Deakin / DH / DHS Strategic Alliance (Barwon-South West)

News and events

Peter Quail Oration 2013 "Where next for prevention of chronic disease? Scaling up from community based obesity prevention in schools to whole populations"

Dr Steven Allender , Professor of Population Health and Co-Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University presented the 2013 Peter Quail Oration: "Where next for prevention of chronic disease? Scaling up from community based obesity prevention in schools to whole populations" on Tuesday 22 nd October at Deakin University’s Waterfront Campus. Steve has an ongoing program of research on the burden of disease and obesity prevention. Recent work has seen a particular interest in the emerging burden of chronic disease in developed and developing countries and the possibilities for using complex systems approaches for community-based intervention.

Steve presented a summary covering the first ten years of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention and the current program of research relating to the development of novel obesity prevention as well as scaling up from community-based obesity prevention in schools to whole populations.

The Peter Quail Oration was filmed for distribution as a Deakin Cloud link and was well attended and enthusiastically received by a large 80 plus audience.

Presentation (pdf 3.6Mb)
Deakin Cloud Link

Place Based Community Strengthening Forum

The "Place Based Community Strengthening Forum" was successfully held at the Camperdown Golf Club on Wednesday 9th October 2013. The theme for the Forum aimed to explore best practice applied and research methods that strengthened the health and wellbeing of communities tackling issues of disadvantage across the Barwon South West Region. A selection of Deakin researcher’s academic learning’s and regional place based development approaches were showcased at the Forum. The Forum was well attended by over 80 participants across a spectrum of health professionals and managers in community health services and local government as well as Deakin researchers and educators across the region.

Place Based Community Strengthening Forum Report (20k Word doc)
G21Place Based Community Strengthening Forum (233k PDF)
Whittington Works (1Mb PDF)
Toumbourou Place Based Disadvantage (2.7Mb PDF)

Peter Quail Oration 2012
Associate Professor Mardie Townsend presented the 2012 Peter Quail Oration: "Green Spaces and Wellbeing; Social Inclusion via Nature Connections" on Tuesday 4th September at Deakin University's Waterfront Campus

The Peter Quail Oration is an annual initiative of the Deakin/DH/DHS Strategic Alliance and is held in memory of Mr Peter Quail, a valued DHS colleague and founding champion of the partnership between Deakin, Department of Health and Department of Human Services. Peter's career in the Victorian public service spanned three decades.  Peter's work ethic was grounded by the principles of social justice and he used every opportunity to improve service delivery to the most vulnerable in our communities. The aim of the Peter Quail Oration each year is to engage and inform the community and health service professionals on a topical and relevant regional health and wellbeing issue. For the first time the Peter Quail Oration was successfully incorporated into the Deakin Week program of events and filmed for distribution as a You Tube link

Associate Professor Mardie Townsend teaches in the areas of Public Health and Family and Society in the School of Health and Social Development in Deakin University's Faculty of Health. She is currently collaborating with a range of organisations including Parks Victoria, G21, the Austin Hospital Group and the City of Melbourne. Her research interests include the human health benefits of interaction with nature; urban and rural contexts for health and wellbeing; social and health impact assessment; and housing and homelessness.

The 2012 Peter Quail Oration theme "Green Spaces and Wellbeing; Social Inclusion via Nature Connections" focused on the human health benefits of interaction with nature and the environmental determinants of health. Associate Professor Townsend's outlined the human need for nature and the health benefit of green spaces. She provided compelling case study examples for her theme covering
  • Nature connections and disadvantage
  • Nature connections and mental illness
  • Environmental volunteering as a mechanism for inclusion
  • Nature connections for indigenous wellbeing

The Oration was well attended and enthusiastically received by an audience who were passionate about the topic and generated a lively debate in the open discussion section of the program.
Reference PDF Resources from the 2012 Peter Quail Oration

