• To establish and evaluate the effectiveness of a community of practice to support public health nutritionists in their work with remote community stores.

This project was a collaboration between Menzies School of Health Research and Monash University.

Stores in remote communities have a unique role in delivering preventative health promotion strategies by influencing the primary food supply with positive impacts on Indigenous health. Past initiatives have been limited and generally not sustained.

Supporting public health nutritionists working in the remote food retail sector, to create sustainable and effective change to food sold in remote stores is crucial.

Implications for policy and practice:

This study has developed a model for workforce development, building evidence and opportunities to increase the attraction and retention of public health nutritionists in remote Australia to contribute to sustaining improved nutrition and therefore health in remote communities.

Our research has found: 
  • Community of Practice is a useful model for public health nutritionists working in the challenging context of remote food supply to develop competency and strong professional support.
  • Public health nutritionists participating in the Community of Practice reported some positive improvements in the food supply during the short duration of this study.
Chief investigator:
  • Dr Claire Palermo, Monash University
Project officer:
  • Stacey Holden, Monash University
Menzies researchers:
Contact information:
Project dates:

This project was completed in 2014.

  • Australian National Preventative Health Agency.
  • Monash University.


  1. Holden, S., Ferguson, M., Brimbelcombe, J. & Palermo, C. (2015). Can a community of practice equip public health nutritionist to work with remote retail to improve the food supply? Rural and Remote Health, 15, 3464. (Online)