Guiding principles

Healthy Sydney University may be able to assist in the planning, implementation, evaluation, endorsement and promotion of projects. Before submitting a request, initiative owners should read the below guiding principles to understand if/how their project aligns with Healthy Sydney University.

Guiding principle 1: Evidence-informed and evidence-generating

Projects carried out under (or in association with) Healthy Sydney University should be evidence-informed and evidence-generating


Guiding questions

Identify a need and define goals

Identify how the initiative meets a need for students and/or staff and define goals and objective

–   Has a need for this kind of activity been identified?

–   Has any existing action around the University related to this activity been identified?

–   Have clear goals and objectives been set for the activity?

–   How and when will we know if the activity has or hasn’t been successful?

Ensure the initiative is evidence-informed and evidence-generating

Inform projects with best available evidence


Incorporate monitoring and evaluation to build new evidence 


–   Is there existing evidence on this kind of activity?

–   What new evidence will be generated by this activity?

–   How will data be collected and stored?

–   Is there a plan for how outcomes will be measured against objectives? 

–   Can data collected during the evaluation of the activity be fed into research activities within the University?

–   What impact or outcome measures will be included? Will structural and/or policy changes be measured alongside behavioural change?

–   Has there been consideration of how the activity might influence policy and process within the University?

Guiding principle 2: Collaboration

Projects affecting staff or student life should be developed in collaboration with staff or students and their representatives


Guiding questions

Identify and engage key stakeholders

Ensure involvement and collaboration across all levels


–   Have all of the key stakeholders affected by this activity been identified? For example, external stakeholders and internal stakeholder representatives and existing groups within the University?

–   What has been done to initiate broad engagement among these stakeholders?

–   Is there a plan to create support and initial action on this activity?                

–   Are initiatives affecting students and staff driven by key stakeholder representatives?

Participative planning

Develop a comprehensive and ongoing program of consultation to inform and engage key stakeholders


–   To what extent have staff and students had the opportunity to contribute to the development of this activity?

–   Is there opportunity for two-way dialogue and feedback into the initiative from all relevant stakeholders?

–   Does consultation with stakeholders need to happen more than once?

–   Is there a mechanism for feedback from stakeholders at program milestones?

Build program engagement and identify and support champions

Customise the initiative to meet the needs, interests, and concerns of staff and/or students



–   Are there individual champions who can promote and create broader enthusiasm for the initiative?

–   Which faculties or services have the most enthusiasm for the initiative? Can these units initiate the changes required to start activities rolling?

–   How has this activity been adapted to meet the identified needs, interests and concerns of staff and students within the University?

–   Is the activity open to and accessible by all students and/or staff within the University?

Guiding principle 3: Holistic view of health and wellbeing

Projects implemented and/or endorsed by Healthy Sydney University recognise the relationship between physical and mental health and wellbeing


Guiding questions

Mental and physical health and wellbeing


Adopt a holistic view of health and wellbeing


–   Does the activity adopt a holistic interpretation of health and wellbeing?

–   Is it anticipated that this activity will impact positively on the physical and/or mental health and wellbeing of students and/or staff?

–   Can links be made between physical and mental health and wellbeing with this activity?

–   Does this activity contribute to a greater sense of community within the University?

Guiding principle 4: University-wide approach

The Healthy Sydney University approach is University-wide, with DVCs, directors of professional service units and deans of faculties and champions across all sections of the University, including students and student organisations working together


Guiding questions


Engage support from the top-down and the bottom-up

Work collaboratively on strategies 


–   Have the appropriate decision-makers been identified?

–   Have senior management been engaged? Does the activity have their support or endorsement?

–   To what extent have students and staff had the opportunity to contribute to the development of the activity?

–   Are student and/or staff representatives involved in driving the initiatives that affect them?


Market and communicate the initiative

Ensure the initiative is clearly branded.Identify appropriate channels for the target audience

–   Has the activity been included under the HSU brand? What identifies it as part of the initiative?

–   What marketing or communication strategies have been developed to ensure this activity connects with the target group?

–   Does this strategy involve a range of media?


Guiding principle 5: Population, settings-based approach

Healthy Sydney University activities should adopt an integrated, sustainable, population-based approach, rather than address individual health needs


Guiding questions

Take a University-wide approach to key action areas: healthy people, healthy places, healthy policies


Build upon existing actions and initiatives to create a setting that promotes the health and wellbeing of students and staff


–   Does the activity fit within a key HSU action area: healthy people, healthy policies, or healthy places?

–   Could the activity be adapted for different people or groups within the University?

–   Could this activity be implemented across a range of different environments across the University?

–   Where possible, does this activity build upon existing actions or initiatives within the University?

–   Is there a plan for staged introduction of the activity throughout the University?

–   Does the activity take advantage of any existing internal and external events, programs or services or does it require novel resources?

Build sustainability

Provide incentives and recognition to sustain involvement. Put in place measure to encourage long-term sustainability


–   Does the activity have the flexibility to incorporate feedback from students and staff?

–   What incentives are there for this activity to be adopted and sustained by staff and students? Does this reward structure require approval by senior management?

–   Has a plan been developed to ensure long-term maintenance of the activity?

–   Is there a succession plan for future versions of the program to ensure its sustainability?