Page 3063 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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Motion (by Mr Barr) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

National Heart Foundation

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.29): I rise to speak about the work of the Heart Foundation. For over 50 years the Heart Foundation has been seeking to save lives by improving heart health for all Australians. The foundation sees its purpose as being “to reduce premature death and suffering from heart, stroke and blood vessel disease in Australia”.

As part of achieving this purpose, the foundation funds research and provides practical treatment tools to improve the standard of care for those diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. The foundation is also involved in the development of guidelines for health professionals and provides information and support to those with cardiovascular disease. Support is also provided to programs designed to minimise cardiovascular health risk, including programs for smokers, physical activity, recovery and rehabilitation, and local government initiatives designed to create healthier communities.

The ACT division of the Heart Foundation has a number of programs, including the active living project, community walking groups, the Heartmoves program and the Big Heart Appeal, and it is the charity partner of the Canberra Times fun run.

The patron of the Heart Foundation of Australia is Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, the president is Associate Professor Peter Sexton, the deputy president is Dr Jennifer Johns and the treasurer is Todd Roberts. The patron of the ACT Division of the Heart Foundation is Richard Rolfe OAM, the president is Andrew Caudle, the vice-presidents are Peter French and John Adams, the honorary treasurer is Rod Scott, the honorary secretary is Keith Bradley, the directors are Mike Sargent, Lisa Studdert and Walter Abhayaratna, and the CEO is Tony Stubbs.

On 26 July I was pleased to attend the inaugural Jerry Morris Oration breakfast lecture at Parliament House. The oration was named in honour of Jerry Morris, who published evidence in the 1950s that a lack of physical activity contributes to heart disease. Morris compared the working lives and heart health of the drivers of double-decker buses with the conductors on these buses and found that the conductors were at less risk of heart disease due to their constant activity.

The Jerry Morris Oration was given by Professor Adrian Bauman, who is a professor of public health at Sydney university. In his speech Professor Bauman emphasised the importance of physical activity to heart health. He noted that it is not just the health sector that needs to encourage physical activity; other sectors where changes are needed include transport systems, urban and civic design and workplace adjustment. However, Professor Bauman also emphasised that the health sector should take a more proactive approach to the promotion of physical activity.

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