Practitioner insights on obesity prevention: the voice of South Australian OPAL workers

Carmel Daw, C Leaver, Tenille French, Deb Agnew, Lauren Potter, Adam Trottman, Benjamin Taylor, Lisa Atwell, Tamara Thorpe, Sonya Stanley, Shaun Li, Melanie Tripptree, Marissa Brouwer, Fraser Keegan, Danielle Clark, Collette Hooper, Danielle Bollmeyer, April Horn, Rachel Hill, Marian McAllisterNadia Mastersson, Stephanie Leggett, Laura Perdue, Marissa Ortman, Terri Lamoree, Vanessa Green, Natalie von Bertouch, Jacki Evans, Elysia Flavel, Kylie Tekell, Melissa Priest, Courtney Blacker, Diem Luong, Emma Young, Jacqui Merret, Ayrlie Williams, Bryony Leach, Linda Scholz, Bianca Gonzola, Sheridan O'Brien, Emily Arbon, Talia Hoskin, Jessica Law, Katriona Kinsella, Claire Lohmeyer, Gavin Fairbrother, Jessica Grove, Jo Williams, Lisa Weir, Mark Williams, Michelle Jones, Fiona Verity

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Knowledge based on science has been central to implementing community-based childhood obesity prevention interventions. The art of practitioner wisdom is equally critical to ensure locally relevant responses. In South Australia (SA), the OPAL (Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle) program has been implemented to reduce childhood obesity across 20 communities reaching nearly one quarter of the state's population. Staff from across the State come together at regular intervals to share practice challenges and insights and refine the model of practice. Over a 3-year period 12 reflective practice workshops were held with OPAL staff (n = 46). OPAL staff were guided by an external facilitator using inquiring questions to reflect on their health promotion practice within local government. Three themes were identified as central within the reflections. The first theme is shared clarity through the OPAL obesity prevention model highlighting the importance of working to a clearly articulated, holistic obesity prevention model. The second theme is practitioner skill and sensitivity required to implement the model and deal with the 'politics' of obesity prevention. The final theme is the power of relationships as intrinsic to effective community based health promotion. Insights into the daily practices and reflections from obesity prevention practitioners are shared to shed light on the skills required to contribute to individual and social change. OPAL staff co-authored this paper.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)375-384
    Number of pages10
    JournalHealth Promotion International
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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    Daw, C., Leaver, C., French, T., Agnew, D., Potter, L., Trottman, A., Taylor, B., Atwell, L., Thorpe, T., Stanley, S., Li, S., Tripptree, M., Brouwer, M., Keegan, F., Clark, D., Hooper, C., Bollmeyer, D., Horn, A., Hill, R., ... Verity, F. (2016). Practitioner insights on obesity prevention: the voice of South Australian OPAL workers. Health Promotion International, 31(2), 375-384.