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HealthWest Update

HealthWest Partnership aims to bring local communities, organisations and councils together to achieve real improvements in health and wellbeing for everyone in Melbourne’s west.

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Happy New Year!

Welcome to HealthWest’s first Update for 2019. We begin the year with two new members joining us.



  • MatchWorks is a community based, not-for-profit employment service provider connecting employers and job seekers across Western Melbourne.

Southern Rivers

  • Southern Rivers provides individual support services to people living with disability. This not-for-profit organisation provides a range of home-based services include mobility, transportation, dressing and grooming, skills building, social participation, and more.

Tanya Sofra returned to the staff group this week as the Strategic Projects Manager. Tanya will be undertaking a 5 month scoping project exploring how HealthWest can strengthen its ability to work within a social determinants of health (SDOH) framework. Race-based discrimination and social inclusion were two SDOH prioritised by the membership at the October 2018 Strategic Leadership Forum. Included in the scoping will be discussions with current HealthWest members and potential new partners. These priorities align well with our health literacy, workforce mutuality, consumer participation and community leadership work. This is an exciting project and will help shape our future directions beyond 2019.

Gail O'Donnell
Stay tuned for regular updates on our partnership work throughout the year!

Kind regards,
Gail O’Donnell
Executive Officer
(03) 9248 9665

Community Advisory Group update

HealthWest’s Community Advisory Group (better known as the CAG) was established in 2016 and meets quarterly to advise HealthWest on all things community engagement. CAG is currently made up of six members who live in Melbourne’s west, covering a range of backgrounds and experiences.

Some of the things that CAG have been working on include:

  • Bringing a community perspective to HealthWest’s governance. Recently, CAG members were part of planning at HealthWest’s Strategic Leadership Forum and have forged new links with our Management Group.
  • Giving input into how HealthWest engages with community. CAG members provided suggestions of how we can involve our communities in planning, implementation and evaluation of our projects and work, and have linked us in with some local community groups and initiatives.

Some of our CAG members: Julianne Nguyen, Gregory Warren, Marilyn King and Mehak Sheikh

Our CAG members are all passionate about keeping community voices front and centre in the Partnership’s planning. They are very supportive of exploring future work in the social determinants of health space, and are interested to continue conversations about how we best include community voices when scoping the determinants of health.

Read our CAG member profiles here

Looking to involve consumers and community members in your own work?

HealthWest has developed a range of resources to support consumer and community participation within organisations.

See the Community Participation Resources page on our website!

Project Updates

Meaningful Engagement

Last year the Western Region Prevention Taskforce and INWPCP Prevention Alliance explored and scoped social inclusion as a shared priority. The outcome of this scoping and members’ voting to prioritise actions has led to a proposal for a discrete piece of work, a toolkit for meaningful engagement.

A working group will help guide and inform the development of a toolkit of resources, guides and frameworks for those working to increase their organisation’s meaningful engagement with the community. This work will be facilitated by HealthWest.

EmailInterested in participating in this working group? 
Contact: Helen Scudamore, Project Officer, 03 9248 9662.

Become a Health Literate Organisation: EOIs now open!

Are you interested in becoming a health literate organisations? Not quite sure where to start or how to do it? Then why not join our Health Literate Organisations Mentoring Project!

Health Literacy
This project aims to overcome this problem by guiding and supporting organisations through the process of:

  • Understanding what it means to be a health literate organisation.
  • Undertaking a short self-assessment to understand what the organisation is doing well, and what it could improve.
  • Developing an action plan for making improvements.
  • Implementing this action plan.

This is a unique opportunity for participants to receive one-on-one support from ‘mentors’- individuals who have experience improving health literacy within their organisations.

Participation is free; however, it will require a commitment from your organisation.
Please see the selection criteria in the Expression of Interest (EOI) form below.
To be a part of this project, please complete and return your Expression of Interest Form by Friday 15 February 2019.

Download the Expression of Interest Form

EmailMore info: Estelle Donse, Health Literacy Project Manager, 03 9248 9654.

Communicating Clearly – Resources to Support Communication Staff

Inner North West PCP and HealthWest Partnership have put together a brief list of communication resources that supports staff to communicate clearly and effectively to our audience.

View the resources.

If you are aware of other useful healthy literacy resources specifically for communications and marketing staff, email

Evaluation of the Standards for Workforce Mutuality

HealthWest recently piloted the Standards for Workforce Mutuality with five of our members organisations: Bolton Clarke, cohealth, commUnity+, IPC Health and Tweddle Child and Family Service. The pilot was overwhelmingly positive, with the Standards determined to be fit for purpose, effective and feasible for self-assessment.

Find out what pilot organisations thought of the Standards in the summary evaluation report

Workforce Mutuality Evaluation Summary Report


Download the Standards for Workforce Mutuality and full evaluation report on the HealthWest website.

Workforce Mutuality Standards


EmailMore info: Mindy Allott, Systems Integration Manager, 03 9248 9658

Seat at the Table: Final Evaluation Report


SATT evaluation report

The final impact evaluation of the Seat at the Table project is now available. This evaluation looked at the process of engaging young people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds, and mental health and youth services. It is an insightful and transparent look at how co-design works in practice, with many interesting learnings and recommendations.

