G21 HWB DIRECTOR'S UPDATE - MARCH 2019

G21 Health and Wellbeing Pillar Changes

The Pillar re-framing aims to clearly define how the G21 Health and Wellbeing Pillar operates to benefit the health and wellbeing of people in the region. By shaping the Pillar into two parts, the Pillar is better able to address the broad range of health and wellbeing needs in the region.

The G21 Health and Wellbeing Pillar is one of the eight Pillars within the G21-Geelong Region Alliance and has a focus on building strategic partnerships that facilitate real improvements to health and wellbeing in the G21 region. The Pillar receives funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to auspice the Primary Care Partnership (PCP) which has a specific focus of providing a platform for collaborative primary prevention planning and activity. You may have noticed some changes on our website about the structure of the G21 Health and Wellbeing Pillar. The Health and Wellbeing Pillar Membership (currently known as the Roundtable) is tasked with shaping health and wellbeing planning and advocacy to support the region to achieve the 2050 vision set out in the Geelong Region Plan (2007). Its members represent their communities and key stakeholder organisations and are therefore able to develop health and wellbeing projects that benefit the region and its varied communities.

The Primary Care Partnerhship (PCP) has a specific focus on collaborative primary prevention projects based on the health priorities set out in the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan and the five Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans. The PCP is governed by the PCP Executive, a selection of G21 Health and Wellbeing Pillar Members whose organisations are stakeholders in primary prevention activity in the region.

Healthier Eating & Active Living

G21 Region the Healthier Eating and Active Living (HEAL) initiative has completed the first workshop in a series of two in 2019, reflecting on the achievements in the HEAL area to date, and how to move forward with an increased efficiency and interconnectedness with organisations with similar aspirations within the G21 Region. Further feedback and consolidation of these thoughts will be presented at the second workshop, with the understanding supporting documentation will also be developed.

The HEAL Initiative successfully ran the “Choose Water This Summer” campaign with a collective regional effort to engage in the promotion of choosing water over Sugary Sweetened Beverages. A great display of local partners getting together and sharing resources for maximum impact.

Deakin University, under the insightful and knowledgeable guidance of Prof John Toumbourou has commenced the monitoring and evaluation components with the HEAL Initiative, and intensive work with the working groups is underway. This evaluation is anticipated to provide local level data that will be invaluable in demonstrating successful interventions and creating more active and healthy G21 communities.

Preventing and Addressing Violence against Women and Children

G21 has brought together key health promotion providers and local government to begin the conversation of what efforts are interconnected and could potentially be shared (eg resources) in the Prevention of Violence Against Women space. This involves reflecting on the rapid and significant change in legislation and focus that has occurred over the last two years.

The Health Services Alliance has developed a 2018-2019 Action Plan. This will evolve over time as the activities take shape. Exploring a coordinated, regional approach to prevention of violence against women and children is currently being under taken.

Refugee & Asylum Seekers:  Improving Mental Health Care & Outcomes

The 2018-2019 RAS MP Action Plan is in full swing, with the development of a Communities of Practice for health professionals working with Refugee and Asylum seekers. The action plan includes key actions such as co-location of different organisational staff, and engagement with first responders, emergency staff and police.

Feedback was provided to the co-design participants of the project that was completed in 2018. Participants were delighted to recognise their part in the project is resulting in systems change, and improved experiences and outcomes for Refugee and Asylum Seekers.

Colac Otway Choose to Change

G21 is continuing to contribute a staff member 1 day per week to this Deakin University (GLOBE- Global Obesity Centre) childhood obesity project, in partnership with Colac Area Health and Colac Otway Shire.

In 2019, the next stage of gathering data will commence in Term 2 with all primary schools participating in the Colac Otway Choose Change childhood obesity project.

A series of activities, based on consultation undertaken by Steve Allander’s team, have been mapped and a wide range of community groups are being engaged through the project.  The Director of Health and Wellbeing is also current Chair of the Backbone Support Group for the Great South Coast.

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Project

This project is a collaboration between NDIS and BCYF to deliver disability support services to children from 0 to 6 years of age. G21 participated in a multi-agency steering group and is contributing to the development of a plan that will document recommendations for service development, based on the service (currently working with 600 families) and a range of consultation activities. 

Work in 2019 includes bringing together 40 plus early childhood educators to discuss enablers and barriers to having conversations with parents around referral to ECEI services. This has led to the development of a framework to use when talking to parents. Work in the working groups is progressing, and regional approaches being explored.

Other areas of involvement

In addition to the above key priority areas, G21 HWB Pillar/ PCP has developed a new 2018-2021 Strategic Plan. The G21 HWB Pillar Round Table has funds allocated to support the development of a 10 year G21 HWB Plan, as a visionary guiding plan for the G21 region. G21 HWB Pillar has lent support to

  • Volunteering Geelong in an application for volunteering support for organisations across the G21 region,
  • becoming “active agent” with Active Geelong,
  • part of the Accessible Cities Taskforce
  • Member of the Steering Committee for the inclusion zone at GMHBA stadium and Geelong Cats

Networks and Committees

  • Director, Health and Wellbeing, G21 is a member of the Geelong Cats Healthy Heroes Advisory Group
  • Director, Health and Wellbeing, G21 is a member of the Geelong Cats Communities Healthy Mood, Healthy Food Advisory Group
  • Director, Health and Wellbeing, G21, is a member of the Primary Care and Population Health Committee – Barwon Health
  • G21 HWB pillar staff represented on Barwon Water HWB Planning Day
  • Director, Health and Wellbeing now Chair of the Great South Coast WHO stops Backbone support group

Mid-March there will be a new addition to the HWB Pillar. The highly respected and experienced Jill Evans will step into the Health and Wellbeing Director role, as I commence maternity leave. We are all incredibly excited to have Jill as part of the G21 team.