Westmead celebrates legacy strategy with Olympic spirit

Westmead’s dragonfly brigade prepares for the Elders Olympics.

The dragonfly dream team has kept the Olympic torch alight and calories burning in a physical show of support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legacy Strategy.

Westmead’s team at the Elders Olympics celebrated key components of the strategy during a triumphant display at Mt Druitt PCYC.

Aboriginal liaison officer Narelle Holden said the importance of participation and trust at the elders event could not be overstated.

“This was about getting people out of the house,” Narelle said.

“There were participants in walkers, wheelchairs but everyone was laughing and giggling.

“You just had to see the reaction to know the event was a success.”

Part of the Western Sydney Integrated Chronic Care Program, the Olympics brought together four teams from across the city to support fitness and health, build a sense of community and support, plus tackle some of the most innovative and hallowed challenges in sport.

The competitive three-legged race, tense egg-and-spoon challenge and assorted ball games may not do justice to the event’s serious nature.  But it’s not lost on participants, supporters and organisers including the Aboriginal Health Unit.

“Keeping physical and active can make so much of a difference to health issues at our hospitals,” Narelle said.

“This event could lead to even more health programs, including water aerobics in the new year.”

Westmead Redevelopment project director Carla Edwards said the Olympic event helped grow trust through community engagement.

“Our attendance at the Elders Olympics is connected to our ‘building trust’ objective by being present at community events and demonstrating our cultural competence,” Carla said.

The other three objectives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legacy Strategy are:

  • Providing a culturally welcoming, safe and connected environment.

  • Enhancing education and employment opportunities.

  • Improving health outcomes through the design of new models of care.

Celebrating the Olympics preparation with Carla and Jessica Youngberry from the Westmead Redevelopment were Elders Olympians and WSLHD Aboriginal staff members: Rick Manton, Kristy Kendrigan, Kayleen Manton, Lally Williams, Narelle Holden and Brett Manton.

Related information

Read more about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legacy Strategy

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