March - April 2021

Latest News

One Good Community grants for 24 East Gippsland health and community organisations

A total of 24 East Gippsland health and community organisations will receive grants for non-clinical initiatives that enhance the mental and social wellbeing of people affected by the 2019/20 bushfires, particularly among vulnerable/priority population groups.
Almost $230,000 in funds will be provided to the successful applicants through the One Good Community Wellbeing Grants Program.
The Australian Government funded Gippsland PHN to deliver initiatives which address the psychological and social impacts on bushfire and disaster affected communities in Gippsland.
This program initiative aims to address the needs of drought, bushfire and disaster affected communities with a focus on healing, recovery and resilience, particularly among community groups at risk of poor mental health and social wellbeing outcomes.
Successful applicants are based in East Gippsland, or demonstrated evidence of a history working with East Gippsland communities, and have a focus on providing services to people in bushfire affected communities in East Gippsland
The grant activities will: meet the needs of local communities; are led by local communities; build community resilience; foster community connectedness; promote healing and recovery; and deliver mental health and wellbeing benefits.


Pitch to Quit campaign goes to air after launch

Grady Just's "pitch" is now a reality.

The Pitch to Quit campaign, featuring the winning television advertisement from Latrobe Valley resident, Grady Just, was launched in Traralgon on 15 March with the campaign gathering momentum since then.
Last year, aspiring creatives from across the Latrobe Valley were invited to pitch innovative ideas for the quit smoking campaign competition that went one step further this year.

Delivered by Gippsland Primary Health Network (Gippsland PHN) as part of the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone (LHIZ), supported by the Victorian Government and Quit Victoria, the Pitch to Quit competition gave participants the chance to workshop their pitch with a panel of industry experts. Grady’s pitch was eventually selected to be produced into a localised campaign suitable for platforms like television, social media and poster advertisements.
After working with a local videographer to develop his pitch, the television advertisement was released at the launch and has now been widely shared.
For more information about Pitch to Quit 2020, go to and follow the campaign on Facebook at

New Gippsland PHN issues papers now available

Gippsland PHN prepares priority issues papers on a range of topics to facilitate strategic health planning in priority areas to help inform service planning, market gaps, co-design priorities and investment decisions.

Local intelligence from Gippsland PHN teams and Advisory Group members is included in the papers.

Two new issues papers were added to the Gippsland PHN website on 31 March 2021 – ‘Pandemic and disasters – the value of integrated care’ and ‘Primary care – managing the main health issues’. These can be accessed here.

If you would like to provide feedback or discuss the content of the papers, please contact

Survey released - Gippsland PHN dementia research moves into phase two

Gippsland PHN is continuing to work with Monash University to learn more about dementia in Gippsland and we need your help for phase two of the project.

We are now conducting a survey that uses the information from interviews conducted in phase one and will allow more people to tell us if the main themes identified are true for them or if other / additional themes may be more important.

The finding from 2020 interviews highlights that people with dementia often do not have their need met.

“…how we look after people with dementia needs a significant overhaul. It depends on staff training, depends on culture of the organisation.” [Professional]

During phase two of the project, we would like to hear from:

• people living with a dementia diagnosis and those worried about their memory or thinking
• family and carers of people with dementia
• professionals who provide services and support for people with dementia.

The information gathered will inform the ongoing Gippsland PHN Health Needs Assessment and will help us decide where to allocate resources, so it is most likely to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Gippsland.

To find out more and to read the summary findings from phase one, go to

You can also phone Population Health Planner, Maria Garrett on (03) 5175 5444 or email for further information or to request a paper copy.


Former AFL footballer shares the  HeadtoHelp message

Former AFL footballer and mental health advocate, Tom Boyd, talks about HeadtoHelp.

Former AFL player and advocate for mental health awareness, Tom Boyd, is supporting HeadtoHelp by sharing important mental health messages.
HeadtoHelp was established last year by the six Victorian Primary Health Networks, including Gippsland PHN, as part of the Australian Government's response to  COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria.

After being drafted in 2013, Tom played AFL for the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Western Bulldogs, retiring in 2019 after publicly announcing his struggle with injuries and mental health.

In his video, Tom tells people "it's okay not to feel okay" and why it’s important to reach out for help by calling 1800 595 212 or visiting

Gippsland PHN has set up two HeadtoHelp Hubs in Wellington and Baw Baw Baw and also four satellite centres in Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale, Traralgon and Leongatha.

Workshops on Building Cultural Awareness and Safety

Six workshops on Building Cultural Awareness and Safety are being offered by Gippsland Primary Health Network to Gippsland general practitioners and practice staff in April, May and June 2021.

