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Barwon Health / Barwon South West Public Health Unit

(03) 4215 4000

Hands Up Casterton

Monday, 26 June 2023

Hands Up Casterton facilitated two community workshops in May attended by over 100 community members coming together to identify local actions to ensure the young people in Casterton thrive.

Casterton is a small rural community with a population of around 1,500 in South West Victoria, well known as the home of the Australian Kelpie (sheepdog) and the Kelpie Festival held in June each year.

In 2019 the community began a new initiative called Hands Up Casterton, where the community and local agencies came to work together to ensure that young people in Casterton are thriving and can be the best they could be.

This community mobilised approach began with support from Southern Grampians Glenelg Primary Care Partnership (now Southern Grampians Glenelg Community Partnership – part of the BSWPHU), community leaders and agencies through a series of systems mapping workshops facilitated by Deakin University.  Since then Hands Up Casterton has been the driving force behind a number of community initiatives including the development of a local community garden, a half basketball court, Casterton Community Walk, Colour runs, reading groups, healthy food introduced at recreation venues and children’s groups as well as connection and support activities during COVID.

The May workshops acted as a relaunch of Hands Up Casterton and the first time the community had met post COVID. The focus was on building an understanding of the aims of Hands Up Casterton and mobilising even more community involvement and action. Activities and actions the community identified included to initiate included Winter Soup & Soul, Kids cooking programs, classes to learn healthy home cooking which is affordable, learning how to cook healthy meals within a budget, international and native ingredient cooking sessions, seniors cooking classes, bulk food buying, afterschool recreation programs, reading programs, bike riding, free community yoga, mentoring and skill acquisition projects and many more.

The Hands Up Casterton Collaborative group will now work with the community to support these action ideas to come to life. This will include linking similar groups together, building momentum, maintaining communication, seeking opportunities to increase local capacity and monitoring and evaluation.

For further information contact

Jo Brown Acting Manager Southern Grampians Glenelg Community Partnership – BSW PHU

[email protected]

Kane Forbes: hands Up Casterton Project Officer

[email protected]