10 Feb, 2010 Last updated: 17 Nov, 2014

The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Board is holding a forum with Shepparton community leaders today to discuss health, planning and community wellbeing issues.

The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) Board is holding a forum with Shepparton community leaders today to discuss health, planning and community wellbeing issues.

As Victoria’s peak health promotion body, VicHealth works in partnership with governments, organisations, communities and individuals to foster healthy and liveable communities.

This forum is part of the Board’s ongoing commitment to gain a better understanding of the issues affecting people’s health and wellbeing across the State.

Speaking ahead of the forum today, VicHealth Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Todd Harper said that “community leaders play a key role in creating environments for communities to prosper and enjoy improved health and wellbeing.”

“VicHealth currently funds several initiatives in the City of Shepparton,” Mr Harper explains. “The Board is keen to understand how the health needs of communities in regional areas can continue to be supported by VicHealth.”

VicHealth funds several key organisations, including Valley Sport – Goulburn Valley Sports Assembly, Ganbina, indigenous youth transition employment agency and Rumbalara Football and Netball Club.

“Valley Sport and VicHealth have developed a great partnership over recent years. Valley Sport has received $432,770 between 2007-2011, to engage in its great work assisting Goulburn Valley communities to be more physically active,” Mr Harper said.

“VicHealth funding has allowed us to run a range of programs with great results,” Valley Sport Executive Officer Shane Hughan said.

“We have seen big changes in people around the Goulburn Valley. Some of the programs include, primary school kids learning about water safety, koori cycling programs and Sportslink Goulburn Valley - an online sport and active recreation directory,” Mr Hughan said.

“Ganbina has been funded about $250,000 over the past 5 years with exceptional results. This is changing the landscape where welfare was perceived the only destination for Indigenous students.”

“Since inception, Ganbina has helped over 500 young people in the region to finish school, undertake tertiary or vocational training and to secure full time jobs,” Ganbina CEO Adrian Appo said.

“VicHealth is also proud to have funded Rumbalara more than half a million dollars over the past 10 years to improve the health and wellbeing of hundreds of Indigenous people from the local communities,” Mr Harper said.

VicHealth CEO Mr Harper says today’s forum is a great opportunity for VicHealth to hear about the experience of councils and to work together in mapping the future health needs of their communities.

VicHealth is holding its annual Community Board Forum at Rumbalara Netball and Football Club, Mercury Drive, Shepparton, between from 1-3pm February 10, 2010.