In an emergency, always call triple zero (000) for an ambulance. Ambulances are the safest way to be assessed, treated and transported to the right hospital for the care you need.

Triple zero (000) is a free call from any phone, mobile or phone box.

For less severe but still urgent situations, go to an Emergency Department.

There are 12 public hospital Emergency Departments in Northern NSW Local Health District and they are all available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Emergency departments are located at:

Teachers dressed up as vegetables to celebrate Vegie Month 2024
Published: 22 Mar 2024

March is Vegie Month and Northern NSW Local Health (NNSWLHD) has been encouraging early childhood education and care services and parents to take on weekly Vegie Month challenges to increase their children’s exposure to vegetables, and their vegetable intake.

NNSWLHD Acting Director Integrated Care and Allied Health Kathryn Watson said last year more than 44,000 children and 800 early childhood education and care services participated in Vegie Month across NSW, in the statewide initiative led by NNSWLHD’s local Health Promotion Team.

“Educators reported that following Vegie Month activities, children were more willing to try both familiar and unfamiliar vegetables, and that vegetable focussed nutrition learning experiences would continue in their early childhood settings,” Ms Watson said.

“Evidence shows that using sensory exploration through structured activity programs in childcare settings can support children to eat more vegetables. This includes looking, listening, feeling, smelling and tasting both familiar and unfamiliar vegetables every day.”

Kids at Lismore Preschool have been enjoying tasting and learning about vegies, and will participate in the Big Vegie Crunch on March 20, together with thousands of other children around NSW.  

Lismore Preschool Director Alexis Smith said there are a range of benefits from participating in Vegie Month.

“This year we have developed a vegie stall where you can come in and purchase toy fruits and vegies and this has led to some great discussions on the types of food children see their families putting in the trolley each week,” Ms Smith said.

“We’ve planned cooking and tasting experiences, as well as a range of different spices to smell at our science discovery area.

“Each week we have fresh vegetables delivered, and the children are encouraged to try new foods, and learn ways to prepare and eat them.

“By focussing on sampling a wide range of vegetables, children who may not normally have a varied diet have the opportunity to try new vegetables.” 

The latest National Health Survey data released by the Australian Bureau of Statics (ABS) in 2022 shows just one in 20 (4.3 per cent) children and adolescents aged 2-17 years meet the Australian Dietary Guideline (ADG) recommendations for daily fruit and vegetable intake.

The ADG recommends a minimum of 4-5 vegetable serves each day for children, depending on their age and sex, to ensure good nutrition to support growth and development. 

Unfortunately, in 2022, fewer children met the vegetable recommendations compared to 2017-18.

“Vegie Month is a fun way to engage children, educators and parents in small changes that can make a big difference. One Vegie Month challenge runs each week and examples include asking your children to help prepare vegetables, packing one vegetable in the lunchbox, or asking your child to try and eat the rainbow by trying different coloured vegetables,” Ms Watson said.

“Early childhood and education services are supported with a resource pack to bring other vegetable-based activities to life in their early childhood settings.”

Weekly vegie challenges are shared each Sunday evening on the NNSWLHD facebook page.  

Pictured above are teachers, Louise Underhill, Loretta Pascutto, Alexis Smith, Sonia Gibbs, Hannah Rushby and Kim Lawlor.