Healthy Loddon Campaspe

Healthy Loddon Campaspe (previously known as Healthy Heart of Victoria) is an initiative aimed at improving health outcomes in the Loddon Campaspe region – the heart of Victoria.

The initiative was developed in response to the region showing higher than Victorian average rates of obesity, chronic disease and high-risk health behaviours.

Healthy Loddon Campaspe (HLC) projects are designed to focus on those parts of the community that are the least supported to help encourage healthy eating and get more people, more active, more often.

There are six local councils involved in the initiative – Campaspe Shire, Central Goldfields Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire and Mount Alexander Shire.

This initiative is supported by the Victorian Government.

Background and Stage 1


In 2016, the community told the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership that it was concerned about health statistics and outcomes in the region. They also believed that health is everyone’s business, not just that of health services and professionals.

To address these concerns, a series of design workshops were undertaken involving over 100 stakeholders from local government, health services, primary care partnerships, universities and state government departments to develop what was originally known as the Healthy Heart of Victoria and is now known as the Healthy Loddon Campaspe implementation framework.

Subsequently, in 2018 Stage 1 of the initiative was funded $5M.

As part of Stage 1 of the initiative, Council has helped to deliver a range of projects in the Macedon Ranges Shire:

  • Adventure Bingo
  • The FIT Project
  • WalKyneton

More information about each project is provided below.


Following the positive impact of Stage 1 of the initiative on health outcomes in the Loddon Campaspe region, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Victorian Government has provided further funding for an additional four years as part of the 2022 State Budget.

The initiative will continue to work within the region by:

  • Implementing place-based activations focusing on physical activity and healthy eating. Projects will continue to focus on those parts of the community that are the least supported to help encourage healthy eating and get more people, more active, more often.
  • A workforce of localised Health Brokers in each Local Government Area focused on developing relationships to help build knowledge about health and wellbeing.
  • Utilising and sharing the findings from the Healthy Loddon Campaspe Active Living Census to help ensure that investments, infrastructure, programs and services across the region are what is needed and where it’s needed.


All households in the Loddon Campaspe region were invited to take part in the Active Living Census (ALC) in May-June 2019. Almost 25,000 responses were received.

The results from the ALC provide important information about people’s health and wellbeing. It also includes information about barriers to healthy eating and active lifestyles.

The ALC findings provide evidence at a local level, and enable reliable comparisons with other data, as well as across townships and demographic groups such as age and gender.

No other region in Australia has this type of data at this level of detail. The data supports planning for health and recreation services and a better understanding of people’s activity levels and preferences. It also gives us valuable information on what would help people meet national guidelines for healthy eating and active living.

We encourage any interested members of the community to view and utilise the data for their needs.

Key findings for the Macedon Ranges Shire

  • Walking was the most popular form of recreational activity (21 per cent), followed by swimming (9 per cent), bushwalking/hiking (7 per cent), indoor fitness (7 per cent) and active play (6 per cent).
  • Most residents use our public facilities and spaces. Two thirds of people (66 per cent) used footpaths weekly or more often, compared to 61 per cent for public open spaces and 32 per cent for walking and bike trails.
  • Over half (53 per cent) of all residents want to be more active. The most common explanations of why people were not as active as they would like were being too busy (56 per cent), personal reasons such as not feeling motivated or feeling embarrassed (26 per cent) and cost (22 per cent).

View the Active Living Census reports for the Macedon Ranges Shire

This video will help you to use and interpret the findings:


You can also access recordings of online seminars on four key topics related to the census in Macedon Ranges Shire Council:

Active Living Census reports for Loddon Campaspe region can be downloaded from Regional Development Victoria


A workforce of localised Health Brokers work within the six Loddon Campaspe Local Government Areas to help build knowledge about health and wellbeing.

The Health Broker’s role is to make health everyone’s business – developing relationships between Council, local organisations and community groups to help build knowledge and influence decision making with respect to health and wellbeing.


