Kiama Health Plan

Design Feature
Project Type
Local Government Initiative, Policy
New South Wales

Kiama Council, located on the New South Wales coast, is an ageing locality. The community has a high rate of cardiovascular disease, significant incidences of falls and a high proportion of people who are overweight. Social isolation is also a significant health issue for the older population, with approximately 56% of the population aged 65 years or older and living alone.

An active, connected and resilient community

To address these potential issues, the Council developed the Kiama Health Plan 2018-2021. An active ageing baseline of priorities is established within the framework identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the essential features of age-friendly communities.

Jambaroo Pool Opening with the accessibility electric lift. Image credit:

The aim of Kiama Council's Health Plan is to create a municipality of residents who are healthy, have vibrant lifestyles, and are surrounded by a beautiful environment. The intent is for these residents to be part of a connected and resilient community.

The Kiama Health Plan 2018-2021 identifies key active ageing strategies to address priority issues:

  • Social connections, cohesion and diversity
  • Health and activity
  • Food security and food sustainability
  • Encouragement and enhancement of a healthy and sustainable economy
  • A healthy, protected and sustainable environment

The Health Plan adopts the core values of respect, innovation, integrity, teamwork and excellence. The Council promotes the active support of healthy lifestyles in response to the ageing in place through the adoption of principles from international and national plans and policies such as:

  • The WHO Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (1986)
  • WHO Healthy Cities Movement (2003)
  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030)
  • United Nations – The New Urban Agenda (2016)
  • Australian National Health Priority Areas (2017)
  • The NSW State Plan (2011-2021)
Dylan and Renee enjoying an exercise program at Kiama Leisure Centre. Image credit: Phil Winterton

Accessibility is a key principle of the plan; this is a commitment that all people should have fair access to services, resources and opportunities to improve their quality of life. The Plan contains multiple actions to improve movement networks in the municipality, such as:

  • Enhance the accessibility of recreational facilities, including wheelchair access to seating, shaded areas, outdoor exercise and play equipment. 
  • Allocate an accessibility budget to support access resources and assistance to ensure maximum opportunity for all residents to genuinely participate in Council functions, consultations, events and activities.
  • An audit of all accessible parking places to identify possible improvements and facilities to be upgraded. 
  • Consult people with a range of disabilities to establish priorities within the Council's pathway management plan.
  • On-going implementation of the Dementia-friendly Kiama Project which seeks to build an inclusive physical and social environment for people living with dementia, allowing them to live with meaning and purpose through fostering and maintaining community connections.

Adopting these inclusive actions, the Kiama Council will support a healthy and engaged community that is continually improving physical, social, economic and environmental resources for older residents.

Project Team

  • Kiama Council
  • Local residents (consultation phase)

Project Cost

Part of the ongoing Local Government community initiatives.

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