Healthier News

Welcome to our Autumn e-newsletter

Hello! I’m delighted to have recently joined the Healthier Work team!

I’m looking forward to supporting you to plan and deliver a workplace health program that is good for your staff and your business! There’s plenty of great info in this e-newsletter to help you on this journey.

If you have any feedback on what we do, or how we could do it better, I’d love to hear from you.

(And yes, that’s me above channeling my inner yogi!)

Tamara West
Manager, Healthier Work

Free breakfast – Mentally healthy workplaces

Join Healthier Work, ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones, and local businesses for a free breakfast on Thursday 28 March 2019 at CIT Restaurant, Reid.

The focus of this breakfast is mentally healthy workplaces. Workplaces have a duty to monitor the health of workers, as well as workplace conditions that may impact on employee health and wellbeing. By creating environments that foster communication, a sense of belonging and respect, workplaces can support good mental health.

This is a great opportunity to hear from local businesses on how they’ve created a mentally healthy environment, for the benefit of their staff and their bottom line. You’ll also hear from a Beyondblue Ambassador about their personal experience with anxiety and depression.

Come along to pick up some great tips and resources to benefit your workplace. The event will also be an opportunity to celebrate Healthier Work’s latest Recognised workplaces and learn how you can join the Recognition Scheme.

Book your seat here.

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training

We all can play a role in suicide prevention.

Most of us spend a large part of our day at work and, in doing so, get to know our colleagues well. That puts us in a good position to notice changes in behaviour that could suggest risk for suicide or other mental health problems.

An important part of suicide prevention is knowing what to do when someone needs help. As part of ACT LifeSpan, ACT Health is encouraging all Canberrans, including workplaces, to take part in the Black Dog Institute recommended Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training.

This evidence-based web program supports people to recognise and respond effectively to someone exhibiting suicide warning signs and behaviours. It’s free and you could save a life. All it requires is an email address and one hour of your time.

Find out more here.

Hello Sunday Morning

Many Australians enjoy a drink. In fact, alcohol is Australia’s most widely used social drug. Like all drugs, alcohol can damage our bodies, especially if we drink heavily every day or in binges. It can also impact on our relationships, our work and our quality of life.

Some of the effects of alcohol on our bodies are immediate and short term, while others accumulate over time and can significantly affect our physical and mental health.

If your workplace would like to move towards a healthier drinking culture there are a range of steps you can take and programs you can promote. What about establishing a workplace alcohol and other drugs policy or committing to alcohol free social events?

Hello Sunday Morning is one support you can promote to staff wanting to address their own relationship with alcohol or raise concerns with a loved one. The HSM Daybreak program provides a supportive online community and one-on-one chat with health coaches.

To find out more, visit the Hello Sunday Morning website.

Healthier Work Portal

You may have heard that Healthier Work is moving towards an online portal for workplaces to register, submit plans and evaluations, and seek support.

We’re excited to announce that the portal is now complete!

Over the coming months we will be offering training for Recongised workplaces in how to get started with using the portal. We will be in touch with our workplace champions with further information in due course.

If your workplace is interested in hosting such a training session, and has the facilities to do so, please let us know!



Sick Joke

I just found out I’m colourblind. The diagnosis came completely out of the purple!

Welcome to the Healthier Work Recognition Scheme!Healthier Work is based on a Recognition Scheme that acknowledges and recognises workplaces that have engaged with Healthier Work on an annual basis.Below are our latest Recognised workplaces, with examples of activities they will be undertaking in the next 12 months.Alta Pete

  • Healthy catering for seminars and workshop
  • Free coaching ‘walk and talks’ with staff
  • Promotion of stretches before team meetings

McDonald Jones Homes ACT

  • Water bottles for staff
  • Charity and community engagement event each quarter
  • Yoga/pilates/tai chi classes

Scott Leggo Gallery

  • 10,000 Steps Challenge
  • Fresh fruit bowl
  • Employee recognition awards

Community Services #1 (head office and child care centres)

  • Walking before work, walking meetings
  • Switch out chocolate snacks to healthier options
  • Stress Down Day event

To become Recognised, simply contact Healthier Work for more details!

Status Upgrades

Below are some of our newest Siliver (2nd year) and Platinum (4th year) workplaces and examples of activities they are undertaking as part of their health and wellbeing plans.

The Woden School (Silver)

  • End of term staff massages
  • Fruit and herbal tea
  • Walking meetings

Aspen Medical (Silver)

  • Harmony Day event
  • Men’s, Women’s, and Mental Health Weeks
  • Mental Health Week

Netier (Silver)

  • Healthy eating habits seminar
  • Stress management coaching
  • Fun Runs

National Healthcare Service/Nursing Agency/Community Care (Platinum)

  • Healthy eating workshops for shift workers
  • “Swap it or Drop it” –  a 30 Day Challenge
  • Mid year team event – Christmas in July or similar

Moulis Legal (Platinum)

  • Mindfulness program
  • Go Sober for October
  • Eat Well Easter

Upcoming events

18 March – The 2019 Cycle Works Challenge begins – an online, four week challenge to encourage more Canberrans to ride to work and experience the many benefits of cycling. Register as an individual or workplace.

18-29 March – A Taste of Harmony – celebrate diversity in the workplace by sharing food and stories with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds.

28 March – Healthier Work Networking Breakfast – join us and local businesses to hear how you can support a mentally healthy workplace.

13-14 April – Canberra Running Festival – Join thousands of runners from around the country and be a part of the iconic Australian Running Festival.

28 April – World Day for Safety and Health at Work – an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work.

1-31 May – Mindful in May – brings the benefits of meditation together with an opportunity to help bring clean water to those living in the developing world.

12 May – Mother’s Day Classic – an annual fun run and walk raising funds and awareness for breast cancer research.

29 May – Wear White at Work – donate a gold coin to show your support for mental illness sufferers and families of suicide victims.

For more events check out the Healthier Work Calendar

Fish Cakes

Makes 12


1 medium potato
1 small sweet potato
1 x 200g can of salmon
1 egg
2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup breadcrumbs
Spray olive oil


  1. Peel and dice potato and sweet potato. Beet the egg and set aside.
  2. Add potato and sweet potato to a microwave safe dish with 1 tablespoon of water. Heat in microwave for 3 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool slightly and mash.
  3. Drain salmon and add to mashed potato.
  4. Add the beaten egg and flour to the mash mixture and mix until well combined.
  5. Using clean hands, shape the mixture into small patties and coat with breadcrumbs.  Place patties on a flat tray, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Lightly spray a frypan with oil, or use a non-stick frypan, and cook patties for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Better Brownies

Makes 12


100g canola spread
1 egg
3 crushed wheat breakfast biscuits
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
¾ cup white flour
¼ cup wholemeal flour


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line baking dish with baking paper.
  2. Melt canola spread.
  3. Whisk egg.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. Add canola spread and egg and mix until combined.
  5. Spread mixture into baking tray and bake for 20 minutes


Recipes courtesy of the ACT Nutrition Support Service. For more recipes click here!



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