Connected and healthy communities

Sketch of person walking a dog

Communities are safe, resilient, healthy, inclusive and socially well connected. Quality services are accessible to everyone.

Key strategies to achieve our objective include:

Current projects

Find out what we’re doing to support connected and healthy communities in Yarra Ranges.

Our major initiatives

Community planning

  • Communities currently undertaking Community Planning include: Reefton/McMahon’s Creek, Montrose
  • Communities engaging with their residents to review their community plan include Millgrove, Woori Yallock, Hoddles Creek, Launching Place, Don Valley (WHYLD) community, Powelltown, Little Yarra Community Group, Upwey, Yelligbo, Monbulk and District Community Opportunities Working group (MADCOW), and Kilsyth
  • Council partnered with Millgrove Residents Action Group (MRAG) to deliver the Millgrove River Road Community Walking Track which received a $192,000 grant from Department of Premier and Cabinet. This trail was a key project identified in their 2015-2017 Community Plan

Public transport advocacy

  • Council has continued to advocate for improved public transport in collaboration with other Councils as part of the Eastern Transport Coalition (ETC).

Community health and wellbeing

  • As part of our health and wellbeing strategy three major initiative groups have been established to engage key health partners including Eastern Health, EACH and Inspiro. Initiatives include:
    • Walking – the Way to Go, to make Yarra Ranges a more friendly area for walkers.
    • Water – Everyone’s Drink of Choice, to promote water as the drink of choice and install more water refill stations in Yarra Ranges.
    • Indigenous Health – Closing the Gap, to increase Aboriginal health and wellbeing and ensure residents can access services and participate fully in the community.

Other highlights

  • Council endorsed a Healthy & Active Ageing Plan (2019-2023) in October, setting Council’s direction in improving the quality of life for its older residents.
  • Over 900 children and their families attended Children’s Week 2019 celebrations. Family-friendly events were presented by Council in partnership with the Victorian Government and local community groups.
  • We engaged with 373 community members to better understand their experience of kindergarten enrolment and gauge their support for the introduction of a central enrollment scheme.
  • 250 portraits of community members were submitted for the Not the Archies portrait competition. Not the Archies is a participatory visual arts project run by Council to celebrate the faces of the diverse and wonderful Yarra Ranges community. Over 2,000 votes for 97 different artworks were received by the community for the Audience Choice Award.
  • Local community groups, artists, events, schools and sporting clubs received $420,930 worth of funding from Yarra Ranges Council’s 2020 Grants for Community program. All projects fell under eligible categories of either community development, festivals and events or arts and heritage.
  • A cultural audit identifying the cultural literacy level of the organisation around Aboriginal culture has been conducted and a suite of recommendations have been provided to Council’s Executive Leadership Team.
  • We supported the development of the Opening Doors Outer East leadership program, which aims at building the capacity of carers and people with disability.
  • Internal and community-based International Day of People with Disability, RUOK and Mental Health Week events were a success and helped raising awareness of the barriers experienced by people with disability including those with a mental illness.
  • In the lead-up to the warmer months, we have been running our fuel reduction program in parks, reserves and roadsides, and will continue to do this through the high-risk period wherever possible.
  • We reviewed the Yarra Ranges Municipal Relief and Recovery Plan with partnering organisations and agencies. Our Emergency Management Workforce prepared for emergency events by participating in master classes and in a full activation drill (Exercise East) with seven neighbouring Councils. 

100% of Council Plan actions are on track