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Bendigo Community Health Service
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Health Promotion at Bendigo Community Health Services

“Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health.”

World Health Organisation


Our Health Promotion team is passionate about improving health and wellbeing in the community.

The team offers FREE community education sessions for schools, workplaces, community groups and sporting clubs.

We cover the following topics,

  • Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Physical Activity
  • Positive Mental Wellbeing
  • Healthy Eating and Oral Health
  • Women's Health
  • Alcohol and Tobacco
  • COVID-19 safe practices

If you are worried about an issue not listed above, please contact the Health Promotion team to talk about how we can help.

We can attend your event as a guest speaker or host an information stand about a single topic or BCHS services.

These are just some of the events we have supported:

  • RU OK Day.
  • Mental Health Week.
  • Men’s Health Week.
  • Women’s Health Week.
  • La Trobe University O Week.
  • Weeroona College Mood Day.
  • Marist College careers night.
  • Bendigo RSL Veterans Wellbeing Expo.
  • Suicide Prevention Awareness Network Central Victoria annual walk and SafeTALK workshops.

Contact details for our Health Promotion team:

Siobhan Sullivan by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (03) 5406 1253.

Keep reading below to get an insight into how we can help you improve health and wellbeing.


Friends Resilience Program

The Friends Resilience Program is an Australian-developed initiative endorsed by the World Health Organisation.

It’s best practice for prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression promoting resilience in families, schools and communities.

The program has been found to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms for up to three years.

The Friends Program is delivered across four age levels:

  • Fun Friends 4-7 years.
  • Friends for Life 8-11 years.
  • My Friends Youth 12-15 years.
  • Adult Resilience 16 and above. 

The Friends program allows students to thrive by increasing:

  • Resilience.
  • Self efficacy.
  • Self esteem.
  • Social and emotional skills.
  • Peer relationships.
  • Positive attitudes towards learning and the school environment.

Sessions are built on the following acronym:
Feelings (empathy training and self regulation)
Remember to relax (relaxation and mindfulness strategies)
I can try my best (changing unhelpful to helpful thinking)
Explore Coping Step Plans and strategies for finding helpful solutions (choosing thumbs up instead of thumbs down actions)
Now reward yourself for trying your best (choosing interpersonal rather than material rewards)
Don’t forget to practice (choose to use the FRIENDS skills and give back to the community)
Stay calm (values-based role models and support networks).


1 hour session x 10 weeks

2.5 hour session x 5 weeks

Half day workshops (2 x sessions)


pdf 4 - 15 years FRIENDS Flyer  (1.42 MB)

pdf Adult FRIENDS Flyer   (1.42 MB)


The Achievement Program

 HP BSE Phase 1 recognition photo web 

The Achievement Program is a State Government initiative encouraging healthier lifestyles and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases.

The FREE program is based on the best practice Health Promoting Schools Framework with a focus on:

  • Early Childhood Education and Care Services
  • Primary and secondary schools
  • Business and workplaces.

We will help you plan, action and review changes to address seven health priority areas:

  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Healthy Eating & Oral Health
  • Physical Activity & Movement
  • Safe Environments
  • Sun Protection
  • Sexual Health & Wellbeing (schools only)
  • Tobacco, Alcohol & Other Drug

Achievement Program benefits:

  • Work at your own pace.
  • Be recognised by the Victorian Government as a health promoting early childhood centre, school or workplace.
  • Receive signage and digital icons
  • Have the support of a health promotion worker.
  • Align with key policies and guidelines like FISO and the Victorian Curriculum.
  • Help children, students and/or staff reach their full potential.
  • Show your community you are leaders in supporting health and wellbeing at early childhood centre, school or workplace.

And we practice what we preach!

It’s so important that we lead by example where health promotion and choosing a healthier lifestyle are involved, so we’re pretty chuffed to announce Bendigo Community Health Services has received official Achievement Program recognition as an organisation that promotes a smoke free workplace to protect our staff and consumers from the harms of tobacco smoke.

