Health Promoting Schools

e-News September 2023


Hello from the BCH Health Promoting Schools Team and welcome to our second eNews for Term 3!

Health Promoting Schools are committed to implementing a framework that’s designed to help your school bring together and enhance current health and wellbeing initiatives that support a whole of school approach to health and wellbeing.

We would like to put a special shout out to our newest Health Promoting School:
• Dana Street Primary School

We are looking forward to working with you and supporting you to become leaders in health and wellbeing for you students, staff and families.

We would also like to welcome our newest Vic Kids Eat Well organisations:
• Ballarat Specialist School – Farm Café
• Linton Primary School

If you are interested in joining the Vic Kids Eat Well movement or becoming a Health Promoting School in 2023, please contact us.


Butterfly’s Body Image Training for Educators

Whatever your size, shape, weight or appearance, every person can enjoy and deserves a positive body image. For the first time in Australia, Butterfly has conducted research among 12- to 18-year-olds to better understand what they think and feel about their bodies, and what impact body dissatisfaction has on their lives.

Butterfly’s Body Kind Youth Survey (2023) found that:
• 45% of young people are dissatisfied with the way their body looks
• 70% of young people said they have experienced appearance-related teasing, with 73% of these saying they’d experienced it at school
• Nearly two-thirds of young people say their body image stops them from doing physical activities

Throughout 2022-2023, the BCH Health Promoting Schools team received an increase in the number of schools requesting assistance in providing Body Image education and support for their students.

In June 2023, BCH, in partnership with Butterfly, provided free professional learning for educators regarding Body Image. Evidence based & prevention focused, the workshop explored the risk & protective factors underpinning the development of negative body image, disordered eating and eating disorders.

This professional learning day enabled 13 educators, from 11 local schools + 4 health promotion staff, from 2 community health services, to better understand Body Image and Eating Disorders; and provided them with practical skills and the confidence to identify the impacts and influences of Body Image; and intervene early, if necessary. Additionally, this professional learning supports schools working through the Mental Health and Wellbeing benchmark of the Health Promoting Schools Framework.

Feedback from participants was positive, with BCH Health Promoters receiving the following comments: “Loved it”, “Really useful”, “Thanks so much for putting this on, this type of training is really thinking outside the box”, “Experienced facilitator, great discussions”.

If your school is wanted assistance regarding professional learning for staff, please contact us.

Upcoming Opportunities

Upcoming free parent webinar: Getting the most out of gaming

Research from eSafety shows that 56% of children aged 8 to 17 have played an online game with others. As parents and carers, how can we ensure they have fun and stay safe?

Join our free 45-minute webinar, Getting the most out of gaming.

Tailored for parents or carers of children aged 7 to 14, the webinar will cover:
• Benefits of gaming and boosting in-game experiences
• Essential safety and privacy settings
• Promoting balanced gaming
• Addressing online risks and dealing with in-game bullying.

Let’s empower young people for safe online gaming experiences!

Register here now!

Upcoming free parent webinar: Supporting teens to eat well in a confused world
Helping our teens eat well can sometimes feel challenging in a culture where there is so much confusing information about food, eating and diets. Butterfly, as part of our Body Kind Families initiative, is teaming up with Accredited Practicing Dietitians Meg McClintock and Susan Williams to offer guidance on helping your teen towards a balanced and healthy relationship with food.

Format: Via Zoom. Time-limited recording available
Length: 1hr, plus 15 minutes for questions
Date: Tuesday, 12th September 2023
Time: 7pm – 8.15pm (AEST)

Suitable for: Designed for parents of teens but all care-givers welcome.

You will explore:
• Why charting a healthy course in a food confused diet culture can be so hard
• Figuring out problematic diet information vs helpful information
• Impact of body image on eating and diet behaviour
• The differences between eating for health vs eating for weight or shape control and why it matters
• The risk of teenagers dieting regardless of body size
• Helping our teens stay in touch with their appetite and trust their body through puberty and beyond
• Troubleshooting common teen food dilemmas including:
o         Eating too much ‘junk’ food
o         Eating to ‘bulk-up’/high protein diets
o         Wanting to go vegetarian/vegan
o         Not eating at school.

Register here!

Wellbeing and the Referendum – Reconciliation Australia Webinar

Teachers and educators play an important role, educating and guiding the younger citizens of Australia, who will be leaders and advocates for change in the future.

While they may not yet be of voting age, the Voice to Parliament referendum provides an invaluable and historic opportunity to educate children and students about democratic processes and of the importance of actively listening to the voices and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This pre-recorded webinar supports educational leaders, teachers and staff working in early learning, primary and secondary settings to know:

* The facts about the referendum – what is it all about?
* The importance of prioritising the wellbeing of First Nations and non-Indigenous students, colleagues and community members in the lead up to and following the referendum.

