Manningham enjoys a high level of health and wellbeing and is recognised as one of the healthiest municipalities in Victoria. It also takes pride in the many resources it offers the community which encourage people to be healthy, active and connected, including parks and open spaces, sports facilities, community clubs, paths and trails, cultural programs and a range of activities that support healthy living.

Manningham’s Healthy City Strategy 2017 - 2021 was developed using an integrated planning approach with Manningham’s Council Plan 2017-2021.

The Strategy works towards achieving Council's Vision and Healthy Community Goals.

Council’s Vision: 

A liveable and harmonious City

Healthy Community Goals:

  • A healthy, resilient and safe community
  • A connected and inclusive community

Manningham’s Healthy City Strategy 2017 - 2021 recognises the municipality’s many strengths and has continued to build on these. Equally, the Strategy identified a number of health and wellbeing concerns impacting the community today and into the future. These will be addressed in partnership with key stakeholders from State Government, regional services, local organisations and the community to ensure residents continue the have healthy and happy lives.

The Strategy has been informed by identifying our achievements and any gaps from the previous Healthy City Plan 2013 - 2017; examining the broader political context; gaining 1000’s of voices through consultation with over 2500 Manningham residents and visitors; and by researching the health status needs of our community.

The findings have been collated to develop a Healthy City Strategic Framework which identifies four focus areas supported by a series of priorities and action areas. The Strategic Framework is underpinned by a two year action plan and an evaluation framework that will measure achievements, challenges and successes.

Healthy City Strategic Framework 

The four focus areas of the Healthy City Strategy are:

  • Inclusive and Harmonious: aiming to create “A community that is inclusive and welcoming of all people”. There are two priority areas: “An inclusive and diverse community” and “Generation friendly”
  • Healthy and Well: supporting “A community where everyone aspires to optimal health and wellbeing”. There are three priority areas: “Healthy mind”, “Healthy lifestyles” and “Quality service system”
  • Safe and Resilient: aspiring towards “A resilient community where people feel safe”. There are two priority areas: “A safe community” and “A resilient community”.
  • Connected and Vibrant: encouraging “A connected community where all people feel valued, involved and have a sense of belonging”. There are three priority areas: “Creative community”, “Sense of place” and “Involved community”. 


The Healthy City Strategy 2017-2021 delivered more than 250 actions across four years to improve the health and wellbeing of the Manningham community.

Read the full Icon for application/pdf Healthy City Strategy 2017-2021 evaluation report (1.71 MB) here.

A snapshot of some of the actions delivered and key achievements of the Healthy City Strategy 2017-2021 can be found below.

Ten projects were selected as case studies across the four years of the strategy. These case studies were asked to reflect on the "most signficant change" that occured as a result of the project:

Project 1: Tunstall Square Community Art Project

Tunstall square community art project

Volunteer artists, including Scouts and school groups combined forces to design and paint art on car parking spaces to make Tunstall Square a more vibrant place to shop.

The project was designed to involve the whole community including as many aspects as possible. They participated in designing and delivering the painted car spaces as well as being part of the event on the day. The best part of the project was the involvement of the community – both in the art and being engaged and part of the whole project.

“If you get community groups involved they feel pride in their own local space” – Kimberly Hughes local artist/project leader

“It was quite a surprise to me this morning to see all of these people with grins of their faces” – Geoff Harwood, local resident

“You can’t put money value on art in community spaces the fact that you get people’s engagement is immeasurable and it’s a fantastic reward for the whole community” – George Condos, local resident

Project 2: Emergency Aware Program

A son, daughter and father learning about emergency preparedness with a female firefighter.

Program to assist neighbourhoods to develop home emergency plans and work together to be better prepared for an emergency.

  • 10 emergency planning sessions held at community learning centres to discuss with resdients their current emergency plans and how to prepare for an emergency
  • 357 participants directly engaged in the program through community organisations, learning centres, local farmers markets and sporting clubs
  • 50% of all residents within Manningham and 74% in bushfire prone areas advised that they currently have an emergency plan in place

Hearing how the community understands and interprets key messages and advice provided by emergency services on how to prepare for an emergency. Many within the community shared that they have repeatedly seen key messages such as ‘have an emergency plan’ and ‘leave early’ since the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires but wanted a chance to discuss how they apply the advice in their own lives and what these messages mean to them. The response has been invaluable as many within the community have a wide range of interpretations of these messages that will directly shape the Emergency Aware program moving forward.

“I have completed a valued itemised list of my assets and have taken photos of them. If I have to make a claim I know exactly what I’m claiming for.”

