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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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News at HealthWest
Welcome to the October HealthWest Update! The HealthWest Management Group welcomed two new members at its last meeting.
  • Barbara Horn, Partnerships Manager, North Western Melbourne PHN
  • Matthew Wilson, Manager Community Planning Melton City Council.
Both have been elected to the Management Group for a two year term.

Save the date: Strategic Leadership Forum

On the 31 October HealthWest will hold its second Strategic Leadership Forum for 2018 at the Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre.
Heading upstream - putting social determinants of health and place on the 2019 agenda will be facilitated by Stellar Partnerships.
Jo Richardson, Place-based Partnerships Manager (Prevention and Population Health Branch, DHHS) will provide our keynote address helping to shape our local thinking about place and how we might work together with community and service providers to improve health and wellbeing. This is a great opportunity for HealthWest members who work in the social determinants of health space to help set the direction for our prevention work.
Make sure you put this date in your diary and help shape our work into 2019.

Welcome new staff

HealthWest welcomed two new staff who will be supporting the Working Together with Men project:
  • Sean Ryan is working as a Project Officer one and a half days a week, supporting the adaptation of HealthWest’s Working Together With Men project to a university setting.  Sean will be supporting the recruitment of young people at Victoria University to the new project, The Momentum.
  • Sonny Charles is working one day a week as the Project Support Officer for the Men of Brimbank. Sonny has been an active participant in Men of Brimbank (as part of the Working Together with Men project). He will work to support the group in their work to prevent violence against women as they move towards establishing themselves as an independent group in the future.
Gail O'Donnell
Executive Officer
(03) 9248 9665
Project Updates

Health Literacy Online Showcase  

It’s October, which means it’s health literacy month.

To celebrate we’re showcasing some of the health literacy projects of our member organisations. These projects are helping them become Health Literate Organisations.
What is a Health Literate Organisation?
There are many definitions, but our favourite is:  
“An organisation that makes it easy for people to find, understand, and use information and services.”
It’s about recognising that healthcare and social service systems and information can be complicated and that we as organisations bear the responsibility of making things easier for the communities we serve.

Health Literate Organisations improve the health and social wellbeing of their communities. But that’s not the only benefit, they also:
  • Improve quality and safety
  • Reduce complaints
  • Save time
  • Improve user experience
  • Increase repeat consumers.
Make sure you check out the projects in our showcase and read about the different ways organisations are improving their health literacy responsiveness, the steps they took to develop their projects and the benefits they’ve observed.
And a big THANK YOU to our generous member organisations for taking part in this showcase.
Health Literacy Competences
Pictorial guides
Just Ask
Hospital infoline
Health Literacy Guide
Hepatitis B brochure
Elders community lounge
workforce mutuality
The Water Well
  • Check out the showcase.
  • Help us share the projects over social media #hlshowcase18
  • If you know of other examples of great Health Literate Organisations tell us about it! # hlshowcase18 @HW_Partnership

Drop the Jargon Day: 23 October 2018

Drop the Jargon on Tuesday 23 Oct
It’s a day when professionals working in Australian health, community services and local government commit to using plain language. Find out how to participate.

connectwest logo competition

Following connectwest's strategic planning, we are thinking about changing our logo and want your help! Anyone is invited to participate in the logo competition. The new logo needs to represent our vision and purpose.
For every member of Melbourne’s West to be connected with their communities, in a way that is both meaningful and purposeful to them.

To provide opportunity, destination and purpose for meaningful community connection, making it easier for groups in Melbourne’s West to come together.

Prize: $100 gift voucher
Entries close: Midnight, Friday 2 November 2018
Email:, 03 9248 9662
Submit an entry

Evaluating the Referral Decision Aid

Referral Decision Aid
HealthWest recently engaged First Person Consulting to conduct a process and impact evaluation of the Referral Decision Aid. The Referral Decision Aid was developed by HealthWest working in partnership with key service providers in Melbourne’s west. It was launched in November 2017 to support the referral of preschool-aged children with developmental delays to appropriate services in Melbourne’s west, in a timely manner.
The evaluation explored the short-term outcomes of the Referral Decision Aid, as well as documenting key lessons learned in the process that can inform future work of a similar nature in Melbourne’s west and beyond.

Consumer Control and Choice: co-design training

The next Cross-Sector Community of Practice forum is coming up. The forum will be a training session on Integrating the principles of Consumer Control and Choice into organisational service design and delivery. The session is co-designed and co-facilitated by representatives from Mental Health Victoria and Australian Federation of Disability Organisations.
When: Monday 12 November 2018, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Where: Ikon Park (Princes Park), North Carlton
More info: Contact Isabella Roxburgh
The Cross-Sector Community of Practice brings together people from the health, community, aged care and disability sectors to collaboratively identify and respond to the emerging challenges and opportunities arising from widespread system reform. Find out more about the Cross-Sector Community of Practice.

