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Healthy second-tier cities are vital to a first-rate economy

Committee for Geelong (CfG) today partnered with VicHealth, and the Victorian Regional Community Leadership Program Secretariat (VRCLP), to contribute to a forum on Geelong's health issues.

Current participants of the Leaders for Geelong program and members of CfG's Leadership Program Alumni were specifically invited to identify and discuss the health issues and challenges they have experienced in the region.

Insights gained from the forum will also help the CfG further its work to develop a second-tier city policy for Geelong.

"The issue of health and wellbeing complements the CfG's advocacy to establish a second-tier city policy for Geelong as a pilot for the rest of Australia," CfG CEO Rebecca Casson said,

"At a local level, a second-tier city policy will assist with the development of a shared vision for Geelong. This will unify local stakeholders and set out how industry, residents, social enterprises and all levels of government should work together to maximise social, cultural and economic potential. This includes the health and wellbeing of our community."

CfG welcomes the Geelong Advertiser's Fair Go for Geelong campaign as an important step towards a second-tier city policy revolution.

"Given the changes in our city, Geelong - and other second-tier cities such as Cairns, Gold Coast, Newcastle and Wollongong - should be treated differently to the way they are now.  In this context, the CfG fully supports the Geelong Advertiser's Fair Go for Geelong campaign," Ms Casson said.

The forum held at the Mercure was one of a series VicHealth is hosting across regional Victoria. Advice received from the Geelong event will also contribute towards the upcoming refresh of VicHealth's Action Agenda for Health Promotion, which is its roadmap for VicHealth's work to 2023.

"The feedback and ideas we've received will help VicHealth develop broader strategies around promoting healthy eating, encouraging regular physical activity, preventing smoking, preventing harm from alcohol and improving mental wellbeing," VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said.

VRCLP CEO Katrina Baddeley said their ongoing mission is to develop leaders capable of tackling regional Victoria's biggest challenges.

"We're committed to making regional communities across Victoria vibrant and sustainable into the future. In partnership with VicHealth, we're working on these forums with current and future community leaders with a varied range of life experiences. They are truly representative of our rural and regional population," Ms Baddeley said.



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