Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 27.9 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, September 27 2011 - 8
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Belconnen High School students Maddy Fisher, Josh Hardy and Zach Forostenko at the opening of the school's new
Picture: Elesa Lee
Fitness lab provides a new direction for PE students
STUDENTS at Belconnen
High School can now develop
their muscles as well as their
minds during class time.
The school held the official
opening of its new fitness lab
last Tuesday as part of the
annual Health and PE week in
It will enable interested
students to work on strength
and conditioning, and fitness
under the supervision of
PE, Health and Learning
Support executive teacher
Daniel Mowbray said the
teachers had decided to
introduce activities into the
curriculum that would be of
real benefit to students.
He said the idea for the lab
had been suggested as a way of
giving students an alternative
to running around the oval to
work on their fitness.
The teachers hope the lab
will also engage students
successfully in fitness and
Mr Mowbray said all PE
teachers had undergone a
Certificate I in strength and
conditioning training and
would supervise each session.
Students will not be allowed
to use the lab without a
certified teacher present.
He said while supervised
sessions would initially just
run during class times, there
were plans to introduce a
lunchtime gym club.
Mr Mowbray said the school
had a number of students
playing representative sport
and it was also a popular
pastime for others.
''It's something that a good
majority of the kids get into so
we want to provide a facility to
encourage that,'' he said.
The equipment in the fitness
lab includes a chin-up bar,
multipurpose trainer, spin bike,
treadmill, medicine balls, fit
balls and a sit up bench.
The students helped to
assemble the equipment.
Belconnen High School
took part the annual Health and
PE week by holding a number
of activities at the school.
This included a staff
pedometer challenge, a daggy
tracksuit day and various
student versus teacher sporting
The school spent about
$16,000 to convert the old
classroom and turn it into the
fitness and wellbeing lab,
including the staff training and
equipment. This included
some grant money the school
Business model attracts attention
News travels of Health Co-op's success
THE West Belconnen Health Co-op is
gaining national attention due to its
success of attracting doctors to the
Territory and membership growth.
Co-operatives Western Australia
recently invited chairman of the co-
op's board Michael Pilbrow to give the
key note address at their annual
This follows interest from NSW,
Victoria, Tasmania and within the
ACT about the model.
Mr Pilbrow said while the board's
main agenda was assisting groups in
Canberra interested in the model, it
was good for the Territory that the co-
op was gaining such interest.
''We are very pleased this members-
owned business model is attracting
attention and is being seen as a viable
option,'' he said. ''Something that's
happening in the outskirts of Canberra
is attracting attention around the
Co-operatives WA secretary Peter
Wells said the board had been invited
as an example of how a co-op could be
''I was getting the vibe it was a good
success story; dedicated people doing
good work,'' he said.
''They started the journey to solve a
particular community issue they didn't
set out to form a co-op.''
Mr Wells said it was better that co-
ops were formed in this way rather
than initially setting out to run a
''I think they've done that particu-
larly well and that's where a lot of their
success has come from, it was a well
thought out process,'' he said.
The West Belconnen centre became
the first of its kind in the Territory
when it opened its doors in 2010.
Patients pay a membership fee and
become part owners in the co-op.
This also gives them access to the
bulk billing service.
The Charnwood based centre open-
ed with just one GP and a nurse and
initially had 100 members.
Mr Pilbrow says 20 months later the
co-op has five bulk billing GPs
(expected to reach 10 by the end of
2012) and more than 9800 people
covered by memberships. They have
also expanded into a second site close
to the Belconnen Town Centre.
Mr Pilbrow said he thought the co-
op model was appealing because
members could control the future of
This is in contrast to other medical
practices which can close or move with
little regard to patients.
The Charnwood community was left
angry in 2004 after four medical
practices in the immediate area closed
At a public meeting that year a
committee was formed to actively
bring more doctors to Canberra.
Six years later Charnwood had a
new medical centre that was only the
second of its kind in the country, after
Melbourne's Westgate Health Co-op.
The board has also been approached
by other groups in Canberra about
forming a similar medical centre co-
op.The Doctors for Tuggeranong group
had been interested in the co-op model
to solve the doctor shortage in their
They ended up attracting a new
medical practice to town (Ochre
Health), which opened up in Calwell.
''I think that's a great outcome for
Tuggeranong and that was able to
happen quite quickly,'' Mr Pilbrow
Gungahlin representatives have also
expressed interest in the model.
Mr Pilbrow said the board was
currently exploring the idea of co-
locating some health services in aged
care facilities, after they were recently
approached by providers in Canberra's
Peter and Jocelyn Duggan and Audrey and Robert Rough practice a dance ahead of the Spring Ball
at the Belconnen Senior Citizens Club that was held during September. Club president Mal Grimley
said the event was well attended with about 40 people coming from as far away as Cooma. The
club hosts a dress-up dance event every three months in the hope of encouraging more socialising
within the community. Theme for this event was Floriade.
Picture: Rohan Thomson
Senior Citizens' dances continue to flourish
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