South West Healthy Kids ANGELO workshop summary

conference partners
The two-day ANGELO community action planning workshop was held in Port Fairy on Monday 3rd and
Tuesday 4th September 2012.
Thirty six participants on day one and 27 participants on day two represented a range of key children's settings from West Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Koroit, Macarthur, Hawkesdale and Mortlake, including delegates from nine schools, two early childhood services, six community/health agencies, Moyne and Warrnambool Shire Councils, Deakin University and South West Sport.
Day one provided training on issues related to obesity, healthy eating and physical activity including:
  • The size and scope of the obesity problem and its relationship to physical activity and nutrition
  • Findings from the SWHK community needs assessment project
  • A review of what the evidence tells us about effective ways to address the issue, and
  • Programs currently available in the region to increase physical activity and healthy eating
On day two participants completed the prioritisation process identifying the following five objectives:
  1. Increase consumption of water and reduce consumption of sugary drinks
  2. Increase fruit and vegetable consumption
  3. Reduce consumption of energy dense nutrient poor foods
  4. Increase the proportion of healthy food choices available at key children's settings
  5. Increase informal activity in children and decrease sedentary behaviour
Participants then began developing draft plans of action, identifying strategies to address each objective. At the conclusion of day two community based representatives agreed to:
  • Continue developing action plans, either at an organisational or community level, with support and advice from SWHK community health agency reps.
  • Provide copies of draft action plans prior to a face-to-face meeting in late October/early November to enable information sharing
  • Participate in a face-to-face meeting in late October early November to complete the action planning process and identify common themes with a view to developing an overarching regional plan
Additional information provided in the SWHK ANGELO workshop summary package includes:
  1. Speech: Launch of South West Healthy Kids - Jacinta Ermacora
  2. Presentation: Why healthy eating and physical activity? Obesity epidemic - national & international trends
  3. Presentation: SWHK - finding out the physical activity and healthy eating needs of our children and
  4. families (including hyperlinked policy context slide: 'Being mindful of key state and national initiatives & programs')
  5. Presentation: Best bets - what does the evidence show us? Presentations and program documentation x 4 'Regional opportunities': Victorian Prevention Health Promotion Achievement Program (Including the physical activity/active play and healthy eating/oral health benchmarks for primary schools & early childhood services); Healthy Sporting Environments; Warrnambool City Council - How can local government support SWHK; Moyne Small Town Community Planning Project
  6. ANGELO outcomes - table summarising day two's prioritising process
  7. Action plan guide and template
  8. Department Health Evidence Summaries: Getting more children aged 5 to 12 years to eat more fruit and vegetables; Increasing healthy eating for children aged 4-6 months to 4 years
  9. Example action plan: It's your move
  10. Save-the-date: SWHK community stakeholders meeting; Wednesday 14 November, 2.30 - 4.30pm

Workshop presentations

Glenelg Shire Workshop: March 18 2012


The Southern Grampians and Glenelg Primary Care Partnership (SGGPCP) recognize the impact of Climate Change on health outcomes for our community. Publication of Climate Change Adaptation: a Framework for Local Action by PCP in 2008 identified five areas of action to reduce the direct impacts of climate change. These areas included household energy use. SGGPCP conducted a demonstration project with a small township (Merino) which led to the current Pass the Parcel Project which is funded by Sustainability Victoria. This project has enabled further investigation of strategies to improve energy efficiency and comfort for low income households while building capacity of PCP partner agencies to respond. The SGGPCP strategic Plan
2009 - 2012 states that our vision is through capacity building for collaboration, enhance the health and wellbeing if our community.

Through the Deakin/DH/DHS Strategic Alliance Community Capacity and Engagement in Public Health Funding, SGGPCP partnered with Glenelg Shire to facilitate an Energy Efficiency Workshop for Home and Community Care (HACC) Support Staff and others working with vulnerable groups.

The Workshop

Kildonan Uniting Care has a long standing reputation working with the community around energy efficiency. Kildonan facilitator Sue Fraser ran the workshop for 20 HACC/ support staff from the Glenelg Shire.

The workshop enabled participants to consider the importance of energy efficiency while gaining a better understanding of the impact on their client group. Participants spent some time examining electricity bills and developing a better understanding of the information presented on the bill. Participants discussed household energy use and running costs for appliances. This conversation enabled further discussion around calculating running costs and using appliances appropriately rather than purchase of new appliances. A range of tips to save energy were presented and major discussion focused on transferring this knowledge to the client group.

The topic around assistance programs and financial counselling provided participants with a range of options to support their clients including financial counselling, hardship programs, rebates, the No Interest Loans Scheme(NILS), Good Shepherd Buying Service, CentrePay and links to other programs

Energy Efficiency flyer SGG 2012 (pdf 78k)
Energy Efficiency Report SGG 2012 (pdf 400k)

Launch of G21's Early Years Report - Growing up in G21

launch g21 early years reportG21 (Geelong Region Alliance's) Report "Growing up in G21: The health and wellbeing of children 0-8 years in the G21 region" was launched by the Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell on Monday 17th October 2011

The G21 Geelong Region Alliance's Growing up in G21: The health and wellbeing of children 0-8 years in the G21 region paints a detailed picture of how local children are faring.Taking in the City of Greater Geelong, the Borough of Queenscliffe and the Surf Coast, Golden Plains and Colac Otway Shires, the G21 is a formal alliance of government, business and community organisations. Recognising the importance of a child's early years, the report aims to build a regional picture of the challenges local children face, while recognising areas where they are flourishing. The results will be used to influence policy decisions and to shape the services available to children aged 0-8 and their families. Ms Lovell congratulated members of the G21 Geelong Region Alliance on their achievement, and for their work in the community.
"The Victorian Government has a clear focus on the importance of the early years and your efforts to understand the needs of children in your region are complementary to that work," Ms Lovell said.
"Growing up in G21 recognises that building a regional picture of the lives of our youngest community-members is fundamental if governments and the community are to do more to promote their development and wellbeing."
Key findings from the report include:

  • Children in the region are meeting or exceeding literacy benchmarks.
  • Kindergarten participation rates are above the state average across the region, enhancing their development and better preparing them for school.
  • A majority of parents say their region is a safe place to live.
  • The region has a relatively high number of one-parent families.
  • Immunisation rates are low compared to state levels, particularly for six year old children.

