18 February 2015

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

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


News at HealthWest

Health Literacy MEET-UP!

You are invited to the first MEET-UP of 2015. This MEET-UP we will focus on developing health literacy resources. We will hear from local professionals about a variety of practical health literacy resources they have developed, with the opportunity to develop your own personal resources through the networking opportunities provided.

More info: for more information and to register, visit the HealthWest website.

‘Stories of Participation’ Video Celebrates Community Partnerships

HealthWest is proud to launch our new video ‘Stories of Participation: Partnering with the community to improve health and wellbeing’, now available on our website.

This video explores the experiences of community members who partner with organisations to improve health and wellbeing. It was developed by HealthWest with the assistance of members of the Community Engagement in the West Network. You are welcome to use the video and distribute it widely. We hope it encourages community members and organisations to partner together to improve health and wellbeing.

More info: contact Mindy Allott, Health Literacy & Community Partnership Program Manager on 8379 9948 or mindy.allott@healthwest.org.au.

Update to HealthWest Population Health Data Book

The HealthWest Population Health Data Book has been updated to include data from the Victorian Population Health Survey, undertaken in 2011-12. Existing data sets have been updated and new data sets have been included, such as:

  • Daily sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption
  • Number of days totally unable to work study or manage day-to-day activities
  • Last visit to a doctor or GP
  • Lifetime prevalence of depression and anxiety by gender.

More info: view the data book.

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Community Partnership and Engagement

Consumer Participation in Melbourne High Schools

Melbourne high schools are inviting students to sit on interview panels to select their future teachers. This is a great example of how consumer and community participation can benefit both organisations and consumers. It also reveals some of the debate that consumer participation can provoke.

You can give kids a tokenistic voice … but if you are going to give students a real voice you have to give them genuine opportunities.” (The Age, 2015)

More info: read the article.

Volunteer and Community Training Calendar

Wyndham City Council has released its 2015 training calendar for volunteers and community members. Between February and March, residents in Wyndham can register for training in areas such as chairing effective meetings, roles and responsibilities of board members and improving grant application writing skills.

More info: visit the Wyndham City Council website.

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Service Integration

Conversations in Cultural Responsiveness

This resource is a conversation starter for Victoria’s mental health services. Produced by the Victorian Transcultural Mental Health (VTMH) Unit and created by practitioners for practitioners, the resource is designed to stimulate diversity awareness in conversations and reflections on creating culturally responsive mental health systems.

The resource has multiple purposes according to the needs of your service environments: to provide orientation training in cultural diversity for new staff, to provide a resource for other training, to inform leaders and practitioners of key issues in culturally diverse mental health practice, to guide relevant service changes and to advise you about VTMH services and provide links to a number of other information sources.

More info: this resource can be accessed on the VTMH website.

Orygen Youth Health Training Calendar

Orygen Youth Health (OYH) has released its 2015 training calendar. OYH Training and Communications programs share knowledge gained through clinical and research expertise to enhance the service system that supports young people with mental health issues. Staff work to strengthen the integration of the youth health service system, including public, community and private health services at local, national and international levels.

The service provides mental health consultation, training and mental health promotion services to community, education and health organisations and groups across the Orygen Youth Health catchment area of Northern and Western Melbourne.

More info: view the 2015 training calendar.

NorthWestern Mental Health Training and Development Unit (MHTDU) Calendar

The MHTDU of NorthWestern Mental Health undertakes professional development and training for clinicians of all disciplines in mental health/psychiatric programs. Its primary role is to assist in the workforce development needs of clinical staff. It offers a variety of workshops and programs designed for mental health practitioners.

More info: view the 2015 training calendar.

Future of NEHTA and the PCEHR Still Undecided

A decision regarding the funding of the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) is still being considered. The governance arrangements for eHealth that were recommended by the Royle review into the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) are also under review.

More info: read the article.

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Transforming Gender Norms, Roles and Power Dynamics for Better Health

The Gender, Policy and Measurement program, funded by the Asia bureau of the United States Agency for International Development, undertook a comprehensive, systematic review of the impact of gender-integrated programs on health outcomes. The findings are primarily intended to inform the work of government officials, donors, non-governmental organisations and other key stakeholders involved in health programming in India, as well as other low- and middle-income countries around the world.

More info: view the full report.

New Research: Attitudes Towards Alcohol

VicHealth has released a new report that explore Australians’ attitudes towards alcohol.  The ‘Australians’ attitudes towards their health, alcohol consumption and taking a break from alcohol’ report looks at Australians’ drinking levels, their alcohol-related behaviours and attitudes to their own health and wellbeing. The survey was conducted in partnership with FebFast and covered general health, wellbeing and alcohol consumption and drew on results from more than 2000 people aged 18 and older across Australia.

More info: visit the VicHealth website.

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Aboriginal Health

Closing the Gap Reports

Two critical reports were recently released, the Closing the Gap: Prime Minister’s Report 2015 and the Closing the Gap – Progress and Priorities Report prepared by the Close the Gap Steering Committee. This is the seventh annual report card on the progress made toward meeting the nation’s targets to close the gap in life expectancy, early childhood, health, education and employment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

More info: view the Prime Minister’s Report and the Progress and Priorities Report.

