North West Community Forums to tackle a weighty issue

Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) will be hosting community forums in Gunnedah, Boggabri and Narrabri to gather ideas and build a plan to achieve long-term health improvement.

These forums are part of the PHN’s Healthy Weight Initiative, which targets overweight and obese hotspots in the region, which include the Narrabri and Gunnedah Local Government Areas (LGAs).

These LGAs have some of the highest rates of overweight and obese people in NSW, with one in three adults (Narrabri LGA 33.3 per cent, Gunnedah LGA 32.8 per cent) classified as obese.

This is between 24 and 26 per cent more than the state average.

HNECC PHN Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis, said the issue of obesity and maintaining healthy weight is fast becoming Australia’s biggest health challenge.

“We have already consulted with the clinical community in Gunnedah and Narrabri to set the platform for a model-of-care that will help people to reach a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

“But that is only part of the puzzle as having the whole community involved is the best way to help people achieve and sustain a healthy weight, and reduce their disease risk”, Mr Nankervis said.

The 2015 NSW Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey shows that children from low and middle socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to be overweight or obese than those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds.

“We want to consult across the entire community in the region to gather ideas and hear experiences – from schools, NGOs, sporting and community groups to local council and residents”, Mr Nankervis said.

He said if people are not able to attend the forum, they can contribute online via the PHN’s peoplebank consultation website ( and post their ideas. 

People can register to attend the local forums at


Community Forums


Gunnedah | 8 May 2017

Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club, 313 Conadilly Street, 7.00pm - 9.00pm


Boggabri | 9 May 2017

Boggabri RSL Club, 77-79 Laidlaw Street, 7.00pm - 9.00pm


Narrabri | 10 May 2017

The Crossing Theatre, 117 Tibbereena Street, 7.00pm – 9.00pm