BHP Olympic Dam’s vision is to ‘contribute to a sustainable and resilient workforce and communities by supporting healthy lifestyles in both a physical and mental capacity and across all ages’.
Roxby Downs, a remote South Australian mining town nearly 600 kilometres north of Adelaide, supports BHP’s Olympic Dam operation. Roxby Downs is a modern and dynamic mining town with a strong sense of community. BHP-driven social research, along with the community itself, has identified health and wellbeing as a priority, with the need to address physical health risk factors and to support social wellbeing, especially for residents living remotely from their extended family and support networks.
The Time for Wellbeing Community Health Partnership, is a collaborative initiative of BHP, the Roxby Health Forum and Healthy Environs. The program recognises the challenges of living and working remotely and aims to deliver community-wide health outcomes for Roxby Downs and nearby towns and focuses on three priority pillars: Early childhood development; Mental wellbeing; and Physical health.
Time for Wellbeing adopts a model of community collaboration and takes a broad approach to promoting community health through healthy places, healthy lifestyle education and promoting the health support services available.
Now in its third year, Time for Wellbeing has achieved a range of outcomes across the three partnership pillars:
- Early childhood development – Education partners in the region are establishing kitchen gardens and teaching students about positive food habits through the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. Local students have also learnt about healthy habits through the Life Education program.
- Mental wellbeing – The partnership has supported the Rock and Water self-awareness and social functioning program for 170 students in Roxby Downs, while local community members have participated in mental health awareness training through the Rural and Remote Mental Health Service.
- Physical health – The partnership is working with Good Sports to address health risk behaviours (including alcohol consumption) in club environments (with 14 sporting clubs rolling out the program to date). Time for Wellbeing has supported the local ‘Community Foodies’ in healthy food preparation and continued work with Roxbylink to promote physical activity options. Five local businesses are delivering the Time for Wellbeing Toolbox Talk health education series.
Local residents have also valued the opportunity for networking, information sharing and activities through the new Community Hub (a shared space for all BHP community partnership programs in Roxby Downs).