Dr. Donna Barwood

Coordinator of Health and Physical Education

Donna Barwood is the Coordinator for Secondary Health & Physical Education (HPE) at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. Her research interests predominantly focus on health education & inclusivity in HPE – with a developing research profile in the preparation of HPE teachers; pragmatics, challenges &
opportunities at the school and classroom level. Donna draws upon her wealth of experience as an early childhood, primary, secondary & tertiary educator, and positions held in public, private & Catholic education – including the role of Head of HPE.

Donna has strong connections with the HPE community in Australia, and internationally through her dedication & continued commitment to supporting the needs of HPE teachers as a presenter of professional learning, curriculum writer (K-10 Syllabus for Health and Physical Education in Western Australia), and President of ACHPER Western Australia.

In 2018, Donna was recognised as an ACHPER Nation Fellow for her services to the HPE community.

Keynote: Best Practice in Health Education – Constructing Meaningful and Healthful Learning

Health can have different meanings to different people; at different times of their lives, under different circumstances and within different contexts. What one person perceives to be healthy, might not necessarily be considered or valued in the same way by another. Building opportunities for children and young people to explore, investigate and make sense of themselves as healthy is key to supporting safer, healthier and more physically active living. It is critical because our young, no matter where they are globally, are bombarded on a daily basis with challenging and sometimes hurtful and/or harmful health messages.

Meaningful and healthful learning in health education ensures that what is taught in the name of health is intentional. It ensures that what is promoted is contextually relevant and creates a sense of understanding and belonging within the child because it makes sense to them. Meaningful and healthful learning in health education embraces the particular circumstances of each and every individual in inclusive and supportive ways, to promote strengths, resiliency and new ways of healthier living.