March President's Blog
In December 2015, RCH published its first Child Health Poll that
reflected what adults perceive as the biggest problems children face. In
the overall review, most notably listed as first was "excessive" screen
time, followed by obesity, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet and
bullying rounded out the Top 5. Issues such as illegal drug use, family
violence, internet safety and suicide rounded out the Top 10.
Yet, if you read further into the study, there is a breakdown by age
groupings and income. The Top 5 List changed dramatically based upon
income and age groups. If the family income was less than $1000 a
week, the primary issue was illegal drugs; yet, that category didn't
appear at all in the Top 5 if the income was over $1000 a week. When
information was broken down by age groups, two additional categories
appeared in the Top 5; Anxiety/Stress and Internet safety. These
categories appeared as early as age groups of 6-12 years old and ranked
higher in ages over 13 years old.
Why is this important?
It reminds us that the life cycle of a child is dramatic. Most physical
and emotional life changes happen in the first 18 years even if they
don't suffer from an illness, disease or impairment. This poll is
designed to be continuously conducted in 3 month intervals.
Understanding the community perception on children's health issues in
this manner offers an almost "real time" view which can be utilised to
gauge and improve strategies regarding children's health. It is this type
of innovative thinking that makes the RCH exciting! For AWA's purposes, I
think it offers a tremendous insight into children's health issues in
Australia from a community perspective. A community in which we find
ourselves and our families.
AWA has been a part of RCH history for over 80 years. Whether it be
through fundraising, community support for each other as expats or
involvement with other community projects, AWA Members have been a
positive part of the landscape in Melbourne for generations. It may be
that our individual contributions are limited by our time here; however,
we are a part of something larger the more we contribute to our "Home
Away From Home." I had an elderly aunt when I was very young, constantly
reminding me that it's everyone's job to make wherever you go, a little
bit better because you were there and to look for the little things,
because those will always matter most. Whether it's fundraising,
volunteering, mentoring new expats, or joining the social groups, I think
AWA offers everyone a chance to leave that positive footprint with every
step we take.
Our General Member's Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 17,
2016 at the RCH Foundation, 48 Flemington Road, Level 2. Parking
passes will be available to park at the RCH. Agenda and start time will
be forthcoming. On behalf of the AWA Board we look forward to seeing all
of your faces at the General Meeting!