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Food Literacy Network

June 30, 2011



Communiqué 1

May 2011


This communiqué is designed to provide updates on activity that addresses food literacy within Queensland and relevant national strategies.  It will bring together information from the Food Literacy Network.  This inaugural communiqué is to introduce the network. 


The purpose of the Food Literacy Network is to provide an open and accessible forum for the nutrition workforce to discuss Food Literacy activity in Queensland.  It aims to provide opportunities for the nutrition workforce to: enhance knowledge; enable learning; and improve practice in the area of Food Literacy by: disseminating evidence, research, policy and practice; acting as a forum for sharing ideas, promote discussion and stimulating debate to improve rigour of planning, implementation and evaluation of food literacy related activity; and initiating new and strengthening existing networks and partnerships.  At this stage there is no strategic plan. This is a network only (in context of the continuum of partnerships) i.e. a network involves the exchange of information for mutual benefit.   At this stage there is no obligation to strategic planning or to higher level of partnership (coordinating, cooperating and collaborating).


Future communiqués will be distributed following the quarterly network meetings, to the Food Literacy Network’s core and interest members. 




There are two levels of membership for the network:


  • Core members: will participate in teleconferences and received email correspondence (communiqués and other relevant information) – to be a core member the person needs to be actively involved in a food literacy project.


  • Interest members:  will receive communiqués and other relevant information.


If you are interested in being a part of the Food Literacy Network please express your interest to; in your expression of interest please indicate at which level (of membership) you wish to be involved in the network.


Current membership

Name Role Organisation
Penelope Beatty Senior Nutritionist Health Living Branch
Noell Burgess Senior Nutritionist Southern Regional Services
Maragaret Daly Senior Nutritionist Tropical Regional Service – Mackay
Caroline Giles Senior Nutritionist Tropical Regional Service – Mackay
Amanda Guandalini Nutrition Team Leader Central Regional Services
Stephen Hogan Community Nutritionist South West Regional Services – Roma
Aloysa Hourigan Senior Nutritionist / Nutrition Program Manager Nutrition Australia
Robin Tilse Nutritionist / Project Manager Nutrition Australia
Michelle Jones Project Coordinator – Cooking classes Diabetes Australia (Qld)
Donni Johnston Community Nutritionist Metro South Health Service District – Logan
Anthea Oorloff Senior Nutritionist Central Regional Services
Erin Pitt Senior Nutritionist Southern Regional Services
Janet Reynolds   Home Economic Institute of Australia (Qld)
Rhonda Skehan Community Nutritionist Sunshine Coast Health Service District
Melinda Spring Nutritionist Tropical Regional Service – Mackay
Sharyn Swanston Senior Nutritionist Central Regional Services
Helen Vidgen Food Literacy Research QUT


Please note, the below list of activities is not exhaustive, so if you have a current initiative and you would like to promote to the workforce please contact


Title: Healthy Lifestyle & Food Literacy Pilot Project – Wide Bay –Burnett

Lead Agency: Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre (HBNC)

Contact: Penelope Beatty


Brief Description:   The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre is to work with Lifeline, Fraser District and University of Southern Queensland to develop, implement and evaluate an integrated healthy lifestyle and food literacy pilot intervention targeting young people and families experiencing low socioeconomic circumstances in the Wide Bay – Burnett region over approximately 2 years.  The intervention is to address nutrition, physical activity and healthy weight and is to include the development of a healthy lifestyle intervention program manual with accompanying resources.

Status: Request for Offer current from 10 Feb – 10 Mar 2011; evaluation of tender applications and financial viability completed April 2011; a brief outlining the successful applicant was approved May 2011; and contract approved June 2011.


Title: Need for Feed

Lead Agency: DAQ

Contact: Michelle Jones


Brief Description: DAQ is being funded by QH to conduct a feasibility study of high school cooking programs for Queensland State secondary school students.  DAQ is being funded to develop, implement and evaluate a cooking program targeting high school students who do not currently study school subjects that involve cooking or food preparation.  The program is focussing on improving participants’ food preparation and cooking skills, basic nutrition knowledge, attitudes and behaviours associated with healthy eating.

