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Healthy Heart of Victoria

What is the Healthy Heart of Victoria?

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.

Mount Alexander Shire Council is one of six local councils involved in the initiative. Other councils involved are Campaspe Shire, Central Goldfields Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon Shire and Macedon Ranges Shire.

Background

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.

A series of design workshops were undertaken to address these concerns, 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. These are the Active Living Census, Infrastructure and activation and a Health Broker.

The Active Living Census

A survey conducted to help with planning for health and recreation services and allow 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.

Mount Alexander Shire residents submitted nearly 2,500 responses, with a number of local residents receiving voucher prizes. Thank you to everyone who completed the survey.

Local results will be published in 2020.

Infrastructure and activation that gets more people, more active, more often

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 Mount Alexander Shire include walking and cycling trail linkages in Castlemaine, a pedestrian crossing on Forest Street near Camp Reserve in Castlemaine as well as the installation of seating, drinking fountains and wayfinding signs.

Health Broker workforce

A workforce of ‘Health Brokers’ has been appointed to work across the six Loddon Campaspe Councils.
Our Health Broker is Simone Hooppell. Simone’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. Get in touch with Simone Hooppell.

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