Welcome to the LeadWest Advocate - Issue 13
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Happy New Year, Chúc Mừng Năm Mới, and Gong Xi Fa Cai!  It's 2015 and we are back from a short restorative break, ready to go, full steam ahead  ...and it is almost Easter already!!
For me, the holiday season brought home the importance of our health system.  I was very fortunate in the week before Christmas to receive great care from some of Western Health's emergency department staff.  I'm fine now and well on the road to recovery.  The experience reinforced for me how very much we need hospitals and health services that meet the region's needs. We need health services that grow with a growing population, that can deal with a population that has extraordinary diversity, that can deal with a higher than State average burden of disease on so many fronts.
The Victorian Government will be investing $200 million in building the Western Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Sunshine. That's great news because it will create 2000 jobs in construction, 500 jobs at the hospital and allow for an extra 2000 births a year.  Much needed, because births at Western Health are projected to exceed 7000 a year over the coming decade.
However, Melbourne's west does need more because our population is growing so fast and we have the challenge of dealing with a significant burden of disease.  More than half of the Footscray Hospital is beyond remodelling – it will need to be demolished and rebuilt as soon as possible, so Western Health can continue to provide patient care in suitable and sustainable buildings. Emergency care in Footscray is forecast to increase to exceed 40,000 cases a year in the coming decade. Werribee Mercy Hospital also has a desperately needed $85 million expansion to fund in order to meet surging demand for health care in Melbourne's booming west. LeadWest's Board will soon be visiting Werribee Mercy Hospital and holding its March meeting there.
My own health scare this summer also reinforced for me that utmost importance of improving health literacy, practicing preventative health, active living and healthy eating.  Sons of the West is back bigger and better in 2015 and will kick off with Men's Health Expo's right across the West in the first half of March. LeadWest is very pleased to again be supporting the Sons of the West.  Not only have I joined the Steering Committee this year, I'll be making the time to be an active member of Team Maribyrnong and earning far more stamps in my passport than I did last year!
LeadWest is also sponsoring WalkWest 2015, which will be taking place at Doug Mills Reserve in Footscray Park on Sunday March 29.  Created by the Western Health Foundation, and supported by leaders in our region, WalkWest is the first major community walk event in Melbourne's west.  Events include a 5 km or 10 km Walk and Run. This year the event is free entry but participants are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation.  LeadWest has established a team and invites all members and affiliates to join us.  I'll be doing the 10 km walk.
I am also very mindful that a healthy environment makes for healthy people.  As participants in the Better Health Plan for the West, LeadWest maintains a focus on social and environmental determinants of health.  Greening the West aims to positively impact the health status, climate and environment of Melbourne’s west by increasing the tree canopy cover and vegetation throughout our suburbs. LeadWest is a very keen supporter of Greening the West for this reason.  Over the summer we also received some very good news from the Minister for Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP.  We were advised that LeadWest's proposal for grant funding under the 20 Million Trees has been successful.  This means that we will be able to work with local governments and other organisations to establish and manage up to one million trees in Melbourne’s west by the end of June 2017.

So happy new year once again.  Here's to good health!  We look forward to continuing to connect and do good work with you, making Melbourne's west the best it can be.

Craig Rowley - LeadWest's CEO
The LeadWest Advocate provides a summary insight into LeadWest's activities; including information on achievement of agreed priorities in the strategic action plan for Melbourne’s west, upcoming events in Melbourne's west, and opportunities for us to work together for the betterment of our region. You can keep up to date with what is happening in Melbourne's west via news updates on LeadWest's website, LeadWest's facebook page and LeadWest twitter feed. 
The Western Agenda focuses on uniting leaders in Melbourne’s west and working together to create a prosperous, sustainable, healthy and fair region. Understanding the need for an integrated “joined up” approach, and the importance of maintaining a strong social fabric when there are so many intertwined issues; we work together on each of these seven threads:


Workforce Development Centre:  LeadWest’s CEO is participating in the Regional Working Group for the North Western Region Workforce Development Centre (WDC).  The past two meetings have been held at Toyota Boshoku in Laverton North and Futuris in Campbellfield, providing valuable insight on the needs of workers within the automotive supply chain.  The Regional Working Group will soon be meeting with Victoria’s Minister for Training and Skills. Learn more here!
Future Workforce Planning Project:  LeadWest is working with the Western Melbourne RDA Committee and others to deliver the Melbourne's West Future Workforce Planning Project. The project will analyse what skills employers in Melbourne's west require from their workforce now, will require in future, and what training will be needed to give workers those skills over the coming decades. It will produce a strategy setting out appropriate action to address the decline of manufacturing jobs, barriers to people acquiring knowledge economy skills, improve pathways to training and employment, and enhance the employability of older workers. Learn more here!
VET Reform:  The Victorian training sector was the first in the nation to have their say about the future of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in face-to-face consultations over January that were led by the new Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham. Changes that will unfold over 2015 will have major impacts on apprentices and trainees, group training organisations, employers and training providers. New regulatory standards for training providers and regulators come into force on January 2 for organisations applying to become a registered training organisation (RTO) for the first time.  The new Standards are expected to ensure training providers are more accurate and transparent in their marketing of courses. The standards set out the information that must be supplied to prospective students. Transition arrangements allow existing RTOs until 1 April 2015 to demonstrate compliance with the new standards. Learn more here!
Industry Skills Fund:  Australian businesses can now apply for support to boost the skills of their workforce under the Australian Government’s new $476 million Industry Skills Fund.  LeadWest has used its communications and social media tools to promote this to businesses in Melbourne’s west. Learn more here!
Melbourne's West Economic Profile: On LeadWest's website you can access the Melbourne's West Economic Profile. Created by REMPLAN – providers of economic and community profiles for towns, cities and regions across Australia – the Melbourne's West Economic Profile has been funded jointly by LeadWest and the Western Melbourne Regional Development Australia Committee. It provides details of industry contributions to employment, output, wages and salaries, exports, imports and value added. In January it was updated with the latest area-specific unemployment rate data (September Quarter 2014). Learn more here!
Low Carbon West:  LeadWest has sent a letter to Victoria’s Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water seeking Victorian Government support for the implementation phase of Low Carbon West.  A particular request is for support to pass legislation enabling Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EAUs) to be used throughout Victoria.  This is expected to unlock about $4.5 billion in economic activity involving environmental upgrades to non-residential buildings. For example, installing solar panels on a factory warehouse or retail shop.  That amount of economic activity is modeled to generate about 18,000 jobs, and the lion's share of the upgrade work is in Melbourne's west. Learn more here!
Melbourne’s West Economic Response Taskforce: LeadWest has sent a letter to Victoria’s Minister for Industry seeking Victorian Government support for a Regioal Innovation and Investment Fund for Melbourne’s West and support in identifying with the Premier and Cabinet the need for Victorian Government investment in major infrastructure projects in Melbourne’s west. Learn more here!
Senate Economics References Committee:  LeadWest is preparing a submission for the inquiry into the future of Australia’s automotive industry. Using REMPLAN, LeadWest has an estimated job impact from the loss of 2,500 jobs at Toyota's Altona car manufacturing plant.  By 2017 job losses from the direct, indirect and consumption effects could be about 8,000.  Add the regional loss of about 5,000 jobs caused by the loss of 1,000 jobs in shipbuilding at BAE in Williamstown and we face the prospect of over 13,000 jobs lost from our regional economy.  That's why we need so reasonable level of help from the Victorian Government and Australian Government.  We also need to pick up the pace on job growth in other parts of our region's economy. Learn more here!

International Women's Day: International Women's Day, held on 8 March is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Local governments across Melbourne's west are celebrating International Women's Day 2015, find out more by contacting your local council. Learn more here!
Walk West: Join the Western Health Foundation on Sunday 29 March 2015 to raise funds for children’s healthcare at Sunshine Hospital by registering in either a 5km or 10km walk or run. LeadWest is a sponsor of this event from which funds raised will directly assist the children and families of Melbourne's west by supporting the Sunshine Kids Appeal Program. You can join LeadWest's team. Learn more here!
Sons of the West:  LeadWest’s CEO has joined the Steering Committee for the 2015 program, which was launched on February 18. During the launch, the Western Bulldogs announced some fresh new initiatives to continue growing Sons of the West and to acknowledge the support from a diverse range of existing and new program partners.  LeadWest has sent a letter to Victoria’s Minister for Health seeking support from the Victorian Government to sustain Sons of the West after 2015. Meanwhile you can support and participate in Sons of the West. Learn more here!