"Reports like this are crucial as they provide government and other agencies with a regional perspective of children, helping them to better understand the needs of children in the region," Ms Lovell said.

G21 Early Years Report 2011 (pdf 4Mb)

Peter Quail Oration 2011

  "Systems Thinking to Advance Population Health" presented by Dr Alan Shiell
Director of the Centre of Excellence in Intervention and Prevention Science
  Thursday 6th October 2011 at the Deakin University's Waterfront Campus.

Quail Oration

Dr Alan Shiell is the Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence in Intervention and Prevention Science (CEIPS) in Melbourne, a new research centre established by the Victorian Department of Health in 2010. CEIPS will work with the Department of Health and university based researchers on the implementation and evaluation of the State's investment in building a prevention system. Dr Shiell outlined system thinking prevention concepts aimed to advance Victoria’s Population Health. The feedback from the event was universally positive with comments on the excellent and refreshing content as well as excitement with developing new partnership networks with CEIPS.
Please see attached an I lecture link of the Oration:

Link to Lecture

To open and view the Oration on your computer in streaming mode:

  • select one option from Flash streaming or Quicktime and open
  • recommend to first try Flash version: video streaming medium mode selection
  • when the I lecture screen loads select continue button to run
  • It is running if the counter numbers are moving
  • If there is no sound check your computer speakers are not set on mute

The powerpoint slides run in sync with the commentary and are best heard with earphones. We hope you enjoy listening to the Oration. Cats fans will particularly enjoy Alan's systems insight into Geelong's 2011 victory.
Reference PDF Resources from 2011 Peter Quail Oration


Community Capacity Building Workshop
The Process of Engaging and Empowering the Community
Camperdown Golf Club, 23 March 2011.

community workshop

A Community Capacity Building Workshop, 'The Process of Engaging and Empowering the Community' was successfully held at the Camperdown Golf Club, 23 March 2011. The purpose of this workshop was to explore the diverse range of processes whereby communities can be engaged and empowered. The Workshop was well attended by 70 participants across a spectrum of practioners and managers in community health services and local government a swell as researchers and educators in the region.

The keynote Speaker: Professor Jane Farmer (La Trobe University) drew on her international experience and policy understanding to explore good practice in a diverse range of processes to engage and empower communities. Jane Farmer is Head, Rural Health School, La Trobe University (Bendigo). She was previously Chair, Rural Health Policy and Management, and Co-director, Centre for Rural Health, University of the Highlands & Islands (UHI), Inverness, Scotland. Jane has lead many research projects and written extensively on rural health services. (

Following the keynote address a selection of five best practice community capacity-building activities were showcased as small and interactive group discussions in a 'marketplace' format:

1. Pass the Parcel: A Story of Community development: Ms Joanne Brown, Project Officer, Southern Grampians Glenelg PCP provided an outline of the community development process used to engage the local community in understanding the opportunities and threats posed by climate change. Existing social networks within the community were engaged to distribute temperature data loggers (i buttons) and became the focal point to increase participation, interest and conversation in the program. (

2. Deadly Teeth: Ms Lynda Smith, Health Promotion Officer, Portland District Health outlined a project to improve the oral health status of Indigenous children (0-5 years) living in the Glenelg and Southern Grampians catchment area. Various workshops were held with children, families and Elders of the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation to discuss oral health priorities and concerns. Dental Health Services Victoria - Smiles4Miles program and three key messages- Eat Well, Drink Well and Brush Well were used as a basis for discussion. Results of these collaborative workshops with the Gunditjimara people to date include engaging an indigenous artist to depict the oral health messages on three canvases (displayed at the International Arts in Health Conference, 2010); developing 3 oral health family tip cards and an ongoing initiative to further develop an Indigenous specific oral health program (0-5 years). (

3. RU OK Day : Ms Toni Van Hamond, Manager, Headspace Barwon, Geelong provided an overview of this social marketing approach to raise awareness about suicide prevention and encourage individuals and community groups to reach out to others. RU OK Day aims to reduce the number of suicides each year. Research has shown that talking about suicide with someone at risk reduces the chance of them taking their own life. (

