History of Colac Otway Choose Change

How did Colac Otway Choose Change begin? 

Prompted by local childhood health and behaviours data collected in 2017, the partnership between Colac Area Health, Deakin University and G21, continued to evolve as a community led intervention and was built according to best available evidence.

Taking key learnings from Genr8 Change and SEA Change Portland and the evidence available, Colac Otway Choose Change- Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice- was developed. 

  • Children centered: Evidence indicated the only successful community led interventions have been those centered on addressing weight status in children, rather than adults and adolescents.
  • Multi-strategy, multi-level approach:  One single program and idea is not going to create sustainable change. We need multiple people and organisations making changes within different environments to embed sustainable change.
  • Whole of System thinking: Colac Otway Choose Change involves the whole community, and considers all factors influencing our food and physical activity choices. It isn't about trying to change individual behaviours; it's about creating an environment that supports healthy choices to be easy choices.   
  • Not a project and not funded: Colac Otway Choose Change does not have an end point. This isn't a project so it is not funded, and it won't just stop. It’s all about utilising existing community and agency capacity under a collective impact framework to create and embed sustainable change.