Greening the West (1 Million Trees):  LeadWest’s application under the 20 Million Trees programme was approved by the Minister for Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP.  The Minister’s Office requested potential locations for a launch/announcement event and three sites have been suggested: Brooklyn Gateway near the meeting point of the borders of Brimbank, Hobsons Bay and Wyndham (improving Industrial areas); Aberfeldie Reserve in Moonee Ponds (enhancing Recreational areas); and Werribee Park Heritage Orchard (enhancing environmental areas with tourism and heritage values).' LeadWest is now working on establishing the Greening the West (1 Million Trees) programme with a wide range of partners, most of them already part of the broader Greening the West initiative. Learn more here!
Green Army Projects in Melbourne's West:  The Green Army is a hands-on, practical environmental action programme that supports local environment and heritage conservation projects across Australia. The Coalition Government is fulfilling a promise to approve Green Army Projects in our region that support the Greening the West (1 Million Trees) initiative.  Applications are now open for Round 3 of the Green Army Programme. Learn more here!
Western Transport Alliance: Local governments in Melbourne's west are taking a lead role in advocating for major transport improvements in the region through the Western Transport Alliance. The next meeting of the Western Transport Alliance is scheduled for Thursday March 26 from 8.30am - 10.30am at the Footscray Town Hall. The focus is on Freight. All Western Transport Alliance members are welcome to attend.
Metropolitan Transport Forum:  LeadWest’s CEO teamed with Wyndham City Council’s CEO to deliver a presentation ‘Better Connecting Melbourne’s West’ to the Melbourne Transport Forum in February.  A copy of the presentation is available here!
West Gate Distributor: VicRoads, on behalf of the Victorian Government, will be managing the Expression of Interest process for the construction of the West Gate Distributor – northern section.  The Expression of Interest process for the project opened on Wednesday January 21. The period from Expression of Interest to the contract being awarded is expected to take approximately six months from February. Construction is expected to commence late in 2015 and take approximately 18 months to complete.  LeadWest’s CEO sent a letter to Victoria’s Minister for Roads and Road Safety seeking improved levels of consultation with all members of the Western Transport Alliance on projects such as the West Gate Distributor. Learn more here!
Regional Rail Link: The RRL has been a great and transformative infrastructure investment in Melbourne's west, and that's before services have commenced on it! 
The launch of services on the RRL tracks is to be delayed until late June. The Andrews government said a shortage of available V/Line trains had forced it to defer the launch.  The eight-week delay will also hold back until June wholesale changes that are planned to Melbourne's train, tram and bus timetables. LeadWest has sent a letter to the Minister for Public Transport seeking optimisation of timetable outcomes for all services in Melbourne's west, and particularly restoration of Altona Loop rail services after the RRL becomes operational.  LeadWest also sent a letter to Victoria’s Minister for Tourism seeking his assistance to ensure sufficient stopping at Sunshine station to enable it to play a role as an inter-regional rail hub. Learn more here!

Western Melbourne Tourism: Friday 22 May - Save the Date!! Western Melbourne Tourism is again hosting the Tourism Fest in the West, a one day conference for the tourism  sector.  This will be an immersive urban tourism conference at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville. The day will include key note speakers, professional  development workshops and forum discussion, as well as post conference networking at a local  venue.  More details to follow! Learn more here!
ArtsWest / Snuff Puppets:  Footscray’s large-scale puppet company, Snuff Puppets, is one of LeadWest’s affiliates.  It recently created the human puppet – measuring 26 meters and operated by up to six puppeteers at a time. It is a celebration of the human body and features detachable organs, limbs and a range of other surprises, that creatively demonstrate how the body works both inside and out. Official measurements were undertaken by a professional surveyor at an event in Southbank on February 13, officially witnessed by Minister for Creative Industries, the Hon Martin Foley. The measurements have been formally submitted to the Guinness World Records headquarters in London and should gain Snuff Puppets the Guinness World Record for the Largest Puppet/Marionette. Learn more here!
SportsWest / VU Netball Academy:  On March 27 at Victoria University Whitten Oval, Victoria University will launch its 2015 Victoria University Netball Academy and welcome Vixens Captain Bianca Chatfield as Head Coach.  The VU Netball Academy brings together state-of-the art sport facilities, sport science capability and extensive netball sporting networks and coaching experience. The Academy was established in 2010 to address a shortage in sport development and competition opportunities for young female athletes in Melbourne's west. Learn more here!
Out and About in Melbourne's West: Melbourne’s west is a vibrant, creative hot-spot with rich offerings of live theatre, cultural performances and art exhibitions for all ages. Home to a number of iconic visitor attractions, sport and recreation facilities, Melbourne's west has so much to offer and so much to explore. It is easy to get out and Discover Your Own Backyard (via the links below), or click on the logo of your local council (below). Learn more here!

