why is this important?

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 recognises the key role of Councils in improving the health and wellbeing of people in their municipality. Section 26 of the Act requires each Council to prepare a Municipal public health and wellbeing plan every four years, within 12 months of a Council general election.

First Peoples’ views and needs are relevant in every area of council’s work, and council’s work across many areas may impact on First Peoples’ health and wellbeing. Council’s health and wellbeing plans, as well as all divisional plans and strategies present an opportunity for council’s to recognise these impacts and to develop strategies that aim to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for First Peoples.

Recommended Strategies

  • Consult with First Peoples in the development of council health and wellbeing plans to ensure plans are culturally safe and relevant.
  • Develop meaningful relationships with Community Controlled Health Organisations.
  • Include specific sections on First Peoples in health and wellbeing plans, as well as considering and outlining impacts and outcomes for First Peoples in other sections.
  • Partner with Community Controlled Health Organisations to promote public health initiatives, messages, and advice for First Peoples communities.

Case Studies

The Shire of Yarra Ranges partnered with Oonah Health & Community Services Aboriginal Corporation in 2020 to create and deliver advocacy campaigns about First Peoples health and wellbeing in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent Victorian lockdowns.

It was identified that First Peoples can be at a higher risk in public health emergencies, and as such, it is vital that public health messaging reaches First Peoples and remote communities to ensure people understand the best measures they can take to protect themselves and their communities. The Shire of Yarra Ranges partnering with Oonah Belonging Place meant that messages were reaching their target audience, and were being led by First Peoples.

Key Contacts

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)

Local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations | Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)

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