Three City of Cockburn programs designed for children in our community earned Commendations at the 2021 Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia (PHAIWA) Local Government Policy Awards.
The commendations were all in new categories of the awards which annually showcase how local governments in Western Australia provide innovative public health programs to support the evolving needs of children and youth.
In the Diversity, Inclusion or Multicultural Child and Young Persons Health category, the City was Commended for its multi-sensory story time project, which provides a story time environment for children with autism and other sensory needs.
Held at its libraries monthly, the sessions allow for smaller groups, with staff who manage sensory input and distractions to enable participating children to benefit from the literacy, socialisation and interaction benefits of story time.
The City’s Youth Mental Health Mural Project was Commended in the Mental Health and Wellbeing for Children and Young People category.
The mural, designed to raise awareness of youth mental health issues, was initiated by local school student ‘Zoe’.
Her idea was nurtured by the City in the form of a Youth Fund grant and the provision of a wall at Cockburn Youth Centre on which to complete her artwork, in consultation with the City’s Youth Advisory Collective.
The mural depicts the Greek spirit of Hope, Elpis, carrying a bunch of flowers, and adorned with the message ‘the treasure you seek is within you’.
The City’s Healthy Eating Initiatives were Commended in the Promoting Healthy Behaviours for Children and Young People category.
As part of the City’s commitment to encourage young people to embrace a balanced diet as part of a healthy lifestyle, it partners with Cockburn Integrated Health to implement the Cockburn Healthy Schools Program to support schools with health/lifestyle initiatives.
It also facilitated a healthy eating session with the Children’s Reference Group to gather views on perceptions on healthy eating at dining outlets, food advertising and LiveLighter messages.
The City won its first accolade in the PHAIWA awards in 2013 and has been submitting entries for more than a decade.
City of Cockburn Child Development Officer Joan de Castro said the awards helped showcase the strategic planning that underpinned the City’s specific children’s and youth programs, and to be inspired by the initiatives of other local governments.
The City of Cockburn has been named overall winner of the Local Government Policy Awards (Children, Environment and Health) four times in its 11-year history.