Community Health

Bendigo Community Health Service

The challenge

How might we bring the organisation together, through a time of change, upheaval and complex health issues emerging on the horizon, to develop its next five-year strategic plan? 

"Thank you for your wonderful work. Our staff valued the way the sessions were structured and managed and felt listened to. Never underestimate the healing that occurred due to Tank, and I am not being gushy or hyperbolic. Tank was a breath of fresh air for our staff. Hopefully, BCHS can establish a new, invigorated chapter in the near future."

Bronwyn Moore
Strategy Planning, Research & Analysis, BCHS

A co-designed strategic planning program was facilitated across eight months with a cohort of BCHS employees and board directors.


Photo: Bendigo Community Health Service


Photo: Bendigo Community Health Service

The voice of lived and living experience was central to decision-making through guest speakers, insightful and robust discussion forums.

Literature reviews and contextual analysis of the emerging health and wellbeing crisis within the community, created the foundation for guiding policies and priorities.

The Story

Entering into this strategic planning cycle, saw BCHS, much like many community health providers across regional Victoria, face a complex array of community health issues.

We faciliated an eight-month-long strategic plannign journey with a cohort of twenty-five stakeholders forming a diverse representation of the organisation and its community.

With an increasing demand for healthcare services due to an ageing population and the prevalence of chronic conditions leading to a significant increase in demand for healthcare services in the years to come, it was citical that all choices and policies were developed with a clear understanding of this future context.

Higher rates of GP visits, specialist visits, auxiliary services, and pharmaceutical costs among older individuals; and a growing demand for healthcare services for children, particularly due to obesity-related issues and childhood allergies required a foresight that was co-created and a strategic planning model focussed on impact.

Significant and worsening staff shortages in healthcare were to be expected across the strategic horizon, which projected a shortfall of roles across medical, nursing and allied health professionals.

The shortage of vocationally trained workers is also mentioned in the state government’s report4, particularly in aged care, childcare, disability care, and administration.

The increasing demand for housing, home care packages and the challenges of meeting the needs of older individuals who are single or childless were also key focus areas in the years to com.

These arising — and some ever present — challenges pointed to
risks that community health organisations should be
cognisant of, and prepared for. 

Our work

Contextual research
Qualitative research
Stakeholder engagement
Strategic planning