The accolade follows on from Coorong taking out the SA State award back in September, for its work on improving the health of its community.
One of the initiatives highlighted by the judges was the Coorong Healthy Highways (CHH) program – the first of its kind in Australia.
CHH has partnered with more than 20 local businesses to create healthy menu items along its remote highways, and evaluation shows positive change for business outlets and the wider community.
The Council also led an Active Recreation project - a strategic infrastructure program driven by the former Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle (OPAL) team, focused on developing recreation facilities in all townships.
Coorong District Council Mayor Neville Jaensch said the Council had come a long way in terms of how it approached community health.
“We know that a healthy community is a vibrant, strong community,” Mayor Jaensch says.
“We want to build a district with opportunities for future generations, and part of this is ensuring families have access to unstructured physical activity and healthy food. Not only does this support our families living here already, but also creates an environment to attract new people to the Coorong.
These accolades from the Heart Foundation reiterate that we’re on the right track. As one of the smallest Councils in the nation, we’re batting well above our average in terms of innovation and community programs.”
The award was presented as part of the Local Government Australia SA (LGASA) branch Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 16 November 2017. The Council also took home a cheque for $5,000 for the award, which it will reinvest back in to community health programs.
The win comes during a spectacular 12 months for the Council, which continues to scoop major national and state awards for a range of initiatives.
“The Heart Foundation congratulates Coorong for winning a National Highly Commended Local Government Award,” CEO Heart Foundation SA, Ms Imelda Lynch said
“The commendation recognises the Council’s great work across a range of council strategies, plans and policies which improve public and community health and education outcomes,” said Ms Lynch.
The Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of local governments in the continuing fight against heart disease – the single biggest killer of Australian men and women,” added Ms Lynch.
Key healthy initiatives, contributing to the National commendation include:
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Coorong : Nat Traeger, 1300 785 277
Heart Foundation : Nikki Barr, 0401 234 469
The Heart Foundation South Australia provides free resources for local councils to help promote better health, particularly cardiovascular health and risk factors for chronic disease.
Healthy By Design SA