Explore walks across the Loddon Campaspe region with Adventure Bingo.

Get physically active while having some fun at the same time by taking part in Adventure Bingo – an initiative from Healthy Loddon Campaspe.

Adventure Bingo encourages residents to get involved by walking one of six trails across the Loddon Campaspe region. Through the initiative, participants spot points of interest listed on a grid during their walk and once they’ve spotted three items in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line, they’ve got Bingo!

  1. Start at the Romsey Hub
  2. Join in online or print off the map(JPG, 1017KB) and mark off the sites with a pencil.

Other Adventure Bingo walks are located in Gunbower, Dunolly, White Hills, Boort and Maldon. 


The FIT Project

Through the HLC initiative, Council was awarded $240,000 to deliver programs and facilities that support people of all ages and abilities to use existing outdoor exercise equipment and open spaces—it was called the Free Inclusive Training Project (FIT).

The 2019 Healthy Heart of Victoria Active Living Census found that 1 in 2 Macedon Ranges Shire residents (52.7 per cent) say they do not exercise as often as they would like. Importantly, 81 per cent of those with poor mental health, 79 per cent of those with poor health, 71 per cent of LGBTQIA people, and 49 per cent of people who require assistance with daily activities would like to be more active.

Although a lack of time is the most common reason for not being more active among adults, this is not true for all community members. Compared to community members with better health and wellbeing, people with poor mental or physical health were significantly more likely to say that their poor health, disability, the high cost or a lack of social support were important reasons for not being more active. Providing access to free equipment, exercise guidance and peer support will help to overcome these barriers.

The FIT project included funding to:

  • make small changes to the outdoor exercise stations (and adjacent public open space) in Gisborne, Romsey and Woodend that make these facilities more inclusive and accessible and more active
  • provide free, inclusive programs that increase the confidence and skills to use the exercise stations, including through peer support and professional facilitation
  • develop signage, resources and promotional material to raise awareness about the outdoor exercise equipment and supportive programs.

The FIT project aimed to increase use of outdoor exercise stations and public open space in Kyneton, Gisborne, Romsey and Woodend through:

  • building awareness about the equipment
  • building skills and confidence to use the equipment
  • building social connections through supported group exercise
  • providing supportive amenities that address known barriers to physical activity and improve the user-experience.


  • Audited and upgraded the outdoor exercise stations in Gisborne, Romsey, Woodend and Kyneton (Kyneton site was upgraded as part of the WalKyneton project).
  • In Gisborne, the project delivered connecting paths, accessible seating, timed solar lighting, a water station and bike rack.
  • In Woodend, the project delivered an accessible carpark and connecting paths, accessible seating, a water station and bike rack.
  • In Romsey, the project delivered connecting paths, accessible seating, a water station, bike rack, and way-finding signage.

Free inclusive training classes

Council held free inclusive training programs at the four outdoor exercise stations located in Gisborne, Romsey, Woodend and Kyneton during March 2021.

The free classes catered for all levels and abilities and included sessions for young females, seniors, and people wanting to improve mental health by increasing physical fitness. This video describes the experiences of four participants.


The WalKyneton project was made possible thanks to $300,000 in funding from the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative to improve pathways and facilities that encourage physical activity along the river walk.


WalKyneton has used the 2019 Active Living Census to identify community members who are less likely to meet physical activity guidelines and those who rarely use public footpaths, such as adolescent females, older adults, people with poor physical or mental health, people with a disability, and people who identify as LGBTQIA+. We are now working closely with identified community representatives to understand how we can design more safe, inclusive, accessible and active spaces. 

The project includes funding to:

  • link the existing shared path along the Campaspe River to the Kyneton Community Park within the botanic gardens
  • construct paths to connect the river walk with new exercise equipment and other places of interest
  • design and deliver amenities, programs and resources to attract people to use the upgraded path and equipment.

Construction of the path extension

The extension of the Campaspe River Walk into the Kyneton Community Park will no longer be delivered as part of the WalKyneton Project, however Council is continuing to secure the necessary permits and plans to complete the path extension in future. 

