FONS was approved by the IUNS General Assembly in 2013 in Granada at their annual general meeting. Initial progress to establish a FONS was slow, but networks created between nutrition professionals through the Oceanic Nutrition Leadership platform (ONLP) have enabled its progress.
On March 9th, a virtual half-day workshop was held to brainstorm the viability of establishing a FONS affiliated with IUNS. The workshop and preceding stakeholder engagement activity were funded by IUNS, the Australian Nutrition Trust Fund (ANTF), and the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA). The workshop brought together 20 stakeholders from eight countries across the Pacific Islands, Australia, and New Zealand, to discuss this important initiative for the Oceanic region. There was overwhelming enthusiasm and agreement that FONS can make a difference for the region. Workshop participants were able to formulate a purpose (see word cloud), identify success indicators, define operating principles and guiding values, and identify the next steps for establishing a FONS. The aim is to launch FONS at the 2022 IUNS-ICN conference in Tokyo, Japan.
Thank you to the core group driving this initiative, including Dr Welma Stonehouse, Elisiva Na’ati, Mafi Funaki-Tahifote, Prof Pam von Hurst, Dr Tracy McCaffrey, Prof Alison Coates, collectively representing the Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Nutrition (AAS NCN), Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA), Nutrition Society of New Zealand (NSNZ), The Pacific Community (SPC) and the Oceanic Nutrition Leadership Platform (ONLP). A great thank you to Yda Gray, PiqueGlobal, who facilitated the workshop. Welcome to the new members who have recently joined the core group including Dr Sarah Burkhart, Dr Mary-Ann Carter, Solene Bertrand, and Soana Muimuiheata.