As part of our 'all of community approach', an Alliance has been set up between government, health and a number of sectors to address the social determinants of diabetes in Western Sydney.
Representatives from urban planning, property development, universities, population health, local government, Premier's Council for Active Living, WSROC, Diabetes NSW, SALSA and education have combined efforts to map, identify gaps and implement initiatives to improve the local environment.
These organisations have been involved in a number of activities including geo-mapping, screening to identify high risk individuals, the promotion of Get Healthy and other lifestyle programs, signing councils to the Walk 21 Charter and increasing the scope of education programs.
A Food Working Group has resulted from the Alliance to specifically address the availability and affordability of fresh food as well as education of residents about its preparation. This group has engaged participants from the supply, education and community engagement areas including organisations such as Ozharvest, Jamie's Kitchen, SALSA, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden, YMCA, Go4Fun, Woolworths, Get Healthy, WSROC and local councils.
Plans are underway for the launch of new initiatives in 2016 involving collaboration between member partners.
"Our primary function is to care for people in need and to find practical and feasible ways to assist our citizens to experience the best possible health. This requires us to take hold of the hands of other social agencies such as education, community services, transport, and planning to advocate for better and safer environments, more walkways and parks in our suburbs, more community interaction, fewer liquor outlets and easier access to fresh food. No other way exists to deal definitively with the massive problem of diabetes."