HealthWest Update – 4 April 2018

HealthWest Update – 4 April 2018

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

News at HealthWest
Access & Equity
For Your Diary

News at HealthWest

Summary of Strategic Leadership Forum: Exploring future directions

Thank you to the members who participated in our first Strategic Leadership Forum for 2018. The forums are held twice a year and provide members with the opportunity to direct, influence and strengthen HealthWest’s work.

The topic for the morning was Future Directions and Celia Clapp from Lirata Consulting reported on the findings of the review she undertook looking at the ‘health’ of HealthWest. We had a very productive conversation generating solutions to some of the areas identified as opportunities for improvement in the review. After morning tea, the HealthWest staff provided a quick update on their work and used the opportunity to link to members and build connections that will support the successful implementation of their projects.

We had a great morning gathering information and advice from both new and old members of HealthWest.

Discussing future opportunities

Talks with community advisory group members


Not able to attend? Read and/or share this update on HealthWest projects by Gail O’Donnell, EO of HealthWest Partnership.


Workforce Mutuality project update: Implementation of pilot phase

Footscray marketIn 2016, members of HealthWest Partnership raised concerns that the diversity of the community in the West was not being reflected enough in the health and community sector workforce. There is a lot of evidence that shows when the workforce of the health and community sector is in synch with diversity of the community it services, many health indicators go up.

In response, HealthWest began working on a set of Standards designed to support our member organisations – and any other organisations that are interested – in building more inclusive employment pathways with the community, and in making their services more responsive to the needs of a hugely diverse community.

“Workforce mutuality”
the extent to which the diversity of the workforce of an organisation or a sector reflects the actual diversity of the community.

The term “workforce mutuality” has been specifically chosen to be inclusive of a whole range of aspects of people’s diversity: cultural and linguistic, gender, sexual, ability and so on.

We are now pleased to announce that the Standards for Workforce Mutuality are in the final stages of development and will be publicly announced at the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria’s state conference in May 2018.

The next step is a pilot phase implementation aimed to take place in the second half of 2018. We are looking for 6-8 organisations from the HealthWest Partnership membership to take part in this pilot. With the support of HealthWest, participating organisations will identify areas of work from the Standards to implement over a period of a few months. The pilot will also be supported by peak organisations in the diversity and inclusion field who will provide coaching and training for the pilot group. At the end of the pilot phase the participating organisations are expected to have improved their capacity in the workforce mutuality space.

To register your interest in participating in the pilot phase of the HealthWest Standards for Workforce Mutuality, email Martin Plowman, HealthWest Access and Equity Officer, at

More info: Curious about the term “workforce mutuality”? Martin Plowman shares a little of his background and his passion and explains why the term “workforce mutuality” was coined in this interview – Talking about diversity, mutuality and health.


Treasures in the West Expo in 10 days!

Saturday 14 April – Sunshine Convention Centre

An exciting line-up of 30 stallholders and all day speakers from a diverse range of groups and organisations showcasing arts, sports, health, employment and community groups & services in Melbourne’s West.

Sign up or find out more: here
To share this event: Download the jpg or share this Eventbrite page

The Expo is an initiative of connectwest, a membership-based network aimed at enabling the connections and collaboration of community groups, leaders and volunteers in Melbourne’s western suburbs. To find out more, email


Welcome Anna Vu

Please join us in welcoming Anna Vu to HealthWest. Anna joined the HealthWest team in March as the Prevention Manager. Anna will oversee the work of HealthWest’s prevention stream, including the coordination of the western region’s Prevention Taskforce. Anna can be contacted at

We’re thrilled to have her on board.


HealthWest co-authors journal article

Building health literacy responsiveness in Melbourne’s west: a systems approach

HealthWest’s very own Mindy Allott, Tanya Sofra and Gail O’Donnell have co-authored an article entitled “Building health literacy responsiveness in Melbourne’s west: a systems approach”, along with some partners. It was published in the February issue of the Australian Health Review, which features a number of articles on health literacy. The article offers insights into how a systems approach to health literacy responsiveness can support change within a regional health and community services system.

More info: Access the published article here or the pre-publication manuscript here.


Getting the word out about the Referral Decision Aid

Late last year, HealthWest launched the Referral Decision Aid. This resource supports the referral of pre school aged children with developmental delays to appropriate services in Melbourne’s west.

Since then, we’ve been getting the word out about the Referral Decision Aid to early childhood networks and teams across the West.

Would you like to learn more about the Referral Decision Aid?
Download the decision aid, find information and a slide presentation on its use, and let us know what you think here.

More info: Contact Mindy Allott, Systems Integration Manager at

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Access & Equity

Working with migrants to fight viral hepatitis B

Viral hepatitis B is prevalent in many countries around the world. For some community members born overseas, there is a chance that they may have been exposed to hepatitis B without knowing it. A joint project between Hepatitis Victoria, cohealth and Wingate Avenue Community Centre aims to raise awareness about hepatitis B among culturally diverse communities in Melbourne’s north. At a recent education session more than 80 people signed up for vaccination, which is a great result.

More info: Go to the Hepatitis Victoria website.

Cochrane Review: Decision aids for people facing health treatment or screening decision

Patient decision aids are pamphlets, videos, or web-based tools used to support active patient participation in decision making about health treatment or screening options.
This Cochrane systematic review answers the following questions:

  • What are the effects of patient decision aids for adults considering health treatment or screening decisions?
  • Are the effects different when the timing of exposure to patient decision aids is prior to or during the consultation?

