Coffee with … Julia Bilton, Health Promotion Manager, Carrington Health and healthAbility

Describe your work/role at Carrington Health and healthAbility?
I started earlier this year as Health Promotion Manager and I lead our growing health promotion team across our Box Hill and Eltham sites. I am lucky enough to work within a Team who have a wealth of local knowledge and expertise and be surrounded by incredible leaders in our workplace who recognise and value primary prevention, innovation and change. At Box Hill, we work across the Whitehorse community in Social Inclusion and Gender Equality. Our efforts focus on primary prevention and how to activate our workplace, the environment, settings and the local community. These priorities sit within the TFER Regional Strategy for our gender equality priority, and the Integrated Health Promotion Strategic Plan in the Inner East for social inclusion.

What excites and motivates you in your role?
I am motivated by change, innovation and ambiguity. I love learning, asking questions, being challenged and challenging my own thinking.  I am excited about how; together with my team, we can strengthen our existing work by utilising place-based, complex systems thinking to unlock and discover the complex problems we are faced with and how, by recognising, understanding and visualising complexity, we can generate learnings and mobilise communities to create sustainable change.

What is most challenging about your work?
Change takes time, years of investment, learnings and ‘course-correcting’ – it is challenging to remember the destination is important but the journey is critical and we have to ride the wave.

What strengths do you see in the inner east Community?
A strength that I definitely noticed coming into the Inner East that sets it apart from previous areas I have worked is the authentic and trusting relationships between organisations – an unwavering commitment to work together and partner. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by an extended workforce of organisations that have partnerships built on honesty, passion for prevention, sharing and support.

Where do you recommend in Box Hill for Coffee/ Lunch/ People Watching?
I am not a coffee drinker but can recommend a walk through Box Hill shopping centre or a walking meeting around the local streets as a great way to soak in the area and everything it has to offer!

If you could change one thing about the world right now, what would it be?
Mental health stigma – let’s be free to talk about our mental health, encouraged to recognise when we need a day of self-care, proudly call in for a mental health day if needed, touch base with a psychologist the same way we have a ‘check-up’ at our GP and have real conversations about mental illness.

If you weren’t working at Carrington Health right now, what would you be doing?
Working in primary prevention, visual design and communications or systems thinking, and if not that, renovating and flipping houses with my husband – he is good at everything so I make it my mission to learn how to use all the tools and keep up with him. We love spending time working together on a project. One day we hope to build a house that lives entirely off the grid and has the most amazing fruit and vegetable gardens.

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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