Project 3: Parks Alive Program

Man standing in green park area wearing blue shirt

Resident-led initiative encouraging the community to get involved, meet their neighbours and help improve our local parks. Parks Alive supports residents to beautify, enhance and activate their local neighbourhood park, by relying on their skills and ideas to run an activity, event, creative or gardening project. Examples of resident-led initiatives include Stone Circle project at Iona Reserve, Mural art on rebound wall at Daniel Reserve, Free little library at Ronald Reserve, Painting the paths at Jocelyn Reserve, Tasker Reserve Neighbourhood Xmas BBQ, Australia Day BBQ at Jocelyn Reserve, Neighbour lunch at Walker Reserve, plus on going gardening projects.

It was surprising to see that people felt highly empowered and highly engaged to be able to plan and lead the delivery of projects in their local community, even in light of COVID-19 impacts.

“It was an empowering experience. I know the majority of the community are excited about the project. It has been a joy especially during the Covid 19 crisis. The project at this time forced us to engage with the community in different ways. Namely through chatting in the Reserve  at appropriate social distancing measures, setting up Zoom meetings and establishing a facebook group. Thankyou so much for the amazing opportunity.”

“A really strong sense of community contribution, and a sense that I belong to a community that was larger than myself and that I was able to make a meaningful contribution to that group.”

“As a local resident I felt so encouraged that Council had an initiative to support me (and my neighbours) to bring the neighbourhood together at a mutual space (local park/reserve)”

Project 4: Parenting Seminar Series

A large function room full of people watching the parenting seminar series

Our parenting seminar series aims to provide parents the tools to manage difficult situations and help them be well informed and involved in their children’s lives.From May to August 2020 we hosted eight live and pre-recorded webinars on parenting featuring some of Australia’s best parent educators and adolescence psychologists, such as Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and Steve Biddulph. More than 7,000 people have participated in these webinars on topics including raising resilient kids during the coronavirus era, managing year 11 and 12 in the face of uncertainty, Raising Girls and Raising Boys.

Our greatest challenges, at that time, was being limited by the capacity of the venue, being sold out in 24 hours for an event and providing additional sessions where possible. The 2020 series faced challenges that we had not previously encountered due to COVID-19, however, this challenge became an opportunity. While the COVID-19 crisis transformed our lives almost overnight, Manningham’s popular Parenting Seminar Series quickly adapted, pivoting to webinars. With social distancing in place, we had to cancel our entire Parenting Seminar Series for the remainder of the 2020 series.  We quickly turned the face to face events to an online series in less than 48 hours. The online platform provided greater reach and we were not limited by the capacity of a venue. We could see the effect of continuous media coverage, remote learning and isolation was having on families, so we quickly adapted, pivoting from live events to online webinars to support our community, particularly families, through the crisis.

“It was a great session” “Brilliant session, thank you” “Was an excellent session” “Really there wasn’t anything that could be improved” “More sessions like this.”

Project 5: Skills 4 the Future

A group of people in a function room listening to a panel of people speak on stage

Council was funded by VicHealth to deliver the Skills 4 the Future initiative. This included development of a resource mapping local skills development opportunities to increase young people’s employability. The project also included delivery of Career’s Expo, providing practical tips for young people in their search for employment. Skills 4 the Future engaged over 100 youth through the delivery of the Skills 4 the Future Careers Expo on 17 October 2018. This event provided young people with a greater understanding of the 'rising bar' megatrend,  improved access to local information, as well as opportunities to network with employment services and explore career and volunteering options.

The development of the Skills 4 the Future funding application resulted in the formation of the Manningham Youth Alliance, a network of key organisations working with youth across Manningham to share resources and expertise in the delivery of projects and programs for young people. As a result of this alliance, a Youth Advisory Council was also established, which provides young leaders with opportunities to discuss matters important to them, and opportunities to develop key skills in project management, problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork and communication. The Youth Advisory Council has contined beyond the life of the Skills 4 the Future Project.

“This is a great program to get involved in. It allows young people, like myself, to be a part of something bigger and really make an impact on the community. Working in a team environment with people from across the community has provided me with the opportunity to grow, learn and improve on my current skill set such as team work and communication. I’ll be able to take these skills and experiences with me and apply them to my future career."

Project 6: Far Flung Intergenerational Project

A father and daughter looking at a professionally shot photograph of them on a red background.

Far Flung: Connecting Intergenerational Families was a piloted Artist-in-Residence program in Doncaster. The project focused on developing narratives of place, family histories and culture as a way to engage and connect new migrant families to the area. A socially engaged art project; Far Flung inspired cross-cultural connections and a deeper sense of belonging in Manningham.

- 41% of Far Flung participants feels they have a lot in common, despite their diverse backgrounds

- 70% of exhibition attendees agreed or strongly agreed that Far Flung helped them feel more connected to the community

Engaging culturally diverse community members through art creation and breaking down cross-cultural barriers to connectedness and belonging. Local artists reported gaining greater insight into effective ways to facilitate art creation with families, helping them in their work with community.