4. North Portland Neighbourhood Planning: Ms Fontella Koleff, Community Development Officer, and Ms Adele Kenneally, Group Manager, Community Development, Glenelg Shire Council developed a project to engage disadvantaged public housing residents in the North Portland area in the neighbourhood planning for their community. The program outlined a series of community events, open house forums and school holiday activities used to engage the community and encourage participation in neighbourhood planning. Three members of the public housing estate have been recently nominated as members of a foundation neighbourhood planning committee. ( (

5. Food Security on the Northern Bellarine Peninsula: Ms Anita Thomas, Health Promotion Mentor, Bellarine Community Health Service, Point Lonsdale provided an overview of how Bellarine Community Health Services engaged the community of Bellarine Peninsula to better understand local health and wellbeing needs, and then identified suitable solutions to address them. The process outlined two phases of community consultation and engagement. Phase 1 - a concurrent process undertaking a community health and wellbeing needs assessment at local markets and conducting a comprehensive food security audit. Phase 2 - work in partnership with the community to identify and implement various strategies, including PortProduce (weekly fruit and vegetable market at Portarlington Primary School), a community kitchen in St Leonards, and a café meals program. (

In the afternoon participants choose from two concurrent sessions:

1. Creating community action plans for better health: The ANGELO (Analysis Grid for elements linked to Obesity) process and its application to health issues. Mr Chad Foulkes, Research Fellow, WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University took participants through the ANGELO process - which has been successfully used in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga to engage communities in the design of effective community based obesity prevention interventions. The ANGELO process comprises four phases: i) a socio-cultural analysis of barriers to achieving health; ii) meetings with stakeholders to frame issues for discussion; iii) prioritisation workshops; iv) and drafting an action plan. (

2. Golden Plains Shire Community Capacity Building project: An award winning community capacity building approach and strategy. Ms Louisa White, Manager Community Development, Golden Plains Shire, unpacked the rationale behind the development of township and community plans within a rural shire and the process of facilitating community engagement, community ownership, as well as council and other organisations' support for community-driven priorities. (

Workshop Impact Evaluation Report: A preliminary review of workshop evaluation survey indicates the program was well received by participants. Content, information to engage with the community, variety of program and location all scored in the satisfactory to high range. The most popular presentations were the keynote speaker (Prof Jane Farmer) and the afternoon Golden Plains presentation (Ms Louisa White). These were closely followed by a high approval rating for the marketplace presentations with RUOK the most highly rated. An impact evaluation will be undertaken in the next few months to follow up three action outcomes indicated by participants in their evaluation form as well as other outcomes and network contacts.

24th November 2010

spring into good health

The Southern Grampians and Glenelg Primary Care Partnership presented an interactive workshop Spring into Good Health at the new Hamilton and District Skills Centre on Wednesday 24 November.

Being physically active and good nutrition plays a major role in maintaining health and wellbeing for seniors.  “This workshop was designed specifically for seniors to come along and participate in the free gardening and cooking activities “said Janette Lowe, Executive Officer at PCP.

Local identity and Chef Tony MacGillivray demonstrated cooking techniques while horticulturist Rebecca Phyland who shared tips on easy vegetable growing.

Peter Quail Oration:
"Improving the physical and mental health of those experiencing disadvantage"

28th October 2010

Peter Quail Oration

The Peter Quail Oration for 2010  'Improving the physical and mental health of those experiencing disadvantage’ was presented by Professor Jim Hyde and Ms Kellie Horton (Manager Health Inequalities, VicHealth) on the 28th October in the John Lindell Theatre, Geelong Hospital. Ms Chris Faulkner (Director, Heath & Aged Care, Barwon South West Region) convened the Oration which was also video- conferenced to venues in Warrnambool & Hamilton.

Professor Jim Hyde is Director, Prevention & Population Health and formerly Director, Public Health in the Victorian Department of Health.  Previously he was the Principal Program Advisor, National Public Health Partnership.  In these roles he has provided advice to governments on strategic and integrated responses to Public Health and prevention priorities.  He is also an Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University. From 2001-2005 he was Director, Policy and Communications, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians where he led policy development on a range of strategic areas in health and social policy, in particular, health inequalities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, health financing and pharmaceuticals, better practice safety and quality, and workforce development.

Ms Kellie Horton manages the Health Inequalities portfolio at VicHealth.  This role provides leadership across the organisation to ensure a focus on reducing inequality is embedded across VicHealth’s program areas- which focus both on the social and economic determinants of health and key risk factors. Kellie has been working in public health for the past 8 years and has qualifications in health science (BHSc) and public health (MPH). She has recently commenced a Doctor of Public Health. Kellie’s experience includes program and policy development in the community sector, local and state government, and non-government organisations. She joined VicHealth in September 2009, motivated by the organisation’s commitment to a determinants and equity-focused approach to health promotion.

