Community Health Centres
Community Health Centres have been established across Australia since the 1970s to provide Australians with primary, allied and social health services within their own neighbourhoods. Victoria has around 100 community health centres operating from around 300 sites across Victoria. Thirty-nine centres are managed independently, while the remainder are part of larger health services.
What Do They Do?
• Primary health care (e.g. medical and dental) and allied (e.g. physiotherapy, podiatry) health care
• Health promotion and outreach
• Provide age- and sometimes culture-specific groups and services (e.g. youth, aged, CALD)
• Encourage community participation and incorporate community consultation into planning processes.
Organisational Structure & Culture
The services available depend on the needs of families and other groups living in the area as well as the availability of funding (often coming from a range of different government sources). Community Health services incorporate a range of services and professional approaches, usually grouped into program areas. Due to this diversity and the fact that programs are often accountable to different funders, there can at times be a lack of cohesion and integration between service areas.
Why Might They Be Involved in a Festival for Healthy Living Project?
Community health services are an integral part of the many communities in which the FHL works across Victoria. They have a strong emphasis on health promotion designed to improve the health and wellbeing of all local residents.
Which Positions/Programs within the Organisation Might Be Involved?
Youth workers, community health nurses, cultural liaison, health promotion workers and counsellors are some of the staff who may be involved with the FHL.
Some Pointers for an Effective Relationship
• Try to identify which programs and which individual workers are most likely to share common objectives and approaches with what you are interested in providing.
• Go to them for local information and inform them of your plans at the outset.
• Generally workers will appreciate forward planning and guidance when doing something outside of their immediate area of expertise; for example, supporting a health promotion worker to deliver a session to students.