Living better through live events
Coogee Live is a free festival that first started in 2018 and provides family-friendly activities, music, arts, and food attractions. For the 2019 festival, the City of Cockburn partnered with Healthway to encourage healthy eating and exercise promotion. The partnership involved promoting the LiveLighter® health message, providing healthy food and drink choices and ensuring that sugary drinks were not displayed for sale. Lotterywest also provided additional funding to help make the event inclusive for all. Due to the success of the event, Lotterywest and Healthway have provided subsequent grants to continue to support positive community outcomes.
To create an inclusive, all ages event that promotes healthy food and drink choices and physical activity.
City of Cockburn
Perth and Metro Area
16,000 event attendees
More Western Australians live healthy lifestyles
Raised community connection and participation
Active Healthy People
Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, Mental Health, Culture, Arts
- By considering health promotion early within event planning, the City of Cockburn was able to create healthy environments that aligned with the messaging of the LiveLighter® campaign and increase its impact.
- Major activations such as the LiveLighter® Treasure Trail encouraged children and families to work together and were successful in the delivery of healthy eating and physical exercise messages.
- While there was encouraging feedback from vendors regarding the healthy food and drink reforms, a challenge was the availability of certified vendors through the Healthier Vendor guide.
Research shows that good nutrition and exercise reduces the risk of chronic disease, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Promoting healthy eating and physical activity supports positive physical and mental health and leads to healthier and happier communities. Over the last decade, the City of Cockburn has developed higher than average risk factors for ill health. Figures showed that in 2016, 79% of adults were overweight or obese, compared to 67% of the WA population  and 42% of adults completed less than the recommended 150 minutes of physical exercise a week .
The City of Cockburn worked closely with Healthway to include health promotion messaging around healthy eating and the importance of physical activity within the design, planning and promotion of Coogee Live 2019. Two of the event hubs were co-branded with LiveLighter® promoting the health message across all platforms including website, social media and signage placed in prominent locations.
Healthway and the City of Cockburn also collaborated to plan and implement the LiveLighter® Treasure Trail, a family-friendly competition to promote physical activity and increase people’s knowledge of healthy food and drinks choices. This was complemented by yoga and dance events.
The City of Cockburn provided 250 adult health checks and every participant received healthy lifestyle information, including the Cockburn walking trail booklets and LiveLighter® resources to help assess and understand their diet and exercise habits.
With Healthway support, the City of Cockburn also worked with the WA School Canteen Association (WASCA) who provided a menu assessment service for food vendors to assist in improving and promoting healthy food offerings at the festival, and support attendees to make better food and drink choices.
The organisers made a conscious effort to ensure the event was inclusive and relevant to all ages. Part of this approach included running 25 tactile tours of the event to cater to people of all abilities, and an extensive multicultural performance program, enabling sharing of varying cultures and connection for people from multicultural communities.
Impacts and outcomes
The health checks provided immediate impacts, identifying that 61 out of 234 adults were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the next five years. Additionally, 130 out of the 234 adults had a Body Mass Index of 25 or more, meaning around 55% of participants were overweight or obese (84 overweight and 46 obese). Every participant was provided with information about the City of Cockburn’s health and active lifestyle programs, including the Cockburn Healthy Lifestyle Service and Cockburn Aquatic and Recreation Centre – and given the opportunity to join.
The City of Cockburn engaged four vendors from the Healthier Vendor Guide, a quarterly guide that lists vendors who meet WASCA’s minimum healthy food and drink criteria. WASCA assessed the menus from the remaining eight food vendors with feedback indicating:
- 88% of vendors agreed that removing sugary drinks from display at this event was an important strategy to align with the LiveLighter message.
- 44% sold more water compared to sales at similar events.
- 75% removed sugary drinks from display.
- 50% reduced the variety of soft drinks on offer.
As a result of the success of these initiatives, the City of Cockburn now requires all food vendors to comply with the Healthy Vendor Guide criteria. WASCA will undertake menu assessments of all food vendors currently registered with the City and support them to become certified.
The City of Cockburn continues to deliver Coogee Live with the support of Healthway and Lotterywest, which in 2021 was awarded Best Community Event at the Australian Event and Symposium Awards.
Clear goals allowed successful planning
By considering health promotion early within event planning, the City of Cockburn was able to create healthy environments that aligned with the messaging of the LiveLighter® campaign and increase its impact. This included Environmental Health Officers proactively working with WASCA to maximise healthy food options and to ensure sugary drinks were not on display for sale.
Engaging the local groups to build community
The City of Cockburn engaged with local schools, so students were able to take part in artistic programming where they were responsible for a section of a mural produced by artist Melski during the festival. The event also had a Community Stage to showcase and promote local talent and this ensured the event was inclusive and well supported by the community.
Active engagement in health messaging
Major activations such as the LiveLighter® Treasure Trail encouraged children and families to work together and were successful in the delivery of healthy eating and physical exercise messages.
What didn’t work
Availability of certified vendors
While there was encouraging feedback from vendors regarding the healthy food and drink reforms, a challenge was the availability of certified vendors through the Healthier Vendor guide. As an alternative the City of Cockburn required all food vendors to sign an application form that they would provide at least one healthy food option and meet Healthway’s advertising requirements around sugary drinks.
- Department of Health. Overweight and Obesity in WA. 2020 04/06/2020 [cited 2021 19/08]; Available from: https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/N_R/Overweight-and-Obesity-in-WA.
- South Metropolitan Health Service, City of Cockburn Health and Wellbeing Profile 2019. 2019, Department of Health, Western Australia: Perth.
- Tomlin, S., A. Radomiljac, and A. Kay, Health and Wellbeing of Adults in Western Australia 2014, Overview and Trends. 2015, Department of Health, Western Australia: Perth.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as the original custodians of this country, recognising their connection to land, waters and community. We respect their cultures and Elders, past and present.
Ngala kaaditj Whadjuk moort keyen kaadak nidja boodja – We acknowledge Whadjuk Noongar people as the original custodians of the land on which we are based.