CO-OPS Annual National Workshop


Collaboration of Community-based Obesity Prevention Initiatives (CO-OPS) based at Deakin University

Annual National Conference and Workshops 2010 and 2011

Government Policy makers from all levels of Government; Public Health professionals; Practitioners implementing public health initiatives; Academics; and Health Promotion staff

Key points:

  • 130+ people at each conference
  • National conference
  • Public Health and obesity focus
  • National knowledge translation agency
  • Nexus of practice, policy and research  

The core aims of the CO-OPS Collaboration were to: identify and analyse the lessons learned from a range of community-based initiatives aimed at tackling obesity, and; to identify the elements that make community-based obesity prevention initiatives successful and share the knowledge gained with other communities. As the leading national knowledge translation body for practitioners, a key strategy for CO-OPS was to run an annual conference that brought together policy makers, practitioners and researchers to share and exchange directions, experiences and findings.

    Chad MC’d the 2010 and 2011 CO-OPS National Workshops and led co-development the interactive program. The two day programs featured combinations of non-traditional and limited traditional conference elements. The program was designed to stimulate peer learning through:

    • workshops techniques to produce many-to-many style discussions
    • the use of technology to gauge the ‘feeling’ and ‘knowledge’ in the room in immediate and transparent ways
    • short ‘taster’ sessions such as pecha kucha and three-minute thesis style presentations followed by deep question and answer sessions
    • the 2011 conference featured the use of Open Space
    • no awkward or forgetful ‘games’
    • ample time to network

    What those who attended said:

    • “the most relevant and helpful workshop I have ever attended. Every session was useful to my daily work.”
    • “found it very inspiring and motivational to link with other health professionals in similar areas to remember I am not on my own.”
    • “fantastic, best conference I have been to - exceeded all expectations.”