In 2012, Associate Professor Susan Thompson was awarded additional funding from the NSW Ministry of Health to deliver a series of ten capacity building workshops on planning for health professionals. This project was completed in November 2013. Entitled the ‘Planning for Health Workshops’, the series aimed to equip health professionals in NSW to better engage with the NSW planning system. Workshops were delivered in both regional and urban localities across the State. The specific objectives were to:
The workshops were delivered by Associate Professor Thompson and HBEP Consortium Partner Dr Danny Wiggins. A range of stakeholders participated in the all-day forums, including staff from Local Health Districts, local councils and other interested groups (e.g. Medicare Locals, Heart Foundation, Premier’s Council for Active Living and community based groups). While the exact format of each workshop was modified based on feedback and context, a typical workshop included an introduction to healthy planning concepts and presentation of key information resources; an overview of the Healthy Urban Development Checklist; a comprehensive review of the NSW planning system; and a group exercise where case studies were analysed by participants using the Checklist. Each participant received a certificate for their attendance and completed an evaluation of the workshop. Evaluations were generally extremely positive.