A message from the CEO

I'm sending out a challenge.

I'm sending out a challenge.

What if we actually did increase the number of Queenslanders who have a healthy weight?

Imagine lower rates of diabetes, cancer, stroke, dementia and osteo-arthritis. Improved mental health, social health and educational outcomes. A whole state eating healthier, moving more and feeling better. Have we ever planned for such an impact in our strategic thinking or future forecasting?

Should we ever dare to factor a positive outcome into our planning for services, budgets and strategy?

The answer is yes. And that’s what we’re doing.

Currently, two in three Queensland adults,and a quarter of our children,live with overweight or obesity.And it’s making us sick.

Sadly, these statistics do not capture the full impact that overweight and obesity has on people’s quality of life, with both physical and mental health affected. The struggle is often described to us as ‘the most difficult challenge we have ever faced’. It’s a ‘wicked’ problem, one that cuts across every part of our health and wellbeing and it’s really tough to solve.

The fact is, every single person, family and community is unique in their challenges and their approaches to tackling them.

Evidence shows that it is harder in communities living with disadvantage to be healthy. Evidence also shows that we need a multi-strategy, multi-modal approach to tackle overweight and obesity, and these strategies must work in partnership to protect and empower people. We need to be big and bold in our thinking. Solutions must be shared across all areas of society – community, government, non-government organisations and the private sector – for the benefit of our entire population, especially those who are living with disadvantage.

As Queenslanders, we need to come together to create a ‘movement’. A highly exciting, positive and deliberate disruption in the landscape with a single goal to support our population to have better lives.

Fortunately, we have some great examples where champions are making real progress. We value these perspectives and insights and continue to be inspired by each and every story. Led by our communities, we need to understand, recognise, connect, support, elevate and accelerate initiatives to achieve bigger and broader reach across the state.

Through prevention, partnerships and a population approach, we can make significant and lasting change that will benefit all.

We must be ‘all in’.

This is what Health and Wellbeing Queensland is all about.

Adjunct Professor Robyn Littlewood
Chief Executive Officer

Last updated 28 February 2020