In writing my report at this time, I acknowledge and support National Reconciliation Week: 27 May – 3 June, and want to share that I took the opportunity to become a signatory to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and highly encourage others to read it and sign on.
It was terrific to see funding allocated in the State budget towards supporting the health and wellbeing work of our partners and priority populations such as Aboriginal communities, at-risk young people, and people living in public housing and disability accommodation.
It was commendable to see emphasis on public health and local place-based health service delivery; funding to continue critical prevention activities, health promotion, and specialised response capability to high-risk accommodation settings, and funding to Women’s Health East for continued work in gender equity. Commitment was also given to the continued operation of local public health units, and strengthening Regional and Metropolitan Partnerships, and the statewide PCP platform will be incorporated into the reforms next year. Meanwhile we are busy preparing reports to assist with the transition process.
On a sad note, we learned that our esteemed colleague Jacky Close, Executive Officer of the OEPCP, who we partner with regularly on regional initiatives, has resigned from her position and will be leaving in July after many years of dedication to partners in the East. I take this opportunity on behalf of the IEPCP staff and Board, to acknowledge the enormous impact and effort over many years and thank Jacky for her valuable support and guidance along the way, she will be greatly missed.
At the IEPCP we are excited to see work that has been planned over recent months come to completion, and I would like to invite partners to view a couple of informative reports. Following several workshops with partners building capacity in systems thinking, the IEPCP and Deakin university have produced a report on the application of this approach to planning work in addressing social inclusion. The outcomes of this will be built on by partners in coming months.
Also, after leading a large and passionate cross-sectoral partnership during 2020 dedicated to the health and wellbeing of international students – a large population group in our catchment – the IEPCP are proud to ‘soft launch’ an extensive report, that captures the issues faced during the height of the pandemic, and also the wonderful work of partners in collaborating to respond. Kate Jefferey, our former Access and Inclusion Coordinator is to be commended for such a comprehensive paper. The International Student Inclusion partnership continues to meet and consider recommendations.
It was also exciting to see our partners’ Tackling Ageism Together: EveryAGE Counts in Melbourne’s East campaign rolling out, and to be invited to see the City of Monash Mayor, Brian Little, committing Council to ‘the pledge’ at their Seniors Forum; and great to see Manningham’s Councillors all signing on and promoting. I would also like to acknowledge the support of Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Senior Victorians, to our campaign and promoting it broadly, which is so helpful in getting the messages out. The IEPCP were pleased to be invited to the EveryAGE Counts Coalition Steering committee to present on the success of partnership buy-in to our regional campaign.
Local government health and wellbeing planning
In other activities, it was a lot of fun working with Bronwyn Upston, Community Development Officer – Health & Wellbeing at Whitehorse City Council, to develop a presentation to support consultation on the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan development. I also really appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the City of Boroondara, and City of Manningham’s MPHWP consultations as they are refining their strategic priorities.