HealthWest has had another busy and productive year working alongside members, community and stakeholders. Together we have been able to share expertise, pool resources and obtain outcomes that we could not achieve on our own.

Read on and be inspired by the diverse and interesting spaces we have been working in this year. In your organisation think about adopting and implementing some of the practices and frameworks showcased in the HealthWest Highlights 2018-2019. Get in touch if you need more information or our support.


Gail O' Donnell, Executive Officer

Partnership & Collaboration

Collaborative partnerships is the foundation of our work at HealthWest. Together we can improve the health and wellbeing of our communites in Melbourne’s west.

HealthWest is a voluntary alliance of organisations interested in optimising the health of everyone in our catchment. We welcomed these new members in the 2018/19 financial year.

  • City West Water
  • MatchWorks
  • Max Employment
  • Southern Rivers Community Services
  • Westgate Community Initiative Group (WCIG)

In 2018-19 we worked closely with 66 member and non-member organisations across our projects and networks & committees.

HealthWest's strengths include its ability to bring people to the table across diverse sectors and organisations, network and engage and undertake projects and activities that are of high quality and make a difference.

From the Review of the health of the HealthWest Partnership, by Lirata Consulting, January 2018.

HealthWest’s commitment to partnering with community is expressed by involving community members in our governance, projects, networks and committees.

Meet the members of HealthWest's Community Advisory Group, who help bring a community perspective to our work. Their contribution supports our work to be relevant and meaningful for our communities.

Some members of the Community Advisory Group

Building evidence and shared knowledge

HealthWest supports its members in a variety of ways through individual projects in health literacy, workforce mutuality, community leadership, codesign, primary prevention, social inclusion, prevention of violence against women and systems integration. Here are several highlights from 2018 - 2019.

Health Literacy

In 2018 HealthWest partnered with Inner North West PCP to continue to support members to respond to the health literacy needs of their communities.


  • Following a round of peer group mentoring workshops in 2018, a second round of workshops were facilitated in 2019 with four new organisations and four mentors to guide and support organisations through the process of becoming a health literate organisation.
  • A handbook ‘Make it Easy’ was developed as a small, practical and actionable self-assessment tool to guide organisations to make sustainable changes in becoming a health literate organisation.

Workforce Mutuality

Standards for Workforce Mutuality were developed and piloted to address the “diversity gap” observed in the health and community workforce in Melbourne’s west. The Standards support organisations to attract, develop and retain a workforce which is more inclusive and reflective of the diversity of the community.

Highlight: An evaluation of the pilot demonstrated the Standards, self-assessment tool and good practice guide, effectively support organisations to reflect on and improve their workforce mutuality practices.

Article: How can we influence diversity and inclusion across our workforce?

Seat at the Table

This project brought young people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds together with mental health service providers, to design and pilot ideas that address the barriers to help-seeking behaviour in mental health.

Highlight: Evaluation of the project showed that a co-design and co-production process can be successfully implemented to help young people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds reduce stigma around mental health.

Prevention Taskforce

The Western Region Primary Prevention Taskforce aims to strengthen collaborative, cross sector efforts across Melbourne’s west to promote the health and wellbeing of communities and prevent ill health before it occurs. In 2018 the Taskforce scoped social inclusion (a determinant of mental health) as a shared priority.

Highlight: Developed ‘Meaningful Engagement for Social Inclusion’, a practice guide to support organisations engage more meaningfully with their communities.

Article: Navigating regional collaboration for primary prevention

Project Momentum

Momentum is a partnership with Victoria University. It aims to prevent violence against women by engaging young male students and staff to develop and implement primary prevention strategies in their local communities.

Highlight: Senior Male Allies have been recruited, trained and supported to develop project ideas, approved by a Women’s Accountability Panel.

Pathways for Children with Developmental Delay

This project involved key service providers in Melbourne’s west working together to provide clarity about eligibility and pathways for public services for children with developmental delay.

Highlight: An evaluation of the project demonstrated the tool effectively supported some clinicians and consumers with referrals and was easy to use. It was recommended the aid could be replicated for other regions, once the system has stabilised following sector wide reforms. Following dissemination of the aid, participating service providers reported value in continuing to meet and monitor the system through sector wide reforms.

Other project highlights

  • connectwest: Provided training support for a group of community leaders to establish themselves as connectwest, which now runs independently of HealthWest.
  • Men of Brimbank: Supported the group on their journey to action on the prevention of violence against women.
connectwest (left), Men of Brimbank (right)

Find out more: HealthWest Projects, Resources, Project Evaluation Reports

Advocacy and support

Through strategic advocacy, we hope to improve the capacity of all our partners to respond to the needs of the local community they serve.

Contributed to: 2 submissions to the Victorian Commission of Gambling and Liquor Regulation; 1 submission on the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2019-23 consultation; 1 submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

HealthWest acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, and Wathaurong peoples of the Kulin Nation, and pay our respects to their cultures and their elders past and present.

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