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.
To help showcase the significant impact that the initiative has made in the region thus far, an Impact So Far infographic has been developed.
There are three main components to the initiative:
A survey conducted during May and June 2019, the Active Living Census was designed to help with planning for health and recreation services and allow a better understanding of people’s activity levels and preferences.
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.
Key findings from the 2019 Active Living Census for Greater Bendigo include:
- Walking is the most popular physical activity for adults
- 2 in every 3 adults in Greater Bendigo are overweight or obese
- 1 in 10 households in Greater Bendigo do not have enough to eat. In some areas this increases to 1 in 5 households
- 1 in 8 adults meet the daily vegetable consumption guidelines
- Greater Bendigo residents consume more sugary drinks than residents in the Loddon Campaspe Region and Victoria
- 5.5% of Greater Bendigo residents gamble weekly
- Females consume nearly three times more vegetables than males
- Residents in Maiden Gully, Strathfieldsaye and the Rural East reported higher levels of life satisfaction than Greater Bendigo residents
The 2019 Active Living Census reports for Greater Bendigo can be found here:
- Selected Findings report for Greater Bendigo
- Topline report for Greater Bendigo
- Findings for the entire Loddon Campaspe region can be found at the Regional Development Victoria website
We encourage any interested members of the community to view and utilise the data for their needs.
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.