Our students engage in valuable work on placement and it is very exciting when these projects result in tangible outcomes!
As part of a Community and Public Health Placement Flinders University student Annabel Comerford worked with Principal Project Officer, Lisa Atwell in the SA Health Prevention & Population Health Branch to develop a checklist tool to support local councils audit their food environments. The project involved a review of the literature on food environments and understanding the current context for such a tool in terms of the State Public Health Plan and development of Regional Public Health Plans. Through this initial investigation tools used interstate were identified and provided the basis to build a locally relevant draft tool to discuss with stakeholders. Consecutive drafting and consultation was undertaken by Annabel with Local councils and SA Health staff to develop a final draft of the audit tool.
Subsequently this tool has now been finalised into a user friendly resource that Local Councils can access freely through the SA Health website. The resource is designed to provide assistance and guidance to Local Councils across South Australia in assessing their current policies, plans and practices to support healthy eating in their community. Additionally, the resource provides ideas on actions that councils can take to improve the healthy food environment.
Lisa reports that several metropolitan and regional Councils have been trained in the use of the resource and are undertaking audits to assess their current practices.
We would like to thank our SA Health colleagues for hosting Annabel and providing such a rewarding placement experience.