Community Health

Who we are

Community Health is a division of Benalla Health and was established in 1989 to provide community-based services to both the Benalla and Mansfield districts. Since its inception, the service has grown from a small team of employees offering three programs to a staff of over 66 encompassing a broad range of Community and Allied Health services.

From July 2015, Benalla Health will no longer provide services to Mansfield with the funding directed to that community transferred to Mansfield District Hospital.

Funding is provided through State and Federal Governments and through fees-for-service and some private philanthropy.

Service we provide:-

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Dietitian
  • Podiatry
    • Generalist Podiatry
    • High Risk Foot Clinic
  • Community Health Nurse
  • Diabetes Education
  • Social Worker / Counseling


  • Chronic Disease Programs
  • Health Independence Program

o   Sub-Acute Ambulatory Care Program (SACS)

o   Hospital Admission Reduction Program (HARP)

o   Post Acute Program (PAC)

  • District Nursing
  • Palliative Care
  • Health Promotion


Community Health in partnership with the Benalla Rural City has established the Benalla Community Care – Ray Sweeney Centre at 45 Coster Street, Benalla. The shared building provides a one stop shop approach to community based services provided by a range of different agencies sharing the building.

In addition to the Community Health services, we host the (two chair) Central Hume Dental Service in our Benalla office, and is managed in partnership with North East Health, Wangaratta as well as a number of other services who provide a one stop shop for all community based health and community care service.

External services include:

  • Centre Against Violence
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselling (Gateway Health)
  • Mental Health Services (Albury Wodonga Health)
  • Hume Riverina Legal Service
  • Breast Care Nurse (McGrath Foundation)
  • Audiologist (Hearing Australia)
  • Dental Technician
  • Financial Counselling (Upper Murray Family Care)

Benalla Rural City provides the following services from the building:

  • Aged Care Services (Home and Community Care)
  • Family Services

o   Maternal and Child Health

o   Child Support

o   Family Liaison

The Ray Sweeney Centre is open 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. Some after hours services are provided based on demand and need.


Role of Community Health

The Department of Health specifies distinct roles for Community Health pprioritising health services to the following population groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • people with an intellectual disability
  • refugees and people seeking asylum
  • homeless people and people at risk of homelessness
  • people with a serious mental illness.

Funding is to be used flexibly to meet the needs of local populations. To ensure services are targeted appropriately, the following factors should be considered when planning:

  • population health needs across different age groups and across the care continuum
  • gaps in services for specific population groups that experience inequity in access and/or health outcomes
  • the development of service models that are appropriate for and accessible to local populations
  • complementary services offered by other service providers, and mechanisms for service coordination.

In addition to our Service Delivery Goals, Community Health has a strong mandate to deliver preventative / health promotion strategies to our community.

Priority 1 - Reaching the Most Disadvantaged

Community Health has been traditionally focussed on supporting the most disadvantaged groups within our community. These include the Homeless, Refugees, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Aboriginal community members as well as the financially disadvantaged and the Aged.

Community Health ran an 18 month place based trial in Benalla West (REACH) aimed at improving access to services to the most hard to reach and disadvantaged members of the community. As a result of this trial, the approach to supporting disadvantaged clients changed to a Key Worker model where individuals are supported by a Key Worker to assist them access services and assist them in navigating the health system to improve their health outcomes. We also have worked on improving the pathway from the Urgent Care Centre and the Health Independence Program (HIP) for clients who are psychosocially and financially vulnerable, has a disability or who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to the Key Workers.

Priority 2 - Health Promotion and Prevention

Organisation’s Vision for Health Promotion:

“We are committed to providing sustainable integrated health promotion that enhances the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

GOAL:  To promote positive mental health in the communities of Benalla and Mansfield by creating environments that prevent violence against women and children

Objective 1:  Increasing parental skills and competences of vulnerable families in a range of relevant programs that promote equal and respectful relationships.

The target group for this objective is Families of vulnerable children (0-12)

The current strategies to meet this objective are the delivery of the following;

  1. Parent-Child Mother Goose
  2. Bringing up Great Kids
  3. Real Men Make Great Dads
  4. PEEP
  5. Research Project    

Objective 2:  Increasing knowledge and awareness about the prevention of violence against women and children, including where to obtain support services

The target group for this objective is Waminda Staff, Volunteers and Clients.

The current strategies to meet this objective are the delivery of the following;

  1. Brief Mental Health Awareness Program (BMHAP)
  2. Biennial Youth Mental Health Forum

Objective 3: Promoting community awareness and action to prevent violence against women and children and to increase gender equity and respectful relationships.

The target groups for this objective are Women and children and the whole of community.

The current strategies to meet this objective are the delivery of the following;

  1. Rock and Water for girls and women
  2. Increase community knowledge and awareness about family violence
  3. Encourage community action to address violence in the community
  4. White Ribbon Supporter Program

Priority 3 - Chronic Disease Support

  • Health Independence Program
    • Sub Acute Ambulatory Care Program (SACS)
    • Hospital Admission Reduction Program (HARP)
    • Post Acute Program (PAC)
  • At Risk / Early Intervention populations within our community and providing appropriate “Lifestyle change” interventions.
  • Self Management Strategies. Living well with Diabetes. Health Coaching.
  • Chronic and Complex support through HARP and EICD

The organization already has a strong commitment of skilled resources supporting these programs with significant development in better GP relationships; Shared Care Planning and Intake Processes.

Priority 4 - Community Building

As part of our support to the local community we facilitate or support a number of support groups in our community:

  • Arthritis Support Group
  • Parkinson’s Support Group
  • Carer’s Support Group
  • Ossie Ostomates’ Support Group

We have a leadership role in helping our community deal with the pressures of a modern society. We are doing this through our participation in a number of community groups/committees:

  • Advancing Benalla Executive
  • Health & Well Being Action Group
  • Benalla Family Violence Prevention Network
  • Benalla Safety Committee
  • Benalla Business & Tourism Steering Committee
  • Youth Access to Health Committee


Community Programs

Community Health

Visiting Services

Central Intake

Community Health has a central intake system, whereby all clients who are referred into Community Health go via the same process (and generally speak to the same person). This results in a smooth transition for clients into the right service at the right time in the right place.


Benalla Office

45 Coster Street
Phone: 03 5761 2200
Fax: 03 5761 2202


Fees & Charges

The Victorian state fees policy for Community Health Services apply for most services offered at Community Health.

If you have a Health Care Card or Pension Card there is a charge of $9.40.

 If you are a non card holder, a self-assessment form will be completed on registration dependent on household income.

  • High Income -           $97.50
  • Medium Income -     $14.70
  • Low Income -            $9.60

If you have any concerns with payment you may discuss the fees further with your service provider.