Both parents and students voices were captured in this evaluation over two separate evaluation sessions, and they shared the same predominant themes: a greater connection to community and family (73%); separating this out further, acknowledgement and appreciation of the difference in cultures and the common experiences as migrants (41%), and a stronger connection between child and parent/adult (32%) were the dominant responses in this category.

“Time to get to know each other has helped me feel more connected to the group and to the community. I learned that we come from so many different cultures but we share so much in common. I really like working together – and now I can call you all friends.”

“Before this, I only talked to Chinese people. But I learned that we have similarities and we can talk to each other and get to know each other and can be friends.”

Project 7: Digital Stories of Inclusion

A manningham worker smiling at the camera with his hands on his hips.

Three digital stories highlighting local employment examples of people with a disability within open employment. The video showcases the stories of Buddy, Ben, Melissa and Kay, four Manningham residents with a disability, who have successfully secured local employment. Their stories are designed to educate, inform and inspire people with a disability, their families, service providers and the broader community that people with disabilities can lead socially inclusive, meaningful lifestyles as valued contributors to their local communities. The Digital Stories of Inclusion video has been viewed more than 360 times on Council’s Facebook page.

Changing attitudes within the community and for business owners on the inclusion of people with a disability in their workplace.
“Once you have a supportive structure in place, everything seems to flow very well”

“Working at Quest means I get to meet people and be social. I also get to earn a wage, and support myself, which increases my self-esteem”
“I have not seen any other councils do something like this, or at least document it in this way. The use of such positive language on the web page is wonderful.”
“[this] would be an excellent resource for other councils to increase the inclusion of people with a disability in their workforce.”

Project 8: Local Dementia Alliance Group

Dementia Alliance information cards

The Manningham Local Dementia Alliance Group plays a key role in guiding and advising Council on the actions and initiatives that will help foster change for people living with dementia.


Launch of the Manningham Dementia Information Card, an initiative of Manningham Council in partnership with the Manningham Local Dementia Alliance Group. The 20,000 cards printed are available to educate, raise awareness and provide strong support in our community.

As an organisation, Manningham Council has been recognised as ‘Working Towards Dementia Friendly’ organisation by the Dementia Friendly Communities program of Dementia Australia.

Recognition as ‘Working Towards Dementia Friendly’ means that our organisation has an approved action plan which details our commitment to work towards improving the way in which our services meet the needs of people living with dementia, so that they can be supported to live in the community for as long as possible.

“Dementia-friendly communities can also offer benefits to the wider population. The promotion of social cohesion and understanding the needs of others will help make Manningham generally a great places to live. I commend Manningham Council as a leader in Local Government that is fostering a community to champion the journey towards being a dementia friendly city.” - Dr David Sykes, Dementia Australia
“The Manningham community has created an environment that offers…people living with dementia and their family and friends opportunities to participate and interact in stimulating and easily available activities” -  Quote from member of the Manningham Dementia Alliance

Project 9: Active for Life Recreation Strategy

Two little girls on bikes and some people dressed in white playing lawn bowls

Active for Life Recreation Strategy (2010-25), identifies the vision for a healthy, more active community. The Strategy aims to provide our community with opportunities to stay healthy, active and participate in a diverse range of recreation activities regardless of age, gender, ability and cultural background.

The most significant outcome of the review was the Strategy’s core focus. The original Recreation Strategy had a strong focus on active recreation (walking, jogging etc.) and also a focus on areas that are not traditionally covered under a Recreation Strategy (such as Bush Kinder). As a result, organised sport requirements were missed and this resulted in minimal policy guidance, no strategic justification for expenditure and a lack of governance and development support for our sporting clubs, amongst other things. The reviewed strategy flipped the focus to help create a better balance between active recreation and organised sport, and also better align with the Recreation Team’s core role.
‘The strategy and actions are generally consistent with our view of the general direction Council should be taking in the development of sporting activity in Manningham.’

‘I think it's wonderful that the City of Manningham is encouraging active recreation through organised sport.’

Project 10: Unite for Safety and Respect Project

Many people from different backgrounds posing together in a picture, smiling at the camera.

Series of workshops developed in partnership with Monash, Whitehorse and Boorondara to Faith Leaders in the Inner East to strengthen existing partnerships, provide a platform for building knowledge and sharing experiences in responding to family violence.

  • 102 people attended the Forum
  • 123 participants in total across all three workshops
  • 61 different participants across all three workshops
  • 32 participants attended more than one workshop
  • 13 different faiths represented


  • 97% of workshop participants reported moderate or high confidence in communicating with others about the prevention of family violence
  • 73% felt they had an increased knowledge of respectful and equal relationships due to their participation in the workshop they attended
    “We all need to be on the same page and acknowledge that we do have family violence in all faiths and communities. Everyone has a right to live in safety and respect in Australia. That is the message that we need to get across to our Faith Leaders and to the community”
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