1 April 2015

Welcome to HealthWest’s fortnightly newsletter. Read on for the latest in health news, resources, events and more!

News at HealthWest
Health Literacy
Community Partnership and Engagement
Service Integration
Aboriginal Health
For Your Diary


News at HealthWest

Pain Self-Management Forum

The Western Self-Management Network is proud to announce a forum on the self-management of pain. Guest speakers will include Lester Jones, a researcher and physiotherapist with 23 years of clinical experience and Chair of the National Pain Network. The forum will focus on the most current concepts of pain, the determinants and influences of pain and self-management interventions for clients living with persistent pain. Any clinician or manager interested in developing skills and knowledge of the self-management approach should attend this event. Reserve your seat now!

When: 27 April 2015, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Where: Maribyrnong City Council
More info: register by visiting our website.

Diabetes Community Working Group Braybrook

HealthWest are currently seeking interested community members to help shape the initiatives delivered by the place-based project, Responding to Diabetes in Braybrook. Please see the role description for further details.

More info: contact Raini Nailer with any queries or to apply at raini.nailer@healthwest.org.au or 8379 9953.

New contact details

Just a reminder that as of today, we are co-located with Carers Victoria at Level 1/37 Albert Street, Footscray. Emails will remain the same and new phone numbers will be communicated once we are back up and running on 7 April. If you need to contact us urgently across this period, please call 0417 694 998.

back to top

Health Literacy

Save the date

The next MEET-UP will focus on Consumer Participation in Health Literacy. It will take place on Monday 1 June. Watch this space!

Health literacy: one day intensive

Interested in learning more about health literacy? The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) are running a one day intensive workshop on Wednesday 15 April.

Workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify principles of health literacy and models of practice
  • Apply tools to improve individuals’ understanding of health information
  • Identify organisational priority areas for health literacy action
  • Contextualise health literacy within cultural responsiveness, quality improvement and diversity planning requirements.

More info: visit the website.

back to top

Community Partnership and Engagement

Listening to the Consumer Voice Forum – save the date

What does healthy dialogue look like in 2015? The Health Issues Centre is hosting a forum to examine this questions on 24 June 2015.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • A vision for listening: consumer and clinician perspective
  • New and creative approaches to communicating with consumers
  • Hearing the disconnected
  • Addressing the role of communication in consumer complaints.

More info: further details to come.

Get a nationally accredited qualification in health consumer leadership or engagement

Health Issues Centre will offer two accredited, innovative training programs for consumer leaders and health service staff in 2015.

Course in Consumer Leadership: this three-day course is for consumer representatives/leaders and health service staff. It will provide the basic skills and knowledge to work in partnership to facilitate and promote consumer engagement to consumers and health services personnel.
Closing date for registrations: Friday, 10 April 2015.

Graduate Certificate in Consumer Engagement: this four-day course provides healthcare consumer leaders and health service staff the advanced skills and knowledge to work collaboratively to provide strategic consumer engagement services to consumers, health services, and government and non-government bodies.
Closing date for registrations: Friday, 15 May 2015.

More info: visit the Health Issues Centre website.

International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Conference

This year’s IAP2 Australasia Conference will explore three key themes:

  • Strategies and experiences of raising awareness, improving decision making and embedded practice in your organisations or profession
  • Celebration and commiserations from your engagement experiences, sharing insights and understanding that can only be gained in the field of practice
  • The future of engagement by profiling emerging research, strategies and practice to stretch our thinking.

The conference is being held in Perth from 14-16 October 2015.

More info: to register or for further details visit the website.

back to top

Service Integration

High cost of GP rebate freeze may see co-payments rise from the dead

The GP co-payments were announced to be “dead, buried and cremated”. This, however, contrasts with Health Minister Sussan Ley’s desire to “reduce the number of bulk-billed consultations to people who can afford to pay something”.

A paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia shows that the freeze on Medicare fees paid to GPs will leave doctors $8.43 worse off per consultation with non-concessional patients by 2017-18; which is a bigger shortfall than the now-abandoned $5 rebate cut.

More info: read the article.

back to top


Training for community members through Our 3021 Project

Our 3021 is a project focusing on the St Albans district that encourages residents in the area to become active participants in the decisions that create health and wellbeing in the community. The project is a partnership between cohealth, ISIS Primary Care and Brimbank City Council. Our 3021 is offering an inspiring, informative and practical training course to improve people’s understanding of relationships and cooperation, roles of individuals and groups, and processes and tasks.

This training is being offered to community groups and individuals in the Brimbank area only. The training is being held on Thursday 16 April from 6.30pm at the St Albans Uniting Church. Spaces are limited so we encourage those who are interested to register ASAP.

More info: contact Cuong La, Project Coordinator, Our 3021 at cuong.la@healthwest.org.au.

Domestic Violence in Australia: Interim Report

The Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee has released an interim report into its findings on domestic violence in Australia.

A study of Victorian women demonstrated that domestic violence is the leading preventable contributor to death, disability and illness in women aged between 15 and 44, and is responsible for more of the disease burden than many well-known risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and obesity. The emotional and personal costs of domestic violence in our community are enormous. Violence affects the victims themselves, children who are exposed to violence, extended families, friends, work colleagues and the broader community.

The committee acknowledges these emotional and personal costs as well as the huge economic cost of domestic violence. A study commissioned by the Commonwealth Government notes that the yearly cost of domestic violence in Australia in 2008-09 was $13.6 billion and the cost is increasing.

