From the Executive Officer’s Desk: April 2021

Dear Partners,

I am very excited to share an announcement from the Department of Health received 31 March 2021 about our funding and the future of PCPs statewide:

Current funding arrangements will be extended until March 2022, and any transition plan developed will be on the basis of guaranteeing no reduction in funding. The department will work with PCPs to ensure that the high-value functions of PCPs are maintained and strengthened as part of a more coordinated and integrated approach to prevention and health promotion in our communities

We were heartened to hear there was extremely positive feedback about PCPs provided by the Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley during a prior meeting with VicPCP, and attended by Kara Hadgraft (Dep. Chief of staff), Jodie Geissler (Deputy Secretary, Commissioning and Service Improvement, DoH) and Louise Galloway (Executive Director- Primary Care and Comm. Health, DoH). Minister Foley was enthusiastic about the role of PCPs in the community, acknowledging the high-value work provided by PCPs and all of our partnerships; and also the compelling case for change more broadly.

After prolonged funding uncertainty and short term extensions since 2017, we are pleased to now have some clarity about the future direction, and be able to continue to make a meaningful and valuable contribution to the work of partners across the Inner East and to the health sector for some time yet, while transitioning across to a new model of governance.

As the full details of expectations of PCPs and the transition process over the next 12 months come to hand, we will be discussing arrangements with our partners as we meet over coming months.

IEPCP workshops and forums

During February we hosted a dynamic series of Systems Thinking workshops, with Deakin University’s Andrew Brown, taking health and community sector partners through the complex health issue of Social inclusion, with a local focus. These workshops culminated in an action ideation session with four collaborative project concepts identified to support health planning and implementation. It will be exciting to see how these potential projects develop in the coming months. We were also very pleased to offer a follow-up forum to regional local governments about embedding resilience in their planning and developing local action. It was a privilege to welcome back facilitator Maree Grenfell, well known urban resilience expert. Participants learned more about resilience building, case study examples and developing cross-council actions applying resilience thinking.

Our partner’s work

I enjoyed attending the AGM for Eastern Volunteers, an organisation that has been incredibly active and agile during COVID-19 restrictions, redeploying hundreds of volunteers remotely. The organisation farewelled the retiring Chair of the Board Dr. Mehdi Taghian, a Board member since 2008 and a senior lecturer at the school of Business at Deakin University. Another highlight was participating in the first large face to face consultation in over a year, contributing to the City of Boroondara’s Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Planning consultation. It was a terrific event and wonderful to have morning tea with so many familiar faces.

 

Campaigns

It was very gratifying to support the women’s March for Justice and continue to advocate for systems changes to prevent violence against women, alongside TFER partners and colleagues from GenVic.

In other campaign activity, we are leading a campaign with the seven Eastern Metropolitan Councils and Eastern Community Legal Centre to tackle ageism in our region to raise awareness and challenge stereotypes of what it is to be older. Together we are striving for a region without ageism. We want to celebrate older people as a diverse group, with diverse interests who contribute an enormous amount to our communities, families, organisations, and economy.

The campaign aligns to and supports the national EveryAGE Counts campaign.  After significant planning, we are excited for the campaign to launch soon.

For more information about ageism watch this short video – Imagine a world without ageism from the EveryAGE Counts campaign (narrated by Bryan Brown) or check out this great TED talk Let’s end ageism by Ashton Applewhite. I encourage our partners to get involved by taking the  ‘Am I Ageist?’ quiz and Signing the pledge to stand for a world without ageism.

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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