News & Events

Business Systems Analyst

Business Systems Analyst (0.6 EFT, six months fixed-term)

In this new role you will provide professional business analysis and project support to the executive team.

Role Description: Business Systems Analyst

For further information about the position, contact Julie Cairns (03) 5421 1666.

To be considered for the role your application must address the Key Selection Criteria and be forwarded to:

Cobaw Community Health Services Ltd, PO Box 146, Kyneton, VIC 3444 Or

Applications close: 5pm, Wednesday 3 May 2017



Getting Plan Ready for NDIS

Funding Announcement – Major revamp for Cobaw

More Macedon Ranges families will get easier access to the vital community health and family services they need – all under one roof – thanks to an Andrews Labor Government funding boost for Cobaw Community Health Services.
Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today joined Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas to announce Cobaw will receive nearly $10 million through the first round of the Labor Government’s new Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.
The $200 million fund – the largest of its kind in Victorian history – is rebuilding rural and regional health services to ensure all Victorians can access the high quality care and facilities they need, no matter where they live.
In Kyneton, we’re investing to build a new Healthy Community Access Hub, which will be a modern ‘one-stop-shop’ for accessing a range of community health services.
The purpose-built hub will bring together primary health and community health services, private practitioners and counsellors and will feature a significant increase in multi-purpose consulting rooms.
It will also feature the latest advances in e-health technology making it easier for clients to create and change bookings and access care from remote areas of the region.
Construction is expected to commence in early 2018 and be completed by late 2019.
“The Healthy Community Access Hub will support the delivery of more efficient and effective services for people in Central Victoria resulting in improved health outcomes. It will meet the strong and growing community demand for accessible wrap-around services, addressing the changing needs of a regional population,” said Margaret McDonald, Cobaw CEO.

Cobaw recognised as part of the 2017 QIP Russell Renhard Scholarship

With a commitment to supporting families at difficult times, Cobaw Community Health (Cobaw) was recognised as part of the 2017 Quality Innovation Performance Limited (QIP) Russell Renhard Scholarship.

Annie North, from Bendigo Victoria, was awarded the official QIP Russell Renhard Scholarship, and Cobaw’s ‘Sharing the Wisdom of Families’ project also received a small amount of funding as the runner-up to assist with the progression of improved and lived experience resources for vulnerable children and families

Russell Renhard was a pioneer in the development of quality improvement and capacity building approaches within health and community organisations across Australia. Throughout his career Russell dedicated his effort and expertise to addressing social justice and supporting systems-based approaches, promoting access to quality services for all.

The QIP Russell Renhard Scholarship honours the significant contribution made by Russell to health and social services, accreditation and continuous quality improvement. This Scholarship allows a legacy to be created for celebrating Russell’s life as well as recognising contributions to causes Russell felt so passionately about.

The QIP Russell Renhard Scholarship was open to all eligible QIP Community clients, currently accredited with QIP against relevant industry Standards. The Scholarship aims to provide financial assistance to a research study or project, supporting positive contributions to improved health and wellbeing within our Australian communities.

Dr Stephen Clark, Group Chief Executive of QIP said that the Scholarship received many high calibre nominations from QIP accredited community organisations nationwide.

“The QIP Russell Renhard Scholarship allows us to provide financial support to a community organisation that is actively committed to improving health and wellbeing by facilitating effective continuous quality improvement, in a manner that reflects social justice.

It is a privilege to see that Russell’s vision is still prevalent across the industry, supporting his belief that change was possible and that a more equitable society could be achieved. Our judging panel strongly felt Cobaw also deserved to be recognised for delivering a project which seeks to understand the lived experience of families experiencing complex challenges in their lives, and use this as a tool for change – for individuals, for families and for organisations.

I would like to congratulate Cobaw on the planning, identified milestone achievements and goals they have made to date and thank all other nominees for sharing their stories of positive change,”  Dr Clark said.

