From the Executive Officer’s Desk: February 2019

2018 concluded on a fantastically positive note! The IEPCP annual partner forum in December was an inspiring morning with speakers sharing insights into their work in some of the IEPCP’s core focus areas. CEO of Disability Sport and Recreation Victoria, Richard Amon, gave a heartfelt, and passionate presentation as keynote speaker. Richard was able to demonstrate the transformational impacts that inclusion efforts have on people’s lives, when organisations and partnerships collaborate to bring about new opportunities and systems change to break down exclusionary barriers, mindsets and practices. Richard’s absolute love of his work connecting people of all abilities to sport and leisure shone through in his presentation, moving the audience and encouraging us to consider possibilities.

Author Mark Biggs shared some hilarious insights into the world of a couple of adventurous eighty year olds who challenge ageist stereotypes, and reinforced the benefits of engaging in healthy ageing activities much younger. We were also fortunate to have Sam Hewett Manager Assets and Capital Works from the City of Whitehorse, share the recent work of the Men’s Action Group leading Family Violence prevention, including their video with key messages. Sam recently established the group to lead organisational change to promote respectful relationships and gender equality, raise awareness about men’s violence against women, build capacity, and challenge behaviours that contribute to sexism and violence.

The IEPCP also had great delight in recognising the work of one of our long standing partners, for outstanding achievement in partnership advancement Kristine Olaris, Chief Executive Officer at Women’s Health East. Kristine is driven by a commitment to social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. During the past year, in addition to her local women’s health and TFER (Together For Equality and Respect) leadership, Kristine has been a driving force behind the historic establishment of a new Victorian peak bodies, Gender Equity Victoria (branded as GenVic) which brings the issues that she is passionate about to a level of significant influence.

The forum was also an opportunity to thank existing partners for all their efforts in collaboration to improve health and wellbeing and to recognise all the new partners joining the IEPCP in 2018:
Melbourne East Disability Advocacy, Clota Cottage Neighbourhood House, Relationships Australia, EDVOS – Eastern Domestic Violence Service, Cairnmillar Institute, Family Access Network, and Blue Cross Community and residential services.

We also gratefully acknowledge our funders: the Department of Health and Human Services and East region staff; Dementia Australia and the City of Whitehorse for their grants; and the Outer East PCP for co-funding some of our work; and acknowledge the dedication and commitment of Board members Kevin Feeney (Chair), Ronda Jacobs (Deputy); Adam McLeod, Peter Warden, Viv Cunningham Smith, Leah Anderson, and Sue Rosenhain during the year.

Following the forum, partners were invited to provide feedback on the performance of the IEPCP and partnership as a whole. Interim data was very encouraging – and the final results will appear on our website shortly. Thank you all so much for your responses to help us improve our processes, and demonstrate effectiveness.

The IEPCP also extend our congratulations to LINK Health and Community for yet another successful Opening Doors program graduation of community leaders from across the Inner East; and also to Connect4health partners Access HC, Link HC and Carrington Health in their successful tender for the new mental health Stepped Care service.

Other highlights from December included leading a design sprint on Obesity Prevention together with the OEPCP and Health Futures Australia and involving a range of East region stakeholders. I also attended an Alcohol harm prevention forum to hear latest research findings by Deakin University linking alcohol related hospital emergency attendance to last drinks premises, Vichealth sharing their new Alcohol Cultures Framework, and other academics working on this complex issue.

After a relaxing and rejuvenating break, January kicked off with some excitement in recruitment for the IEPCP, with the appointment of Sue Rosenhain, (who is well known to many in the region from her role as Health Promotion Manager at Women’s Health East) in the position of Manager Integrated Planning. Sue will support the backbone function of the IEPCP in leading partnership work in Social Inclusion. We also welcome Belinda Budd, as Executive and Program Support Officer. Recruitment will also occur in February for the Primary Prevention Coordinator role.


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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