The first workshop, Part 1: The Cultural Journey, is being delivered on Wednesdays 21 April, 19 May and 9 June from 9.30am-12.30pm. The second workshop, Part 2: Aboriginal Cultural Safety for GPs and their Practices, is being delivered on the same days from 1-3.30pm.

The first workshop has been designed to introduce participants to the impact that history has had on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Participants will reflect on their journey and share personal and professional experiences working within the Victorian Aboriginal community.

To register, go to Webinar Registration - Zoom
The second workshop will deliver training to assist organisations to gain an understanding of what it takes to build a culturally safe practice and workplace for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The program builds on the Cultural Journey workshop where participants are supported to identify some of the barriers that impact on a service’s ability to provide a culturally safe service.

To register, go to Webinar Registration - Zoom
Facilitator is Brian Stevens of Wariga Molla, a proud Gunai man who has a deep understanding of cultural knowledge and Aboriginal community protocols which is supported by a career that spans over three decades.

Wariga Molla is an Aboriginal owned and operated business that has extensive experience in providing professional services to a range of clients, encompassing organisational and leadership activities.


HealthPathways Gippsland offers clinical and referral pathways and resources for use by healthcare professionals

Are you an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or dietitian delivering services to Gippslander?
HealthPathways Gippsland offers clinical and referral pathways and resources for use by healthcare professionals at the point of care.
It’s simple and easy to register your services with Gippsland HealthPathways just complete this online form and your services will be listed on our new referral pages. 
If you would like to know more please email

Social Prescribing Project - helping people and community groups connect

Gippsland community organisations and groups are showing an interest in Gippsland PHN's Social Prescribing project.

Social Prescribing involves the referral of patients by their healthcare professional to non-medical activities ranging from a local walking group, to community garden or other local programs that can help build people's social connection and wellbeing.

As part of the project, Gippsland PHN is currently developing a directory of community groups and activities with many expressing interest in being involved.
If you or someone you know is involved in a community group or activity that would support other community members to connect and become involved, please spread the word.
Follow the link New Social Prescribing – Community Directory Provider Information form | Folio ( to register today.

Information on COVID-19 vaccines for people affected by cancer

Cancer Australia has released information on the COVID-19 vaccines for people affected by cancer.

This includes a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the COVID-19 vaccines and cancer, and links to health professional guidance and research articles. This webpage is available at
Cancer Australia’s Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 vaccines for people affected by cancer were developed with input from people affected by cancer, clinicians and other key cancer control stakeholders, and queries and concerns raised on social media.

The answers to the FAQs are based on information and evidence currently available in Australia and internationally. The FAQs and information will be updated regularly as new information emerges. 

The Body Project in Gippsland – Eating Disorders Victoria

Many young people experience negative thoughts and feelings about their body.
Messages from friends, family and social media can intensify negative body image, making it difficult for young people to feel confident in who they are and engage in activities they enjoy.
Negative body image is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder, meaning it is important for young people to get support when body image concerns are arising.
Gippsland Primary Health Network is supporting Eating Disorders Victoria to facilitate a program for young women in Gippsland, aged from 14 to 18 years, who identify as having body dissatisfaction (you have negative thoughts about your body).
The 2020 Mission Australia Youth Survey found the second most important issue for young people in Gippsland was body image (52%).
The Body Project Australia is a group-based program for young women that has been delivered worldwide. The program aims to help participants to challenge societal messages that focus on an ideal body, and to start to engage in strategies to improve their relationship with their own body.
The free program takes place through four, 1.5 hour Zoom sessions with two facilitators (she/her) and a small group (maximum 10 people).
This is an interactive program in a friendly, small group setting. You can expect a combination of education, reflection and discussion within the group. At the end of each session you will be given an activity to complete in real life. These activities will be discussed together the following week.
Program 1 is delivered from 4-5.30 pm on 3, 10, 17 and 24 May while Program 2 will be delivered from 4.30-6pm on 19 and 26 May and 2 and 9 June.
You can sign up for the program at Body Project Australia Online Program - Gippsland Registration, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite
For more information, email Rosie at
Gippsland PHN commissions a range of mental health services to address issues such as body image and eating disorders. For more information, go to
The Body Project - flyer

Local residents the face of South Coast campaign to keep active and healthy

Local residents are the stars of a new campaign encouraging people to ‘Step Outside and Move Your Way’.

Step Outside. Move Your Way encourages people aged 55 years and over to become more active outdoors. Co-designed with the community, the campaign uses local faces to promote physical activity and to encourage people to explore our natural environment (beaches, trails and parks).

This social marketing campaign has been developed by local community members and is being delivered in partnership with South Coast Primary & Community Partnership, Bass Coast Shire Council, South Gippsland Shire Council, GippSport, Bass Coast YMCA and Splash YMCA.  

The campaign will be delivered over 12 months and will include activities, resources and prompts to get people out and about.  

