Dr Nicole Nathan has been named Charlestown’s Local Woman of the Year in recognition of her pioneering work in developing programs to improve health outcomes for young people across Australia.
After beginning her career as a PE teacher, Dr Nathan moved her expertise into the health sector. As part of Hunter New England Health’s health promotion team, she has worked on projects which have transformed health and wellbeing programs for students, including the Good for Kids, Good for Life and Crunch&Sip® programs.
Crunch&Sip® is now a national program which has shown that students who are not hungry and are well hydrated perform better in the classroom, show increased concentration, and are less likely to be irritable and disruptive. Each school can choose a suitable time and way to implement Crunch&Sip® that fits with the school’s timetable.
Continuing her work in population health, the Physically Active Children in Education (PACE) team, led by Dr Nathan, was honoured with the 2022 Hunter Medical Research Institute Research Team Excellence Award.
Dr Nathan is passionate about health research and the ways it can be applied practically to improve health outcomes, especially for young people. She is very interested in the reasons why girls stop competing in sport at a young age, and what programs are working to prevent young girls’ activity levels dropping as they get older.
“The Local Woman of the Year awards are an opportunity to highlight the achievements of women from Charlestown, whose work may not be recognised widely outside their industry”, Member for Charlestown and Shadow Minister for Women, Jodie Harrison, said.
“Dr Nathan is a wonderful example of a woman quietly achieving in her community and chosen field as well as making enormous differences with her research and the programs she is part of creating – programs which are being implemented across Australia,” Member for Charlestown, Jodie Harrison, said.
“I am thrilled to be able to recognise Dr Nathan’s work and highlight her achievements as Charlestown’s Local Woman of the Year.
“I was inspired to hear Dr Nathan talk about her work, and was so impressed by her passion and dedication to improving the lives of children, and long term health outcomes. Congratulations, Dr Nathan.”