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Welcome to HealthWest’s September Update and the beginning of spring!

Management Group Update

The new Management Group has asked the staff group to map out and budget the work that will be undertaken over the next 7-10 months. They are keen to ensure that well regarded and valuable projects are progressed, and if possible completed, before the PCP transition process begins next year. Keep an eye out for opportunities offered by HealthWest in the Recruiting for Diversity, Evaluation Capacity Building and Community Leadership spaces over the next few months.

Advocacy on behalf of the Prevention Taskforce

Recently, as part of our important advocacy role, we have written to the Department of Health on behalf of the Western Region Prevention Taskforce. Our letter was written in response to the draft 2021-2025 Health Promotion guidelines for Community Health. This action created an opportunity for us to take a deeper dive into what we know about the prevention system in the West. In e-news today Anna Vu, HealthWest Prevention Manager, takes stock of the primary prevention system in the West, highlighting our knowledge and understanding of the system and our decade long commitment to collaborating with health promotion agencies and the communities we serve together. It’s a great read.

Western Metropolitan Partnership

Lastly I have been appointed to serve a four year term on the Western Metropolitan Partnership by the Minister for Suburban Development Shaun Leane. It is a great opportunity to bring my knowledge of health related matters in the West to the Partnership and I look forward to working with my colleagues. More information can be found here

Gail O'Donnell
Until next month,

Gail O’Donnell
Executive Officer
(03) 9248 9665


Recruiting for Diversity

HealthWest’s Recruiting for Diversity research project is now well underway.  Eight organisations from Melbourne’s west have expressed interest in this work and are participating in interviews to collaboratively explore what hinders and supports organisations to adopt recruitment practices that are inclusive and responsive to diverse community needs. Taking a strengths-based approach, this work will help to build our collective knowledge for what works and aims to support organisations, in Melbourne’s most diverse of regions, to take more inclusive and effective action.

More info:

Gail O’Donnell
Executive Officer

Useful links:

Recruiting for Diversity project page

Better health communications

health comms
COVID-19 has demonstrated that clear and culturally appropriate health communication remains a public health challenge, particularly in Melbourne’s west. Developing and delivering clear, concise, timely and consistent health messaging to all communities can help to mitigate greater health inequities. HealthWest has identified an opportunity to address this issue at a systems level, ensuring more effective communication and efficient use of resources into the future.

The purpose of this project is to identify the elements of a coordinated regional approach to health communications for culturally and linguistically diverse communities, which could be applied to Melbourne’s west.

HealthWest have engaged Trezona Consulting Group to undertake a literature review of the evidence on the elements of health systems that contribute to successful health communication efforts with culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Stay tuned to hear what the literature review tells us and as we look at how it could be applied in the west.

More info:

Gail O’Donnell
Executive Officer

Useful links:

Better Health Communications project page

Audio recording and powerpoint slides: Saying Goodbye COVID in 20 languages

Thanks Brendan Park, from North Western Melbourne PHN for your informative and interesting presentation on Wed 25 August 21. The topic of the presentation was the Goodbye COVID campaign, a multilingual video campaign using digital targeting and community leaders to encourage people to get vaccinated – in their first language.

For those who missed it, you can access the audio recording and powerpoint slides from our website.

Audio recording and powerpoint slides

More info:

Deb Tan
Communications Project Manager

Useful links:

Health Literacy Alliance
NWMPHN’s Goodbye COVID campaign

REFLECTION: Taking stock of primary prevention in Melbourne’s west

Blog by Anna Vu, Prevention Manager

As part of our advocacy work, The Western Region Primary Prevention Taskforce recently worked together to identify what we need to protect and strengthen the prevention system in the west. As many of our partners have recently gone through a process of identifying health needs in order to build four year plans, we brought together the wealth of knowledge that has been gained to tell a story of what this looks like at a regional level. We also identified the foundations for an effective primary prevention system, and looked at how we have worked towards an integrated system in Melbourne’s west.

Below is a brief summary of our highlights:

Highlight 1: We must respond to community need and partner with community to lead

Melbourne’s west is rich in diversity. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to prevention will not benefit the whole population, especially not communities that need the most support.

Highlight 2: Addressing the social determinants of health is crucial in Melbourne’s west

Our communities have asked for action on the social determinants of health.

Highlight 3: Prevention work must take a holistic, integrated and relationship-based systems approach

As a region, we need to look beyond individual risk-factors for ill-health, and look closer at what puts populations at risk. This involves taking a systems approach.

Highlight 4: Prevention priorities need action

Both our community consultation and our analysis of population level data has helped to identify those which are pressing for our region, including:

  • Mental health and wellbeing 
  • Overweight and obesity
  • The health impacts of climate change
Read the highlights
Read the full paper


Anna Vu
Prevention Manager

Useful links:

Prevention Taskforce


HealthWest Resource Spotlight

Meaningful Engagement for Social Inclusion: A Practice Guide

Communities having a say and being able to influence decisions that affect them is key to social inclusion. HealthWest, along with our Prevention Partners, developed the Meaningful Engagement for Social Inclusion: A Practice Guide to help organisations create or improve their social inclusion work.

The Practice Guide is a collection of resources and techniques from various sectors and priority areas. It includes information on how to advocate within your organisation, inform decision-makers, and engage with your target audience meaningfully.

HealthWest acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri, Bunurong, and Wadawurrung peoples of the Kulin Nation, and pay our respects to their cultures and their elders past and present.