Childhood obesity is escalating at an alarming rate. The World Health Organisation estimates that one in four Australian children are now classified as obese. As these children grow into adulthood, the connection between obesity and chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease will have far reaching impacts on society.
We believe that supporting educational programs can lead to better health and wellbeing outcomes for the next generation.
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program:
Developing a curiosity and interest in healthy food from a young age is at the heart of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation’s National Program.
When the MCF became National Partner of the program in 2012 it was with the shared goal that the program would grow nationally from around 200 participating schools to reach the 800 school milestone. We were proud in January 2015 to join celebrations of this major milestone with the 800th school joining the national education program.
More than 100,000 children are now involved throughout Australia in the ‘grow, cook, eat’ program and we are committed to delivering pleasurable food education to more children in schools across the country.
Inspiring healthy lunchboxes, the promotion of seasonal eating, the initiation of an employee cooking workshop series called eatBetter and the growth of new volunteering opportunities for Medibank employees are among the ways we are extending our investment in the Foundation across the business and into other parts of the community.
Investing in education to give disadvantaged children the essentials they need to stay in school and create better, healthier futures.
The Smith Family
Since 2011 Medibank has sponsored 232 students to continue their education through The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program. Of these, 150 have been tertiary students studying in an area of health or wellbeing.
Making a lasting contribution is important to us and partnering with The Smith Family to help young people access education for a brighter future has been a journey we have embraced wholeheartedly.
In FY14/15 a total of 51 students were sponsored by Medibank and we provided assistance for graduation events in in 2015 in Victoria and NSW to celebrate the achievements of Learning for Life students who completed secondary or tertiary study in 2014.
Our employees have worked alongside the Smith Family to support its work.
Six vocational careers days were held for Learning for Life students across five Medibank offices around the country in FY14-15. More than 150 secondary students heard about the range of career options and pathways that are offered by Medibank as employees shared personal insights and answered questions.
A number of employees also signed up this year to become online mentors to students from years 9 to 11 through The Smith Family’s iTrack mentorship program.
Advancing nursing capabilities for better health
Medibank has continued to focus on nursing and support for Indigenous peoples in New Zealand.
Through the Pasifika Medical Association, two fully qualified nurses will enter the workforce upon graduation with a particular interest in helping the Pacific communities that they come from.
Two nurses specialising in telenursing from the Maori community will also complete their post-graduate studies and improve access to nursing support and advice for this community sector, particularly for those living in remote regional locations.