News & Events

Cobaw Reflects on Successful Year

Cobaw Community Health is hosting the organisation’s 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 15 November at 7:00pm at the Norma Richardson Hall in Woodend (15 Buckland Street).

The AGM provides the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the last year, including continuing to achieve the vision of providing local place-based health and wellbeing services for everyone in the community.

“Growth seemed to be one of the overarching themes in 2016-17 for Cobaw – growth in new opportunities, in the services we provide, in partnership development, in our staff team and in our operating revenue. This demonstrates our commitment to be well positioned to meet the increasing demand for our services, now and into the future,” said Margaret McDonald, Cobaw’s CEO.

“The annual general meeting enables us to report on the outcomes for the year and to showcase how one of Cobaw’s programs impacts on the life of individuals or families.”

Guest speaker Annie Smithers will speak about how her journey around cooking and food is such an important part of a lifestyle that provides health and wellbeing, particularly good mental health.

Cobaw has over 78 members and the AGM is one of the few times each year that the members meet with the Board of Directors, staff and Cobaw’s partners and stakeholders. As an important community organisation, members of the public are also welcome.

The AGM will begin at 7:00pm with a light supper on arrival at 6:45pm. RSVP to or (03) 5421 1666.

Free volunteer events

Do you volunteer, or have volunteers working with you? The Central Victorian Volunteer Service has organised two exciting information sessions for volunteers in the community to help celebrate International Volunteer Day on 5 December. All current volunteers are invited to attend. We have some great external speakers from Vision Australia, Macedon Ranges Health, Bendigo Volunteer Resource Center, Xtreme Inc Youth Services and Lisa Chesters MP. Please register ASAP for catering purposes and to secure your place –

Chewton 10:00am-11.30am, Monday 20 November.

Woodend 10:00am-11.30am, Tuesday 21 November.

‘YES’ for the health and wellbeing of our rainbow community!

Cobaw Community Health’s WayOut program is hosting a colourful morning tea on Wednesday 15 November in recognition of the Australian Marriage Law postal survey outcome announcement.

There will be live music, free food, and LGBTIQ+ health and support information provided at the morning tea, as well as key speakers following the results announcement. All community members are welcome to attend the alcohol free event at the Royal George Hotel in Piper Street, Kyneton from 11:00am.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that 77 per cent of Australians have returned their surveys, as of 27 October, with the announcement of results by the ABS at 11:30am on 15 November.

Cobaw Community Health recently joined 22 other community health organisations in a statement in support of marriage equality.

“It is our hope that there will be a positive result in the marriage equality survey for the health and wellbeing of our local LGBTIQ+ community. Research has shown the lack of marriage equality to be specifically associated with poorer health and wellbeing outcomes among LGBTIQ people,” said Margaret McDonald, Cobaw CEO.

Cobaw Community Health provides access to a range of supports, as well as health promotion activities and safe spaces for community members to engage and celebrate. Cobaw’s WayOut program is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services to support the LGBTIQ+ community in the Macedon Ranges. The Victorian Government has provided one-off funding to support LGBTIQ+ community members to access support during this postal survey period. Community members who need counselling support or LGBTIQ+ specific information can contact Cobaw on 5421 1666.

Safe Sleeping Resources for Children

The following are some helpful resources to ensure safe sleeping for children:

Winner – 2017 Business Excellence Awards

We’re proud to share that we were awarded winner of the Excellence in Health & Wellbeing category of the 2017 Bendigo Bank Macedon Ranges Business Excellence Awards.

The awards recognise deserving community businesses and individuals for their outstanding service, innovation, product and professionalism.

Thank you to all Cobaw staff and volunteers for their invaluable contribution to the organisation, and to the Macedon Ranges community for your support.

Healthy Community Access Hub Update

In March 2017, Cobaw Community Health (Cobaw) was allocated $9.77M from the Victorian Government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund to build a new community health facility in Kyneton. This new facility will replace the almost 90 year old building that we currently operate from at 47 High St, Kyneton and will form the head office of Cobaw’s growing sites including Woodend and the new Romsey site that will be completed mid-2018. Over the last six months the Healthy Community Access Hub project has progressed to investigating possible locations for the new building. Recently Cobaw shared with key stakeholders that the preferred location for the new building was a portion of the soon to be vacated Kyneton Primary School site.

The future use of the Kyneton Primary School site is currently being explored as part of a master plan being developed by Macedon Ranges Shire Council in conjunction with Regional Development Victoria.

Cobaw’s funding agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services for the new building requires the organisation to adhere to strict timelines for the project’s completion. Due to the indefinite timeline of the primary school site master planning process and the inability to align this with funding timelines, the opportunity for Cobaw to be a part of the future use of the Kyneton Primary School site cannot be realised. Cobaw will consider alternative site options for the purpose-built building that will provide the best possible facilities for the community.

Cobaw will continue to engage in the shire’s master planning process, recognising the importance and potential of this site to support community health and wellbeing.

Margaret McDonald, CEO, said, “Cobaw looks forward to continuing to work with community members, stakeholders and staff to design and build an amazing new facility in Kyneton which will deliver more services to meet the needs of local people for many years.”

Cobaw welcomes community participation around the design scope and further information on these opportunities will be posted early next year on Cobaw’s website.

Additional Counselling Services

Need support during the marriage equality survey? We are providing additional counselling services to LGBTIQ young people and adults (14+ years old) affected by the Australian marriage law postal survey. Self-referrals are welcome – call our Intake team on 5421 1666 for more information. We’re here to help you.

Annual General Meeting 2017

Cobaw’s 30th Anniversary Event video

Sky Images Australia generously produced a video of Cobaw’s 30th Anniversary event on 17 June 2017. The event featured guest speaker Sally Warhaft, a jazz band, and the launch of our corporate video.

School Focused Youth Service digital story