The authors concluded that patients benefit from decision aids in a number of ways.

More info: Read the full review here.

NDIS pathway improvement – update

This update from the NDIS focuses on improving pathways into the NDIS for people:

  • The participant pathway pilot to support better pre-planning and improvements to planning has been expanded within Victoria
  • Easy-to-read plans will soon be piloted with participants
  • Tailored pathways are being improved for a number of groups with unique needs and circumstances, including early childhood
  • NDIS has released a detailed report on the Pathways Review

More info: Read these updates on the NDIS website.

Community based health literacy interventions: proceedings of a workshop

A United States based health literacy committee recently hosted a one-day public workshop focusing on community based health literacy interventions. The workshop covered existing community based health literacy interventions, research and best practice. A report documenting the workshop is now available to the public.

More info: Access the report here.

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This Girl Can

In case you’ve missed it, VicHealth is officially launching its This Girl Can – Victoria campaign this week. Their group of This Girl Can ambassadors share their unique story of feeling worried or concerned about being judged while being active. Get to know these everyday, inspiring women here:

More info: You can watch the official television ad here.

Better data for better decisions

Australia remains behind most other advanced countries in the health information it regularly collects and uses in health policy and planning.

The Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) at Victoria University has just released a new paper Better data for better decisions: the case for an Australian Health Survey which recommends a new Australian Health Survey be conducted in 2021, and each six years thereafter.

This policy paper proposes an implementation plan for one of the ten priorities of the Collaboration contained in Getting Australia’s Health on Track.

More info: Read the paper here.

Launch – Oral Health Tracker

World Oral Health Day saw the release of Australia’s Oral Health Tracker, the latest report from the Australia’s Health Tracker series. Australia’s Oral Health Tracker was developed in partnership with the Australian Dental Association. Adult, children and young people targets and indicators have been developed in-line with the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020.

More info: Read the report here.

Campbell Page Boosts Employment Support

In March, the Department of Social Services awarded Campbell Page rollover of its existing high-performing Disability Employment Services (DES)sites for another five years, as well as the opportunity to open sites in 34 new locations from 1 July 2018.

Based on its strong performance and commitment to community, Campbell Page now has the opportunity to almost double its reach from 36 to 70 sites.

More info: Read more here.

Prevent Violence against Women in all Cultures

AMES Australia are seeking socially engaged women and men from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to undertake the second leadership program starting Saturday 21st April 2018 aimed at the Prevention of Violence Against Women.

More info: Read more here.

Calling Young Leaders of the West

Calling 16-25 year olds who live, work, study or socialise in Brimbank. Help develop an initiative to combat “The impact of gambling on our community”.

More info: Refer to this flyer.

Surviving neoliberalism, maintaining values: Community health mergers in Victoria, Australia

Monash University project entitled “Mergers in the Victorian community health sector” has published its first article in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Health Planning and Management. This study explores the values behind the merger of local independent not-for-profits community health structures and regionwide community health organisations.

More info: Read article here.

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For Your Diary



Treasures in the West expo

When: Saturday 14 April 2018
Where: Sunshine Convention Centre, 460 Ballarat Road, Sunshine
More info:
 Register here


Diabetes for disability support workers

When: Monday 16 April 2018
Where: Carlton
More info:
 Click here


Workshop: Using systems thinking to design your collaboration

This workshop will answer questions like: What does it mean to change a system? How are system interventions different from service delivery programmatic ones? And how does your collaboration use systems thinking to develop an effective strategy?

When: Tuesday 17 & Wednesday 18 April 2018, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Where: Melbourne CBD
More info:
 Go to the Collaboration for Impact website


Gender Equity in Action

Learn the practical skills you need to design, deliver and evaluate gender sensitive programs and services. This activity-based workshop will be your introductory step-by-step guide to performing a gender analysis in practice.

When: Thursday 19 April 2018, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Where: Women’s Health Victoria, Melbourne
More info:Details and registration via the Womens Health Victoria website.


Carbohydrate counting workshops for dietitians and diabetes educators

When: Friday 20 April 2018
Where: Carlton
More info:
 Click here



Complexity and Evaluation Conference

A two-day interactive conference exploring useable ideas and tools to evaluate systems change. Featuring international evaluation experts Mark Cabaj and Kate McKegg.

When: Thursday 3 and Friday 4 May 2018, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Where: Melbourne Business School, Carlton
More info: Register via Eventbrite


2018 Diabetes Symposium: Diabetes – Top to Toe

When: Friday 4 May 2018, 9:00am to 4:00pm
Where: Clarendon Auditorium, Melbourne Exhibition Centre
More info:
 Click here


Health cares about family violence

Western Health invites everyone to their forum on identifying and responding to Family Violence in health care settings. This year’s theme is Diversity and Intersectionality.

When: Thursday 17 May 2018, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Where: Sunshine Hospital, St Albans
More info: See the program and register via Eventbrite


ECCV 2018 State Conference: Workplace Revolution – Blueprints for a diverse tomorrow

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace bring innovation. The Conference will examine and demonstrate how diversity and inclusion can meet the three major challenges of the future automation, globalisation and collaborative flexible economy that values relationships supported by digitalisation.

When: Thursday 17 and Friday 18 May 2018
Where: IBIS Melbourne Hotel & Apartments
More info: See ECCV conference website or register via Eventbrite

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