Student dietitians from Swinburne University of Technology have recently teamed up with the Health Promotion Team from Access Health and Community and a range of community partners to help develop and implement a food literacy project targeting low socio-economic communities based around social housing projects in East Melbourne. 

This new collaboration seeks to build capacity for community nutrition interventions and support across Eastern Melbourne communities that draws on dietetic students from Swinburne imbedded in health promotion activities led by Access Health and Community based in Hawthorn, and in the process meet professional placement requirements of their education as dietitians.

Student Dietitian’s Simon Bonacci and Heli Mody were imbedded in the project for 5 weeks in March and April and conducted community consultations, project planning and resource development. This work will be used by future groups of students who will go onto to implement the project in a sustainable way as part of this collaboration between Swinburne’s Dietetics Program and Access Health and Community.

Simon commented that this placement experience had opened his eyes to the importance of community engagement, consultation and testing strategies and services with target groups to make sure they meet community needs. Both Simon and Heli were impressed by the collaborative nature of health promotion team practices, learnings they will take forward with them into their future carers as Dietitians.