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Updated: 10 September 2013

4. Applying the Framework


Section four of Active Living for All: A Framework for Physical Activity in Western Australia 2012 - 2016.

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4.1 A Collective Approach

Active Living for All sets out the strategic vision required to tackle physical inactivity to meet the needs of the WA community. It seeks to guide agency planning, ensuring that associated services are complementary and responsive. It focuses on a whole of government and whole of community response to activate places and people. Everyone has a role to play in tackling physical inactivity. Significant individual, family, community, organisational and environmental changes are required to increase levels of physical activity and improve overall health and wellbeing.

The liftout summary of the framework outlines the collective approach in implementing Active Living for All and details the key roles, responsibilities and activities required to tackle this important agenda and realise significant economic, environmental, health and social outcomes. It sets out the key actions on physical activity for key sectors and settings. Supporting local governments and organisations to develop local solutions is a key priority. Embedding active living principles in local planning processes, identifying funding opportunities and providing information to guide policy and program development is crucial.

Active Living for All will be supported through the structure and governance of the Physical Activity Taskforce and associated committees. The Taskforce model is one of collaboration and coordination. The aim is to provide a joined-up approach of a cross-government agenda that brings multiple benefits to individual agencies and outcomes for communities. The implementation of Active Living for All is the responsibility of all agencies and will be monitored and evaluated by the Physical Activity Taskforce.

Key Sectors

Key Settings


  • State Government
  • Local Government
  • Non Government
  • Community Organisations
  • Academia & Tertiary Education
  • Private Sector
  • Planners, Developers & Urban Designers
  • Advertising and Media
  • Health Care
  • Community Settings
  • Early Childhood & Care Settings
  • School Settings
  • Workplace Settings

Role of State Government

The intention of this framework is to provide an overall direction for increasing physical activity through the delivery of State Government policy, plans and services.

Primary Agencies

The five member agencies of the Taskforce have outlined their commitment to Active Living for All and a snapshot is provided below. A detailed response to the framework will be articulated in the Taskforce Implementation Plan to be released early in 2012.

  • Department of Education
    The strategic plan for 2012 to 2015 sets the focus for a strong public school system where every school is a great school, every teacher is effective and every student is successful. The Department sees the physical activity strategic planning process as an important factor in achieving these outcomes for its schools.
  • WA Health
    The Department is responsible for the development of government policy on health and delivers a wide range of public health services that aim to improve, promote and protect the health of Western Australians. The WA Health Promotion Strategic Framework will be the Department’s key strategy to encourage and support physical activity.
  • Department of Planning
    Planning decisions help determine the physical and social characteristics of communities and directly influence health by either encouraging or discouraging active living. Planning an active community is complex and no one strategy or department can adequately cover all the factors. Therefore a collaborative approach, in which the Department and key strategies such as the State Planning Strategy and Directions 2031 is essential.
  • Department of Sport and Recreation
    The sport and recreation industry plays a critical role in improving community wellbeing and collaborative physical activity endeavours in this state. Strategic Directions 5 provides a five-year vision and has been developed as the pivotal sport and recreation industry planning framework.
  • Department of Transport
    The Department of Transport’s purpose is “to provide safe, accessible, sustainable and efficient transport services and systems, which promote economic prosperity and enhance the lifestyles of all”. The Public Transport for Perth in 2031 and WA Bicycle Network plans, along with a proposed Active Transport Policy (currently being developed) set out the Department’s contribution to the active living agenda. Encouraging more people to walk, cycle and use public transport more often is an essential element of achieving this.

Secondary Agencies

It is acknowledged that other state government agencies and sectors play a crucial role in contributing to the active living agenda. Healthway as a member of the Taskforce will play a vital role in supporting the implemention of the framework.

A key priority of the Physical Activity Taskforce will be to also expand partnerships and alliances in the delivery of Active Living for All over the next five years. Departments such as:

    as well as the private sector, will be prioritised on the basis of these Departments’ core policy priorities and their relevance to the active living agenda.

