Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3894 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
transformative potential in the context of Bangarra dance troupe working with high schools in inner Sydney.
The Canberra-wide Youth Dance Festival that recently filled up Civic Square is a good local illustration of the potential to extend the base of physical activity in schools, and organisations such as the Warehouse Circus have shown what can be done out of school with kids who are more generally on the margins. So the key point I would like to make in this debate is that issues of health and fitness are not separate from other questions of social wellbeing.
The Warehouse Circus was a program that grew out of the now de-funded Belconnen Youth Centre. That centre was de-funded because government chose to run a competitive tender process for an expanded Belconnen-wide service and awarded the contract to the larger more professionalised Belconnen Community Service based next door.
The key feature of the youth centre that allowed for the development of the circus and a number of other programs was its permeability. It was an organisation with a flat structure that allowed and encouraged a sense of ownership and control among the young people who attended. Consequently, it could respond to interest and need-as demonstrated by the circus-and give support to the extent that it has, not just in respect of the obvious fun and fitness outcomes but management and employment outcomes as well. In other words, very small NGOs such as that one can perform a community development role which is something well beyond, but in the end vital to, any real improvement in our health and fitness.
Until we start to pull these strands together, the idea of changing how we operate in promoting health and fitness is a bit like pie in the sky. It is certainly a complex question and I think we have to be careful if we start simplifying it too much.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (11.13): Mr Speaker, Fitness ACT, the organiser of the Health and Fitness Expo, is the umbrella organisation for the fitness industry in the ACT. This is the second year that the Health and Fitness Expo has been held in Canberra. Last year's event was extremely well received by attendees.
The theme of this year's Expo was "Keeping YOUth Alive"-that is, keeping you and youth alive-and the objectives were to raise public awareness of various health and fitness issues through seminars and interactive demonstrations, to expose the ACT and the surrounding community to massage therapy, health and fitness appraisals, nutrition consultations and other related wellbeing services, and to showcase local vendors and professionals who offer fitness and health products and services. I had great pleasure in opening the expo and announcing the program of public symposiums, seminars, stage demonstrations and exhibited displays.
ACT Health has been an active participant in both of the expos. This year the health promotion unit of ACT Health sponsored the expo and its vitality message-one of its main health promotional messages this year-of "Eat well, be active and feel good about yourself"was promoted in conjunction with the event. This message has been adopted to address risk factors common in many preventable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer, diabetes, muscle and joint problems, injuries,