Welcome to the SALSA Program Summer Newsletter! 

SALSA (Students As LifeStyle Activists) is a partnership program with Western Sydney High Schools, Mt Druitt & Blacktown Medical Practitioners Associations, Western Sydney Primary Health Network, the University of Sydney, and Western Sydney Local Health District.
Special thank you goes to our partner Western Sydney Primary Health Network for their funding support this year.
In this Issue:
  • 2017 Registration
  • SALSA Program Update:
    • Stepping into the Community Project:
      • Blacktown City Council Pitch
      • SALSA and GWS Giants Leadership Forum
    • PDHPE Conference
  • Celebrating SALSA Peer Leaders
  • Snippet for High Schools
  • Feature Recipe
  • A Word From Our Sponsors
  • A Special Award
2017 SALSA Registration

Reminder to register now for the
SALSA Program 2017!

The SALSA team invites your school to take part in our award-winning, peer education program for another year in 2017!
To register please complete the attached re-registration form and return to by
December 16th, 2016.

Re-registration form HERE
Additionally, NEW schools who are interested in participating in this award-winning program can express their interest HERE. Please share this with any of your contacts you think may be interested! 

SALSA Program Update


Stepping into the Community

Year 10 SALSA Peer Leaders from Rooty Hill High School pitch their ideas to improve local parks to key Blacktown City Council Staff.  
Check out the Facebook album for more photos from the day!  
Change is afoot as student leaders “Step into the Community”

On November 22nd, students from Chifley College Mt Druitt and Rooty Hill High School pitched ideas to improve their local communities to Blacktown City Council Managers and staff.  Students brainstormed their ideas at a Leadership Forum run in partnership with GWS Giants.

Students pitched ideas to improve local parks and upgrade public toilet facilities. Suggestions for a 'Family Fun Day' that encourages physical activity through family competitions and a mobile van that has sporting equipment for hire, were well received by Council staff and other invited guests.
A Year 10 student noted “You can put your opinion across and you actually get heard by the council so your ideas can go ahead. It felt really good to be heard for once”. 
The schools have now been connected with relevant stakeholders for further follow-up and action of the students’ concepts.  

Mt Druitt Chifley College Year 9 Students Hope For Change in their local community, watch below: 

SALSA Student Leadership Forum!
In the lead-up to the Stepping into the Community Pitch Day, the SALSA Team collaborated with the GWS Giants Care Program to run a leadership forum for high school students. 

Forty-two students and four teachers from Rooty Hill High School, Pendle Hill High School and Chifley College, Mount Druitt Campus attended the day, held in the GWS Learning and Life Centre, Sydney Olympic Park.

The workshop was interactive, and aimed to increase students’ skills and knowledge to enable them to create supportive environments in their local communities. The workshop included group brainstorming sessions, YouTube videos to show how environments influence our behaviours, fitness testing for all students, GWS CEO speaking on leadership and communication, healthy lunch and guided process of developing a pitch to communicate group ideas effectively.

By the end of the day, all students worked together successfully to develop six innovative pitch ideas to improve the food and physical activity environments which have been/will be delivered to applicable local councils.

The day was a huge success and we thank all who were involved.
We hope to facilitate similar events in 2017! 
GIANTS team up with SALSA
SALSA Teams up with Giants
Students as Lifestyle Activists and GIANTS Care team up to hold a Leadership Program for SALSA Peer Leaders at the football club!
Students' key learnings from the Leadership Forum: 
PDHPE Conference
Rooty Hill High School Teacher, Joel Baines and the SALSA Team attended the PDHPE Teachers’ Association Annual State Conference in Newcastle in October.  Many new school showed interest in running the SALSA Program next year!
Celebrating 2016 SALSA Peer Leaders
SALSA Peer Leaders from St Agnes Catholic High School (left) and Blacktown Girls High School (right) show off their certificates acknowledging their hard work!
Help spread the word
The last SALSA snippet for 2016 gives 10 great tips to help the whole family stay active during the holidays.  We would like to encourage high schools to share this snippet with parents, for a healthy and happy holiday season!
Download Snippet Now

What's in season this Summer?   Watermelon!


Watermelon contains minerals such as potassium  (which helps to regulate blood pressure), manganese (involved in the regulation of brain and nerve function) and magnesium (involved in keeping bones strong).* 
Read more about it HERE

*Source: Department of Health & Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Australia (

Try the amazing Foley watermelon cake this summer!


  • 1 whole or half watermelon (depending on how tall you want your cake)
  • 400ml thick natural or Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup flaked almonds, toasted and cooled
  • small handful blueberries and/or raspberries, washed
  • 4 strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced thinly
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and thinly sliced


  1. Cut watermelon into 8 even pie shaped wedges.
  2. Using an 20cm/8inch baking tin or a plate as a guide, cut the green part away to make a round, high cake shape. Place on serving plate or stand making sure to trim away any loose bits of watermelon. 
  3. Using a palate knife, spread yogurt on the top and side of the "cake".
  4. Press toasted almonds into the side of the cake. 
  5. Place berries, sliced strawberries, and kiwi in a decorative pattern on top.
  6. Serve immediately or chill until serving.
This information was adapted from
Or if you are feeling really creative try this version with all different types of fruit!
We would love to see you make our recipes!  Please share your creations by posting a photo on our Facebook page: Students As Lifestyle Activists and use the hashtag #studentsaslifestylesctivists
A Word From Our SALSA Partners
Hi I'm Dea, an Accredited Practising Dietitian at Mt Druitt Medical Centre. 
(Pictured with Dr. Kean-Seng Lim, General Practitioner and VP of the AMA (NSW)). 
Our team consists of GPs, dietitian, exercise physiologist, psychologist and pharmacist, working together to provide the best possible care for our patients.
We work closely together, with regular case discussions and frequent joint consultations. We run small group sessions for diabetes, heart failure and lung disease which include a virtual supermarket tour I run, which is a lot of fun. Over the last 3 years, we have seen major improvements in the health of our patients.
As an example, the number of diabetics who have well controlled diabetes has risen from just under 50% 3 years ago to over 80% now.  A lot of the benefits for our patients come from the integrated team approach and the relationship between patients and the team as a whole. Our website page and Facebook site help to develop and maintain this relationship.
For more information from Dea and the practitioners at Mt Druitt Medical Centre visit the website or like the Facebook page for trusted information
Special Award for SALSA Program founder

The Mount Druitt Medical Practitioner’s Association proudly presented Associate Professor Shah with the inaugural “Member of the Year” award at its 25-year celebration dinner.

Associate Professor Shah was honoured to receive the award, granted for her outstanding contribution to the association and her grassroots impact on improving community health outcomes, through the delivery of the award-winning SALSA Program.

Pictured above clockwise from top left: Rouse Hill High School, Pendle Hill High School, Rooty Hill High School, Chifley College Shalvey. 

In closing, the SALSA Team would like to say a huge thank you to all our schools and partners for your ongoing contributions to the SALSA Program in 2016. 

We wish you a happy and healthy festive season and look forward to working with you again in the New Year! 

Copyright © 2016 Primary Health Care Education and Research Unit, All rights reserved.

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