LeadWest's Board: On February 11, LeadWest’s Board met at the Avondale Heights Library and Learning Centre in Moonee Valley. The agenda included consideration of changes to LeadWest's Constitution, an update on the Open Innovation West initiative, and reports on LeadWest's activities and governance matters.  LeadWest's Board next meets on March 11. Learn more here!
LeadWest Board - Directors:  Maribyrnong City Council has advised that it appointed Cr Grant Miles as its representative on LeadWest's Board.  LeadWest's Board and small team thank Cr Sarah Carter for her years of service as a Director of LeadWest Ltd. We also welcome Cr Grant Miles, who attended his first meeting of LeadWest's Board on February 11. Learn more here!
Created by the Western Health Foundation, and supported by leaders in our region, WalkWest  is the first major community walk event in the west. Events include a 5k or 10k Walk and Run. Entry is free, but participants are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation and/or set up a fundraising page as an individual or with a team.
Held on Sunday, March 29 and catering for the whole family, the WalkWest Village at Doug Mills Reserve, Maribyrnong will be alive with fun, family activities for parents and kids, while the event participants run or walk to raise funds for the Sunshine Kids. Funds raised from WalkWest will directly assist the kids of the west by supporting the Sunshine Kids Appeal Program. Learn more and register here!
The Western Bulldog’s Sons of the West Men’s Health Program is back and will be launched through a number of Men’s Health Expos across local councils in the western region. There will be loads of giveaways and men who register on the day will receive a FREE three game Western Bulldogs membership. This program is the perfect way to take care of yourself or your staff. Check out this quick  video to see what it’s all about.
Melton: Saturday 7 March, 10am - 12pm, Quest Apartments, 234 Caroline Springs Boulevard, Caroline Springs
Maribyrnong: Saturday 14 March, 10am - 12pm,  Victoria University Whitten Oval, 417 Barkly Street, Footscray West
Hobsons Bay: Saturday 14 March, 2pm - 4pm,  Laverton Community Hub, 95-105 Railway Avenue, Laverton
Wyndham: Sunday 15 March, 10am - 12pm, Wyndham Civic Centre, 45 Princes Highway, Werribee
Brimbank: Sunday 15 March, 2pm - 4pm, Sunshine Leisure Centre, 5 Kennedy Street, Sunshine
Manufacturers in Melbourne’s West were invited to the launch of a program of activities for Open Innovation West (OIW) at the New World Whisky Distillery, Essendon Fields in February.
Attendees were treated to a Q&A session with David Vitale, owner of New World Whisky Distillery who provided a fascinating insight into the operation and success of the business. David spoke about the challenges he has faced, energy saving measures incorporated into the building and the ways in which the business is innovating and collaborating with their industry peers.
In addition to the opportunity to network and sample the product first hand, attendees also heard from the Director, North West Department of Economic Development, and the Executive Officer for Open Innovation West.

The next OIW event will be a power workshop "Working with all levels of Government", to be held at WestWaters Hotel, Caroline Springs. Calendar of Events
More information on the Open Innovation West can be obtained from the Executive Officer, Andrew Baldacchino. Email
or phone 0438 441 223.
LeadWest's membership includes all six local governments in Melbourne's west, joined by major companies and other organisations, each with substantial operations or interests that are based in Melbourne's west. LeadWest also has a growing number of Affiliates, primarily not-for-profit organisations and each playing a significant role in our region. Any organisation with operations or interests based in Melbourne's west may apply for membership. There is a process set down in the Constitution for approval of memberships by the Board of DirectorsContact LeadWest
Employers: Take advantage of the Post a FREE Job link in addition to your usual channels of advertising to access local talent in Melbourne's west.
Job Seekers: Job alerts are now live on Melbourne's West Jobs. Conduct a job search, set an alert via the email link and you'll be notified whenever a job fitting your search criteria is listed.  

Need help? The Employer User Manual and Job Seeker User Manual are available for download on the LeadWest website.
Melbourne’s west is a vibrant, creative hotspot with rich offerings of live theatre, cultural performances and art exhibitions for all ages. Home to iconic visitor attractions, sport and recreation facilities, Melbourne's west has so much to offer and so much to explore. More information

The Discover Your Own Backyard campaign aims to encourage residents to get out and discover things to see and do in their local area, and promote to their visiting friends and relatives.
For information on Small Business Victoria's 'Big Help for Small Business' workshops and seminars: click here.
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