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.
  • A draft Montrose Community Plan has been prepared by the Montrose Township Group and distributed for comment to the wider community. The final Plan document has now been completed and the group is preparing to formally present the Plan to Council.
  • A draft Reefton-McMahons Creek Community Plan has been prepared by the local Action Group. Council is working with both the Reefton McMahons Creek and Millgrove communities to finalise their Plans, and it is anticipated that the Plans will be formally presented to Council for acknowledgement by July 2021.
  • During 2020, Council officers continued to support and sometimes facilitate various networks to meet online and to communicate via various platforms: the Yarra Ranges Township Group Network Service Provider networks (Healesville, Upper Yarra, Hills); the Emergency Relief Network; the Neighbourhood House Strategic Group, and the Men’s Shed Network.

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).
  • Within Yarra Ranges the focus will be on improvements to frequency and span of hours, particularly on the weekends and the use of pulse timetables to reduce the long waiting times between bus and train service connections.
  • Council also continues to work on the Level Crossing Removal Projects (LXRP) for the best outcomes for the community with the level crossing removal projects at both Lilydale and Mooroolbark with a rail over road solution.

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

  • Developed a partnership for women with disability, Margins to the Mainstream, led by Women’s Health East and supported by Council. Enabling participation in local civic life and help bring the voice of lived experience to Council’s work.
  • Modelling Respect & Equality (MORE) Community of Practice continues through quarterly meetings, supporting men and women who have been trained to be role models for healthy masculinity.
  • Ran the ‘Taking it Step by Step’ mentoring project for women, managed by Voices of Women, supported by Council’s grant funding and agencies.
  • The Skills Building program moved online – topics included connecting with members, digital literacy plus more.
  • Grants for Community moved online: webinar for prospective applicants/assessment panels moves to digital.
  • Completed the VicHealth Grant Art and Sole promoting walking in Lilydale West – a five-month pilot project with a two-year project proposal submitted.
  • Council endorsed the Guiding Principles for Council’s Role in Housing and Homelessness and adopted the Regional Local Government Charter on Housing and Homelessness – Yarra Ranges being the first of 13 partner councils to do so.

93% of Council Plan actions are on track