Healthy Loddon Campaspe

What is Healthy Loddon Campaspe?

Healthy Loddon Campaspe (previously known as Healthy Heart of Victoria) is an initiative aimed at improving health outcomes in the Loddon Campaspe region – the 'heart of Victoria'.

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

Healthy Loddon Campaspe projects are designed to focus on those parts of the community that are the least supported, to help encourage healthy eating and get more people, more active, more often.

There are six local councils involved in the initiative – Campaspe Shire, Central Goldfields Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire and Mount Alexander Shire.


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 that of health services and professionals.

To address these concerns, a series of design workshops were undertaken involving more than 100 stakeholders from local government, health services, primary care partnerships, universities and state government departments. An implementation framework was developed from this work.

The three components of the program are:

  • Health Brokers – a workforce to work within the six local government areas
  • Active Living Census – data to support planning for health and recreation services
  • Infrastructure and programs – to focus on physical activity and healthy eating

Active Living Census

All households in the Loddon Campaspe region were invited to take part in the Active Living Census (ALC) in May-June 2019. Almost 25,000 responses were received.

The results provide important information about people’s health and wellbeing. They also provide information about barriers to healthy eating and active lifestyles.

The ALC 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.

The data supports planning for health and recreation services and a better understanding of people’s activity levels and preferences.

Key findings for Campaspe include:

  • Walking is the most popular physical activity with 21.2% of the population reporting that they went walking for exercise in the last 12 months.
  • 55.4% of adults meet physical activity guidelines.
  • 12.5% of adults meet vegetable dietary guidelines. Females were more likely than males to be meeting the consumption guidelines (18.5%, compared to 6.3%).
  • 45.7% of adults meet fruit dietary guidelines. Females were more likely than males to be meeting the fruit consumption guidelines (49.4%, compared to 42.1%). Females aged over 70 were most likely to be meeting fruit consumption guidelines (61.3%).
  • 42.6% rated their own health as excellent or very good, with 39.1% rating their health as good and 18.3% rating their health as poor.

Active Living Census reports:

Stage 1 projects - completed

Projects completed in Campaspe Shire included:

Activating Crossenvale: Park upgrade and activation sessions for young people.

Healthy Choices EWMAC: Healthy eating audit, food and drink changes made and small-scale infrastructure.

Walking on Eyre Street: Installation of 250 metres of connected footpath along Eyre Street in Echuca East providing an accessible corridor for a historically disadvantaged community to critical sporting, commercial, health and education facilities.

Girgarre Walking Track Enhancement: Installation of two picnic tables (one wheelchair accessible) and two park benches (with armrest) to provide a safe rest area for users of the 800 metres walking path.

Hydration Stations Installation: Installation of hydration stations in Colbinabbin, Stanhope, Girgarre, and Rushworth.

Activating Tongala Hub: Activation sessions delivered at the Tongala Fitness Hub for Primary School aged children. A Healthy Lunch Box program was also delivered and recorded for the school to share with the community.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food Program: Working with local neighbourhood houses, a healthy cooking program was delivered to communities experiencing high food insecurity.

Healthy and Well Campaspe:

  • Healthier Sporting Clubs Initiative: Working with sporting clubs to enhance healthy food and drink offerings to patrons with small scale infrastructure support.
  • Kitchen Garden Program in Early Years: Revitalised kitchen garden programs in the early years setting.
  • Active Biking Campaspe: Installation of ten bike racks throughout the Campaspe Shire to encourage active transport options. 

Stage 2 projects - underway

Following the positive impact of Stage 1, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Government provided further funding for an additional four years as part of the 2022 State Budget.

Works to continue include:

  • Implementing place-based activations focusing on physical activity and healthy eating. Projects will continue to focus on those parts of the community that are the least supported to help encourage healthy eating and get more people, more active, more often.
  • A workforce of localised Health Brokers in each Local Government Area focusing on developing relationships to help build knowledge about health and wellbeing.
  • Utilising and sharing the findings from the Healthy Loddon Campaspe Active Living Census to help ensure that investments, infrastructure, programs and services across the region are what is needed and where it’s needed.

Projects for this financial year are:

Active Stadiums project

Aim: To increase participation in physical activity amongst Campaspe Shire residents.