Workforce Mutuality: standards 4-6

This video clip takes a look at standards 4 to 6: Employing a diverse workforce (Standard 4), Supporting a diverse workforce (Standard 5), and Improving consumer experience for people form diverse backgrounds (Standard 6). 

Generation West

Generation West
The West has the biggest generation of children Melbourne has ever seen – over 40 babies are born here every day! We are raising Melbourne’s future leaders, but we need access to the right infrastructure to give our kids the best start.

HealthWest has joined other health and community services and local councils to make child and maternal health a priority in the November state election. The Generation West campaign, led by LeadWest has five key asks including a comprehensive review of maternal and paediatric services in Melbourne's West.

Show your support so that every child has a chance to thrive.

Connect on social media #GenerationWest #GenWest
Share the campaign with your colleagues, family and friends!

Seat at the Table: Zine making and sensory garden activities this October

Help us spread the word about the following activities open to young people from refugee or asylum-seeker backgrounds. Click on the images to download each poster or direct people to
Sensory Garden
TUESDAYS in October, at Phoenix Youth Hub, Footscray
Register here
Zine making
WEDNESDAYS in October, at Visy Cares Hub, Sunshine
Register here
EmailMore info:, 03 9248 9662.


Prevention Taskforce: On 17 September, HealthWest, in partnership with Inner North West Primary Care Partnership and our prevention partners, ran the second forum in our social inclusion series: “Building Shared Practice for Social Inclusion”. Participants heard about some social inclusion work already underway and discussed opportunities of joint action in 3 key areas:
  • Evidence-based planning and monitoring and evaluation
  • Social inclusion in practice
  • Meaningful engagement.
EmailMore info:, 9248 9659.
Access & Equity Resources

Resources for providing the NDIS in diverse communities

The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) have developed resources to assist practitioners working in the generalist disability, community, ethno-specific and multicultural service sectors find information, services and resources to improve engagement with and outcomes for CALD communities under the NDIS.

Access here

Hospital internships for students with a disability

As part of the Victorian State Government’s Jobs Victoria program, this partnership between the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and Holmesglen Institute of TAFE is helping students with a disability complete a Certificate I in Work Education through internships in the RCH. This initiative is closely aligned with the objectives of the HealthWest Partnership Standards for Workforce Mutuality, in particular Standard 3 'Building job pathways for a diverse community” and Standard 5 “Supporting a diverse workforce.'

Read the Jobs Victoria media release
Download the HealthWest Standards for Workforce Mutuality

Community Mental Health Funding Announcement

The Labor Government has announced $70 million in funds for Victoria’s community mental health sector. Targeted at people with a mental illness, who will likely miss out on assistance due to the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announced the funding will be provided over two years to help community mental health providers deliver tailored psychosocial supports to people with a severe mental illness who are either not eligible for the NDIS or yet to transition to the scheme.

Read the media release

My Health Record Update

My Health Record is being launched this year, with every Australian getting a My Health Record to track and record their medical history unless they choose not to have one. The opt-out period has been extended until 15 November 2018.

Find out about My Health Records
Prevention Resources

“Welcoming the Stranger”: preparing cities for increases in immigration through collaborative action

This article by Canadian activist Paul Born argues that cities can prepare themselves for the increased levels of immigration predicted in the next twenty-five years by addressing poverty and social cohesion through collaborative action. This has direct relevance to the Australian context and HealthWest’s strategic priority of strengthening the health and community sector’s workforce mutuality. 

Read the article
For your Diary


Easy English: An Introduction (by Scope)

This workshop will provide you with an introduction to the basic skills in writing documents in Easy English for people with non-functional literacy. Techniques to make your written language accessible will be explored.

When: Thursday 18 October 2018
Find out more

Drop the Jargon Day

Join other professionals working in Australian health, community services and local government to commit to using plain language.

Celebrate by organising a morning tea at your workplace and help spread the word about the importance of using plain language with clients and colleagues. Better yet, take some photos of your event and share them on social media #dropthejargon18. And don’t forget to make the pledge!
The Drop the Jargon website has plenty of resources to help you organise an event including:
  • A fun quiz you can do at your morning tea,
  • Posters to help promote the day,
  • A video showing why it’s important to use plain language (it’s short and fun),
  • A social media banner so that you can promote the day.
When: Tuesday 23 October 2018
Where: At your workplace and on social media
Find out how to participate

Conference: NDIS and Mental Health

The theme of this conference will be Mental Health Policy, Practice & Reform: Getting it Right in a Time of Change. The conference is being hosted by Mental Health Victoria and Community Mental Health Australia.

When: Wednesday 31 October - Thursday 1 November 2018
Where: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
More info and to register


Consumer Control and Choice: co-design training

The Cross-sector Community of Practice is running training on integrating the principles of Consumer Control and Choice into organisational service design and delivery.

When: Monday 12 November 2018, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Where: Ikon Park (Princes Park), North Carlton
More info or email Isabella to join the Cross-sector Community of Practice email list:
To register 
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