Download the evaluation report

EmailVisit the project webpage
More info:
 Helen Scudamore, Prevention Project Manager, 03 9248 9662.

Access & Equity Resources

NDS Communities of Practice

National Disability Services (NDS) has established Communities of Practice (CoPs) to bring people in our sector together to navigate NDIS transition, support their peers, and leverage knowledge and skills specific to strategic organisational roles and sector issues. Current CoPs include Support Coordination, Complexity, Customers & Markets, Finance, and ICT & Systems.

More about the Communities of Practice
To get involved with the Western Cross-sector Community of Practice, email

Health Literacy for People-centred Care: Where do OECD Countries Stand?

‘In the 21st century care, the old paradigm “because the doctor said so” no longer holds. Individuals are now seeking ways to understand their health options and take more control over their health decisions. But this is not an easy task. Professionals continue to use medical jargon, drug instructions are not always clear, and health information in clinical settings continue to be complex and challenging to navigate.’…

Read the article

Prevention Resources

Call for abstracts: Public Health Prevention Conference 2019

The Public Health Association of Australia invites abstract submissions for oral presentations, table top and rapid fire at the Public Health Prevention Conference 2019, to be held in Melbourne from Wednesday 12 to Friday 14 June 2019.

Two conference sub-themes will guide the program:

  • Economics of prevention
  • What is working, what needs to be strengthened and what are the biggest gaps in prevention systems

More info

2018 Mapping Social Cohesion report

For eleven years, the Mapping Social Cohesion surveys gauged a nuanced understanding of shifts in public opinion on social cohesion and immigration issues. Despite sustained population growth and increased concern over Australia’s immigration intake, the Scanlon Foundation’s 2018 Mapping Social Cohesion Report has found continued acceptance of cultural diversity, and a large measure of stability across key indicators of social cohesion.

Read the report

Call for abstracts: Australian Evaluation Society 2019 Conference

The Australian Evaluation Society invites proposal submissions for their 2019 conference and/or for a conference workshop. Their theme is Evaluation un-boxed and they invite you to share stories about opening up evaluation to end users, and drawing on the knowledge of communities and other disciplines to expand evaluation and ensure its ongoing relevance.

More info

For your Diary


Safe and Supported: Building Workplace Capacity to Manage Family Violence

This workshop is designed to build the capacity of workplaces to support their employees who are experiencing family violence. Disclosures of family violence are common after or during violence prevention training and/or workplace change programs.

When: Thursday 21 February 2019, 9.00 am – 12.30 pm
Where: Women’s Health Victoria, Level 8, 255 Bourke St, Melbourne
More info and to register

Bystander Action to Prevent Violence Against Women

This three-hour active bystander training supports participants to speak up when confronted with everyday sexism and sexual harassment, as well as a range of behaviours and attitudes that justify, excuse, blame, trivialise or minimise violence against women.

When: Thursday 21 February 2019, 1.30 pm – 5.00 pm
Where: Women’s Health Victoria, Level 8, 255 Bourke St, Melbourne
More info and to register

Identifying Family Violence training

The Western Integrated Family Violence Committee (WIFCV) is delivering Identifying Family Violence training across the western metropolitan region. They are currently offering dedicated 2 training sessions for organisations.

What does the training cover? This 2.5 hour training is an introduction to the core elements of family violence practice. Participants will increase their understanding of family violence, learn how to identify family violence, gain strategies to respond to disclosures, and learn about safety measures and appropriate referrals.

Who should attend this training? Workers who are not directly involved in family violence service delivery, but who may encounter women and children who are experiencing, or at risk of, family violence, from across a range of sectors.

When: Session times are available from February to June 2019
RSVP: Register online – sessions will be allocated on a first-in-first-served basis.
More info: Contact Julie Noonan, WIFVC Project Support Worker with any questions or to discuss training opportunities further.


Victorian Allied Health Research Conference 2019

This one day event will unite over 450 allied health professionals from diverse care settings, to champion research, and share knowledge and experiences to guide future directions in Allied Health practice.

When: Friday 22 March 2019
Where: Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre
Conference program
To register


4-day Health Literacy Course

Reach more clients and improve communication
The Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health (CEH) is running a 4-day Health Literacy Course. This course aims to help you make it easier for consumers to find, understand and use information about your services. From the course you will:

  • learn theories and practical skills to improve written and spoken communication with clients;
  • be introduced to tools to test how easy it is for clients to find their way around your organisation; and
  • apply the knowledge from the course directly to your work through two short work place projects.

Mercy Health was one of the first organisations to participate in the course and they have used health literacy principles and strategies to successfully improve consumer input into client resources. Link to full case study on Mercy Health

When: 7 May 2019
Where: CEH, Richmond
RSVP by: 5 April 2019
More info

Communities in Control 2019: Get Angry. Then Get Organised

Every year for more than a decade the Communities in Control conference has offered an opportunity for community group workers, volunteers, supporters and others at the grassroots (particularly local governments) to look up from the coalface and look around them and see what could be possible.

When: Monday 20 – Tuesday 21 May 2019
Where: Moonee Valley Racecourse, Moonee Ponds
More info