Status: Program development complete. Implementation current: to date, Need for Feed has secured the involvement of nine schools in our program and has a waiting list of approximately seven other schools interested.  To date, the schools involved include:

–       Brisbane Bayside State College (Saturday program – completed)

–       Aspley SHS (After School Model – completed)

–       Ipswich SHS (After School Model – commenced 3rd May)

–       Windaroo Valley SHS (After School Model- commenced 3rd May)

–       Nerang SHS (School Holiday Program- completed)

–       Elanora SHS (Saturday Program- completed)

–       Browns Plains SHS (Saturday Program- completed)

–       Springwood SHS (School Holiday Program- commencing 4th July)

–       Ferny Grove SHS (School Holiday Program- commenced 27th June)

–       Mitchelton SHS (School Holiday Program – commenced 27th June)

–       Mabel Park SHS (School Holiday Program- commenced 27th June)

–       Mabel Park SHS Pacific Is pop  (School Holiday Program- commenced 27th June)

Whilst the initial pilot terms meant engaging with 10 schools, the capacity of the program has been stretched to allow an additional two schools an opportunity to become involved. 


Project: Food literacy assessment tool for primary school aged children

Lead Agency: Central Regional Services

Contact: Anthea Oorloff, Sharyn Swanston & Amanda Guandalini 

Brief Description: Research project aimed at developing a tool that can assess baseline Food Literacy knowledge of primary school-aged children. Food literacy knowledge includes: where food comes from; what happens to it; how to cook and prepare it; and how it affects our health.


Status: Project has been handed over to CRS in April 2011. New project team are planning to conduct the project pilot during Term 2. Whole of school research is then planned to occur during Term 3 2011 with preliminary results due to be reported back to research school end September 2011.


Project: 6 week cooking skills program for Gympie

Lead Agency: Sunshine Coast HSD

Contact: Rhonda Skehan

Brief Description: The aim of the program is to develop basic cooking skills, nutritional knowledge, confidence within the kitchen whilst operating within a social environment over a six week period. The program is open to the whole community who may wish to increase their skills or knowledge. As the program progresses the degree of difficulty also develops but stays within the participants’ level of confidence. The reasoning behind the why, when and how are explained and each task is gone through twice within the six week block. At the end of the six week block suitably identified participants maybe approached to become lead facilitators. In order to give identified potential facilitator’s confidence to lead a group a ‘facilitators manual’ has been designed out lining background information.

Status: Currently the draft manual is in the progress of being signed off and will be made available to non-profit organisations as a resource in partnership with QH

Project:  Cook for Life: The Queensland Health and TAFE Cooking Classes Program

Lead Agency: TAFE QLD & QH


Kylie Quigg  (SRS)

Dale Cooke (CRS)

Margaret Daley (TRS)

Penelope Beatty (HLB)

Brief Description:  The aim of this program is to improve participants’ food preparation and cooking skills, and attitudes and behaviours associated with healthy eating targeting priority population groups which include: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged people (concession card holders), and people at risk of chronic disease.  The classes encourage the preparation of healthy foods to support individuals to adopt sustainable food and nutrition habits which can, in the long term, improve diet quality and overall health outcomes. This will be achieved through the development and implementation of cooking classes in collaboration with institutes of TAFE’s across Queensland.


Status: TAFE QLD and QH trainer the trainer cooking class workshops were implemented at Rockhampton TAFE, 11 May 2011; Mackay TAFE 12 May 2011; and Bremer TAFE (Ipswich) 21 June 2011


SRS: First activities are planned for 20th June, 27th June and 4th July with ongoing workshops on a quarterly basis. Currently getting the remaining referral agencies on board and forming/maintaining partnerships. Organising and finalising promotional aspects of the project.  Finalising service agreement with TAFE.

Project: Food Literacy research Project

Lead Agency: QUT

Contact: Helen Vidgen

Brief Description: An exploratory research project funded by Health Promotion Queensland. The project will examine the scope of meaning of the term “food literacy” and its components by first talking undertaking a Delphi study of Australian food experts and then interviewing young people as they transition from living in their parental home to living independently and examining the skills and knowledge they call on.  This information will be used to inform an evaluation tool for food literacy and consider where food literacy sits within public health nutrition plans.  The project forms part of Helen’s PhD which will extend further to look at the quantitative relationship between food literacy and food intake.


Status: Funded 2/2010-2/2012.  Delphi study completed.  Young people study commencing August 2011.