The webinar will NOT discuss:

* Arguments for or against The Voice to Parliament (that is ‘yes’ or ‘no’ arguments will not be featured)
* Strategies for teaching either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ arguments

Speakers include:
• Karen Mundine, CEO, Reconciliation Australia
• Dyonne Anderson, CEO, Stronger Smarter Institute
• Juanita Wilson, Inclusion & Equity Advisor – First Nations Communities, Beyond Blue

You will be able to submit any questions you may have about wellbeing and navigating the referendum in education settings upon registration.

When: Thursday, September 14, 2023 · 1:00 p.m. · AEST
Duration: 30 minutes

The session will be recorded and will be available on demand afterwards.

Register here!

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program - Free Webinar

This Kitchen Garden Month, join Suzie and Mietta as they demonstrate affordable, elegant, and effective ways to start small and dream big with a Kitchen Garden Program.

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is open to all schools and there are no criteria for becoming a member – only a desire for students to experience the wonders of growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing. You don’t need a fancy kitchen or a huge garden space.

Perhaps you are wondering if the Kitchen Garden Program is right for your school? This webinar will share practical tips and tricks to create engaging kitchen and garden experiences with limited resources or limited space. Think portable kitchen, no cook recipes, and space-efficient gardening!

This free webinar is open to all and will run for approximately 30 minutes. You’ll come away inspired and equipped with ideas and tools to take action in your school.

Date: Wednesday 6 September 2023
Time: 3 – 3:30pm
Where: Zoom

Register here!

Mental Health Offerings in Ballarat

Headspace Transition Program – Limited spots available!

The headspace Schools and Communities team is now offering a FREE online workshop “Transitions: Primary to Secondary” for grade 6 students (government schools only) around Australia in term 4.

Individual classes can register for a session (there will be multiple time slots available), which will be live streamed into the classroom to enable students and staff to participate in real time.

Please contact [email protected] for further information and to register your school.


Rainbow Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

The Mental Health Coach is bringing Rainbow Youth Mental Health First Aid to Ballarat!

This course if free for young people, and open to everyone, and will teach you the skills to be able to have a conversation with someone when you’re worried about their mental health.

Who: Young people aged 18-25 who identify as part of the LGBTIQA+ community or someone who is connected to a LGBTIQA+ young person (teacher, counsellor etc.)
When: Thursday 7 September and Friday 8 September, 9:30 AM – 4 PM
Where: Ballarat
Cost: This program will be provided cost-free to young LGBTQIA+ people, and at a reduced fee for service providers, support workers, etc.

Learn more and register here!

Vaping Education for School Staff and Parents

REGISTER TODAY – Vaping Decoded: Empowering parents in the vaping conversation

BCH, in partnership with the City of Ballarat, Golden Plains Shire and Great Ocean Road Health, is proud to announce that the Blurred Minds Academy will be hosting a series of live, online vaping webinars for parents and community members.

Webinar topics include:
• Understand today’s vaping culture & peer influences
• Hear the most frequently asked parent questions on vaping
• Learn about how vape products are marketed to young people
• Recognise the health and environmental risks associated with vaping
• Equip yourself with strategies on how to start a conversation with your child
• Gain tips and strategies for preventing vaping among young people
• Learn how you can support young people who have started vaping

Register here for one of 3 date options:
• Wednesday 11 October – 7pm
• Thursday 19 October – 7pm
• Tuesday 24 October – 7pm

All sessions will be held on Zoom, recorded, and 1,000 registrations are permitted for each session. Don’t miss out!


REGISTER TODAY – Clearing the haze: How to end vaping in your school

Registrations are now open for a FREE webinar being held via Zoom on Monday 16th October at 3.30pm for school leaders and teachers.

This webinar is being presented by Blurred Minds and is being supported by a number of local councils and health services, including Ballarat Community Health and the City of Ballarat.

Highlights will include:
• Tackle student vaping concerns head-on and learn from real-world examples
• Learn about how vape products are marketed to young people
• Recognise the health and environmental risks associated with vaping
• Obtain strategies on how to start a conversation with your students
• Gain tips and strategies for preventing vaping among your students
• Learn how you can support young people who have started vaping
• Forge a path to a safer and informed school environment
• Q&A session

We hope that you can join us!

Register at Clearing the Haze: How to end vaping in your school – Blurred Minds

Together, let’s empower our teens and make a difference!

NEW Victorian Affirmative Consent Laws

New Victorian Affirmative Consent Laws are now in effect as of 30 July 2023

The Andrews Labor Government’s reforms to change the way sexual violence is dealt with in Victoria passed Parliament in 2022 and have now been taken into effect as of 30 July 2023.

The Justice Legislation Amendment (Sexual Offences and Other Matters) Bill 2022 includes amendments that will adopt an Affirmative Consent model and provide better protections for victim-survivors of sexual offences, shifting the scrutiny from victim-survivors onto their perpetrators and sending a clear message to Victorians that there’s no room for this inexcusable behaviour.

The Affirmative Consent model will make it clear that everyone has a responsibility to get consent before engaging in sexual activity. For their belief in consent to be reasonable, a person must have taken steps by saying or doing something to find out if the other person consents – simply, it must be a clear and enthusiastic go-ahead.

