Promoting Change Project

Deakin University researchers are conducting a study to look at the healthiness of foods available and sold in Victorian local government facilities partnering in the Promoting CHANGE project. Promoting CHANGE is a partnership between local government, state government, academic and not-for-profit organizations to support local governments to transition towards healthier food offerings in council clubs and facilities using the Department of Health, Healthy Choices guidelines for sport and recreation centres (2016). Maroondah Council is an intervention site within The Promoting Change Project as of August 2023, with a Health Promotion Officer to support the changes. The project is a joint Initiative with Deakin University to implement Healthy Choices at Maroondah’s 8 major leisure sites of The Nets, The Rings, Aquahub, Aquanation, Dorset Golf, Ringwood Golf, Karralyka & Croydon Memorial Pool.

View the Promoting Change brochure(PDF, 1MB)

Progress so far:

  • Croydon Memorial Pool opened for the 2023-2024 season offering Healthy Choices, including a new fresh food and drinks range which was well received.
  • In July 2024 Ringwood & Dorset Golf will also be offering Healthy choices alongside keeping public favourites
  • Maroondah Nets & Maroondah Rings are progressively working towards implementing the Healthy Choices Guidelines and have implemented a new fresh food and drinks offering as well as healthy choices in vending machines.
  • Aquanation and Aquahub are offering an amended range of fridge drinks as well as long life snacking options.
  • Karralyka have recently amended their no-alcoholic drinks fridges to offer an increased range of healthier options.

As per the Maroondah Liveability Wellbeing and Resilience Strategy 2021-2031 Council has committed to:

Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy eating: Provide leadership in healthy eating through the promotion of healthier food and drink options for Council facilities, events, spaces and places. Work in partnership to promote healthy eating through community education, initiatives and service delivery. Encourage and promote sustainably grown local produce, enhanced food security and facilitate social inclusion.

The importance of physical activity and good nutrition is important for a healthy lifestyle and contributes to the health and wellbeing of the community. Current research on the Maroondah municipality, residents are living with:

  • 52% of adults are living with overweight or obesity3
  • Less than 2% of adults eat enough fruit and vegetables within the Maroondah electorate3
  • 13% of adults drink sugary drinks every day3

Inadequate access to nutritious food and drinks is leading to a reduced quality of life, and chronic disease as well as increasing burden on the health care system.

While Council’s leisure facilities provide outstanding opportunities to encourage physical activity, the kiosks and Cafés operating within these facilities provide a range of food and drink options that do not always support healthy eating opportunities. Healthy eating has been identified as a priority area in the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan. It is a key policy priority for the Victorian Government to encourage Victorians to consume a diet of healthy, sustainable, and safe food consistent with the Australian dietary guidelines.

[1] Healthy choices: policy guidelines for sport and recreation centres, Victorian Government, Department of Health, and Human Services, 2016,

[2] Maroondah Liveability Wellbeing and Resilience Strategy, Healthy eating, 2021-2031

[3] Victorian Population Health Survey 2017 -

Promoting CHANGE is a joint initiative led by Deakin University, in partnership with City of Greater Bendigo, City of Greater Geelong, City of Greater Shepparton, City of Merri-bek, City of Monash, City of Yarra, Maroondah City Council, Menzies School of Health Research, Monash University, Municipal Association of Victoria, Nillumbik Shire Council, Nutrition Australia (Victorian Division), Sport & Recreation Victoria, The University of Newcastle, and the Victorian Department of Health. Promoting CHANGE is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Project Grant (GNT2015440). The contents of this document are the responsibility of the authors and should not be attributed to the NHMRC.