In this issue:                                                                     March, 2017

Kindergarten funding campaign
100 years of Maternal and Child Health Services
Family violence reforms forum for local government

Music Crawl
Library Management System

Inclusive Aged & Disability Services – Indigenous Workshop 
Victoria’s new Multicultural Policy Statement

VLGMIN planning day
Cultural Diversity Week – it’s not too late!

DHHS restructure
Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans
Victorian Food Forum website
Youth Crime Prevention Grants

Aged Care and Disability Reform Group meeting

Kindergarten funding campaign

As the Federal Budget approaches, the MAV is ramping up advocacy efforts to secure long-term Federal funding to deliver 15 hours a week of kindergarten.

The current National Partnership Agreement ends in December, but the Federal Government has not committed to continuing its share of funding for 15 hours beyond that date. If the funding – worth about $100 million a year to Victoria – is not continued, Victorian children may lose access to the equivalent of a day of kindergarten each week.

The MAV has recently submitted a Federal Budget submission requesting that the Federal Government continues its funding, and that the funding is allocated recurrently.

We have updated the MAV Members Brief – 15 hours of kindergarten to reflect the latest advocacy efforts, which include promoting the State Government’s new petition.

Council and community advocacy is needed in the critical months leading up to the 2017 Federal Budget.

Councils are urged to promote the State Government’s petition with their service providers and local families, and to distribute the petition link as widely as possible, to achieve a groundswell of support.

We also urge all councils to make urgent contact with the Leaders of all Federal Parties and local Federal MPs about this matter through letters, emails, face-to-face meetings, and via social media. We have developed a template letter for mayors to assist and key messages, which are outlined in the Members Brief.

For further information contact Early Years Project Adviser, Jan Barrett, on (03) 9667 5594.

100 years of Maternal and Child Health Services

The MAV is currently developing resources for councils and a dedicated page on our website to promote this year’s celebration of 100 years of the Maternal and Child Health Service.
A major centenary event will be held by the MAV and City of Yarra in June, with the Premier and Minister for Families and Children both invited to attend. More details of this event will be provided soon.
State-wide Maternal and Child Health Conferences will also be held in April and November this year.
Further information about council resources and the MAV webpage will be provided soon. In the meantime councils are encouraged to organise local events to celebrate 100 years of the Maternal and Child Health Service with their communities.

A centenary edition of the book 'All the Little Children: the Story of Victoria's Baby Health Centres' by Heather Sheard was also launched earlier this year and is available for purchase online. The MAV will provide one copy to every member council for their library. 
For more information, contact Kim Howland.

Family violence reforms forum for local government

On Monday 20 February, around 60 council participants attended an informative forum on a number of family violence reforms, hosted by the MAV.

The forum included an overview of the status of the co-design process for the Support and Safety Hubs. There are five launch areas, based on the DHHS boundaries, for the development of the Support and Safety Hubs: Barwon, Bayside-Peninsula, Inner Gippsland, Mallee and North East Melbourne. These launch areas will be used to inform the wider roll out of the Support and Safety Hubs across the state.

The hubs may be both a network of services and physical locations. Engagement with local government throughout the co-design process will be integral to their successful development.

In addition, councils were briefed on both the information sharing reforms and the implementation of the Respectful Relationships program in schools and early years services.

Music Crawl

The first Music Crawl tour hit the road earlier this month.

More than 20 Melbourne-based music managers, venue bookers, promoters, artists and music media took part in a three-day tour to Ballarat, Castlemaine, Bendigo and Echuca.

Music Crawl is supported by the State Government’s $22.2 million Music Works and aims to build connections between Melbourne and regionally-based music industry leaders.

Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland visits are planned for the second half of 2017 and a tour to Geelong, the Surf Coast and Warrnambool are scheduled for next summer.

Each trip will include visits to leading regional music venues and events, showcase performances by local artists and meetings with regionally-based music organisations and music media representatives. 

Library Management System

Library, IT, and arts and culture officers from MAV member councils are participating in a Library Management System Review and Design Workshop to be held at the Docklands Library on 9 March.

Following the State Government discussion paper Tomorrow’s Library and the recent KPMG independent review into Victoria's public library funding, Local Government Victoria has offered to support the MAV in the state-wide procurement of a Library Management System that provides maximum and long-term benefit to councils, their public libraries and community users.

The workshop on 9 March aims to determine the scope of a financially-competitive integrated library service in the context of current and future council needs and digital systems.

For further information, contact Francesca Valmorbida on (03) 9667 5579. 

Inclusive Aged & Disability Services – Indigenous Workshop

The MAV is holding a series of workshops to build on the already strong efforts of Victorian council aged and disability staff (HACCPYP/CHSP) to be inclusive of all residents.

The first workshop on 14 March focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents, and includes customised cultural safety training from the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and catering from Charcoal Lane. This workshop will also run in Shepparton in June.

