Community having their say on the next ‘people’s hospital’ for Footscray
Please note: As of 1 February 2021, the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) became the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA).
Through the New Footscray Hospital Community Consultative Committee (the committee), Melbourne’s inner west is having their say on the next ‘people’s hospital’ for Footscray.
Chaired by Katie Hall MP, Member for Footscray, the enthusiastic group have met monthly since June 2019. They have provided valuable advice on a range of issues including use of public spaces, amenity, local culture and the vision and aspirations of the community.
The people’s hospital
Opening in 1953, Footscray Hospital was described as the ‘ultimate triumph’ and ‘a grassroots campaign led by trade unionists, employers, church and community leaders – a people’s movement – [that] had created a people’s hospital’, according to The People’s Hospital: Tales from the Surgeon’s Table by Caroline Milburn.
Fast forward to 2019, and work is underway to help develop the next ‘people’s hospital’ for Footscray.
With 13 community members and representatives from Western Health, Maribyrnong City Council and cohealth, the committee is working hard to shape the development of the new Footscray Hospital.
The committee’s work has included generating and prioritising ideas for indoor and outdoor spaces, wayfinding and, importantly, shaping a hospital that authentically meets community needs. Ideas around green spaces, use of natural light, public transport links and the important role of artwork have all been captured as part of the consultation process.
August – a month full of ideas
At its August meeting, the committee was joined by the Victorian Minister for Heath, Jenny Mikakos, as they worked to define what it means to build a hospital to serve Footscray and Melbourne’s inner west community.
With sticky notes and butcher’s paper, the committee looked to answer key questions about their community. What is unique about the inner west? What makes you proud to live here? And what will the new Footscray Hospital mean to you?
Generating nearly 300 ideas, the committee has helped shape the understanding of this community’s identity; from its working-class history, a diverse and multicultural community, the Maribyrnong River and the Western Bulldogs AFL team. The New Footscray Hospital Project Team now has a better understanding of the fabric of Footscray and Melbourne’s inner west to help shape this significant investment.
Text: New Footscray Hospital Project Community Consultative Committee
Images: Opening slide – a view from the banks of the Maribyrnong River looking east over the river to the city skyscrapers. There are palm trees on the river and shipyard containers on the other side. The next slide shows two flags flying, followed by a slide of some colourful graffiti that says ‘Footscray’ on a fence in a nearby lane, then a shot of the Footscray Community Arts Centre signage.
Text: Katie Hall MP, Member for Footscray
Voiceover: Today we have the Footscray community consultative committee meeting where we'll be discussing the new Footscray Hospital project.
Images: Katie Hall MP is standing in front of the river, talking to camera. We then see the committee gathering inside the Arts Centre for their first meeting.
Voiceover: It's really exciting to be the chair of the community consultative committee because this is such a big project for Footscray we want to make sure that community voices are heard
Images: Katie Hall is talking to camera whilst standing in front of the river, then the camera moves to inside the Arts Centre and we see the then Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos speaking, as well as activities that the committee members are participating in
Text: Elwyn Davies, community representative
Voiceover: I've lived in the area for about thirty years now. For me being part of committee is a is a great honour. It's really about us taking ideas of our own and the community forward, but also responsible for dispersing that information into the community as well.
Images: Elwyn Davies in standing by the river, talking to camera. We then see him participating in group activities as the committee discuss what’s important to them in a new hospital.
Text: Sarah Coward, community representative
Voiceover: We're really keen that the unique elements of Footscray are represented in our ideas and thoughts, to go through them to the architects who are designing our new Footscray Hospital.
Images: Sarah Coward is standing by the river, talking to camera. We then see her participating in committee group activities and conversation.
Voiceover: We want a hospital that's going to represent the community it's in and serve Footscray.
Images: Katie Hall MP is standing in front of the river, talking to camera, then shown participating with the committee in various activities.
(Elwyn): Footscray is a very unique area.
(Sarah): Wonderful people with lots of energy, lots of diversity and lots of different ideas.
(Katie): It's a creative place, it's an ever-changing place, it's very difficult to be bored in Footscray.
Images: Various close-up shots of committee members participating in their first consultative committee meeting.
(Elwyn): The amount of investment that's been put into this major project is very significant.
(Sarah): How do you pull it all together in a way that makes it happen for all the elements of this community. How we're going to do that? That's the challenge.
Images: Various close-up shots of committee members participating in their first consultative committee meeting, including the then Minister for Health (Jenny Mikakos) and Western Health CEO Russell Harrison.
(Katie): I think the new Footscray Hospital project is huge for this community. It will make a massive difference for the provision of health care in Melbourne's growing western suburbs. I'm very proud to be representing an area where we are having the largest investment in a hospital in Victorian history happening.
Images: Katie is variously standing beside the river talking to camera, or shown in action speaking to members of the consultative committee.
Text: A slide that says ‘in partnership with’ and the Western Health logo.
Images: The closing slide is the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority logo, the web address vhhsba.vic.gov.au and the Victoria State Government logo.
End of transcript
Giving the community a say
The Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) is committed to giving the community a say, with local input critical to the delivery of the flagship $1.5 billion project. Following community consultation and engagement sessions earlier this year, the committee is building and expanding on the insights already captured.
By understanding the ideas, priorities, questions and concerns held by the community, VHHSBA has the best opportunity to deliver a new hospital that truly reflects the community it serves.
Learn more about the new Footscray Hospital Project via our dedicated project page.
Last updated: 12 November 2019
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