The Oration is an annual initiative of the Deakin/DH/DHS strategic Alliance and is held in memory of Mr Peter Quail who was a valued DHS colleague and champion of the alliance. Peter had great foresight and from an early stage could see how alliance collaboration between Deakin and DHS would benefit people in the local community. A pre –oration reception was held in the foyer of the Theatre for Quail family members and friends.

Ms Kellie Horton address outlined VicHealth’s approach to improving health equity through action on the social and economic determinants of health. Professor Jim Hyde then outlined his perspective on critical health equity issues and the policy direction and population approaches to improving health equity being undertaken by the Victorian Department of Health. Mr John Hedditch (Manager Public Health Regional Planning) also provided a summary overview of key issues & areas of disadvantage in the Barwon South West Region.

In conclusion Ms Chris Faulkner coordinated an audience Question & Answer session to a guest panel including Professor Jim Hyde, Ms Kellie Horton, Mr John Hedditch and Ms Anne Somerville (Director Health and Wellbeing; G21 Region Alliance).

The Oration was well attended and enthusiastically received by audience participants in Geelong, Warrnambool and Hamilton.

Reference PDF Resources from 2010 Peter Quail Oration

Professor Jane Farmer Seminar:
"Social capital, bridging capital & rural health policy"

4th November 2009

Jane Farmer Seminar

On the 4th of November, the alliance team were delighted to host a seminar and lunch by Professor Jane Farmer. As the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland’s Millennium Institute Chair of Rural Health Policy and Management, Professor Jane Farmer discussed the social, policy and management issues of rural healthcare provision using examples from her research and projects. Her work has focused on bringing together service stakeholders (public, patients, health professionals, managers and policymakers) in community health enhancing decisions. The presentation was engaging and generated useful comparisons to rural community issues in this region.

Jane Farmer Seminar Powerpoint (13MB ppt file)

Romp and Chomp Evaluation Report hand over to the
Minister for Community Services the Hon. Lisa Neville MP

16 October 2009

romp and chomp

On Friday 16th October the Romp and Chomp evaluation report was presented to the Minister for Community Services, the Hon. Lisa Neville MP at the Kirralee Kindergarten in Newcomb, Geelong. 

Romp and Chomp was a Deakin + DHS alliance initiative and involved partners from the health, education and community sectors in Geelong and Queenscliff.

Romp and Chomp was a whole of community obesity prevention demonstration project designed, planned and implemented in alliance with Deakin University’s World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention and several key organizations including Barwon Health, City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Kindergarten Association, Leisure Networks, Department of Human Services, Bellarine Community Health, Dental Health Services Victoria and Kids Go For Your Life.

The project aimed to improve healthy eating and increase activity in young children and their families attending early childhood centres, family day care and kindergartens in the Geelong region. Over a four year period, the Romp and Chomp program targeted the eating behaviours and physical activity levels of about 12,000 children under the age of five throughout Geelong and Queenscliff. The policies and programs developed for Romp and Chomp were based on best practice principles and practices with input from experts in the fields related to early childhood development. Project staff worked closely with early childhood staff and management via the Geelong Kindergarten Association to establish standard policies for nutrition, food, drinks and food safety and special dietary needs. 

Key results from the evaluation demonstrated a 2.5% reduction in overweight and obesity prevalence in two year olds and a reduction of 3.4% for three and a half year olds.   There was a lower consumption of packaged snacks, fruit juice and cordial accompanied by a significant increase in the intake of fruit, vegetables and water and less time spent watching television and DVDs. 

Deakin University researcher Dr Andrea de Silva- Sanigorski said the program had a strong impact on the children involved with a substantial implementation of healthier eating habits. Parents were also integral to the project’s success being encouraged to adhere to healthy eating guidelines and help the children make the right diet and lifestyle choices.

For more information or to access the summary report:

G21/ Deakin+DHS alliance Public Health Forums 
“How do we have a healthy and wealthy community?”
5th October 2009

G21/ Deakin+DHS Partnership Public Health Forums

On Monday 5th October more than 70 community CEO’s, business leaders, decision makers, academics and members of the public attended a Public Health Forum asking ‘How do we have a healthy and wealthy community?’ The forum was the first in a series of two hosted in October by G21 Health & Wellbeing Pillar in conjunction with the Deakin+ DHS alliance.

The forum was a unique opportunity to hear Professor Rob Moodie, one of the World’s leading Health professionals, discuss ways cities like Geelong can become healthier and wealthier. Professor Moodie encouraged the audience to consider our options in regards to community health and wellbeing and the need to invest more in the prevention of health conditions such as obesity and alcohol and drug related diseases. Victoria has an excellent track record in the reduction of traffic accidents and cigarette smoking. The strategies developed in these initiatives need to be applied to a range of more targeted programs to prevent the onset of other fatal health conditions.

