Western Sydney wins Aboriginal health challenge again

Team members from Burbaga Burawa at the presentation ceremony.

The competitive spirit is strong between two Western Sydney teams set on improving their health.

After taking out first and third place in the first Aboriginal Health Knockout Challenge, two Mount Druitt-based teams have again claimed first and third in the next challenge – although they traded places this time.

There’s no doubt the teams fit their name Burbaga Burawa, which means “rise up and rise above” in Darug.

Prof Chris Rissel, Director of the NSW Office of Preventive Health, said the winners put in a substantial effort in the challenge, which is designed to promote healthy lifestyles and weight loss in Aboriginal communities .

“The winners have made really good lifestyle choices, worked hard to sustain them, and have been excellent role models in the community,” Prof Rissel said.

“Everyone who took part in the challenge should also be congratulated for their achievements and encouraged to keep going.

“Losing weight reduces the risk of getting chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis.”

Winning teams Burbaga Burawa #2 (1st place) from Western Sydney, Stronger Than You Think (2nd place) from Queanbeyan and Burbaga Burawa #1 (3rd place) also from Western Sydney, collectively lost a total 622 kilograms.

During the course of the challenge the average weight lost was 3.9kg per person across all teams, which is a clinically significant improvement.

Winners are calculated based on total team weight loss percentage, with the first-placed team receiving $20,000, second-placed team $7,500 and third-placed team receiving $5,000 in grants for local community programs, which can be spent according to specific criteria for community equipment or infrastructure.

The challenge enables communities to take the lead on physical activity and nutrition activities that will work for them, to create healthier lifestyles.

The program aims to motivate Aboriginal people to manage their lifestyle-related risk factors for chronic disease and reduce prevalence of overweight and obesity through a weight-loss competition, physical-activity and healthy eating challenges.

There is strong evidence that regular physical activity and healthy eating can be effective in reducing risk factors for chronic disease, and overweight and obesity in the general population.

In 2019-20, the NSW Ministry of Health allocated $36.6 million to programs to tackle obesity, with $24.7 million of this for the prevention of childhood obesity.

For more information please visit: www.nswknockouthealthchallenge.com.au.