When the office of the Latrobe Health Advocate was first established in June 2018, I made a commitment to the Victorian Minister for Health and communities in Latrobe to undertake a codesign process to determine a way of working.
As the Latrobe Health Advocate, an essential part of my job is to listen to and understand the views and needs of people in Latrobe. For me, the only way to do this is to first understand how people in Latrobe want to have their voices heard and why this is important to them. In particular, people who, for a range of reasons, may be experiencing disadvantage, people who may not usually have their voices heard, or people who may not recognise their voice.
To do this work my office partnered with the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI), an organisation with a proven ability to work together with communities, walking alongside and learning from people in their everyday lives to create change that is community-led. We also partnered with local communities. People living and working in Latrobe who bring their own expertise to the discussions. This work would not be possible without involving communities from the very beginning.
Creating an environment where the feedback, ideas and experiences of local communities are valued equally alongside clinical and technical expertise will enable creativity and change within the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone and it has been a privilege to hear the stories I have heard so far and be able to share some of them with you.
In the lead up to publishing Engagement Inspiration Volume One, we learned that while we all experience varying challenges and opportunities in our lives, some people are known to experience greater exclusion due to the way society, services and systems respond to their age, gender or sexuality, health, culture or race, economics, education or they may live in an area that is not easily accessible. In order to enable the inclusiveness of everyone in Latrobe, it is important we understand how to help people navigate their unique barriers.
All members of Latrobe communities are invited and supported to share their views and aspirations with me and this engagement occurs in a variety of ways.
Since the work began, I have heard from a range of people and in my first report highlighted a number of themes and insights about engagement in Latrobe, that I am pleased to share with you here.
View the full report here: Engagement Inspiration