Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007
Parliamentary Record 12
Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Wednesday 14 February 2007 3891 Initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles are a vital part of improving the general health in our community. Often people look to government for direction in this area, but with the broad range of sport and recreation facilities, clubs and organisation in the community, there is also an important role for the private sector to play. There is no better example of this than the work that is being done at the Get Physical Gymnasium at the Alice Springs Memorial Club. Owned and operated by Jenny Steer and Maria Lennartz, their gym is leading the way in building a healthy lifestyle in Alice Springs while also bringing together groups within their community that would otherwise have little connection. Jenny Steer has been involved in running gyms for many years and has seen firsthand the changing face of the fitness industry. She recognises that to be successful, there is an obligation to engage the community and promote a healthy lifestyle. Maria Lennartz, who is a registered nurse, has been a partner in the business for the last three years. The combination of Jennys long history in the fitness industry and Marias health background has forged a winning formula. Get Physical Gym offers specialised gym sessions, including outreach services for community organisations such as CAAAPU and St Marys and has worked to promote active lifestyles in schools such as Yirara College, ANZAC Hill, OLSH, Living Waters and Gillen Primary School. Recently, they commenced a new program called KO for Kids, a program designed specifically for kids aged between eight and 15 years. Their attention to initiatives that tackle the issue of childhood obesity and improve the self-esteem of young people is to be commended. Not to be outdone by the popular television series The Biggest Loser, Get Physical started their own Alice Springs-based competition, which has attracted over 180 participants. The approach involves a combination of scheduled exercise, healthy eating and nutritional advice along with peer support, and I am assured it does not involve anyone being voted out of the house. Their third Biggest Loser competition begins this week. It is immensely popular and has resulted in a total weight loss among participants of 258 kg in their first two programs. It would be remiss of me to overlook congratulating the previous winners, Rudi Sebastiani who lost 14 kg in six weeks, and Renee Sutton, who won the second competition with the loss of 12 kg. Congratulations also to Deb Sizemore, one of the Biggest Loser facilitators, who herself has shed 32 kg. Deb has recently completed a course in Sydney with Professor Manny Noakes, author of the CSIRO diet book, and other leading nutritionists to enhance the Biggest Loser program. I was also impressed to hear of Get Physicals most recent and highly popular program, Boot Camp. Boot Camp started around 12 months ago with Sergeant Sean Jordan from the Joint Defence Facility, Pine Gap. Sean is a US Army physical trainer and has been instrumental in organising the Boot Camp sessions. Sean has now enlisted the help of Sergeant Dan Munchenbach from the US Army and Larry Foys from the US Navy. These training sessions often have up to 60 people going through their paces in the parks and up and down the hills around Alice Springs. The unique and vocal training methods of the US military are a novel sight for Alice Springs but, importantly, it is another sign of how the American community is adding to the great lifestyle of the town. Too often we take the great work being done by people in the community for granted. Congratulations to both Jenny and Maria and their team at Get Physical for their commitment to healthy living in Alice Springs. Their community-minded spirit should be applauded. I also commend Sean, Dan and Larry from the Joint Defence Facility for sharing a piece of their American lifestyle with us. Alice Springs is a better place for the efforts of these people. Mrs BRAHAM (Braitling): Mr Deputy Speaker, I was interested in what the Chief Minister just said and I congratulate those who received awards. I will speak about the public service recipient in Alice Springs next time. I want to raise an issue to which I am trying to find a solution. It is kids who are at risk; teenagers who have had a bit of a brush with the legal system but are causing a great deal of anxiety to their parents. They are running with the wrong group of teenager peers. There is a lot of peer pressure. They are out at night and experimenting a little with drugs and alcohol. They are not the sort of kids you would put in a diversionary program through the courts because they have not done anything to warrant going through that process, but they are kids who we identify as being very much at risk. Good parents often feel as though they are being seen as bad parents if their teenager is off the rails a bit, but the parents are seeking help to get their child back on track. To be honest, in Alice Springs - and I could not find one elsewhere - there is no program to cater for these young people. I believe there are programs for indigenous children, but not for the non-indigenous child. I have looked around Australia and there are many programs in other states. For instance, in
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