Place-based initiatives in the West: Highlighting Promising Practice

This review of Place-based Initiatives in the West: Highlighting Promising Practice, looks at some incredible projects that have worked towards improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

The following consideration of four different projects demonstrate that place-based approaches are not limited to a single model, lead organisation or target population. Placebased approaches need to be flexible and specific initiatives should be carefully tailored.

Place-based projects are valuable when engaging a community with diverse health and wellbeing needs. They provide an opportunity to engage with individuals on complex and dynamic health and wellbeing needs present in communities. Not limiting ‘place’ to a strict geographical location, but using a defined location as a starting point to reach people with a diverse range of needs.

The place-based projects considered include the Brooklyn and Altona North Community Strengthening project, Linking Melton South, Our3021, and Revitalising Braybrook. Each project took a unique approach to strength-based community development in terms of partnership models, community engagement, or governance. Each of these projects offers promising outcomes and learnings that can inform future practice.

This review examines common themes and considerations drawn by comparing project documents and interviews with project staff. Themes include applying a structure, engaging with the community, data and evaluation, and sustainability.