The Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry highlighted the need to do things differently in Latrobe Valley; give communities a voice so they can have a say about what they need for their ongoing health and wellbeing, and empower communities to be a part of the design and delivery of the things they have identified.
To do this, Latrobe City has been designated a Health Innovation Zone (the first of its kind in Australia), the Latrobe Health Assembly has been established and the Latrobe Health Advocate appointed.
The Assembly and Advocate are key mechanisms of the Zone to enabling community voice.
- Latrobe Health Innovation Zone is a place (not an organisation or entity) where people can do things differently to improve their health and well-being. It’s a place where people can have a say in the planning, design and delivery of health and well-being outcomes that better suit their needs.
- Latrobe Health Assembly is helping communities, local and state-wide agencies, and government to work together in new ways to improve people’s health and well-being. Community forms the majority of the Assembly membership, providing opportunity for community to drive its priorities for improved health and wellbeing, with a focus on creating programs that are new and innovative.
- The Assembly also has a Board of directors that oversees its operations – the Board has 10 members, including community elected members. On the Health Assembly Latrobe Health Advocate reports directly to the Minister for Health and provides independent advice to the Victorian Government on behalf of Latrobe Valley communities about system and policy issues affecting their health and well-being.
- Learn more about the Advocate and their work on the Latrobe Health Advocate .
A 3 developmental evaluation was conducted between 2017 and 2020, measuring health and wellbeing impacts of the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone, Latrobe Health Assembly and Latrobe Health Advocate.
Latrobe Valley communities were involved in designing its framework and outcome measures. They were also involved in their adjustment over time to ensure it was relevant as the Zone, Assembly and Advocate matured.
The evaluation highlighted positive changes around community attitudes to health and wellbeing, a strong sense of community pride, and a desire to build on community strengths.
Evaluation next phase
Using an outcomes/impact evaluation approach, this next phase of evaluation will measure against 2017-2020 community identified impacts and outcomes measures, as well as the evaluation themes and findings.
It will look at achievements, contributions, challenges, and the impacts and changes that have occurred since that time. This next phase is underway and due for completion by the end of March 2023.
Reviewed 15 March 2023