AMSA Healthy Communities


What is a healthy community?

From the inaccessibility of affordable healthy food, or lack of physical activity because there are inadequate sporting facilities nearby – in this day and age, our health and wellbeing is not only decided by ourselves but also by the complex social and physical environment we live and interact in. A healthy community is one that motivates YOU to take charge of YOUR health. The ultimate goal is to promote easy access to healthy food options, opportunities to incorporate daily exercise within a busy lifestyle, and an overall positive culture that supports your wellbeing.

Mission

Healthy Communities hopes to inform, engage and inspire change across the country towards the prevention of NCDs. We want to get YOU involved and passionate about NCDs, and their impact on our everyday lives. We envision Healthy Communities to expand into a national and international platform for global health with a strong focus on nutrition, exercise and their role in prevention of NCDs, whilst continuing to strengthen grassroot initiatives across medical schools in Australia.

Goals

  • We aim to EDUCATE and ENGAGE Australian medical students and the wider community about the relationship between obesogenic environments and NCD. This will be done by working with medical faculties in pushing for NCD prevention to be incorporated into the curriculum as well as having online modules for education.
  • We aim to ADVOCATE for public health in a community level through areas such as the sugar tax and a sustainable, planetary health agenda within hospitals.
  • We aim to run PROJECTS nationwide such as MoveMindfully Campaign and Annual Park Run that encourage exercise and movement in our daily lives. In 2019, we envision a medical school-run community kitchen workshop to inform students about cooking healthy and nutritious meals, and bring this concept also to hospitals with our HealthyHospitals initiative.

Rationale

“Unhealthy communities” that encourage the obesogenic lifestyle are rising rapidly in the Australian population and worldwide. 89% of deaths in Australia leading to an increasing global disease burden of NCDs such as heart disease and type II diabetes, along with many other conditions. At Healthy Communities, the newest member of AMSA, we are a group of enthusiastic students passionate about advocating for this increasingly prevalent issue within the public health arena. As a student-led organisation, we aim to motivate medical students towards healthy lifestyles, with the hope that it inspires them both in their own lives, as well as the wider community as they become future health practitioners.

About us, National Coordinators

Hey I’m Preshita!

I am a fourth year student at the University of New South Wales and have joined the AMSA family this year hoping to make a tangible change in the growing global issue of NCDs, as I have seen the complexities of it extending far beyond the hospital and into the wider community. 

I’m currently undertaking a research year at my university and am exploring the impact of ethical eating (plant-based diets, organic foods, zero waste) on mental health, and am extremely excited to see the results. Outside of medical school I love playing football for my university, going for hikes and exploring nature whenever I can.

Hi I’m Genevieve!

I am a final year medical student at Deakin University with a medical and research interest focussing on the translational role of nutrition, sustainable food systems and the gut microbiome into public health promotion and medical education for NCDs, mental health and the climate. Last year I founded and co-ordinated AMSA’s newest project ‘Activ8’, an eight month preventative mental health campaign. I’ve also been part of AMSA’s Mental Health Team, written policy and been involved with IFMSA through AMSA.

Outside of medicine, I work at Deakin University’s Food and Mood Research Centre, looking into the role of nutrition in mental health. I love food; cooking it, sharing it and learning about it! We need it to thrive, it brings people together and it lies at the centre of our health, our economy, our environment and our culture! I’m also a yoga teacher, I love experimenting in the kitchen and hiking.  

From new AMSA partnerships and campaigns, to medical education reviews, culinary medicine, and driving change in our hospital food systems! WE’RE BOTH excited about what Healthy Communities, can achieve this year!

Want to learn more?

If you want to read more about the NCD landscape in Australia as well as globally, check out some of these interesting articles, including AMSA’s policies:

NCDs: https://www.amsa.org.au/sites/amsa.org.au/files/Noncommunicable%20Diseases%20%282018%29.pdf

NCDs in Australia:

https://www.who.int/nmh/countries/aus_en.pdf?ua=1

Food and Nutrition:

https://www.amsa.org.au/sites/amsa.org.au/files/Food%20and%20Nutrition%20Policy%20%282018%29.pdf

Physical Activity:

https://www.amsa.org.au/sites/amsa.org.au/files/Physical%20Activity%20%282018%29.pdf

https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/F01F92328EDADA5BCA257BF0001E720D/$File/brochure%20PA%20Guidelines_A5_18-64yrs.pdf

How to get involved

  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
  • Contact us through email/contact local GHG Rep
  • Contact your university’s AMSA representative

Contact Us

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmsaHealthy

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amsahc/

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