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Culcairn wins Healthy Towns Challenge 2019

Wednesday 27 November 2019

The community of Culcairn has taken out the title of NSW Healthiest Town in the 2019 Healthy Town Challenge.

An initiative of the NSW Office of Preventive Health and the Heart Foundation, the Healthy Town Challenge encourages small regional and rural communities to get active and eat healthier.

The award was announced by Professor Chris Rissel, Director of the NSW Office of Preventive Health.

"Culcairn poured a lot of effort into helping its residents to be as healthy as they can be and should be proud of their efforts," Prof Rissel said.

Culcairn took on the Challenge, led by Lynnette O’Reilly, Manager, Community Services for the Greater Hume Council, who worked with a number of people and organisations in Culcairn, in particular the local pre-school and Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

Prof Rissel said the Healthy Town Challenge is just one element of the NSW Government’s comprehensive plan to support individuals and families to eat well and be active.

“This challenge is unique as it encourages towns to develop their own strategies to provide residents with the opportunities to lead an active and healthy life,” said Prof Rissel.

Following a competitive selection process, five towns were offered a grant award of $15,000 each to support their activities for the Challenge. The towns selected were Culcairn, Kyogle, Nambucca Heads, Ulladulla and Bowraville.

The Culcairn community has invested its $15,000 in a range of initiatives to encourage the community to be more active and foster healthier food choices, including:

  • Installation of an all-weather table tennis table
  • Providing equipment for physical activity and establishing local challenges
  • Establishing Heart Foundation walking groups
  • Introducing a pre-school walking and lunch box challenge
  • Investing in signage, water bubbler, dog stations and seats along walking tracks
  • Training of volunteers to lead Tai Chi and gentle exercise classes
  • The local council adopting a healthy catering policy

As the winning town, Culcairn will now receive a further $5,000.

MLHD Acting Manager Health Promotion, Jackie Priestly said the Healthy Town Challenge has provided participating towns with fantastic opportunities to improve the health of their community members, while also building community spirit and pride.

“The Culcairn Committee and residents should be congratulated for their enthusiastic efforts in encouraging and supporting each other to be healthy together,” she said.

Applications are open for the NSW Healthy Town Challenge 2020. Please visit the NSW Office of Preventive Health website for more information. 

For more information about Health Promotion opportunities for residents and communities in MLHD please email

Last updated: 28 November 2019