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HealthWest Partnership monthly newsletter

News at HealthWest

Welcome to our June e-bulletin. This last month has been particularly eventful for the HealthWest team and this update shares our highlights, including:

iEmpowerWe are pleased to announce iEmpower recently joined as a member of HealthWest Partnership. Established in 2006, iEmpower’s mission is to empower and develop refugee youth through tailored rehabilitation, education, training and employment services. Visit their website

This month HealthWest will be seeking Expressions of Interest from the membership for two new Management Group members. Vida Pranskunas from Djerriwarrh Health Services will be stepping down after completing her two year term. Our thanks are extended to Vida for her contribution during her time on the Management Group. Caz Healy (cohealth), Liz Murdoch (Mercy Hospitals) and Clem Gillings (Maribyrnong City Council) will be extending their tenures for a further two years. Scott Walker maintains his position as the auspice agency. Please contact me if you are interested in this opportunity and require further information.

Gail O'DonnellEnjoy reading the rest of this newsletter and thank you for your ongoing partnership in working together to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities in Melbourne’s West.

Gail O'Donnell

Launch of the HealthWest Partnership
Standards for Workforce Mutuality


Standards for Workforce Mutuality

The HealthWest Partnership Standards for Workforce Mutuality were launched by HealthWest EO Gail O'Donnell and Dr Martin Plowman, HealthWest Workforce Mutuality Project Officer, at the Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria statewide conference on 17 May. These Standards promote the development of workforce mutuality in health and community organisations, where workforce mutuality is defined as the extent to which the diversity of an organisation or a sector's workforce reflects the actual diversity of the community it works for.

These Standards are the first of their kind, and HealthWest will be running a trial phase with participating organisations in the second half of 2018.

Download a copy of the Standards

What is Workforce Mutuality?

Why does workforce diversity matter? Better access and delivery of services, increased satisfaction for consumers, better health outcomes, more jobs for everyone – these are just some of the benefits members of the Workforce Mutuality Expert Advisory Panel describe in this video when our workforce better matches the diversity of the community.


EmailFor more info, email Martin Plowman at
or visit

HealthWest receives $140,000 funding to Engage Young Men in Prevention of Violence against Women

In collaboration with Victoria University, HealthWest will receive a $140,000 grant for the Momentum project. This project seeks to engage young male students from CALD backgrounds at Victoria University in implementing primary prevention actions to stop men’s violence against women.

This grant is part of a $400,000 Free from Violence funding package for family violence prevention programs announced by the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Natalie Hutchins on 30 May 2018 at the Victoria University (VU) Footscray campus.

Photo (left to right): Marsha Thomson, Labour MP for Footscray; Gail O'Donnell, HealthWest EO; Hon Natalia Hutchins, Minister for Prevention of Family Violence; Katie Hall pre-selected candidate for the seat of Footscray; Dr Cuong La, HealthWest Working Together with Men Project Manager.

More Find out more about the Andrews Labor Government's support of local organisations to deliver primary prevention in Melbourne’s West and the Free from Violence Fund in this Media Release.

Completion of Peer Group Mentoring Workshops

to improve Health Literacy Responsiveness

We ran the final of three Peer Group Mentoring workshops at the end of May. The aim of these workshops are to equip member organisations with the skills they need to improve health literacy responsiveness (HLR) within their organisation. This was done by bringing together member organisations that were in the early stages of their understanding and practice of HLR and those more progressed in their journey. Progressed organisations shared their experience of improving HLR and provided early-stage organisations with advice for improvement activities.

Peer Group Mentoring workshops
There was a lot of very interesting and useful information presented.
It was particularly useful to hear the consumer perspective.


Thank YouA big thank you to all the organisations who made these workshops a great success; including Inner West Area Mental Health Services, AMES Australia, IPC Health, Diabetes Victoria, Mercy Health, cohealth and Bolton Clarke and Consumer advocate Deb K.