Professor Moodie noted that whilst the individual needs to take responsibility for healthy food choices and increased activity the community also needs to take on the responsibility of pressuring the government to change legislation to promote healthy living and lifestyles choices. This should include changes to alcohol and food advertising standards as well as developing an environment in which people are encouraged and supported in their endeavours to be healthier. Professor Moodie emphasized the importance of long term infrastructure and generational planning to ensure the future health and wealth of our communities.

Professor Moodie also officially launched the G21 Community Health and Wellbeing Profile at the event. He commented that the development of the profile has been a fantastic achievement for the G21 health and wellbeing pillar and will prove to be influential evidence for future service and community planning in the region.

“Looking at the future impacts on child health & wellbeing in our community”
12th October 2009

Looking at the future impacts on child health & wellbeing in our community

On Monday 12 October, the second of two public health forums – ‘Looking at the impacts on child health and community health and wellbeing’ was presented at the Blakiston Theatre, Geelong Performing Arts Centre. It was once again hosted by the G21 Health & Wellbeing Pillar in conjunction with the Deakin+ DHS alliance. 

A large audience comprising community CEO’s, business leaders, decision makers, academics and members of the public attended the forum to hear from the vibrant key note speakers Mr Bernie Geary, Victoria’s Child Safety Commissioner and Dr Mark Kennedy, local General Practitioner.

Mr Bernie Geary inspired the audience by discussing his experience working with vulnerable children, young people and their families over many decades. He emphasized the importance of the ‘small stuff’ that people in the community can do in order to provide our disadvantaged youth with that vital link into the community. He gave positive example of how through providing workforce participation, individuals can grow their own links and networks into community.

Dr Mark Kennedy gave a detailed presentation on the importance of supporting children and their families with a focus on reducing risk factors and optimizing protective factors. He presented early intervention as an economic investment and demonstrated the savings on return to the community. Mark presented some alarming statistics on obesity, substance abuse, mental illness, teen pregnancy and low birth weight, which supports the ongoing need to address generational poverty.


"Collaborations across Diverse Communities Workshop"
Thursday 6th August 2009


The Deakin + DHS alliance was delighted to welcome Prof Judith Ramaley as the Guest Speaker to lead a University/Government alliances Workshop at Deakin University's Waterfront Campus on Thursday August 6, 2009. The alliance has been privileged over the last few years to benefit from Professor Ramaley's internationally recognized expertise in designing regional alliances to promote educational cooperation.

The workshop aimed to reflect on alliance engagement and to increase skills and understanding of strategies that enhance and sustain alliances. Professor Ramaley's presentation provided an overview of factors shaping the course of alliance development as well as the levels of alliance engagement which can lead to transformational change. Judith also outlined six principles to developing healthy alliances under the following headings:

  • developing a clear understanding of the kind of alliance being sought;
  • promoting organizational change and responding to barriers to change;
  • building a compelling case for alliance engagement;
  • keeping a few simple guiding principles in play;
  • alliance engagement matters more than ever in difficult times; and
  • a checklist to leading change in challenging times.

The alliance team would like to thank participants for their enthusiastic involvement in the workshop discussions and hope the day offered the opportunity to reflect on alliance engagement in a broad forum.
Judith Ramaley Workshop Powerpoint

Launch and Symposium at National Centre for Farmer Health
Hamilton, July 10, 2009


The new National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) was launched on Friday 10th July by the Premier, John Brumby.  The Centre, based at Western District Health Service (WDHS) in Hamilton is headed up by Clinical Assoc Prof Susan Brumby, the Centre's Director.  Based on a alliance between Western District Health Service and Deakin University, the Centre has been funded by a grant from Dr Geoff Handbury AO and funding from the State Government. 
In providing national leadership to improve the health and well-being of farmers, farm workers and their families across Australia, the Centre will focus on strengthening the human and rural service workforce to address prevention and early identification of diseases associated with farming and associated risk factors to develop timely, appropriate and effective interventions. 
The Launch was followed by a Symposium at WDHS developed in conjunction with the Deakin University + Department of Human Services alliance.   
Facilitated by Professor John Martin , Director of the Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities at La Trobe University, the Symposium raised a number of key issues and factors currently impacting on the health and wellbeing of farming communities.  The speakers at the Symposium included:

  1. Clinical Associate  Prof Susan Brumby, Director, NCFH;
  2. Mr. Steve Clifforth, Surgeon at WDHS and Glenelg Surgical Clinic;
  3. Mr Bill Hamill, Chief Executive Officer of Rural Industries Skill Training (RIST); and
  4. Ms Deb Bain, the founder of Farm Day and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Woman of the Year in 2007. 

