Social Inclusion

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A socially inclusive rural community is one where all people, regardless of diversity, are able to feel welcome in their
communities and to fully participate in all aspects of rural community life.

Rural communities disproportionately experience barriers to social inclusion including poorer access to housing, transport and support services. Their residents generally have lower incomes and higher unemployment (Shucksmith, 2003). The smaller size of rural populations and their geographical isolation are physical characteristics that differentiate rural communities from their urban counterparts. These characteristics interact to impact upon the privacy, distribution of power and acceptance of diversity within communities, ultimately impacting on social inclusion and cohesion (Marchant, 2013).

There is evidence that the Loddon Mallee Region, particularly the most disadvantaged localities, suffer from many of the factors that contribute to and are consequences of social exclusion.

Compared to Victoria (2010-2011) Central Goldfields Shire and Mount Alexander Shire had significantly:

  • lower median household gross weekly income than the regional Victorian and Victorian average.
  • lower labour force participation rate.
  • higher proportion of the population aged over 64.
  • less youth that are fully engaged in either employment or training.

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), which ranks areas in Australia according to relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage, ranks Central Goldfields as Victoria’s most disadvantaged LGA.

Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership works with local and regional agencies to ensure a social inclusion lens is applied to projects, programs and planning, and to collectively pursue our vision that we live and work in communities that are inclusive, resilient and healthy. This includes using the principles of participation and co-design to achieve meaningful involvement in decision making about health and wellbeing from all sectors of our population. See our Social Inclusion program logic below:



Building Socially Inclusive Rural Communities: A complete resource is an evidence-informed resource, developed collaboratively by the Loddon Mallee Region Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs) and their members, which aims to build socially inclusive communities across the region and beyond. The resource provides information and ideas for translating the evidence and principles of rural social inclusion into actions that people can understand and apply in their own rural community, sector or setting.  The informative package will facilitate the discussion of rural social inclusion throughout planning, implementation and evaluation processes and across a diverse professional audience.

The package includes information and personal stories from communities across central and northern Victoria that have successfully addressed social exclusion.

Please contact Emma Shannon if you have any queries about this resource or further capacity building opportunities.

Social Inclusion in Australia How Australia is faring 2nd Edition, Australian Social Inclusion Board. This report highlights Australia’s progress against social inclusion indicators. We’re a thriving, prosperous nation with high rates of employment, good health and high educational attainment, but there are people who miss out on the resources and opportunities to fulfil their potential. Around 5% (or 640,000) of working age Australians continue to experience multiple disadvantage, and income inequality has grown steadily since the mid-1990s.

Absolutely Everyone: State Disability Plan 2017-2020 Absolutely Everyone is the state disability plan 2017–2020 for the whole of the Victorian Government, who are committing to a range of actions for achieving greater inclusion, in partnership with the community. The plan tackles the negative attitudes and barriers that more than one million Victorians with a disability deal with on a daily basis.

Central Victorian Volunteer Service website provides a central point for volunteer opportunities across the region and allows organisations, community and sporting groups seeking volunteers to post roles at no cost. The website will also feature volunteer management documents, resources and information about upcoming training for both volunteers and volunteer leaders.

Co-Design: In November 2016, CVPCP hosted Chris Vanstone from The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) for a Co-design workshop. The interactive session explored the questions “What is co-design, and what does it take to do it well?”  PowerPoint slides from the session are available here.

Consumer Engagement in Central Victoria: a literature review for health and community services

The Gippsland Guide to becoming a Health Literate Organisation

Health Literacy: enabling communication and participation in health.  Background paper – DH, Victoria

Reaching Out: Connecting with harder to reach older people in Central Victoria

“The Parable of the Blobs and Squares” video – this video is a great resource that overviews participation and co-design in a quirky way

Community Sector Resilience Program – DHHS has funded a group of consultants (Loop & Co and Arup) to work with community service organisations across the State to plan for natural disasters and climate change. Click on the link here to see slides from a recent workshop.


Community Lunch Report – Central Victorian PCP with Castlemaine Community House, Maldon Neighbourhood House and Castlemaine District Community Health recently collaborated to review both the Castlemaine and Maldon community lunches with a social inclusion lens. We did this using the Building Socially Inclusive Rural Communities resource that the CVPCP have produced with the Loddon Mallee PCP’s.

Active & Healthy Ageing Mapping 2016 – The Primary Care Partnerships (PCP’s) undertook a mapping of all healthy and active ageing programs, networks, guiding documents and policies. The Healthy Ageing Mapping document provides details for programs and initiatives that target or are predominantly attended by people over the age of 55.  Areas for inclusion are healthy eating, physical activity, emotional wellbeing and cognitive development, social participation, social inclusion and age friendly environments.

The completed mapping document is 137 pages long and is available on request.  CVPCP have applied a social inclusion lens to the information.  See files below for the results.

Active & Healthy Ageing Mapping 2016 – Social Participation               Healthy & Active Ageing Mapping 2016 – Physical Activity and Healthy Eating

Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership acknowledges the traditional owners on whose land we live and work, their rich culture and spiritual connection to country. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and celebrate their living culture and unique role in the life of our catchment.

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