Empowering children and young people.
“Being involved with the app felt like I was important, and for my opinions to be heard and to make an impact towards something positive felt really good” (Aanishka Sen, Talk N Walk app co-design student).
What makes the Talk N Walk program unique is that it responds to what girls themselves told us about why they aren’t active - around 90% of Australian girls fall below the national physical activity recommendations for good health - and what would help them embrace exercise.
“It’s funner [sic] when you’re socialising not just exercising...my friends have a good sense of humour and so I laugh a lot…” (app co-designers, St Hilda’s Junior School)
They told us that they wanted to be active, but that as their bodies changed, they felt observed and judged. And that, in that context, their interest in competitive, performative exercise in front of others had plunged. What they really wanted was a way to be active with friends and family in a social way, that was free of uniforms, scoreboards, and the eyes of others.
“...having a motive to do physical activity is very important, and not just to get physically active....being with friends gives a motive...don’t make it towards the body shape or those kinds of goals, because there are other apps for that and that’s an entirely different purpose. ” (Avani, age 14, Talk N Walk app co-design student).
Responding to what girls told us, the Talk N Walk app was conceived and co-designed - through interviews, surveys, workshops, focus groups and user-testing - with an emphasis on the wellbeing benefits that come from connecting with friends and family while being physically active.
Talk N Walk app co-design process in pictures:
The Talk N Walk program was awarded the prestigious Commissioner for Children and Young People’s ‘Best Practice in Children’s Consultation’ award at the IPAA WA Public Sector Industry Awards (9th December 2022).
IPAA WA Awards Ceremony - L-R - Erin Gauntlett - Deputy Director General, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC), Niel Smith - Nature Play WA board member, Dr Kelsie Prabawa-Sear - Nature Play WA CEO, Katherine Healy - Nature Play WA Strategic Communications and Campaigns Manager, Kellie Hill - Nature Play WA Projects Administration Executive, Glenn Morley - Manager, Recreation DLGSC, Tim Swart - Director, Recreational Camps and Trails DLGSC.