“Thank you again for the excellent WDC training program delivered by your good-self and the WDC Team. It is my understanding that WDC program is the first Rotary program developed and delivered to care for the health and wellbeing of individual Rotary members.

Rotary programs are usually developed and delivered for the benefit of communities beyond the Rotary membership community. Whilst Rotary members will be the prime beneficiaries of the WDC program, the secondary beneficiaries will be Rotarians families and friends who, in due course, will be influenced and encouraged to embrace the WDC approach to lifestyle. Congratulations Samar and the WDC Team!”

“Thank you Samar for putting me on the spot and encouraging me to take this on, on behalf of my club.”

“Just a short note to say thank you for yesterday - it was such a well presented day and most informative and enjoyable. We will give it our best shot at Rotary. Please pass on my appreciation to the others.”

Meet the 'Waist' Disposal Challenge Team

The 'Waist' Disposal Challenge is run by a dedicated team of educators with expertise in public health, men's health, community development, education, nursing, health promotion, nutrition and physical activity.

Professor Samar Aoun

Samar Aoun

Professor Aoun is the Director of the Western Australian Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care at Curtin University.

Professor Aoun has a PhD in Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Masters in Public Health from the American University of Beirut. Her training and experience is in designing, implementing and evaluating health service delivery initiatives and public health interventions for different population groups.

Samar has extensive experience in rural health and community development, having lived and conducted research in rural Australia, published on rural health issues and served voluntarily on several rural boards and committees for over 14 years.

Samar is dedicated to improving health and community engagement in health care. Professor Aoun developed and leads the community based project on chronic disease self-management "The 'Waist' Disposal Challenge" to keep men "off the endangered species list".

Samar’s dedication and personal commitment to improving health and community engagement have been recognised by four awards:

Linda Le

Linda Le

Linda Le is a graduate from Curtin University with Honours in Public Health. Prior to this, she completed a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion.

Linda's passion lies within community involvement, coaching, mentoring and empowering them for better health outcomes. Linda's background is in preventing alcohol and other drug issues amongst the community, and she led the Curtin Local Drug Action Group during her time at university.

Linda graduated from the John Curtin Leadership Academy (JCLA), a partner of Rotary District 9455, and is now serving as the President of the JCLA Alumni Council. She is also a member of the Rotary Club of Mt Lawley, serving in the Fundraising Committee.

Linda is the Project Officer for The 'Waist' Disposal Challenge.

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Fiona Collins (aka Fiona the Foodie)

Fiona Collins

"As the description indicates my job is as a dietitian, but apart from the occupation I do relish in preparing, shopping for and eating great fresh produce.

"Eating food is balanced by my love of running, particularly the longer distances and especially with someone who is on for a 'chat.' I dabble in the other disciplines of swimming and bike riding. The bike is one of my transport modes to work being a one car family!

"More on the 'work' arena, I am employed by WA Country Health Services (WACHS-SW) currently on a chronic disease project with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD) the focus. I find consulting work to the South West Academy of Sport (SWAS) athletes and squads quite inspirational, especially working with young people who are well!!

"And lastly I enjoy all of the above while living on acreage with my family in the Capel district."

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Dr Michael Newton

Michael Newton

Michael is a senior lecturer in the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University. He is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with the Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the leading strength and conditioning body, the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Dr Newton also works in private practice and consults in the area of clinical exercise physiology, specialising in exercise interventions for the chronic diseases of type II diabetes, dyslipidemia and obesity.

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Jacquie Heron

Jacquie Heron

Jacquie works as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in her own practice in Attadale. She sees everyday the importance of keeping healthy and is happy to be involved in promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Jacquie has been a Rotarian in the Melville Club for about 12 years and enjoys the many opportunities and avenues of service this provides, from dealing with young people on Youth Exchange, Storm the Stage, and helping overseas children who come here for life changing surgery, to providing funds for senior's activities and research such as the 'Waist' Disposal Challenge.

Currently, Jacquie is the Chairperson for Group Study Exchange that allows young 25 - 40 year olds in the early stage of their career to travel to another country for 4 - 6 weeks to stay with Rotary families and observe their occupation in that country. Then in return she receives a team from that country and provides them with a similar experience.

"I enjoy watching my 3 children develop in their lives and careers and enjoy spending time with my little grandson."

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Stephanie McFaull

Stephanie McFaull

Stephanie is a qualified Nutritionist with a Bachelor of Health Science, majoring in Nutrition, a Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion, and is currently completing her Master of Public Health by Research.

Her passion and expertise lies in nutrition education and health promotion, particularly the facilitation of cooking programs and workshops focusing on youth health, chronic disease prevention, mental health and healthy ageing for seniors.

Her research experience has been in weight control and reduction, the prevention of chronic disease through fruit and vegetable consumption, children and adolescents' dietary and physical activity habits and health promotion evaluation.

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Professor Robert Newton

Rob Newton

Professor Robert Newton is the Foundation Professor in Exercise and Sports Science, and Director of the Vario Health Institute at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia.

Professor Newton's research interests centre on applications of exercise for maintaining or improving human structure and function.

Professor Newton is a frequent invited speaker both nationally and internationally, particularly on the topic of chronic disease and the benefits of physical activity.

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Professor Tanya Packer

Tanya Packer

Professor Tanya Packer has considerable experience in the development and testing of disease specific self-management interventions.

Her first self-management program, developed in 1995, is now used internationally as the main protocol for multiple sclerosis fatigue.

Her current research group is developing and testing self-management programs in conjunction with community agencies.

In 2006 she developed the strategic directions document for a WA Self-Management Initiative and in 2007 she served as an expert on the National Reference Group on self-management competencies and curriculum development for nursing, medicine and allied health.

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