newsSusan Brumby provided a summary of the findings emerging from the Sustainable Farm Families program which has been implemented around Australia over the last six years.  Mr. Steve Clifforth provided an overview of injuries to farmers he has encountered during his time working in Hamilton.  He highlighted the impact on farming families of the dual role of the farm as a home and a work place and the associated risks.  Bill Hamill (RIST) gave the audience a broader perspective on the changing demographics of farming communities across Australia.  He identified the widening gap between the number of families staying on the farm and the projected food needs of the country.  In addition, he discussed the need for the community perception of farming as a profession to change to attract more people to rural communities and to ensure the sustainability of the industry and delivery of food products.  The value for both farming and urban communities of Farm Day was highlighted by Deb Bain drawing from her experiences in developing and managing this Program, which enables urban dwellers to spend a day at a farm to gain a deeper understanding of what is involved in belonging  to a farming community.
The final session of the day led by Prof John Catford, who drew together the key issues confronting farming communities, which impact on our broader social structures.  Prof Catford called for the need for an interdisciplinary approach that addresses the issues across a number of domains including: individual empowerment through health initiatives; community action; supportive environments; building services; and the policy environment.  He identified that all the stakeholders had a role to play in moving forward and working with the NCFH to address this important range of farmer health issues. 
Further Information: Contact National Centre for Farmer Health 0355518533

Attendees at the NCFH afternoon Symposium

Public Health Forum in Warrnambool: 4 March 2009

 "Local Challenges, Local Solutions"

The effects of climate change on the environment, communities and human health were explored and discussed in a recent public forum organised by the South West Primary Care alliance, and the Deakin + DHS alliance.

Rob Gell (Environmental Geographer), Associate Professor John Sherwood (Deakin University School of Life and Environmental Sciences) and Mark Wootton (Farmer and Chair Climate Institute) each presented and stimulated discussion regarding issues influencing our health, wellbeing and survival including water shortages, food security, bush fire, floods, disease, financial hardship, psychological stress, mental health and sustainable farming practices.

The forum was well attended and feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive with strong interest in participating in further forums looking at solutions to the challenges that threaten our health and ability to live a sustainable lifestyle.

 Reference PDF Resources from "Local Challenges, Local Solutions"

Photo (left to right) Rob Gell (Environmental Geographer), Kay Mills (Department of Human Services), Mark Wootton (Climate Institute), John Sherwood (School of Life and Environmental Sciences), Matthew Ebden (School of Health and Social Development) and Grant Hamilton (South West Primary Care alliance)  




Public Health Forum in Portland: 25th March 2009

"Can't Stand the Heat"

A community information day on healthy aging and climate change, title "Can’t Stand
The Heat" was held in Portland on Wednesday, 25th March.
The day addressed health and wellbeing in our changing climate with participants being provided with positive tips and information in relation to climate change. Around 25 community members 60 years and over attended to hear a fantastic array of guest speakers including Rebecca Phyland from Thornbill Eco Education, Peter Reefman from Portland Sustainability Group and representatives from Wannon Water and Centrelink. With Mayor Geoff White opening the day and musical entertainment provided by Aquarelle Sostenuto along with numerous giveaways, participants enjoyed a day out with friends whilst increasing their knowledge on climate change, health & wellbeing. The day was a great success with enthusiastic engagement and discussion among participants. The event was organised by the Southern Grampians & Glenelg Primary Care alliance and funded by the Deakin + DHS alliance.

Reference PDF Resources from "Can’t Stand the Heat Forum"


Peter Quail Oration: 25th March 2009

"Addressing Racism in Australia"

The Peter Quail Oration for 2009 'Addressing Racism in Australia'’ was presented by Dr Yin Paradies on the 25th March in the Percy Baxter Theatre, Deakin University.
Dr Paradies is currently a Research Fellow jointly at the Menzies School of Health Research and the University of Melbourne. Dr Paradies has a wide range of qualifications in mathematics and computing (BSc), medical statistics (MMedStats), public health (MPH), and social epidemiology (PHD). His research activity focuses on the health effects of racism as well as anti-racism theory, policy and practice. Dr Paradies has received a range of awards, including a Fulbright scholarship to study at the University of California (Berkeley), the Australian Day Councils's 2002 Young Achiever of the Year award and the Scholar of the Year in the 2007 National NAIDOC Awards.
The Oration is an annual initiative of the Deakin + DHS alliance and is held in memory of Mr Peter Quail who was a valued DHS colleague and champion of the alliance. Peter had great foresight and from an early stage could see how alliance collaboration between Deakin and DHS would benefit people in the local community.  Peter was also particularly concerned about issues of social disadvantage experienced by indigenous Australians and would have had a great interest in the Oration topic "Addressing Racism in Australia".
Dr Paradies' address reviewed the relationship between racism and its potentially devastating effects on the health of individuals and communities. He highlighted the fact that racism is a real and ongoing issue confronting Australian society. Dr Paradies presentation was both thought provoking and solution focused providing an outline on recently developed frameworks to addresses racism in Victoria.

