Over the past few years, Cobaw Community Health (Cobaw) has been working through the Department of Health and Human Service’s Workplace Achievement Program, and was recently Staff celebrating the Achievement Program milestonerecognised by the State Government of Victoria as meeting all benchmarks for the Healthy Eating and Mental Health and Wellbeing priority areas of the Achievement Program.

Recognised by the Victorian Government, the Achievement Program promotes staff health across five areas: smoking, physical activity, mental health and wellbeing, healthy eating and alcohol. The Achievement Program (an international best-practice framework) was developed by the Department of Health and Human Services and is currently overseen by Cancer Council Victoria. This framework was based on the World Health Organisation’s Health Promoting Workplaces model. This whole-of-setting approach provides workplaces with a framework for continuous improvement, enabling organisations to embed health and wellbeing into their culture, having a positive impact on areas like morale, safety and productivity.

With most Australian’s spending approximately a third of their lives at work (over a lifetime up to 80,000 hours can be spent at work), it’s important to recognise the impact the work environment can have on health and wellbeing. Promoting health in the workplace also makes good business sense – it makes businesses more productive and employees more engaged. In the Macedon Ranges Shire, only 10.4 per cent of residents meet vegetable consumption guidelines and 23.4 per cent of females are diagnosed with either depression or anxiety, compared with the Victorian average of 14.4 per cent (Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership, 2017).

“As a community health service we believe it’s important to role model a healthy workplace in our community. By implementing the Achievement Program at Cobaw we are leading by example to improve staff health and wellbeing in the Macedon Ranges,” said Margaret McDonald, Cobaw Community Health CEO.

“We are encouraging other workplaces to sign up to the Achievement Program to collectively strengthen health and wellbeing in our community. Cobaw can support workplaces to progress through the program and we encourage you to get in touch if interested.”

For further information, please contact Bec Huddy, Health Promotion Coordinator 1300 026 229 or admin@cobaw.org.au