Future 2017 workshops will focus on:

  • Homelessness/financial disadvantage (May, Melbourne and Ballarat)
  • Cultural diversity (July and August, Melbourne and Traralgon)
  • LGBTI (September, Melbourne and TBA).

Each workshop will:

  • include three hours of interactive training by reputable providers working regularly with local government in the focus area
  • showcase the work of one or two Victorian councils in the area of focus
  • include speakers from relevant and local sector development officers, access and support workers and diversity advisers.

You can register and find out more about the first Indigenous Inclusive Workshops online.

Victoria’s new Multicultural Policy Statement

The State Government has released its new Multicultural Policy Statement and associated storytelling campaign 'Victorian. And proud of it.'

It includes a focus on refugees and asylum seekers, gender equity, LGBTI people, racism, employment and health access, and values that give hope for future directions. For example, it states that "we cannot allow Victoria's success to be undermined by fears built on misinformation and misunderstanding. Instead we must reaffirm our shared values and be unafraid to have difficult, yet necessary, conversations".

VLGMIN planning day

On 14 February the MAV hosted a planning meeting of the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN).

A brief report of the day will be emailed and available on MAV's VLGMIN webpage, along with the topic of each meeting.

The meeting included discussion of a new strategic direction for 2017, with potential priorities including racism and Islamophobia, radicalisation, employment, asylum seekers, the relationship between politics and government policy, access to health services and sharing practice.

The next VLGMIN meeting is at 1-3pm on 11 April, at the MAV offices in Melbourne.

Cultural Diversity Week

Cultural Diversity Week runs from 18-26 March and coincides with the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March, A Taste of Harmony from 20-31 March, and many activities coordinated by the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC).

Keep an eye out for good ideas and inspiration, become a sponsor or subscribe to VMC’s e-News.

Councils are encouraged to work across their departments to collaborate and cross-promote efforts to recognise the cultural diversity of their staff, clients, community and businesses.

DHHS restructure

The Prevention, Population Health and Place branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has restructured.

The latest organisational chart of senior management is available online

Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans

This year is a big year for council planning. Councils are required through the Local Government Act to prepare a four-year council plan by June, and through the Health and Wellbeing Act to prepare a four-year health and wellbeing plan by October.

A number of councils are considering the process of including public health and wellbeing matters in their Council Plan for the 2017-21 planning cycle.

Councils may be granted an exemption from producing a separate Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan if they can satisfy the department that the requirements have been adequately addressed in the Council Plan prepared and approved by the council (s27 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008).

To comply with this requirement, councils should send the formal application for exemption to the health director in their operational division at the Department of Health and Human Services, with a copy emailed by no later than 15 May 2017.

For further information, contact the manager of population health and planning in your relevant operational division.

Victorian Food Forum

The Department of Health and Human Services held a Victorian Food Forum on 21 February at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Councils were well-represented, forming part of 400 attendees including food industry, academia, workplaces, community health and sport and recreation centres.

The day showcased leading examples of how large organisations have implemented healthy change, and initiated partnerships across sectors.

Councils play a critical role in positively influencing the health of their community by increasing access to healthier food and drink choices in council contracted services and council-sponsored events.

For further information: website

The Department of Health and Human services has launched a website to provide a platform for sharing stories of best practice, experience and learning across Victoria’s prevention and population health sector.

Content is updated monthly, with current stories including:

Councils are encouraged to share their efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities via the website.

For further information visit the website or email DHHS.

Youth Crime Prevention Grants

Applications for the $2 million competitive stream of the State Government’s Youth Crime Prevention Grants program close at 4pm on Friday 3 March.

Funding of up to $200,000 is available for community-led initiatives that address offending behaviour and recidivism by young people aged 10–24 years who have had contact with, or are at risk of involvement with, the criminal justice system.

Victorian not-for-profit community organisations and local councils are eligible to apply for funding. You can find more information online.

Aged Care and Disability Reform Group meeting

Following consultation with group members late last year, the 2017 bimonthly ACDRG meetings will address identified and emerging reform issues and priorities.

The first meeting was held in February with presentations from councils who shared their NDIS planning approaches and implementation learnings and experiences.

Presentations from Surf Coast and Colac Otway Shires, as continuing NDIS trial site providers, and the shared insights of the five North East Melbourne Area Councils (NEMA), who are mid-NDIS implementation, provided a detailed understanding of the challenges and opportunities councils will navigate as the NDIS roll-out continues across Victoria.

The final presentation by Knox City Council provided an overview of a proposed reinvestment approach currently under the council’s consideration.

The next meeting will be held in April and will focus on aged and disability regional and cluster planning models.

Copies of the presentations have been sent to all aged and disability services managers by Jocelyn Fuller.

Upcoming MAV events...

15-16 March


21 April

Maternal and Child Health Conference

29-30 June

Rural and Regional Planning Conference


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