For information about the campaign, go to 

Diabetes Revolution - two summits for health professionals and the community

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes does not have to mean a lifetime of medication and progression to the many complications of diabetes. There are now multiple dietary approaches being used to put T2D into remission.

At Diabetes Revolution, you will learn how to prescribe and support your patients/clients with these dietary approaches, along with other key elements of Lifestyle Medicine including promoting physical activity, reducing alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, improving sleep and reducing stress.

Programs, resources and services are available to help practitioners to support patients and clients.

A CPD summit for health professionals will be held on Saturday 29 May from 9.30am-5.30pm and a free mini summit for the general public will be held on Sunday 30 May from 9.30am-12.30pm.

For more details and registration details, go to Diabetes Revolution International Online Summit - Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine


Nominations now open for Victorian Rural Health Awards 2021

The Victorian Rural Health Awards are back for their 16th year with nominations now open.
Since 2005, Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV), with the support of the Victorian Government, has hosted the awards to recognise the contributions of rural health professionals to the wellbeing of Victoria's country communities.
The awards honour the exceptional medical professionals, nurses, allied health professionals, Aboriginal health workers and practice managers working across rural Victoria.

If you know a health professional who should be recognised for their work and commitment to rural health, nominate them for a 2021 Victorian Rural Health Award! Learn more here:
The awards ceremony will be delivered virtually on 10 June 2021.

Welcome to the Research Hub

Gippsland Primary Health Network’s vision is a measurably healthier Gippsland.

This section of our LINK newsletter provides articles on research being undertaken by Gippsland PHN and in collaboration with other organisations that are contributing to this vision. It will also feature research and studies from outside our region which may be of interest to our stakeholders.

For all things ‘research’ related, please email

Gippsland PHN research article hot off the press!

Barriers and facilitators to participation in breast, bowel and cervical cancer screening in rural Victoria: A qualitative study.

This research project was funded through the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone: Early Detection and Screening including Tobacco Initiative, delivered by Gippsland PHN.

This study aimed to explore knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, motivators and barriers to breast, bowel and cervical screening participation in under‐screened men and women living in Latrobe City.

Focus groups found that opportunities that develop attitudes to health place disease prevention as a high priority; improve understanding of the benefit of screening in terms of early detection and treatment; improve GP availability and the patient‐practitioner relationship; and the development of messages for each of the screening programs should be further explored as factors that may influence rural population screening rates.

Access the published article via this link:


Cancer study will explore views on research priorities for primary care 

Are you interested in contributing to cancer in primary care research?

PC4, the Primary Care Collaborative Cancer Clinical Trials Group, is undertaking a prioritisation study that aims to explore the views of different stakeholders to identify their perspective on what the top research priorities should be in the field of cancer in primary care research.

The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and will give you an opportunity to advocate for the areas of cancer in primary care research you feel should be addressed most urgently.

The link to the survey is:

This research project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne [1955636.1]. Please contact PC4’s National Manager, Kristi Milley (, if you have any questions.

Latest General Practice Snapshots released

The Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research at Macquarie University has released new
General Practice Snapshots.
These Snapshots are part of a series of reports aiming to identify trends related to COVID-19, its diagnosis, treatment and impact on patients. They have been developed as part of a Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre project involving Macquarie University, Outcome Health, Gippsland, Eastern Melbourne and South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Networks and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Programs, with participation from Central and Eastern Sydney and South Western Sydney Primary Health Networks.
The Snapshots are: 
This Snapshot reports on the patterns of GP consultations in RACFs during the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to identify areas for quality improvement in this vulnerable population.
This Snapshot examines the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on diabetes care in Australian general practice, by looking at patients with type 2 diabetes using: (a) the volume of HbA1c tests conducted during this period as an indicator of care/access to care; and (b) HbA1c levels as an indicator of glycaemic control.
Future Snapshots will deal with areas related to mental health and cancer screening.
If you have any questions related to these Snapshots or would like further details about the project, please contact us at

Mapping the delivery of interventions for vaccine preventable infections in pregnancy – evaluation surveys

The Health Protection Branch of the Department of Health and Human Services is evaluating the service delivery of interventions for vaccine preventable infections (pertussis, influenza and hepatitis B) in pregnancy in Victoria.

The department has engaged the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity to undertake this evaluation. 

Please click here to complete the survey which will take approximately 10 minutes.


Public Health Research & Practice - first issue for 2021

The first issue of Public Health Research & Practice for 2021 has been released.

The papers in this issue explore a range of topics in public health – from how we can address racism in the health system, to communicating COVID-19 health information to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

A prominent theme is the importance of meaningful partnerships with those people who are being targeted by public health policies or activities. 

To keep up to date with information from Gippsland PHN, you can follow us on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter - just click on the icons below. You can also go to the Gippsland PHN website at
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