Campaspe Shire Council and Echuca Regional Health are undertaking community consultation to learn how the Shire can provide new physical activity options in Echuca, Kyabram and Tongala’s underutilised indoor stadiums. It’s especially important to understand what the physical activity needs are for those who could potentially use the stadiums during the day, including elderly people, stay at home parents with toddlers and babies or people living with a disability. These insights will assist with planning the most suitable activities for the community.

Progress: This pilot project is currently undertaking consultation with community to identify what new physical activities will be offered in underutilised stadiums in Echuca, Kyabram and Tongala.

This project is being led by Councils Recreation Team and Echuca Regional Health.  

Portable StoryWalks project

Aim: To increase participation in walking amongst families living in Campaspe Shire.

The Portable StoryWalks project will create 15 StoryWalk boards and a trailhead to promote active reading for young children and their adults. StoryWalk is an innovative way for children and their adults to engage in outdoor physical activity and reading at the same time.

Pages from a book are affixed to story boards, which are installed along an outdoor path. As participants walk along the trail, they will be directed to the next page in the story. The StoryWalk activity is portable and will be moved between towns that have a Campaspe Library, including Rushworth, Rochester, Kyabram and areas in Echuca.

Progress: The Story Boards are currently under construction, once complete StoryWalks will commence throughout the shire.

This project is led by Campaspe Library.

Drinking Water Partnership project

Aim: To increase the consumption of water in key settings where Campaspe Shire residents live, work and play.

The Drinking Water Partnership project will install three drinking water fountains to locations identified through a need-basis criteria. The project will also develop local government guidelines for installation, map drinking water fountain locations and promote/deliver a campaign to increase water consumption.

In Campaspe Shire Council, 15.5% of residents consume sugary drinks daily which is significantly higher than the state average, 11.2% respectively (ALC 2019). A high consumption of sugary drinks increases the risk of overweight/obesity, diabetes and poorer general health. By undertaking this project, Council aims to improve the health of Campaspe residents and the environment, promoting tap water as the best choice of hydration.

Progress: A Map and Gap exercise is underway to identify where permanent water stations currently are, and where there are gaps/ low levels of access to drinking water. Once locations have been established, drinking water fountains will be installed and an awareness campaign promoting the consumption of water.

This project is led by Campaspe Shire Council’s Recreation Team.

Healthy Schools project

Aim: To increase the number of schools within Campaspe Shire that provide a supportive environment for physical activity and healthy eating.

Campaspe Shire Council, in partnership with Echuca Regional Health, will engage five schools across the shire as part of the Healthy Schools Project, offering a suite of healthy eating and physical activity options tailored to the needs of each participating school community.

The Project is designed to support schools to strengthen efforts promoting and encouraging healthy eating and physical activity. Throughout the project, schools will work with Council’s Healthy Schools Support Officer to identify goals, priorities and tailoring plan options for each school community.

Progress: The five schools have been selected based on a specific selection criterion and are currently undertaking project onboarding. Once all schools have completed the process, an environmental audit will be conducted with each school identifying specific activities/deliverables to undertake as part of the project.

This project is led by Echuca Regional Health.

Twin Rivers School Garden project

Aim: To increase consumption of healthy food amongst the ETRSS and broader community.

This project supports Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School (ETRSS) to increase the consumption of healthy food amongst the ETRSS and broader community. The project will deliver a suite of activities/deliverables that will increase skills, knowledge and confidence of the school community in growing and cooking healthy food; increase distribution of excess garden produce to wider community; and build external partnerships.

Progress: Project plan almost complete, environmental audit will take place Term 4 along and identify changes (activities/deliverables) that will need to take place to achieve the above aim and objectives.

This project is led by Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School. 


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Adventure Bingo has launched in Campaspe

Adventure Bingo invites residents to get involved, either online or via hard copy, by walking one of six trails across the Loddon Campaspe region. Through the initiative, participants spot points of interest listed on a grid during their walk and once they’ve spotted three items in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line, they’ve got Bingo.

The Campaspe Shire Adventure Bingo walk is located in Gunbower and Rochester.  Bingo cards are available for free at the following locations or particpate online by clicking here

Want to know more?