    Role of the Physical Activity Taskforce

    The Taskforce was established in 2001 to address low levels of physical activity across WA. It followed the release of the 1999 Adult Physical Activity Survey which indicated that only 58% of the adult population was sufficiently active.

    The Taskforce was established to provide a whole of government, whole of community response to increasing levels of physical activity for WA. The initial target was to increase physical activity levels by 5% over ten years.

    In 2009, participation in sufficient physical activity was significantly higher than measured in 2002, (60% compared with 55%).

    In 2002, the Taskforce, in conjunction with relevant agencies, developed a one-year implementation plan. Following this, two four-year strategic plans were implemented (2003-2006 and 2007-2011). Active Living for All represents the third strategy 2012-2016.

    In 2009, with a change in government the structure and mandate of the Taskforce was reviewed with increased focus on policy coordination, collaboration and advocacy within government and across the community. This role is unique in providing an integrated approach to tackling a key government policy brief.

    The Taskforce also undertakes a vital role in monitoring the physical activity levels, attitudes, behaviours and intentions of Western Australians. State Government members of the Taskforce are the Departments of Education, Health, Transport, Planning, and Sport and Recreation. Other members include Healthway, the WA Local Government peak body (WALGA) as well as experts from the academic and non-government sector.


    4.2 Key Drivers and Priorities for Implementation

    Key drivers

    Active Living for All has been developed in line with key policy drivers at a global, federal, state and local level. It ensures this promotes a responsive and complementary approach as well as having the potential to influence and embed active living principles in these important existing strategies and plans, including:





    • Strategic Community Plan
    • Local Planning Schemes and Strategies
    • Local Structure Plans
    • Asset Management Plans
    • Major Infrastructure/Works Strategies
    • Community Safety Strategies
    • Sport and Recreation Plans
    • Early Years Plans
    • Physical Activity Plans
    • Workforce Strategies
    • Health and Wellbeing Strategies
    • Health Impact Assessments
    • TravelSmart Plans
    • Cycle Plans
    • Footpath Strategies
    • Community Development Plans
    • Active Ageing Strategies
    • Youth Strategies
    • Tourism Strategies
    • Disability Access and Inclusion Plans
    • Culture and Arts Strategies 
    • Environmental Plans

    * Not yet released at December 2011

    Key priorities

    These priorities provide the foundations for change and underpin the implementation of Active Living for All. They are based on the key areas of strategic focus that were identified in the diagnosis of physical activity in WA:

    1. To strengthen public policy
      The importance of policy was identified as being integral to influencing behaviour change. It was also seen to influence many aspects of the active living agenda e.g. planning, education, research and funding opportunities. It is essential that this is supported with appropriate funding and evidence based research on which to base any policy changes. Embedding active living principles in policy, planning and legislation will assist in identifying funding opportunities and priorities for support. Investment in policies, programs and infrastructure that support and encourage active living will also bear multiple outcomes. 
    2. To provide appropriate environments and programs
      The importance of providing the right types of places, facilities and programs for the community is crucial.  Delivering facilities and programs that cater to a specific demand and specifically addressing the barriers to participation were seen as critical in providing for active lifestyles. Good planning and design of neighbourhoods, longer, more flexible hours and greater use of facilities as well as engagement of the wider community in developing locally targeted programs are vital for future change.
    3. To increase public motivation and understanding
      Public awareness of the need to participate in physical activity (and the recommended guidelines) was felt to be relatively high in the general population. However, there was still a big barrier for individuals when it came to taking action such as a lack of motivation; achieving a work/life balance; societal norms and accessible role models. Creating the motivation for individuals to take action and make positive behaviour change was seen as one of the biggest changes needed. Leveraging the mutual benefits of active living to engage stakeholders and elevating the priority placed on physical activity through education and persuasion strategies to effectively communicate its value are two key priorities. 
    4. To promote partnerships
      Increasing levels of physical activity was widely acknowledged as being too great an undertaking for any one agency or organisation to achieve on its own. Organisations need to work in partnership to multiply the effect and maximise outcomes through developing more integrated relationships with existing partners and working with a broader network of organisations (public and private) to capitalise on opportunities which could not be realised by a single organisation, or would be greatly enhanced by taking a multi-organisation approach. These will include strengthening existing partnerships and establishing new ones. 
    5. To increase research into practice
      A key priority is the provision of evidence based research, a key component in supporting and strengthening public policy. While there is an extensive volume of research available it is often difficult to identify the most relevant or appropriate research and translate into practice. The provision of research should guide policy review and program development to support the best use of emerging knowledge and evidence. Research specific to geographical areas will also help stakeholders to understand the behaviours of communities and therefore target funding and programs towards the greatest level of need. Research can also be used to justify levels of investment in facilities and quantify the benefits and value of the outcomes.

