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Active Launceston Pilot Project


Auckland, SRJ and Byrne, LK, Active Launceston Pilot Project , AUCEA 2010 Proceedings, 5-7 July 2010, Launceston, Tasmania, pp. 340-351. ISBN 978-0-9803610-7-0 (2010) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2010 The Australian University Community Engagement Alliance

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Active Launceston is a community driven project aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Launceston through increased participation in physical activity. The project comprises a number of physical activity programs which target the greater Launceston population of approximately 100,000 people. Physical activity can play a key role in the prevention and management of many chronic health conditions whilst also having a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing, social connectedness, enhancing community safety and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions through active transport options such as walking and cycling (Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania, 2008a). The higher level of chronic conditions that are suffered by Tasmanians in comparison to populations in other States and Territories in Australia highlights the importance of the Active Launceston community engagement initiative (Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania, 2007). A recent report into physical activity in Tasmania concluded that the most successful physical activity promotion strategy for the State of Tasmania is one that incorporates many sectors, including education, and one that adopts a number of concurrent approaches that also link with nutrition and mental health and enhance overall health and wellbeing (Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania, 2008b). This paper reports on the Active Launceston project which was piloted in Launceston between June 2008 and November 2009. The University of Tasmania (UTAS) played a leading role in the implementation of the pilot project. Central to the University’s interest in Active Launceston is reflected in its overall mission to provide leadership within its community, thereby contributing to the cultural, economic and social development of Tasmania. Community engagement and partnerships are key cornerstones of the University’s strategic development as defined within EDGE2, the University of Tasmania Strategic Plan for 2008-2010. It is within the context of its strengthening partnerships while deepening the level of engagement with communities that the University of Tasmania aligns its interests in the Active Launceston project. The Active Launceston partnership comprises support from community partners the Launceston City Council and Sport and Recreation, Tasmania. The diversity of partners provides a wide range of opportunities to reach target groups and encourages innovation and exchange of ideas among partner institutions (Matsudo, 2003). The University of Tasmania has provided the perfect home for Active Launceston, with support from numerous faculties/schools and students providing specialised input from several disciplines and professions including health and physical education, epidemiology, behavioural science and community development. Importantly, Active Launceston has enabled the development of a strong connection to the community in a non political environment. Since its inception in 2008 Active Launceston has developed an excellent reputation and a highly recognisable community identity. The case study examines the role of UTAS in a community based physical activity partnership by drawing on the experiences of the recently completed Active Launceston pilot project. It explores 341 the role of University community engagement (UCE) beyond the more traditional domains of teaching, research and evaluation to that of community leadership. In particular, the paper considers the impact of the partnership on the project partners including the challenges and opportunities in strategically assisting/partnering with programs such as Active Launceston to further build the capacity of communities to bring about behavioural change toward physical activity. The study examines the sustainability of such collaborations and the extent to which they successfully align themselves with the UCE agenda.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:partnerships, physical activity, social connectivity
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Auckland, SRJ (Mr Stuart Auckland)
UTAS Author:Byrne, LK (Mrs Lucy Byrne)
ID Code:68025
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2011-03-09
Last Modified:2014-09-01
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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