaborative nature of the sector, noting the calibre of nominees and finalists.
“Our judges had an extremely difficult task in selecting a winner in each of our 11 categories, with more than 50 impressive finalists named,” she said.
“These finalists demonstrate why Victoria is the home of health promotion, with initiatives tackling some of the most difficult and entrenched health challenges, such as gender inequality, obesity, and harm from alcohol.
“It’s fantastic to see many of our finalists have partnered with other organisations to deliver these projects.
“This is the strength of the Victorian health promotion sector, and we need to continue to work together to achieve our collective goal of improving the health and wellbeing of Victorians.”