Indigenous Expenditure Report 2014

The 2014 Indigenous Expenditure Report is the third in a series of biennial reports first commissioned by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in December 2007. The report presents estimates of expenditure by Commonwealth, state and territory governments on both Indigenous specific and mainstream services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The estimates are broadly aligned to the COAG Closing the Gap building blocks.

More info: view the report.

Close the Gap Day – 19 March

National Close the Gap Day is on 19 March this year. Oxfam has free event packs with everything you need to run and promote a National Close the Gap Day event, including promotional flyers and posters, a short film (DVD), balloons and stickers. These packs are that available to those who register for the event online.

More info: view the Oxfam website.

National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care

This is the second report on the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs) data collection. It captures data from over 200 primary health care organisations that receive funding from the federal Department of Health to provide services primarily to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It presents data for 19 process of care and health outcomes indicators which focus on the prevention and management of chronic disease and maternal and child health. The report shows improvements against most of the process of care indicators.

More info: view the full report.

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For Your Diary


Primary Health Care (PHC) Research Conference 2015

The conference offers the opportunity to present and hear about the latest research, debate and share ideas. It is the place to foster alliances among key partners from across the health system. Submissions of abstracts are invited, centred on PHC priorities:

  • Improving access and reducing inequity
  • Better management of chronic conditions
  • Increasing the focus on prevention
  • Improving quality, safety, performance and accountability.

More info: visit the PHCRIS website.


Launch of ‘The Hidden Harm: Alcohol’s Impact on Children and Families’

The Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) is launching a new study that examines alcohol-related family and domestic violence in Australia, shedding new light on a hidden dimension of alcohol harms that occurs largely behind closed doors. Funded by FARE and undertaken by the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, the study draws on two national surveys, service system data and qualitative interviews with families. The study will be officially launched by Rosie Batty – family violence campaigner, founder of the Luke Batty Foundation and 2015 Australian of the Year.

The launch event will include presentations on the research findings and family and domestic violence policy options, followed by a panel discussion on how this research can contribute to a reduction in domestic violence.

When: Tuesday 24 February, 10.30am-12.30pm
Where: NSW Parliament House, Theatrette, 6 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Cost: free
More info: RSVP by Friday 20 February to glenis.thomas@fare.org.au or call 02 6122 8600.

Melbourne Metro

Training: Identifying Family Violence

Turning Point is holding a one day workshop aimed at case and community workers who are interested in identifying family violence and would like to know how to work with their clients safely.

Participants will:

  • Explore the myths about the causes of family violence
  • Address the gendered nature of family violence
  • Review the dynamics of men’s use of violence and collusion
  • Review ongoing assessment, monitoring and risk management
  • Address safe practices in engagement
  • Review barriers to leaving and gathering important information.

When: Friday 20 March
Where: Turning Point Offices, 142 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Cost: $220
More info: visit the website.

Cultural Competence in Counselling

This workshop draws on a cultural competence framework to improve counselling within diverse communities. The training features discussions on relevant theory around cultural competency tools for counsellors, hands-on activities including a clinical case study and comprehensive resource lists for further learning. The workshop is targeted to counsellors, psychologists, social workers and welfare workers.

Workshop participants will be able to:

  • Understand cultural influences on client worldviews
  • Identify the principles and tools associated with cultural competence
  • Implement strategies to improve services to CALD clients.

When: 18 March 2015, 9.15am – 1.00pm
Where: Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health, 23 Lennox St, Richmond
Cost: $150 – includes morning tea, lunch and course materials
More info: register online.

Women Leading the Way Panel Discussion

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria invites you to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of culturally diverse women within the community sector as well as to inspire younger generations of women to strive and aim for their own leadership success and opportunities. This panel discussion aims to enhance the awareness of the contributions of culturally diverse women within the not-for-profit sector and address the need for greater engagement of women in leadership roles.

When: Friday 6 March, 4-6pm
Where: Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne
Cost: free
More info: register online.

Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria 2015 ‘Musculoskeletal Health’ Webinar Series

This webinar series for health professionals is targeted to various disciplines across the musculoskeletal health and other sectors. The aim of the series is to provide participants with clinically-meaningful skills and knowledge to deliver recommended care by focusing on issues relevant to the evidence-based treatment and management of people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions.

When: various dates and times
More info: view all details online or see the flyer.

Local Area

Have You Asked the Question Training – Free Sessions in Sunshine and Melton

These sessions provide attendees with:

  • Information about identity and diversity within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander community
  • The importance of why we need to ask about identity and the correct wording to be used
  • Current and historical context around self-identification issues.

When: 25 February (Sunshine) at 11.30am-1pm or 1.30pm-3pm or 26 February (Melton) 11am-12.30pm or 1pm-2.30pm. Please note content is the same for all sessions.
Where: Sunshine at the Visy Hub or Melton at the Library and Learning Hub
Cost: free
More info: to register or for more information contact Denise Jones at HealthWest on 8379 9922 or denise.jones@healthwest.org.au.

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