The small amount of funding provided by QIP as part of the Russell Renhard Scholarship will assist Cobaw to engage families using community health services, inviting them to reflect on their recent experiences and to offer insights into what has helped them, what words of wisdom or advice they would like to share with other families in similar situations and what service providers have done to support them or could do in the future. Following a process which consists of evaluation, intervention, quality improvement and consumer participation, this project translates the lived experiences of families into a learning tool to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families.

“We are excited about the opportunity this project will create for Cobaw to work in partnership with families and develop an engaging resource that can be shared with other vulnerable families, whilst at the same time supporting quality improvement planning in community and health organisations,” said Margaret McDonald, Cobaw CEO.

With a combined twenty five years’ experience, QIP remains as one of Australia’s most comprehensive health, community and human services accreditation providers. As a not-for-profit organisation, QIP is dedicated to improving and delivering accreditation services, resources and personalised support, to assist clients on their journey of continuous quality improvement. To learn more about QIP visit

Upcoming training for volunteers

Visit the Central Victorian Volunteer Service website to find out more:

New Dementia project to address local need

Cobaw is pleased to announce that it has been funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments to establish a community wide dementia project. This continues Cobaw’s vision of responding to the health and wellbeing of all the community.

The project recognises the significant unaddressed need in the Macedon Ranges for dementia-related services and support. It aims to raise awareness and understanding of people with dementia by initiating collaboration between community care services and a whole-of-community approach to caring for people with dementia.

A recent report commissioned by Alzheimer’s Australia confirmed there are currently over 400,000 Australians living with dementia and approximately 290,000 people providing care either in the community or in cared accommodation. By 2056, the number of Australians living with dementia is expected to be over 1,000,000.

Cobaw CEO Margaret McDonald stated that, “in time we will all know someone with dementia or be impacted by its prevalence in our local community”.

“In Victoria last year there was more than 98,000 people living with dementia and records show that the Macedon Ranges Shire has the highest incidence of dementia in the Loddon Mallee Health Region, pro rata,” said Ms McDonald.

“Our vision is that this project will provide improved health, wellbeing and quality of life for those with dementia and their carers, as well as providing the community with a clearer understanding of dementia. I hope that each and every one of us has an opportunity to benefit from learning more about dementia, including strategies as simple as how to assist someone who appears lost and confused”.

We invite anyone with ideas about how they can progress this local work and help design the project to contact us on 5421 1666.

Upcoming My Time Group

Living Skills Program

Cobaw & Castlemaine community health services investigating a merger

The Boards of neighbouring community health services, Cobaw Community Health (Cobaw) and Castlemaine District Community Health (CDCH) today announced they are in formal discussions to amalgamate.

Anne Bates, CDCH CEO explained, “CDCH is currently the smallest community health in the State, so for us this means an opportunity to expand the services offered in Mount Alexander Shire. The Board is seeking long-term sustainability”.

Margaret McDonald, Cobaw CEO explained further, “By combining forces with CDCH we are in a better position to attract funding to our region, in the first instance to support and expand our existing work. Existing collaborations between the two organisations including the School Focused Youth Service and the Central Victorian Volunteer Service will continue. In the future it means having greater opportunities to grow, adapt and meet the emerging needs of local communities as they change – including being able to deliver NDIS services across our region,” Ms McDonald said.

Due diligence processes will now begin with a view to the Boards of both organisations making final decisions about the structure of any future amalgamation, in consultation with staff, community and stakeholders. In the meantime, “it will be business as usual for both services as we go about the process. Both organisations are optimistic that the existing collaborative relationship will be formalised. We share the same vision and purpose in serving geographically similar rural communities and recognising the diversity within them,” said Ms Bates.

Ms McDonald agreed, “Our plan is based on a clear and agreed principle of equitable delivery of sustainable, increased services and the operational efficiency we can achieve together. In short, it’s a story of neighbours becoming good friends, and then taking it to the next level and formalising the relationship to become something more – together. The prospect of a closer relationship or merger is a significant opportunity for us, our employees and our unique communities,” concluded Ms McDonald.

Romsey building update

An update on the new Romsey building project has been posted on the Macedon Ranges Shire Council website. For details on the progress made so far and a sneak peek of the plans, visit