Project: Food Security Project

Lead Agency: Metro South HSD

Contact: Donni Johnston and Andrew Resetti

Brief Description: This project aims to develop, implement and evaluate strategies to improve food security and access to good quality and nutritious food within the Logan Beaudesert area.

This project will take a multi strategic approach to improve the nutritional quality of the emergency food parcels distributed (Project one), enhance the capacity of the staff within these non-government organisations (Project two) to support their consumers and to develop a network of community food champions (Project three).  Overarching these activities will be active advocacy work with the emergency food funding bodies to support the development of enhanced accountability of the food agencies (Project four).

Food literacy will be primarily addressed through the localised network of community food champions in project three.


Status: Needs assessment and background research complete. Project development and consultation with key stakeholders underway.



Your Healthy Life

Lead Agency:

Nutrition Australia Qld


Robin Tilse/

Aloysa Hourigan

Brief Description: NAQ has been funded by Southern Regional Services and collaborated with both QHealth & several established partners to build on its previous work to provide nutrition and healthy lifestyle education programs that support the Measure Up and Swap It; Don’t Stop It campaigns for target populations in the Southern Region of Queensland.

This project has two components which include:1) The “Your Healthy Life” program will be conducted for CALD communities in 2 locations (Acacia Ridge Community Centre and St. Paul’s Primary School at Woodridge) “Your Healthy Life” is a seven session (1.5 hrs x 7), nutrition and health education program empowering new arrivals with knowledge and information, cooking skills, English language skills, and general settlement support building literacy (food, health, English) empowering participants to make informed and positive choices that will result in healthier lives for themselves and their families  and

2)  5 x 1 hour nutrition and physical activity interactive education sessions with a food tasting component for participants to be conducted in collaboration with local government and/or community groups in the Southern Regional Services jurisdiction.  Topics for sessions can be selected from the following: Healthy Eating on a Budget;Healthy Meal Planning;Food Labelling; Weight for a change. These sessions aim to raise awareness for participants about healthy food choices &cooking practices to prevent overweight, obesity and chronic disease; portion size; understanding food labels; strategies for weight management (including personal goal setting).


Status: “Your Healthy Life” Program delivery has commenced and all work to be completed by 30th June.



Older & Bolder (MBRC)





Lead Agency:

Moreton Bay Regional Council  (MBRC) AND

Brisbane City Council (BCC)

partnering with

Nutrition Australia Qld


Tracie Hyam

Brief Description: Ongoing series of cooking workshops:

Older & Bolder (MBRC)- for persons over 50 living in the Moreton Bay Regional Council jurisdiction.

GOLD (BCC)- for persons over 50 living in the Moreton Bay Regional Council jurisdiction.

SHAFT (MBRC) – for adolescents in school holidays and also has physical activity component

GOLD N’KIDS (BCC) – for grandparents and their grandchildren in school holidays

CHILL OUT (BCC) – for children under 12 years in school holidays


Status: this work has been ongoing for over 10 years for BCC and about 5 years for MBRC – continues to be ongoing. Funded by relevant local government authority.

Project: Health Communities InitiativeNutrition project

Lead Agency: Whitsunday Regional Council

Contact: Caroline Giles


Brief Description: Healthy Communities Initiative is a National Partnership Agreement funded program for local councils and Whitsunday Regional Council are one of two sites in Queensland awarded the grant as a pilot site for 2010-11, now ongoing till 2013. Health Communities Initiatives main target audience are the unemployed. Under the Chronic Disease Strategic Direction Queensland Health is committed to supporting these initiatives. Mackay Public Health Unit Nutrition team have been working with the Whitsunday Regional Council to role out nutrition programs under the heading of food literacy. For the purpose of this project, food literacy addresses the following aspects;

1)       Knowing how to obtain food

2)       Knowing how to prepare and to cook food

3)       Understanding basic food and nutrition information in order to improve one’s health

Together with the community nutrition teams in the Mackay Health Service District we have been rolling out Foodcents facilitator training, cooking demonstrations, a coordinated approach to running Lighten Up and Living Strong as well as looking at what regional council can do to support the food availability in the area (community gardens, magic one square, etc)


Status: Food literacy aspect 1)-planning; aspect 2)-implementation; aspect 3)- implementation






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