Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2009 Contents 40
DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNoLoGy oRGANISATIoN
sTO staff in search of a
good night’s rest have been
flocking to fairbairn in
droves recently to listen to
a lunch-time speaker from
the faculty of Health clinic
based at canberra university.
The Health Matters program helped raise staff
awareness and deliver practical advice on general
health issues. DSTO uses awareness-raising
activities, such as Lunchtime Health Lectures, to
actively promote health and a balanced lifestyle
amongst its employees.
A noticeable improvement in general staff
‘alertness’ was experienced throughout the region
in the weeks that followed, which shows that the
approach used by DSTO to improve the general
health and wellbeing of staff is working.
Lunchtime lectures are not confined to
Canberra-based staff, but are also conducted on
DSTO sites around the country as part of a broader
program of awareness and fitness activities.
The People Strategies team in DSTO
understand the importance of obtaining and
maintaining good health as the important first step
in encouraging a healthy workforce.
In light of this, they have devised in partnership
with staff from the sites, wellbeing programs that
focus on three key areas – health, life and physical.
A range of activities, special presentations
and awareness campaigns are supported
throughout the year by the growing number of
employees who are becoming involved.
Healthy employer of choice
The challenge of recruiting and retaining
highly skilled and talented science and technology
graduates is a challenge facing many science
organisations – be they government, private or
With a dwindling supply of science and
engineering graduates, DSTO has to market itself
not only as a leader in science and technology, but
also as an employer of choice.
In addition to its scientific laboratories,
diverse scientific research programs and robust
links with Industry and academia, DSTO also
promotes its obligation to promoting well-being in
Based on three key themes – health, life and
physical – DSTO’s well-being programs will appeal
to individuals of all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds,
fitness levels, health awareness, and lifestyles.
Guest speakers from a range of government
and university organisations are invited to speak
to staff and answer questions related to a health
topic – such as the sleep lecture mentioned above.
Lunch-time seminars across DSTO sites have
included a range of topics such as eating for peak
performance, advanced nutrition, understanding
prostate cancer, how to decrease diabetes risk factors,
eating to reduce body fatness and postural awareness.
These seminars are increasing staff
awareness of health issues that are relevant to
both them and their families.
As with the Health Matters program, the Life
Matters program includes introducing subject-
matter experts to engage with staff during
lunchtime seminars. However, the Life Matters
aims to help employees to better cope with the
myriad issues that impact on our daily lives – both
at work and at home.
The program includes guidance on achieving
work-life balance and, together with on-site
counselling services, works to help staff who may
have to care for an aging relative, or cope with
grief or depression.
Other subject areas covered by the Life
Matters program are social intelligence, resilience
training, workplace harmony, relaxation techniques
and coaching skills for teamwork.
By providing employees with information and
support to help them through life’s rough patches,
DSTO is helping individuals to achieve a healthy
balance between their work and personal life.
With awareness of health and life issues
already covered, the third wellbeing program
Physical Matters gets employees actively involved
in activities that increase fitness levels.
Most activities link into existing recreational
activities that are scheduled throughout the year;
for example, the DSTO Winter Walking Challenge
held annually across all sites where teams of four
compete to cover the longest distance over a
Table tennis tournaments, volleyball
competitions and lunchtime soccer matches are
just a few of the activities that involve staff.
for health and happiness
DSTO uses awareness-raising
activities, such as Lunchtime
Health Lectures, to actively
promote health and a balanced
lifestyle amongst its employees
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