EmailRegister your interest: If your organisation would like to attend future workshops please email
Find out more about health literacy

Western Melbourne Cross-Sector Community of Practice:
Achieving better consumer-directed care outcomes

HealthWest Partnership and Inner North West PCP (INWPCP) have partnered with the National Disability Service (NDS) to bring you the Western Melbourne Cross-Sector Community of Practice (CoP). The purpose is to bring together different sectors to collaborate and exchange good practice to achieve better consumer-directed care outcomes.

Engaging Hard to Reach Groups in Consumer Directed Care
Our next Western Melbourne CoP Forum on 14th August, will look at Engaging Hard to Reach Groups in Consumer Directed Care. Have you, or your organisation, been involved in an initiative to improve consumer directed care for a hard to reach group? Expressions of Interest are invited to present at this forum.

MoreDownload the Expression of Interest Form, read more about upcoming forums and the Western Cross-sector Community of Practice and email Emily at INWPCP to join the email distribution list.

Collaboration in a competitive market - A Community Cross-sector Forum
In the meantime, NDS are bringing the Western Melbourne CoP together with other CoPs from across Victoria. This forum on Tuesday 24 July 2018, 1:30pm – 4:30pm will explore how we can collaborate in the emerging competitive market being created by the reforms in Aged Care, Disability and Mental Health. There will be opportunity for networking.

DownloadDownload the event invitation and register via Eventbrite

Health Promotion Speed Networking

The Health Promotion Practitioners Network (HPPN) hosted another successful event. Early May saw the HPPN Speed Networking event for professionals working in Melbourne’s west and north. Attendees shared interesting conversations, learnt what others are doing in the area and made some useful connections!

Find out more:

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Partnership & Collaboration

Online training: Introduction to Cultural Competence

The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health are offering a free demonstration module of their Introduction to Cultural Competence training. This interactive training will help you to be culturally responsive to your diverse clients and is pitched at an introductory level for people who are already working in culturally responsive settings.

Download: intro module (free); full training (cost associated).

Grants to Boost Social Inclusion & Participation

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott announced the opening of the Capacity Building and Participation Grants Program (CBP). The $6.4 million program will boost participation, inclusion and contribution of priority groups – including regional communities, refugees and asylum seekers, young people, women and seniors – and is on top of $1.2 million to build capacity and boost participation in African and Pacific Island communities.

The CBP funds new and existing initiatives in culturally diverse and faith-based communities that seek to:

  • reduce family violence and all forms of violence against women
  • empower Victorians of African and Pacific Island backgrounds, particularly young people, to lead projects of change
  • remove social and economic barriers by better connecting communities with mainstream services
  • strengthen the capacity of local organisations to better engage and support the people they represent
  • remove social and economic barriers for young people.

Read more

Access & Equity

NDIS update: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Strategy

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have launched their Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Strategy 2018. The strategy is the NDIA’s public statement of commitment to working alongside people with disability from CALD backgrounds to achieve access to, and outcomes from, their NDIS Plan on an equal basis with the broader population.

Plain Language Video – What to expect at BreastScreen Victoria

BreastScreen Australia has launched a new animation targeting women aged 50 to 74. In plain language, the animation explains how to make an appointment, what happens at the clinic and how results are communicated.

Watch: video in English and Arabic

Expansion of Health Translations into Community Service Topics

Health Translations is an online directory of reliable translated health and wellbeing resources produced in Australia. It is managed by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH). The recent Health Translations Major Milestone event celebrated Health Translations' recent expansion into community service topics. New resources mentioned include:

  • Where do I go when? A community service guide for Northern suburbs of Melbourne. Designed for newly-arrived communities from Syria and Iraq living in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. It helps them understand what community services are and find those in their local area. Available in English and Arabic.
  • The Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre has been working on a glossary of cancer-related terms to support professionals working with people who speak languages other than English. The glossary will be available in 9 languages and will include some audio and video resources. The resource will be launched in July.
  • An NDIS glossary made available in a number of different languages will be coming soon.

Visit Health Translations

Summary report: cohealth-Brotherhood of St Laurence employment pathway project

In 2018 cohealth and the Brotherhood of St. Laurence formed a partnership to initiate a small-scale pilot to improve the employment pathways into cohealth for African Australian jobseekers. This report summarises the approach and outcomes of the first phase of the pilot, which resulted in two African Australian jobseekers finding employment at cohealth and a third position reserved for the program.

