On the road to recovery with help from specialised staff

Published on 04 May 2021

Judi Singleton of Dromana Potters Group with Chandos Ford.jpg

The economic and social impacts of the pandemic are immense across the Mornington Peninsula. At the peak of the downturn in August last year, 2,205 local jobs were lost and pre-existing social and health issues worsened. 
 
Local governments play an important role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of their communities. We are working to reconnect our communities, build economic resilience, revitalise our cultural, creative and recreation industries and reactivate our Peninsula. 
 
As part of our plan for recovery, we are taking part in Working for Victoria, the Victorian Government’s $500 million initiative helping Victorian jobseekers find work and employers find workers.    
 
We have secured State Government funding for 41 new employees on a temporary basis throughout 2021.   
 
The roles contribute directly or indirectly to our community’s recovery, including in areas of volunteering, community houses, business liaison, health and wellbeing, events, seniors inclusion, township activation, community engagement, youth employment and creative industries. 
 
Every effort has been made to ensure resources are allocated directly to assist areas greatly impacted by the pandemic:
 

  • A Creative Sustainability Officer will help breathe new life into our creative industry by connecting our artists to spaces and encouraging community to participate in events, after school classes, exhibitions and more. Professional development workshops will be offered to artists and organisations, as well as one on one support to those most in need.
  • Many experienced mental wellbeing issues and lower levels of life satisfaction during lockdown. Assisting our residents through health and wellbeing initiatives will be a key focus of the Health and Wellbeing Officer as they work in partnership with relevant providers to implement evidence based preventative approaches.  
  • A Senior Inclusions Officer will support local organisations, groups and networks aiming to engage older people including U3As and senior citizens groups, support the delivery of the Positive Ageing Strategy and approaches aimed at increasing community capacity and empowerment as well as share positive ageing messages, initiatives and campaigns.  
  • Five Business Liaison Officers will provide confidential assistance to small businesses, contact and assist townships, industry estates and home-based businesses where there are no business associations, liaise with other Shire teams such as Arts and Culture, Sport and Recreation, Property, Rates, Planning and Infrastructure Project Delivery to refer or resolve any business issues and raise awareness about the types of assistance, funding and programs available. 

Quote attributable to Mayor, Councillor Despi O’Connor:
“Mornington Peninsula had the highest rate of businesses on JobKeeper in Victoria and third highest in the nation.

“Our team of Working for Victoria staff will help businesses and individuals with their recovery. Our officers will be out in the field talking to our community to let them know what support is available to them, and to find out their current needs and what kind of support they will need long-term.

“Together, we will build back the Peninsula and create a resilient and prosperous community.”

Photo: Judi Singleton of Dromana Potters Group with Chandos Ford.
Judi teaches ceramics to a adults with disabilities through Focus Individualised Support Services.  With Shire support, Judi has organised an exhibition of the group's work to be displayed at the Mornington Library later this week.

 

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