More info: visit Australian Policy Online.

back to top

Aboriginal Health

Heart Foundation Information sheets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

A new set of information sheets on cardiovascular disease and its risk factors have been developed by the Heart Foundation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Designed for patients and families, these information sheets are easy to read and cover the following topics:

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking

The information sheets can be used to distribute to people at workshops, community events or during individual consultations.

More info: visit the website or call the Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87 to order copies.

Exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives of Home Medicines Review

In Australia, Home Medicines Review (HMR) has been found to be an important tool to raise awareness of medication safety, reduce adverse events and improve medication adherence. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are ‘underserviced’ by the HMR program and are the most likely of all Australians to miss out on HMRs despite their high burden of chronic disease and high rates of hospitalisation due to medication misadventure. The goal of this study was to explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives of the Home Medicines Review program and their suggestions for an ‘improved’ or more readily accessible model of service.

More info: read the review.

Impact of diabetes on eye care service needs: the National Indigenous Eye Health Survey

The National Indigenous Eye Health Survey (NIEHS) was a population-based study of 30 randomly selected geographical areas which included 1189 Indigenous adults aged 40 to 80 years. The aim was to assess the proportion of Australian Indigenous adults who require eye care services and determine implications for eye care service planning.

More info: read the article.

back to top

For Your Diary


Call for abstracts at 2015 ADMA National Conference

Abstracts are now welcome for the 11th ADMA National Conference. The theme this year is ‘Count me in: partnerships in chronic care’. Deadline for oral abstracts is 24 April 2015 and 4 August 2015 for written abstracts.

When: 10-11 September 2015
Where: Brisbane Convention Centre
More info: view the flyer or contact info@adma.org.au.

Melbourne Metro

Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria webinar – Understanding Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can be difficult to understand and treat effectively. Recently, much of the research into CRPS has turned to the role of the brain in this disorder. During this webinar, we will discuss the latest evidence from neuro-imaging and explore the concept of ‘neuroplasticity’ in pain. We will also look at an acute treatment plan and a longer term management paradigm, informed by both the evidence and clinical experience with patients with both acute and chronic CRPS and other persistent pain states.

When: Monday 20 April 2015, 7-8pm (AEST)
More info: to register visit the website.

Medication Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence (MATOD) Community of Practice

A community of practice has been established to support practitioners working in the medication assisted treatment of opioid dependence (MATOD) field. The inaugural Community of Practice for MATOD treatment providers and those with a special interest in AOD will be held Tuesday 7 April at Networking Health Victoria from 7pm. It is intended that Community of Practice events will occur quarterly and provide participants with networking opportunities and a guest speaker  to cover a range of topics as identified by participants.

When: Tuesday 7 April, 7pm
When: Networking Health Victoria, 6/486 Swanston St, Melbourne
Cost: free
More info: to register please email pharmacotherapy@cohealth.org.au or call 03 9362 8100.

Local Area

Circle of Security

Drummond Street Services are running a Parent Group in Hoppers Crossing in Term 2. Circle of Security is for parents of children 0–5 years, run over 7 sessions. The group is free and there is limited child minding available but bookings are essential.

When: Tuesday 12 May-23 June, 11.00am-1.00pm with morning tea provided.
Where: Derrimut Road Youth Resource Centre, 86 Derrimut Road, Hoppers Crossing
More info: view the flyer or call 03 8734 1355 to book.

Dove BodyCare Think Educator Workshop

The Butterfly Foundation, Australia’s leading non-profit supporting those with eating disorders and body image concerns, is hosting an educator workshop. This is a 3-hour train-the-trainer workshop in the use of the self-esteem, body image and media literacy program Dove BodyThink.  It will provide you with the information and resources to enable you to work safely with young people on body image issues either as part of your PDHPE, pastoral or youth services program

When: Thursday 23 April, 9-12pm (Altona) or Thursday 14 May 9-12pm (Bundoora)
Where: Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre, Altona or Quest, Bundoora
Cost: $75
More info: to register, visit the website or for enquiries contact

Aboriginal playgroups in the City of Wyndham

Bunbunarik Playgroup

Cultural activities and educational programs for Aboriginal children. Parents/guardians are welcome to come down and have a yarn and meet other community members. Morning tea is provided.

When: every Thursday during school terms, 9:15am-11:30am
Where: Manorvale Primary School, Music Room, Greaves Street, Werribee
Cost: free
More info: contact Rebecca Monohan MCH Liaison Officer on 03 9742 8148.

When: every Friday during school terms, 10:00am-12:00pm
Where: Sr Rita Douglas Maternal & Child Health Centre, 42 Vincent Crescent, Werribee
Cost: free
More info: contact Rebecca Monohan MCH Liaison Officer on 03 9742 8148.

VACCA Playgroup

VACCA will be operating a playgroup in Wyndham Vale from Term 2 2015. Come and join us in a culturally safe, fun and empowering environment for families with children aged 5 years and under.

When: every Thursday during school term, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Where: Wyndham Vale Community Learning Centre, 86 Manor Lakes Blvd, Wyndham Vale
More info: contact the Koorie Kids Playgroup Team on 0409 641 571 or 03 8388 1855.

GP Training Module 1 – Safer Opioid Prescribing

Three sessions of the module for GPs to safely prescribe opioids are being run throughout May and June. The sessions will be held:

Darebin Community Arts Centre, 7 May 2015.
More info: visit the website.

Bacchus Marsh Hospital, 2 June 2015.
More info: to register email pharmacotherapy@cohealth.org.au.

Inner North Western Melbourne Medicare Local, Parkville, 10 June 2015.
More info: to register email events@inwmml.org.au.

back to top