Dr Gihan Jayaweera

Pilot Program - Health Ninja Licence

Gihan’s dream is to create a “Health Ninja Licence”. Similar to the “Pen Licence”, he hopes that this concept can also be integrated into the Australian school curriculum. Based on the idea that healthy kids become healthy adults, through the Health Ninja Licence, his aim is to create an Australia where all primary school kids leave school with internalised healthy habits that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Over the last 2 years, Gihan has given multiple presentations to the 880 "Health Ninjas" at Glen Waverley Primary School (his old primary school).

These presentations are centred around the 5 most important pillars of health in Gihan’s eyes.

Pillar 1: Reduce Added Sugar

Pillar 2: Reduce Processed Foods

Pillar 3: Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Pillar 4: More Play, Less Screen

Pillar 5: Happiness

Each pillar consists of core knowledge believed to be essential to understand before these kids leave primary school. Gihan is slowly building a curriculum within each pillar. However, knowledge is only “potential power”. Based on the belief that knowledge is only power if coupled with "consistent action", together with the Principal of the school, Gihan has developed "Health Ninja Challenges".

The first 3-week Health Ninja Challenge based around reducing sugary drinks was a great success. It was a beautiful way for the Ninjas to take their knowledge about added sugar in sugary drinks and convert it into action (i.e. drink more water and less sugary drinks). The results were encouraging with positive feedback from the teachers, parents and most importantly, the children. Gihan is currently in the process of launching his second Health Ninja Challenge which will centre around "More Play and Less Screen Time".

Once the curriculum is completed, the exciting prospect of spreading the concept to more schools will be the next focus.

Gihan is a first-generation immigrant from Sri Lanka. In the context of civil war, his parents left a very established life in Sri Lanka to give Gihan and his brother opportunities they could only dream of. It took a lot for them to rebuild a life overseas. Gihan is immensely grateful for this opportunity and feels obligated and excited about the prospect of giving back to the community on a large scale. Having recently completed his qualification to become a General Practitioner, his next big venture is to take the concept of a “Health Ninja Licence” and spread it to every single primary school child in Australia.

In keeping with the theme of promoting healthy lifestyle habits, Gihan was a spokesperson for Cancer Council Victoria’s “13 types of cancer” campaign. This campaign aimed to raise public awareness about the evidence that being above a healthy weight, which can be attributed at least partly to added sugar intake through sugary drinks, can increase the risk of developing 13 types of cancer. He has also been a spokesperson for the “LiveLighter” campaign which involved encouraging General Practitioners to develop the skills needed to talk more frequently to their patients about weight loss and weight management. He has also worked with Diabetes Victoria to help emphasise the role that General Practitioners play in improving health literacy amongst patients with diabetes.


Dr Andrew Browning

Maternal health care in Africa- an Australian intervention

Dr Andrew Browning spent 17 years living with his family in Ethiopia and Tanzania amongst some of the poorest people in the world.

He specialises in treating a devastating birth injury called obstetric fistula. This results from women giving birth at home, without medical help. In labour for four or five days they deliver a stillborn child and the tissues in their pelvis are destroyed, leaving them with large holes (fistula) to their bladder and bowel. Leaking continually they are shunned, depressed and suicidal.

Andrew is one of only a handful of surgeons in the world who have dedicated their lives to helping treat and prevent this. His charity has now built three maternity hospitals in Africa and aims to build many more.

BOOKINGS: www.trybooking.com/BEYTZ

When: Thursday, 21st November 2019

Where: The RACV City Club, Level 17, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Tickets: $70.00 per head or $650 for a table of ten (incl. GST)

RSVP: 7th November 2019

Time: 7.15 for 7.30 till 9.00am

We look forward to welcoming all Rotarians, partners, friends and colleagues to this special event

All funds raised will be used to support Rotary Foundation projects that make lives better in your community and around the world

Club Information

Welcome to Rotary
Central Melbourne

Interested in what we do?
Join us for breakfast
We meet
Tuesday 7.20am
for 7.40am
RACV City Club
501 Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000
Rotary Theme
Oct 12, 2019
Dr Gihan Jayaweera
Oct 22, 2019
Pilot Program - Health Ninja Licence
Maryann Liethof
Oct 29, 2019
Representing Polio Survivors throughout Australia
Nov 05, 2019
Jessica Trijsburg, Peace Scholar D9800
Nov 12, 2019
Rotary Peace Scholarship and Beyond
Nov 19, 2019
PAUL HARRIS BREAKFAST ON THURSDAY 21st NOVEMBER - see full details on home page
Dr Andrew Browning
Nov 21, 2019
Maternal health care in Africa- an Australian intervention
Gabe Denemark – Community Ambassador for NBN
Dec 10, 2019
NBN Progress Update – what it means for you
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