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Can the UK provide the blueprint for an active Australia?


Dr Varney and Ms Thomson can justifiably be described as the ‘chief architects’ of England’s approach to participation policy, much lauded in recent years. Their visit to Australia to share their experience is timely; it comes at a pivotal moment when our strategic approach to physical activity, sport and active recreation is entering a period of reform and renewed interest among policy makers.

The seminar was cohosted by The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre and The Prevention Research Collaboration. Dr Varney and Ms Thomson’s visit was also supported by The University of Sydney, Charles Perkins Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre for Physical Activity Nutrition and Obesity, SPRINTER, the Heart Foundation, and the NSW Office of Sport and NSW Health.

Dr Varney and Ms Thomson can justifiably be described as the ‘chief architects’ of England’s approach to participation policy, much lauded in recent years. Their visit to Australia to share their experience is timely; it comes at a pivotal moment when our strategic approach to physical activity, sport and active recreation is entering a period of reform and renewed interest among policy makers.

The seminar was cohosted by The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre and The Prevention Research Collaboration. Dr Varney and Ms Thomson’s visit was also supported by The University of Sydney, Charles Perkins Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre for Physical Activity Nutrition and Obesity, SPRINTER, the Heart Foundation, and the NSW Office of Sport and NSW Health.

Dr Justin Varney leads the Public Health England (PHE) portfolio on Physical Activity. He is the National Lead for Adult Health and Wellbeing at PHE and also leads the work to improve the health and wellbeing of working age adults and reduce health inequalities in this group as well as health and worklessness and workplace health.

Kay Thomson is Strategic Policy Lead for Sport New Zealand. She has worked in a variety of health policy roles at local, regional and national level both in England and her native New Zealand. Kay served as Strategic Lead for Health at Sport England 2011-2015. In the UK Department of Health’s Physical Activity Policy Team she managed the development of the Chief Medical Officer Guidelines for Physical Activity and Health. At Sport England, she oversaw the £23M Lottery Investment committed to tackling inactivity.