Healthy Heart of Victoria


Healthy Heart of Victoria (HHV) is a State Government initiative aimed at improving the health of people in the Loddon Campaspe region – the ‘heart’ of Victoria.

The initiative was developed in response to the higher than Victorian average rates of obesity, chronic disease and high-risk health behaviours currently seen within the region.

Healthy Heart of Victoria projects are designed to focus on those parts of the community that are the least active and least supported.  The initiative aims to get more people, more active, more often.

Active Living Census results

Central Goldfields Shire is one of six local Councils involved in the initiative.  The other Councils involved are Campaspe Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire and Mount Alexander Shire.

A survey conducted during May and June 2019 to help with planning for health and recreation services and allow a better understanding of people’s activity levels and preferences. 

First conducted within the City of Greater Bendigo in 2014, the Active Living Census (ALC) was carried out across all households in the Loddon Campaspe region in 2019. 

The Census was available online and in hard copy to people across the region.  It was completed by over 24,500 people throughout region, including by 1,176 people in Central Goldfields Shire. 

The findings provide evidence at a local level, and enable reliable comparisons with other data, as well as across townships and demographic groups such as age and gender. 

Further, the findings provide valuable information on what would help people meet national guidelines for healthy eating and active living, and help support efforts to reduce rates of obesity, chronic disease and high-risk health behaviours by encouraging more people to be more active, more often. 

Key findings for Central Goldfields Shire:

  • 69% of adults are overweight or obese
  • 51% of adults meet the guidelines for physical activity
  • 85% of people use the open spaces in Central Goldfields; and 62% of the 85% use the spaces for exercise and fitness
  • Walking is the most popular physical activity
  • 70% of 3 to 17 year olds eat the recommended amount of fruit each day; 44% of adults do
  • 14 % of 3 to 17 year olds eat recommended amount of vegetables; 11% of adults do
  • 13% of 3 to 17 year olds drink sugary drinks daily; 16% of adults do
  • 15% of households reported they had run out of food and could not afford to buy more.


Key findings across the Loddon Campaspe region: 

  • Walking is the most popular type of physical activity, followed by swimming, fitness, active play and cycling.
  • Two in every three adults in the Loddon Campaspe Region are overweight or obese (62.5%). This is higher than the Victorian average of 49.7%.
  • One in every eight adults meet the daily vegetable consumption guidelines (13.3%) as compared to the Victorian average of 4.9%.
  • One in 10 households (9.2%) in the Loddon Campaspe Region are food insecure – they do not have enough to eat. In some areas, this increases to one in 7 households. This is higher than the Victorian average of 6.2%.
  • People in the Loddon Campaspe region want to be more active more often, with 53.4% wanting to do more activity.
  • Food insecurity and household self-rated prosperity appear to be key predictors for a cluster of health behaviours and outcomes, with food insecure and low income households reporting lower levels of health and wellbeing overall, higher rates of overweight and obesity, higher rates of health-risk behaviours (i.e. smoking, alcohol, sugary drinks) and lower rates of health-protecting behaviours (i.e. physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption).


The reports for Central Goldfields Shire and the Loddon Campaspe region are now available. 

We encourage all residents, organisations and interested community groups to download the reports.  They are available for anyone to access and can be used in a variety of ways such as to support grant applications and funding submissions, or to gain a greater understanding of local health and wellbeing behaviours. 

Download the Central Goldfields Shire Selected Findings report here(PDF, 8MB)  and the Topline report hereALC-2019-Topline-Report-Central-Goldfields.pdf(PDF, 3MB)

Access the Loddon Campaspe region reports here 


Gordon Gardens update

A new bicycle/scooter pump track, outdoor fitness equipment and shade structure – all projects that were identified as part of the Gordon Gardens Master Plan - will be installed at the Gordon Gardens in Dunolly as part of the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative. 

The tender for the project is currently being advertised with a contractor expected to be appointed by May and the project ready for play by the end of 2020.

The $140,000 Gordon Gardens upgrade project will be delivered thanks to funding from the State Government Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative.

The new facilities will not only provide opportunities for free physical activity for children, young people, families and older people of Dunolly but will also be a drawcard for residents from surrounding communities.

The bicycle/scooter pump track is a modular system made of timber composite that will form a circular track of about 65 metres. It will have an entry and exit ramp so that it can be used by a number of people at the same time. It will be suitable for use for all ages from young children through to adults.

The four pieces of outdoor fitness equipment chosen will each work different muscle groups in the upper and lower body. It will be suitable for young people up to older adults. It can be used by all levels of fitness as it is your body that moves the equipment and you choose how times you repeat each movement.

A shade structure will be installed above the outdoor fitness equipment so users have sun protection. The colours for the shade structure and the equipment will be decided in consultation with the local community to align with the heritage aspects of the park.

The site will need to be available for the contractors to prepare the area, surface the new areas, move equipment, and complete the works. Exact dates of closures will be negotiated with the successful contractor.

You can download a flier with additional information here(PDF, 7MB)


In 2016 the community told the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership that it was concerned about health statistics and outcomes in the region.  They also believed that health is everyone’s business, not just health services and professionals.

To address these concerns, a series of design workshops were undertaken involving over 100 stakeholders from local government, health services, primary care partnerships, universities and state government departments to develop the Healthy Heart of Victoria implementation framework(PDF, 11MB).

Subsequently, in 2018 the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative was funded $5M.

There are three main components to the initiative:


Infrastructure and activation that gets more people, more active, more often

Improvements to infrastructure, facilities and/or programs across the region to enable more community members to increase their activity levels.

The Healthy Heart of Victoria infrastructure and activation projects in Central Goldfields Shire include upgrades to the path at Goldfields Reservoir and the implementation of a parkrun at the site, upgrades around the Maryborough Community House including support of the kitchen garden project and playground enhancements, and the installation of a basketball court in Dunolly.

For more information about these projects, click here(PDF, 429KB)


Health Broker workforce

A workforce of ‘Health Brokers’ has been appointed to work across the six Loddon Campaspe Councils.

The Health Broker for Central Goldfields Shire is Lynn Waters.  Lynn’s role as part of Healthy Heart of Victoria is to develop relationships between Council, local organisations and community groups to help build knowledge and influence decision making with respect to health and wellbeing.