The Bill also includes stronger laws to target image-based sexual abuse and the removal, non-use or tampering of a condom, known as ‘stealthing’.

In Ballarat, these reforms are supported by community and school-based education delivered by BCH, Ballarat CASA, YouthLaw and Victoria Police SOCIT teams.

The Affirmative Consent presentation includes:
• What is Consent, how to ask and how to respond
• What happens when there is no Consent given – including sexual assault
• Help and Support available
• New Affirmative Consent Laws
• Sexting and sharing of sexual images
• Panel discussion and Q&A

The Affirmative Consent presentation is currently available for Year 11 and/or Year 12 cohorts and requires a double period (one and half hours).

Currently, we have delivered Affirmative Consent presentation to 4 secondary schools (over 780 students) and we have been getting some really great feedback from both students and teaching staff.
Student feedback:
• “This was really good”
• “I love the FRIES format for consent”
• “The law is changing for the better”

Teacher feedback:
• “Continue doing what you are – so valuable, helpful and necessary” Secondary Schools Teacher.
• “Both students and staff found the presentation really engaging. The student’s participation and engagement with the session was a highlight.”

To book an Affirmative Consent presentation at your school, please email Tameaka.

Food and Sustainability

Sustainability Victoria’s Education Team has a comprehensive calendar of online events coming up to support you.

The following event is open to all Victorian schools and stakeholders:

• September 7 – Sustainable learning activities in the classroom: Passive solar house design – register here.


NEW Food and Sustainability Teaching Guide

To assist primary school teachers incorporate food literacy and knowledge of sustainability practices into their classroom, the Health Promotion Team at Western Health has developed a Food and Sustainability Teaching Guide.

The Guide includes lessons and resources to assist teachers of grades 3-6 to teach about food systems, climate change and sustainability across multiple areas of the curriculum.

The guide is free to download from the Western Health website here.

What's news from eSafety?

National Child Protection Week – virtual classrooms, resources and more!

National Child Protection Week is happening across Australia from Sunday 3 to Saturday 9 September 2023. It’s an opportunity to recognise and promote the safety and wellbeing of Australian children with the message that ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’.

To support National Child Protection Week 2023, eSafety has learning activities for students in Years 3 to 6, including:
• A virtual classroom that explores how students can identify boundaries and support each other to be safe online.
• An Online Boundaries and Consent resource that supports students in learning about online consent and permission.


Protecting teens from rising sexual extortion scams

eSafety is seeing an increase in reports of sexual extortion, particularly for boys aged 15-17. Sexual extortion or ‘sextortion’ is a form of blackmail where someone threatens to share a nude or sexual image or video of you unless you give in to their demands.

As teachers, parents and carers, open conversations can help prevent sexual extortion and help young people recover if it happens to them. Talk to your teens to help equip them with knowledge, let them know they aren’t alone, and remind them there’s always help available.

Every conversation counts. Talk to young people about sexual extortion.

Further information can be found here.

School Focused Youth Service News

Secondary School Wellbeing Network Meeting | Online | Wed 18 October

The next School Focused Youth Service (SFYS) Secondary School Wellbeing Network Meeting will be held on Wednesday 18 October from 10.30am – 11:30am.

The main aim of this meeting will be to hear directly from school staff about strategies, resources and programs that you have found beneficial for supporting students facing mental health challenges.

We will be seeking school staff between now and then who can share information about a strategy, resource, or program that your students have greatly benefited from.

To register, click here.



Junkyard Jungle Program | Satellite Foundation | Wed 27 September 10am-4pm (school holidays)

On Wednesday 27 September (during the school holidays) the Satellite Foundation is holding the Create and Connect, Junkyard Jungle program in Ballarat.

This workshop will use drawing, storytelling, and sculpture to create individual jungle creatures out of recycled materials and develop artistic skills along the way. Participants will explore their strengths and develop new modes of expressing themselves while making friends in a fun supportive and collaborative workshop.

This program is aimed at young people around the ages of 8-11 years and will be hosted at Uniting Ballarat East.

Students can register their interest via the QR code (referrals can also be made by schools and other organisations).
Please contact [email protected] or call 1800 973 444 for further information.

BCH News


BCH is a proud Live4Life supporter!

We have five staff who have participated in either Youth Mental Health First Aid training or Teen Mental Health First Aid training.

Working closely with the City of Ballarat and members of the Live4Life Ballarat Partnership Group, these staff will be involved in the rollout of the Live4Life Program to schools across Ballarat.

If you’re a Live4Life school, please reach out to the Health Promoting Schools team, we can help embed the Live4Life Program in your school through policy and a whole of school approach.


We need you

Health Promoting Schools e-News is published twice a term and we welcome any ideas for content.

Please submit any ideas to [email protected]

Our mailing address is

Health Promoting Schools
Healthy Communities Team
Ballarat Community Health
12 Lilburne Street, Lucas 3350

Email: [email protected] Phone: 03 5338 4500

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