With World Diabetes Day taking place today (14 November), remote store operator Community Enterprise Queensland (CEQ) has appointed a new Indigenous Nutrition Cadet to help further drive healthier eating in remote Cape York and Torres Strait Islands communities.
Torres Strait Islander La’shauna Nathaniel will work closely with CEQ Health, Wellbeing and Nutrition Manager Melinda Hammond and Store Nutritionist Georgia Day, forming a dynamic team dedicated to improving the accessibility of healthy food options.
Her primary focus will be on the Gather and Grow Healthy Stores project, a collaborative initiative with Health and Wellbeing Queensland, which will see La’shauna work alongside remote store teams to improve the position of healthy food options and make it easier for customers to purchase them.
Ms Hammond said the appointment of La’shauna, who has transitioned from a casual cashier assistant role at the IBIS store on Waibene (Thursday Island), reinforces CEQ’s commitment to “growing our own.”
“We are thrilled to welcome La’shauna to our team,” said Ms Hammond. “In her new developmental role in our Health, Wellbeing and Nutrition team, she has the opportunity to explore and potentially develop a career in the health and wellbeing field.
“We are also keen on further developing La’shauna’s skills through TAFE and university enrolment in a learn-and-earn style arrangement, supported by our Good Pasin’ (Give-back) program.”
The Good Pasin’ program provides financial and in-kind assistance community organisations and individuals in the remote First Nations communities served by CEQ.
Ms Hammond said La’shauna’s appointment also ties in with CEQ’s commitment to healthy living in line with the organisation’s recently-released 2023-2027 Health, Wellbeing, and Nutrition Strategy.
“Her passion for promoting health aligns seamlessly with our vision of ‘Caring, every day, always’, and we look forward to the positive impact she will bring to Far North Queensland’s remote communities,” added Ms Hammond.
La’shauna expressed her excitement about the role and the potential for further growth.
“I am honoured to contribute to the Health, Wellbeing and Nutrition team at CEQ,” she said.
“I believe this role presents a unique opportunity for me to make a positive impact on the health of my people, and I am eager to explore further study and professional development.”
La’shauna’s tasks as Nutrition Cadet include:
- supporting the Store Nutritionist in conducting regular healthy store environment assessments
- developing and implementing Healthy Store Action Plans
- actively engaging with the community to establish partnerships with local agencies and health organisations
- conducting local in-store promotions with CEQ’s Store Nutritionist, including cooking demonstrations, taste-testing, and the development of menus and recipes which promote healthier choices
- contributing to the development of health promotion materials
- supporting the Store Nutritionist in developing store team knowledge of healthy foods and drinks
- assisting in the recruitment of and collaboration with ‘good food champions’ to promote healthy living.
“La’shauna’s commitment also extends to working in a cross-cultural team environment, providing cultural guidance and peer support to the Health, Wellbeing and Nutrition team, while also ensuring workplace health and safety,” said Ms Hammond.
As the world observes World Diabetes Day today, CEQ emphasises the importance of knowing one’s risk of type 2 diabetes to help delay or prevent the condition.
CEQ is supporting local health services to get this message out to customers via store digital notice board, encouraging people to know their risk of diabetes and take action.
“The commitment CEQ has made to promote healthy eating and supporting our customers to choose healthy is all part of a conscious effort to use their influence in a positive way to support better health outcomes in the communities we service,” said Ms Hammond.
For more information on World Diabetes Day, visit https://worlddiabetesday.org
CEQ is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for providing goods and essential services to the Torres Strait, Northern Peninsula Area (NPA), mainland Aboriginal remote communities, and Palm Island through its 28 stores.
CEQ manages Islanders Board of Industry and Service (IBIS) and Aboriginal Business, Industry and Service (ABIS) stores, as well as other stores including Col Jones, Mona’s Bazaar and Mitre 10 on Thursday Island.
For more information on CEQ, visit www.ceqld.org.au