Healthy Heart of Victoria
WHAT IS THE HEALTHY HEART OF VICTORIA?
The Healthy Heart of Victoria (HHV) is an initiative aimed at improving the health of people in the Loddon Campaspe region – the ‘heart’ of Victoria.
The initiative was developed in response to the higher than Victorian average rates of obesity, chronic disease and high-risk health behaviours currently seen within the region.
Healthy Heart of Victoria projects are designed to focus on those parts of the community that are the least active and least supported. The initiative aims to get more people, more active, more often.
City of Greater Bendigo is one of six local Councils involved in the initiative. The other Councils involved are Campaspe Shire, Central Goldfields Shire, Loddon Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire and Mount Alexander Shire.
In 2016 the community told the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership that it was concerned about health statistics and outcomes in the region. They also believed that health is everyone’s business, not just health services and professionals.
To address these concerns, a series of design workshops were undertaken involving over 100 stakeholders from local government, health services, primary care partnerships, universities and state government departments to develop the Healthy Heart of Victoria implementation framework.
Subsequently, in 2018 the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative was funded $5M.
There are three main components to the initiative:
A survey conducted during May and June 2019 to help with planning for health and recreation services and allow a better understanding of people’s activity levels and preferences.
First conducted within the City of Greater Bendigo in 2014, the Active Living Census (ALC) was carried out across all households in the Loddon Campaspe region in 2019.
The Census was available online and in hard copy to people across the region. It was completed by over 24,500 people throughout region, including by almost 13,000 people across the City of Greater Bendigo.
The findings provide evidence at a local level, and enable reliable comparisons with other data, as well as across townships and demographic groups such as age and gender.
Further, the findings provide valuable information on what would help people meet national guidelines for healthy eating and active living, and help support efforts to reduce rates of obesity, chronic disease and high-risk health behaviours by encouraging more people to be more active, more often.
The Active Living Census findings for the City of Greater Bendigo will be available soon.
The Active Living Census findings for the Loddon Campaspe region have been released and are available here.
Improvements to infrastructure, facilities and/or programs across the region to enable more community members to increase their activity levels.
The Healthy Heart of Victoria infrastructure and activation projects in City of Greater Bendigo include installation of outdoor fitness equipment, Let’s Walk Kangaroo Flat, Let's Walk Long Gully, path connections, lighting, seating and water fountains.
A workforce of ‘Health Brokers’ has been appointed to work across the six Loddon Campaspe Councils.
The Health Broker for City of Greater Bendigo is Cara Smith. Cara’s role as part of Healthy Heart of Victoria is to develop relationships between Council, local organisations and community groups to help build knowledge and influence decision making with respect to health and wellbeing.