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Hospital based care 05 April 2023

Project Director Samantha Morgan on delivering mental health infrastructure

Our project directors lead multi-disciplinary teams to deliver the Victorian Government’s multibillion-dollar health infrastructure program.

This includes planning and building new hospitals and emergency care, mental health and aged care facilities, and delivering new health precincts and models of care to ensure our health system meets the current and future needs of all Victorians.

Headshot of Samantha Morgan, Project Director, Delivery Team at VHBA

Meet Samantha Morgan. Samantha is one of our Project Directors in the Delivery team at the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA).

Here, Samantha talks about her role leading the Pathway to 144 Mental Health Beds (Mental Health Beds Expansion Program).

The Mental Health Beds Expansion Program was designed to respond to a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Once complete, the program will deliver more acute public mental health beds across Victorian health services to support more people experiencing mental ill-health.

What does your role involve?

As the Project Director, I'm responsible for delivering four mental health buildings across four operational sites as part of the Mental Health Beds Expansion Program. We've taken the design all the way to construction.

Why is the program so important for Victoria?

The infrastructure is one of the enabling activities to change how mental health is delivered in Victoria. The facilities are a very different environment to what's ever been delivered in this state and it's something we're incredibly proud of.

The buildings are informed through co-design, which involves staff, consumers, their families and carers.

That was one of the drivers from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System – that the buildings needed to be responsive, not just around delivery from an operational perspective. They really wanted to change the infrastructure and how people interacted with that infrastructure.

Samantha talks about her role as a Project Director at VHBA

IMAGES: Image of Samantha Morgan seated in red background, the Victorian Health Building Authority logo is on the bottom left

ONSCREEN TEXT: Samantha Morgan Project Director, Delivery, Victorian Health Building Authority

IMAGES: Shot of Samantha Morgan and man in business attire pointing at a computer with building plans on screen, followed by view of Samantha Morgan speaking.

VOICEOVER: The best thing for me is actually the tangible nature of taking documentation and people's ideas and then seeing these buildings come out of the ground.

IMAGES: Timelapse of a building being constructed with crane lifting building materials, followed by timelapse of clouds going over the Northern Hospital building.

VOICEOVER: Once you've experienced it, it's really difficult to give up.

IMAGES: Shot of Samantha Morgan seated

VOICEOVER: I'm the Project Director on the pathway to mental health program. I've been at the VHBA for just over two years.

ONSCREEN TEXT: What do you enjoy about your role?

IMAGES: Timelapse view of busy construction site with cranes in background followed by birds-eye view of building under construction, followed by successive aerial shots of completed buildings

VOICEOVER: Being a generalist is really important to me. I think it gives you a breadth. You have an understanding of all the different roles that are required to deliver programs or projects of this kind of size.

IMAGES: Close up view of Samantha Morgan being interviewed intercut with a birds-eye view of a garden area

VOICEOVER: The most important things about project management for me is around team, structure, process and vision and direction.

IMAGES: Shot of Samantha Morgan explaining a part of a building to a woman, followed by shot of Samantha Morgan discussing with man

VOICEOVER: You're essentially the coach you're pointing the direction we're going in making sure the right people are in the right places and making sure the tasks that need to be done are being done in a timely way.

IMAGES: Shot of Samantha Morgan and man looking at computer with plant in foreground followed by shot of Samantha Morgan speaking while seated.

VOICEOVER: I think the secret to being a good Project Director is how you manage the relationships with people. There's the formal management of that relationship which is usually contractually driven.

IMAGES: Shot of Samantha Morgan discussing with man in hi-vis in a hallway. Followed by return to Samantha Morgan seated.

VOICEOVER: But the more important thing is how you interact on a personal level while still doing that in a pragmatic way to deliver a program.

ONSCREEN TEXT: Why Health Infrastructure?

IMAGES: Tracking shot of crane moving construction materials, followed by view of Samantha Morgan seated, followed by tilting shot of Samantha Morgan writing notes.

VOICEOVER: The investment that's happening now provides such an opportunity for people new to the industry to really start at the ground level and move through the remainder of their career across a whole variety of opportunities that are sitting in the pipeline.

IMAGES: View of Sam Morgan speaking, followed by view inside a sunny hospital room and a shot of a water feature in garden area

VOICEOVER: If you're interested and you've got the right attitude and you're willing to learn it is an amazing place with so many opportunities and so much variety. 
IMAGES: View of Samantha Morgan speaking followed by circling aerial shot of hospital under construction.

VOICEOVER: You shouldn't be concerned. If you don't come from an infrastructure background, if you are a generalist, there's a place for everybody and it's an amazing pipeline of work to be involved in.

IMAGES: The closing slide is the Victorian Health Building Authority logo, the web address vhba.vic.gov.au and the Victorian State Government logo.

End of transcript.

How does each project come together?

We're really pleased in the way the designs have come about and they're very different to the current facilities, which is really important as we move forward.

For us the co-design process was really around big blue-sky ideas that people have, then managing what can actually be delivered within the budget and within the timeline. Bringing those two things together is really our key role in that space, so we get the most out of a once-in-a-generation investment.

What can you tell us about the Northern Hospital project?

We've just delivered 30 mental health beds at the Northern Hospital in Epping, which is quite a large facility. It's in a really obvious point on the road - you can see it from both of the main roads. Eighteen months ago it was a car park!

Through a very strict regime, driven by the contract and challenges of COVID-19, to get there where we have now delivered an amazing looking building - that's something that I will always be able to reflect on.

What does the future hold?

We're now transitioning into a regional mental health beds expansion program where we'll be delivering facilities in regional locations. So, we’re taking real-life contemporary lessons learned and transitioning them directly into the next project, which is a really amazing opportunity for the team.

Learn more about the Mental Health Beds Expansion Program.

Working in health infrastructure at the VHBA

A great workplace is defined by its people.

That’s why we’ve built a valued-based, respectful and inclusive workplace – one that encourages innovation and curiosity for improving health outcomes for all Victorians.

Every person in our organisation plays a role in successfully delivering best-practice, sustainable, adaptable and inclusive health infrastructure.

We are proud of our gender equality and inclusivity. We encourage applications from people living with a disability, LGBTIQ+, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Learn more about working at the VHBA.

Employee benefits

As Australia’s second largest employer, the Victorian Public Service (VPS) provides rewarding opportunities to help shape Victoria’s future and create better outcomes for Victorian communities.

You can expect to receive a competitive salary and superannuation, plus a range of benefits including salary packing and extensive leave entitlements to help you achieve a work-life balance.

Learn more about VHBA employee benefits.

Career development

We support our people to grow, develop and learn. Our learning and professional development pathways will give you the opportunities to develop your skills and capabilities to perform your role effectively and grow your career.

The Victorian Public Sector whole of government capability framework and our department's capability framework provides guidance on aligning the professional development of all our employees to ensure we are building a future ready workforce.

We provide many development pathways to help you plan and meet your learning and professional development needs – in your current role and in any new directions you see your career progressing.

Learn more about developing your career at VHBA.

Current opportunities

See all current opportunities at VHBA and sign up for job alerts on the Careers.Vic website.

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Last updated: 05 April 2023