Reference PDF Resources from Peter Quail Oration

Dr Yin Paradies
Dr Yin Paradies Left to right: Professor Anne Taket, Richard Quail, Mrs Kasia Quail, Dr Yin Paradies, Mrs Miriam Quail, Mr Jim Higgins, Nick Quail



Partners in Health Symposium: 15 December 2008 

Partners in healthThe Deakin +DHS alliance team has recently had the pleasure of hosting Mr Stuart Auckland (representing the University of Tasmania's  Department of Rural Health) and Ms Deborah Schofield-Gavin Project Officer (Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania) to present an outline of their Partners in Health  framework. Stuart and Deborah presented a detailed and informative outline of their alliance model. Stuart and Deborah outlined a range of excellent examples of alliance work including

  • The University Department of Rural Health's collaborative work with DHHS to set up a "Rural Health Teaching Site Program". Under this program houses have been established across communities in Tasmania to accommodate students on clinical and allied health placements. These houses have been set up with the support and alliance of local councils. They are also "Centres of Learning" with IT resources provided on site
  • The University of Tasmania and DHHS have worked together to develop a Health Services and Workforce Education Unit
  • Ongoing research into Environmental Sustainability issues of relevance to UTAS and DHHS, including issues ranging from land care and drought to  environmental health and natural/social/economic capital


Stuart and Deborah are keen to continue an on going collaboration and sharing of ideas with the Deakin +DHS alliance. They would welcome contact and dialogue from interested contacts in the Barwon South West Region. Their contact details are as follows: and

Reference PDF Resources from Partners in Health Presentation

Deakin + DHS "University- Government alliances" Workshop and Symposium, Wednesday 1 October.

Prof RamaleyThe alliance was delighted to welcome Professor Judith Ramaley as our Guest of Honour and key note speaker at the recent University-Government Symposium Day.

It is two years since Prof Judith Ramaley worked with the Deakin+DHS alliance to help us develop our new Business Plan. Throughout the four decades of her academic career, Professor Ramaley has published extensively in the areas of community engagement, building academic communities, higher education reform, large-scale institutional change and research engagement. The alliance has been privileged over this period to benefit from Professor Ramaleys internationally recognized expertise in designing regional alliances to promote educational cooperation. Professor Ramaley spoke at the symposium with great clarity and insight on key issues regarding University and Government engagement.

The alliance would also like to acknowledge and thank Mr Jim Higgins (Regional Director, DHS Barwon South West Region) and Professor John Catford (Dean, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University) for their welcoming addresses and contribution to the day’s events.

These events were divided into two main sections as follows:

University-Community Engagement Workshop.  

This was an invitation for alliance members to work with Professor Ramaley to review alliance achievements and develop evaluation strategy and performance measures.

Lunch During the lunch break a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Deakin University and the Surf Coast Shire

Symposium: University- Government alliances

The aim of this symposium was to showcase best practice in University- Government alliances for health and wellbeing, and share models of engagement. alliance presentations included a range of excellent models across the state as follows:

Deakin+ DHS alliance
Dr Iain Butterworth, Deakin alliance Coordinator
Ms Sandy Austin, DHS Barwon South West Coordinator

DHS Gippsland+ Monash University alliance
Ms Valerie Callister, Regional Director DHS Gippsland

DHS Loddon/Mallee + La Trobe University alliance
Ms Ann-Maree Conners,
Manager Health, Housing and Aged Care,DHS Loddon-Mallee Region 

Reference PDF Resources from Workshop and Symposium

New Business Plan 2007-2010 for Deakin University - Department of Human Services alliance is officially launched

Minister Neville launches the Deakin+DHS BSWR alliance Business Plan
`Following nearly two years of collaborative development, the new Business plan for the Deakin University - Department of Human Services alliance (Barwon - South Western Region) was official launched on Friday 14 March with the one-day event 'University-Government alliances: Strengthening Community Capacity'. Held at the Geelong Conference Centre, the successful event was attended by more than forty people from a wide range of organisations and sectors, as well as from Deakin University and the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Organisers of the event were delighted to have the new Deakin-DHS alliance Business Plan officially launched by the Hon Lisa Neville MP, Minister for Mental Health, Senior Victorians, and Community Services.
The launch helped fuel several new connections amongst the delegates, including:

  • Deakin colleagues from the School of Health and Social Development based in Warrnambool, and staff from the South West Primary Care alliance
  • DHS and the School of Architecture and Building
  • Surf Coast Shire and the School of Architecture and Building
  • DHS and the School of History, Heritage and Society.

The Deakin-DHS alliance will support personnel from these organisations to explore ways of working together to create positive change in the Barwon - South Western Region.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

17th December 2013