Place-making to make outdoor exercise more accessible, inclusive and safe

The project focusses on place-making to make the outdoor exercise equipment more accessible, inclusive and safe for people of all ages and abilities.

We have completed facility upgrades to St Agnes Place in Kyneton so that the outdoor fitness station and surrounding area can be used by people of all ages and abilities. These changes include a water station, paths to connect exercise equipment to footpath, accessible seating and solar lighting. 

Co-design project

The WalKyneton co-design project has commenced with the first meeting of the group held on 14 February 2020 at the Kyneton Community House.

The small co-design working group:

  • Plan and deliver an amenity improvement project that will enhance the existing Campaspe River Walk precinct (including the soon to be opened fitness area).
  • Plan and deliver one event or activity that will encourage local people and specific groups in the community to increase their knowledge and usage of the Campaspe River Walk.
  • Provide feedback to Council that will map possible future amenities and their locations along the river walk. These future amenities have already been identified by community members as good ideas that aim to improve the river walk.
  • Participate in an evaluation of the co-design process, including what worked, what didn't, and how we can improve future co-design processes in future.

Members of the working group represent different local community groups and a broad range of perspectives, helping Council understand how to get more people, more active, more often.

Progress update: February to April 2020

We held three workshops with the working group in February and March.

  • The first workshop concentrated on laying the groundwork for the project and the Working Group and included agreeing on how we will work together, hearing about the background research underpinning the project and identifying what success will look like.
  • The second workshop involved a walk along the Campaspe River followed by a brainstorming discussion of ideas and opportunities.
  • In the third workshop people shared examples of walking paths / trails and agreement was reached about the areas of focus / priorities for the proposed River Walk infrastructure.

Following the third working group, we:

  • agreed to focus on the 1km section of the river walk between the fitness equipment and Quarry Reserve.
  • agreed on the following priorities:
    • signage (directional, distance, locational signage)
    • signage (interpretive, tactile / sensory and virtual)
    • seating / table furniture
    • landscaping (aesthetic, shade, indigenous, interactive, sensory)
    • the creation of spaces to support different activities e.g. yoga and meditation.
  • Measured distances and mapped the key infrastructure and connection points along the river walk between the fitness equipment and Quarry Reserve.
  • Sourced preferred styles of street furniture and signage.

Progress update: May to July 2020

Plans were initially put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. We contacted co-design members in July to find out the best way to proceed. A slightly smaller group will continue to progress the plans online and by phone. 

Progress update: August to September 2020

The co-design group is now working towards two specific areas of focus:

  1. The 1km stretch from Quarry Reserve to the exercise equipment, providing a template in best practice for signage, seating, landscaping that could be applied to the remainder of the river walk and other trails within the shire.  
  2. Interactive signage and storytelling to ‘activate’ the trail walk. This will have a focus on cultural heritage.

We have gathered valuable feedback from local organisations about inclusion and access for people with a disability or chronic health condition.

Progress update: October to November 2020

A landscape architecture firm (Andrea Proctor Landscapes) has been appointed and has met with the co-design group.

Andrea Proctor Landscapes will design and map features of the interactive and accessible trail walk, such as accessible seating, shade, plantings and other features. The plan will create spaces for activity, social interaction and meditation. It will also consider sensory and interactive features.

Tasks from here include:

  • Continue to engage Traditional Owners
  • Finalise the plan for landscaping
  • Evaluate and document the co-design process and learnings
  • Implement stage 1 of the landscape design
  • Install signage
  • Launch and publicise the new space.


Working with partners agencies and communities across the Loddon-Campaspe region, Healthy Heart of Victoria has demonstrated it is well placed to respond to emerging local health and wellbeing needs and deliver on improvements to make local places safer, more accessible and more active. This has been particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This video highlights some key achievements for the Healthy Heart of Victoria Initiative across the Loddon-Campaspe region.