The Alliance meets bi-annually to network, collaborate, report on progress and to identify opportunities.
Alliance Meetings in 2019 were face-to-face:
Leaders Alliance Meeting: ‘Strengthening Partnerships to Meet the Challenge’ – 3 April, 2019, Park Royal Hotel Parramatta
The first Alliance meeting for 2019 attracted 102 attendees, including leaders from the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) and South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), who were presented with an overview of the WSD 2019 Plan and invited to contribute to WSD initiatives and interventions proposed for the year. Groups at the meeting brainstormed collaborative opportunities, including the distribution of the WSD Healthy Living Options book of exercise programs and facilities in Western Sydney (see page 16 for more information). Several members also provided short presentations on ‘What we do’ and concluded with a request for partners to assist in a variety of ways including program evaluation, funding or further information. In all cases, requests for assistance were met by other Alliance members.
Leaders Alliance Meeting: ‘Seeing the Forest & The Trees’ – 7 November, 2019 Rydges Norwest
The second Leaders Alliance meeting for 2019 highlighted the impact of urban greening and canopy cover on the incidence of diabetes and general health, reflecting the WSD goal of ‘Building Healthy Environment’ and two of the NSW Premier’s Priorities.
The meeting was attended by 110 Alliance members and provided an opportunity for WSD to engage new members from sectors including research, Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), Department of Planning, industry and Environment (DPIE), councils, Premier’s Implementation Unit and horticulture from across Greater Western Sydney and the Sydney Basin. Attendees heard new research in relation to tree canopy and diabetes (see right), along with the challenges of planting shade trees within the urban environment.
The Deputy Secretary for DPIE, Alex O’Mara, closed the meeting with a presentation on the Premier’s Priorities around urban greening. Following the meeting, the DPIE agreed to join WSD as a lead organisation on the EMT to help beat diabetes in Western Sydney. Representatives from DPIE will also participate in WSD prevention working groups in 2020, starting with the ‘Building Healthy Environment’ group, to discuss and support the implementation of the NSW Premier’s urban greening goals.
But during 2020, meetings were conducted virtually.
COVID-19’s physical restrictions encouraged members to connect in a new way – online – which also enabled multiple attendees from the same organisation to attend.
This year the focus was on maintaining the existing Alliance network and providing support to members during a time when many organisations underwent considerable alteration to their internal structure, personnel and business operations.
WSD successfully connected with new staff members to maintain the ongoing relationship with existing Alliance member organisations, as well as welcome a number of new member organisations.
Neighbouring LHDs remained with the Alliance along with the ongoing support of local councils; evidence the reach of the Alliance is continuing to increase in geography and influence.
The 2020 Alliance Meetings featured:
Leaders’ Alliance meeting: ‘Moments of healthy living during COVID-19 isolation. Can we make them stick?’ – Webinar, June 24, 2020
Leaders Alliance meeting: ‘Growing well, Eating well’ – Webinar, November 4, 2020
Western Sydney TAFE talk
Blinded by Sugar Webinar – Health Professional Webinar – August 4, 2020
Blinded by Sugar Webinar – Consumer Webinar – December 8, 2020