Alliances can range across a continuum of engagement, from informal networking through to formal collaboration. Figure 1 depicts a model for the various levels of partnership (VicHealth 2005). The Deakin/DH/DHS (Barwon-South Western Region) Alliance is quite complex and there are various elements and stakeholders that are at different levels of the continuum. The degree of engagement varies from ‘Associate Membership’, which is a networking group for stakeholders external to the formal Alliance, through to the Alliance Executive, which collaborates and shares resources and strategic goals.
The actual structure of the Alliance is adapted from the governance model for the World Health Organization’s ‘Healthy Cities and Communities’ and ‘Health Promoting Universities’ initiatives. The structural organisation of the alliance reflects the various degrees of commitment based upon our strategic objectives and the various levels of Alliance required to fulfil them.