We made smoking one of our health priority areas in signing up for the Achievement Program so that’s a great result.

To download an Achievement Program information sheet for schools   pdf click here (623 KB)

To download an Achievement Program information sheet for business and community organisations pdf click here (669 KB)


Smiles 4 Miles Program 

The Smiles 4 Miles Program improves the oral health of children and their families.

The Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) initiative targets areas of high risk across Victoria.

Tooth decay is Australia’s most common health problem with one in three children aged five and under who attended Victorian public dental clinics in 2010-2011 needing treatment.

Smiles 4 Miles assists early childhood services to encourage and promote good oral health habits and healthy eating among children in their care.

The program is based on the World Health Organisation’s Health Promoting Schools Framework and uses a best practice approach to help services meet the National Quality Standards requirements.

Smiles 4 Miles promotes three key oral health messages:

  • Drink well
  • Eat well
  • Clean well.

What does Smiles 4 Miles offer early childhood services?

  • Local support to help you implement the program.
  • Free professional training for early childhood professionals.
  • Practical resources to implement the program.
  • Receive a Smiles4 Miles award.
  • Advanced standing for the health priority area, healthy eating and oral health of the Achievement Program.


Vic Kids Eat Well

We are proud to get behind Vic Kids Eat Well, an exciting new Victorian wide movement focused on boosting healthy food and drink options in the places kids spend their time, including schools, outside school hours care, sports clubs, recreation facilities and more. 

Vic Kids Eat Well is a fresh new approach to making healthy eating easier, by focusing on bite-sized changes and celebrating the wins together. It is an opportunity to generate a real community buzz for healthy eating. 

BCHS can support you to chose which key areas you would like to focus on: 

 Vic Kids Eat Well is a fresh new approach

• Refresh the fridge – give sugary drinks the boot and let water take the spotlight

• Switch up the snacks – ditch the sweets and offer delicious healthy snacks that give kids the fuel they need

• Change up the menu – give fruit and veggies a chance to shine

• Put the ‘fun’ into fundraising and marketing – add health appeal to meal deals and fundraising

Does this sound like something you would like to do?

BCHS is committed to support schools and work with you to achieve all these actions. Get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and lets get Vic Kids to eat well!

pdf Download the Vic Kids Eat Well Flyer here (260 KB)



Love Bites logo

The LoVE BiTES prevention program is for students in Year 9 and 10 aged between 15 and 17 years.

LoVE BiTES can be delivered in an out-of-school setting such as alternative school programs, school support unites, juvenile justice programs and youth holiday programs.

It is strength-based early prevention program with three core components:

  • Relationships violence
  • Sex & relationships
  • Creative & community campaign


  • To promote and model respectful relationships
  • To encourage young people to support their friends
  • To introduce young people to local service providers

Love Bites is based on best practice standards for education programs as recommended by the Federal Government funded Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearing House and other leading academics in the area of violence against women.

Over 100,000 high school students throughout Australia have participated in this interactive and innovative program.


  • Full-day workshop
  • Multi-session education

Young people said:

“We knew about some of these issues, but nobody really talks about it. By talking about domestic violence and sexual assault we really did learn something new” 

Last updated: February 2021

hart in hand

Our Locations

BCHS Central facade

Bendigo Central

165-171 Hargreaves Street

Now open for our women's, men's and sexual health clinics on a strictly 'appointment only' basis. Call 5406 1200 if you have a question.

Hours and services

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Site Kangaroo Flat August 2021

Kangaroo Flat

19 Helm St, Kangaroo Flat

Phone: 03 5406 1200
Fax: 03 5441 4200

Hours and services

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Mitchell Street

Our Eaglehawk medical practice is currently located at

75 Mitchell Street, Bendigo

Phone: 03 5406 1200
Fax: 03 5441 4200

Hours and services

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elmore smal


46 Jeffrey St, Elmore

Phone: 03 5432 6001
Fax: 03 5432 610

Hours and services

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