From the Executive Officer’s Desk: December 2020

Dear Partners,

Approaching December, the pace is picking up towards Christmas, and toward the next four-year planning cycle of Local Government and Integrated Health Promotion funded organisations, thinking about health focus areas, as recovery from COVID-19 begins.

Contributing to local strategic planning

It was exciting to be part of the leaders’ roundtable of the Whitehorse Community Vision, considering future community needs, aspirations and addressing impacts of climate change, and to provide input to Manningham Council’s Healthy City Strategy. I also heard about the fantastic advances Eastern Community Legal Centre have made on Elder Abuse Prevention at the Strategic Advisory Group. More information about their programs can be found on the ECLC website.

Partners go online for AGM’s

ECLC delivered a terrific interactive AGM online, with inspiring speakers: Fiona McLeay the Victorian Legal services Commissioner, Bwe Thay, Deputy Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, and Lois Peeler, Executive Director of Worawa College in Healesville. It was particularly heartening to hear about the strong resilience of the students at Worawa.

GenVic also held their AGM online, as did Women’s Health East – GenVic’s keynote was Victoria’s first Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner, Dr Niki Vincent, who shared her powerful personal story and goals for the role. WHE showcased local youth leaders in conversation with Susanne Legena, CEO of Plan International Australia. It was also admirable to see so many organisations successfully supporting the WHE led 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence campaign online.

In other news from WHE, it was very sad to hear of the resignations of Autumn Pierce, Manager Health Promotion and Samantha McGuffrie, Manager Prevention of Violence Against Women. It has been an honour and privilege to work collaboratively with these dynamic women, as part of the Integrated Health Promotion Partnership, and Together For Equality and Respect Leadership Group, and we thank them for their contribution to the region and wish them every success in their futures.

A new team member for IEPCP

The IEPCP is delighted to welcome a new recruit, Laura Collins, in the role of Partnerships and Evaluation Coordinator. Laura brings expertise in Healthy Eating Active Living, Gender Equity, Systems Thinking, health partnerships, and CALD community engagement. She published “The Predictors of Diet Quality Amongst Australian Children Aged 3.5 Years” in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

It is with pleasure I advise that the IEPCP Board elected Viv Cunningham-Smith, CEO of Eastern Volunteers as our new Chairperson. Many thanks to outgoing interim Chair, Ronda Jacobs, who is the CEO of our auspice, Carrington healthAbility.

Sharing our work at conferences

The IEPCP were accepted to present at two conferences in November. Dr. Sue Rosenhain contributed to a symposium “Partnering to address gender inequality and enhance responses to violence against women at local and regional levels” at the International Conference of Community Psychology. Sue and Catherine D’Arcy from EACH presented a paper “Together For Equality & Respect: Harnessing systems thinking, collective impact and developmental evaluation to build partnerships for the prevention of violence against women”. This paper was based on the findings from the regional evaluation of TFER 2013-2017.

Sharon Porteous presented to the National Australian Association of Gerontology conference on “Driving a regional partnership with local government to tackle ageism”, highlighting the enablers and challenges of this collaborative work to deliver a communications campaign to tackle ageism.

Congratulations for local achievements

Finally, I would like to highlight some local achievements. Dilnaz Billimoria, well known active community leader and Board member at WHE, deservedly received the Excellence in Services to Multicultural Communities Award 2020 awarded by Communities Council on Ethnic Issues (CCOEI). Congratulations also to Youna Kim, General Manager Innovation and Development with our partner EDVOS, who was awarded the 2020 International Contribution Alumni Award by ACU, recognising her extensive work in family violence prevention and gender equity here and across five countries. We are incredibly fortunate to have these talented women in our region. And Bestchance Child and Family Services were successful in their application to the Victorian Government’s Let’s Stay Connected grants for their Post coronavirus (COVID-19) Work Readiness Program.

Still no news on the future of PCPs across the State, however we are pleased to have been extended until June 2021 to continue working with partners. I’m looking forward to some annual leave, so this will be the last E-bulletin for 2020 – Have a safe, joyful and relaxing holiday break everyone!

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.

Sign up to IEPCP E-News