Media releases

December 11, 2014

Victorians have final say on community health projects

Four community health projects have been granted funding from Medibank thanks to the votes of local Victorians.

UnitingCare Ballarat Parish Mission, NMFC’s The Huddle, The Malpa Project and Macedonian Community Welfare Association will each share in the $600,000 worth of funding which has been made available through the 2015 Medibank Community Grants program.

Medibank Chief Customer Officer, Laz Cotsios said each project addresses an identified health need impacting the Victorian community.

“The five health projects have won the hearts of Victorians and bring Medibank’s for better health purpose to life, by encouraging local communities to eat healthier, exercise more and stay connected with those around them”, Mr Cotsios said.  

“The projects will play a vital role in combatting homelessness along with the onset of preventable diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and work towards ensuring the health of our next generation”.

The 2015 grants round was highly contested with more than 500 applications from community organisations around Australia and New Zealand.

From here, 33 projects were shortlisted online by councils made up of Medibank employees.  The Australian community were then asked to vote for the community health program that was not only relevant to where they live but their own personal values.

“It was a really important and conscious decision for Medibank to get the Australian public involved in the grants program and give them the final say on which community health projects they needed the most.”

The 2015 Medibank Community Grant recipients for Victoria are:

1.      The Huddle –  $20,000

The Huddle’s ‘Hop On’ program aims to develop connections between young migrant families and the community through sport. The structured sports program is run in local housing estates by trained staff, volunteers, state sporting associations and Victoria Police for primary school aged migrants in the North West.


2.      UnitingCare Ballarat Parish Mission - $22,100

 ‘Café Meals Ballarat’, a program designed to provide subsidised, nutritious meals in cafes around Ballarat for young people who are homeless or vulnerable.  The program addresses research that shows a healthy diet improves the physical and mental wellbeing of homeless youth.


3.      The Malpa Project - $20,650

Based on the traditional Aboriginal way of teaching health, the ‘Young Doctors’ program involves leaders teaching 8-9 year olds the benefits of healthy living and looking after their siblings, as well as environmental health and hygiene. Funding will extend to program to remote areas.


4.      Macedonian Community Welfare Association - $37,250

The project will teach marginalised, socially isolated and disabled members of the CALD community how to eat healthily through supermarket shopping lessons, information sessions from Diabetes Australia and cooking workshops what will demonstrate how  to cook traditional cultural food in a healthier way.


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