Bendigo Community Health Services has announced new strategic directions designed to reduce health inequity and break cycles of disadvantage in Bendigo.

BCHS chairperson Geoff Bowyer and CEO Kim Sykes outlined a new vision, mission, values and strategic directions for the organisation to a gathering of community, business and local government leaders at The Capital in June.

A new $2.6 million kidzspace centre being built at Kangaroo Flat will provide a key asset in the organisation's plans to put very early intervention at the forefront of programs and services.

"If we get this right, we will make a fundamental change in this city," Ms Sykes said.

"We will remain a service available to all ages but the evidence clearly shows we must have a focus on very early years if we are to change the unacceptable health and wellbeing consequences that too often come with a low income.

"Our organisation strongly believes that it's no longer acceptable to think health inequity is okay. It's not."

Ms Sykes said the new directions built on a lot of good work done by BCHS staff through a 40 year history and will be strengthened by valuable collaborations with like-minded organisations.

A SEIFA graph displayed at the launch clearly outlined the need for change in Bendigo with a large number of areas falling below the average on the Australian Bureau of Statistics social disadvantage index.

Mr Bowyer told the launch the board had endorsed the new vision, mission and values developed with considerable staff input.

Vision: Better health and wellbeing across generations.

Mission: Working hand in hand with our community to achieve healthier lives.


Respect: We build respectful relationships through trust, empathy and collaboration.

Inclusive: We recognise and promote accessible, safe and holistic health care as a basic human right.

Integrity: We are authentic and accountable and we honour our obligations.

Innovation: Through continuous learning, we ensure an agile, responsive and sustainable voice.

He said the new strategic directions would guide the organisation through the next three years on a path to achieving real change for the community.

Mr Bowyer said the new strategic directions would include four separate areas for the organisation: 

Programs for equity

Commitment to achieving equitable health and wellbeing.

Consumer and community-centred organisation

Understand and respond to community needs and consumers’ lived experience

Quality, safety and consumer experiences

Deliver the best consumer experience that is of consistent quality, safe and evidence-based


Sustainable for purpose organisation