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OpHeLiA stands for 'Optimising Health Literacy and Access' to health information and services. It represents an approach to developing and supporting health literacy in individuals and communities through participatory, community-focused, equity-driven and sustainable interventions and programs. OpHeLiA was developed through partnerships between two Australian universities (Deakin and Monash), eight service organisations and the Victorian Government.

HealthLit4Kids is based on the OpHeLiA principles and recognises that developing health literacy depends on the interplay between an individual, their community and health services. The OpHeLiA principles are evidenced by HealthLit4Kids' participatory approach which encourages involvement from all members of the school community, including the broader community and services in which the school is located. This whole-of-community approach is key to the long-term sustainability of the program, as well as crucial to achieving the ripple effect from the activities in the school ground. The table below outlines the OpHeLiA principles that have guided the development of HealthLit4Kids.

OpHeLiA Principles


1. Outcomes focused

Improved health and reduced health inequalities

2. Equity driven

All activities at all stages prioritise disadvantaged groups and those experiencing inequity in access and outcome

3. Co-design approach

In all activities at all stages, relevant stakeholders engage collaboratively to design solutions

4. Needs- diagnostic approach

Participatory assessment of local needs using local data

5. Driven by local wisdom

Intervention development and implementation is grounded in local experience and expertise

6. Sustainable

Optimal health literacy practice becomes normal practice and policy

7. Responsiveness

Recognise that health literacy needs and the appropriate responses vary across individuals, contexts, countries, cultures and time

8. Systematically applied

A multilevel approach in which resources, interventions, research and policy are organised to optimise health literacy