Dreaming Big - Preventing and Managing Childhood Obesity

Initiative Type
Service Improvement
01 May 2018
Last updated
05 April 2020


“We Dream Big” in Children’s Health Queensland. That’s why we are shaping up a contemporary, data-driven, innovative, best practice Health Services Research Strategy (HSRS) informing the continuum of health services provided to children and their families across the State of Queensland. Childhood obesity is our first area of focus.

Key dates
Jan 2016
Jan 2019
Implementation sites
Children’s Health Queensland
Healthcare Improvement Unit, Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network, The University of Queensland


Develop an innovative and engaging online platform focused on health and wellbeing that supports both children and families as well as health professionals.


Upskills and empowers health professionals across Queensland to have a better understanding and awareness of childhood overweight and obesity so they can provide more effective services within their local community (Project ECHO).


One in four Queensland children are overweight or obese. Childhood overweight and obesity has been identified as a key public health issue1-5, yet no collaborative or systems-driven approach has existed previously to tackle this problem. Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ) (supported by it’s partners) has been relentless in driving this agenda.

Two exciting enablers CHQ has developed in partnership with Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network (QCYCN) and The University of Queensland (UQ) include the development of a flagship website (Growing Good Habits) and the delivery of Project ECHO™ Childhood Obesity Series, taking services to the next level.

Solutions Implemented

CHQ, has partnered with the Queensland Child and Health Clinical Network (QCYCN), Queensland Health Preventive Health Branch (PHB) and The University of Queensland (UQ) to develop and progress these two initiatives. These include:

Growing Good Habits (GGH) website:

  • Developed and launched in March 2018
  • Aims – to provide a flagship one-stop-shop incorporating tips and advice on a range of common lifestyle issues for children and families. Also included is a suite of tools to support the model of care adopting value-based healthcare approaches for health professionals.
  • Current work includes high level consumer consultation and engagement to better understand the needs of both consumers and health professionals to inform further development and expansion of the website
  • Collaboration with Channel 9 has been established. Channel 9 news are providing an ambassador for the website and supporting the work via fortnightly coverage of GGH staff/patients reinforcing the GGH messages via Channel 9 news interviews, Community Service Announcements (CSAs) through Brisbane Channel 9 advertising and special guest segments to address special events.
  • Award winner November 2017 – Queensland Health Excellence Awards

Project ECHO™:

  • CHQ purchased license as first Paediatric HUB for Project ECHOTM
  • Developed first Australian Childhood overweight and obesity Project ECHOTM series – already running and due to complete March 2018. Series 2-4 planned.
  • Aim to upskill and empower health professionals statewide in the treatment and prevention of childhood obesity, leading to more kids treated locally and closer to home
  • Linked with UQ for partner evaluation process.
  • Plan for 4 series per year to run, one in each term (school terms)
  • Special focus and priority given to support clinicians access from regional/remote areas
  • Project ECHOTM is about moving knowledge not patients
  • The future series will also integrate the new referral pathway statewide for childhood obesity.

Lessons Learnt

A dedicated online presence focused on healthy habits in childhood and adolescence, supported by broader mainstream media coverage, combined with a targeted, relevant and practical health professional educational program is expected to significantly positively impact public health support of children and families to lead healthier lives and health professionals to feel empowered in providing an evidence-based high quality treatment program to children and families.

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Key contact

Robyn Littlewood
Associate Professor
Children’s Health Queensland
(07) 3069 7227