Read report


ANROWS publication: a compendium of stories from the field

This is the first publication about what is happening at a national level by communities working to respond, prevent, and reduce violence against women and their children, and in their own words.  The report is an important snapshot of practice providing ideas about community engagement and community change to other community-based groups wishing to take action. It also provides an indication of the strengths in current work and areas for improving community based practice. Dr Cuong La, HealthWest Project Manager, was involved in technical support provided to story tellers during his time at ANROWS in 2017.

Read here

Action for Equity: A sexual and reproductive health strategy for Melbourne’s west 2018-2022 launched

On 26 April 2018, Women’s Health West and the Action for Equity partnership launched the second iteration of Action for Equity: A sexual and reproductive health strategy for Melbourne’s west. Action for Equity is a four-year sexual and reproductive health promotion plan, developed to redress the social determinants of sexual and reproductive health inequities experienced by a range of communities in the region. It follows the ambitious yet highly successful Action for Equity 2013-2017, a strategy which supported law reform, successful social marketing, workforce development and at least 17 new health promotion programs across the region.

Read more

2018 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards

The Victorian Public Healthcare Awards are an annual celebration of excellence, dedication and innovation in public health, health services and service initiatives that deliver informed and effective healthcare. The 2018 awards reflect priority areas in healthcare identified by the government and focus on the sectors' ability to drive change and improve health outcomes for all Victorians.

Read more or watch the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards judges video


Staying on Track: 3-day deliberative forum for young Victorians

VicHealth, in partnership with 6 youth organisations, is hosting Staying on Track, a 3 day deliberative forum for 50 young Victorians (18-25yrs) over 22-24 June 2018.  The group will explore a range of evidence and develop recommendations in response to the question: Young adults, mental wellbeing & work:  How can we support young adults on their journey to purposeful work?

Idea submissions by: Monday 18 June, 5:00pm
Forum dates: 22-24 June 2018
More info

Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association Gala Dinner, 22 June

Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association are holding a Fundraising Gala Dinner to support Rohingya refugees and to celebrate their 35th anniversary.

When: Friday 22 June, 6:00-10:00pm
Where: Happy Receptions, 199 Sunshine Road, Tottenham
More info

Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health Study Day, 25 June

An all-day event organised by Western Health. The day will include presentations, an art exhibition, performance art and catering by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Topics will include:

  • Current trends in refugee and asylum seeker policy,
  • the Foundation House framework regarding the impact of torture and trauma,
  • identification and discussion of appropriate interventions aligned to infectious diseases and paediatric clinical presentations,
  • current pathways into and out of acute care,
  • incorporating cultural sensitivity within your practice.

When: Monday 25 June, 8:30am-5:00 pm
Where: Sunshine Hospital WHCRE Building Auditorium, Level One
Cost: $50
More info:

Improve Health Outcomes for Refugees and Asylum Seekers In The Community, 27 June

Chronic Disease Self-Management Special Interest Group presents several presentations on working together to improve health outcomes for refugees and asylum seekers in the community. Presentations include understanding of mental health in young Hazara refugees and asylum seekers in the south east of Melbourne, working with asylum seekers and refugees in community health and asylum seeker health needs.

When: Wednesday 27 June, 10:00am-12:00pm
Where: St Michael’s Uniting Church, 120 Collins Street
RSVP by: Monday 25 June
More info: Christine Walker


Collaboration in a Competitive Market - A Community Cross-sector Forum, 24 July

This forum will explore how we can collaborate in the emerging competitive market being created by the reforms in Aged Care, Disability and Mental Health.

When: Tuesday 24 July, 1:30pm-4:30pm
Where: NAB, 700 Burke St Melbourne


2018 Primary Health Care Research Conference, 1-3 August

The Primary Health Care (PHC) Research Conference is the place to present, hear, network, debate and spark dynamic ideas that improve health.

When: 1– 3 August
Where: Pullman Melbourne on the Park
More info

Engaging Hard to Reach Groups in Consumer Directed Care, 14 August

When: 14 August, 9:30am-12:30pm
Expressions of interest form and more info




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