    The building blocks for Active Living for All

    As shown in the above diagram, the following key components are required to improve and increase opportunities for physical activity.

    Active Communities


    • Active Places
    • Active People


    • Well planned & designed environments that support, encourage & enable active living
    • Initiatives that promote positive behaviour change & active lifestyle opportunities

    ‘At-Risk’ Target Populations

    • Low Socio-Economic Status Groups
    • Low Socio-Economic Status Groups
    • People with a Disability
    • Low Participatory Groups e.g. adolescent girls

    Key Sectors

    • Academia & Tertiary Education
    • Advertising & Media
    • Private
    • State & Local Government
    • Non Government
    • Education
    • Health
    • Planning
    • Sport & Recreation
    • Transport

    Life Course Approach

    • Early Years (0-5 yrs)
    • Children (5-12 yrs)
    • Adolescents (12-18 yrs)
    • Young People (18-24 yrs)
    • Adults (25-64 yrs)
    • Older People (65 +)

    Key Settings

    • Early Childhood & Care
    • Schools
    • Community
    • Workplaces

    Key Priorities

    • To strengthen public policy
    • To increase public motivation & understanding
    • To provide appropriate environments & programs – active places and people
    • To promote partnerships
    • To increase research into practic

    4.3 Values

    The development and implementation of the framework is based on the following values:


    Neighbourhoods, facilities, services and programs should be provided for active living opportunities that optimise accessibility for all users and provide convenient access for people with disabilities.


    Neighbourhoods, facilities, services and programs should respond to and consider the needs of communities with regards to access, affordability, inter-generational equity and geographical location.


    Fair, open and participatory processes should be used to consult and collaborate on the planning and design of neighbourhoods, facilities, services and programs that support active living.


    The diverse needs of children, families, workers and seniors should be considered in the planning and design of neighbourhoods, facilities, services and programs.

    Evidence based

    Priority needs to be given to the implementation of strategies that are effective and supported by research, continuous quality improvement and evaluation.


    The provision of neighbourhoods, facilities, services and programs for active living should support reduced environmental impacts as well as contribute to community wellbeing.

    4.4 Monitoring and Evaluation

    This section outlines an approach to measure the implementation of Active Living for All. The aim of the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework is to:

    • Provide guidance to the Physical Activity Taskforce, its members and stakeholders for the monitoring and evaluation of Active Living for All
    • Assist stakeholders to identify specific and relevant indicators that can be used to measure the implementation of policies and plans related to physical activity.

    This monitoring and evaluation framework includes systematic processes which will assess the progress of policy development as well as activities being undertaken across a range of sectors and settings. This will also provide the opportunity to identify gaps and areas for improvement. This evaluation element will be managed by the Taskforce through a new online reporting tool completed annually by key stakeholders and partners.

    Monitoring of population level physical activity prevalence, behaviours, environments, attitudes and knowledge is also a key element of the framework. This will be managed by the Taskforce through two flagship projects:

    1. Physical Activity Levels of Western Australian Adults Survey
    2. Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey.

    Other state and national surveys will be used to assist with the monitoring process. These include but are not limited to:

    Proceed to the Appendix

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