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A Health Focused Future

COVID-19 has meant that governments around the globe have prioritised health over economic growth for the first time in our lifetimes.

While this shift has not been without it's complexities (understatement of the year), it does really challenge old mindsets - placing good health front and centre for possibly the first time ever. For Clunes Neighbourhood House, where our vision has long been to support the community to actively care for its people and place, it means new possibilities.

Model: Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy argues that in order to meet growth needs (at the top of the triangle) a person's basic needs (at the base) must be met first. CNH uses this model to underpin our activity programming.

Instinctively we all know that a person’s ability to live a happy and full life means their basic health and safety needs must be met first, before they can focus on prosperity. Maslow's hierarchy of needs demonstrates this clearly and succinctly. However, we’ve lived in a world so focused on prosperity and economic growth for such a long time, that we typically think that we need a healthy economy, rather than a healthy population, to progress.

COVID has shown us otherwise, although we've still got a long road ahead of us. The question is, what could this mean for us as people, and as a community?

Time to Think Together

In September 2020, Clunes Neighbourhood House has partnered with national population health promotion innovators, Health Futures Australia ( to form a Clunes Wellbeing Lab comprised of 10 active community contributors of different ages, backgrounds and interest areas.

Photo Supplied: Learning online. This program is part of CNH's commitment to develop initiatives that increase, recognise and reward leadership across our community.

These contributors are taking part in a 10 week program designed to make sense of the world as it is now, and strengthen us (individually and collectively) to act when we need to going forward.

It’s hard to imagine what a health focused future may mean at a big picture level, let alone locally? But experience is showing us that it’s not just about the absence of disease, such as COVID. Instead it’s about the interconnections between all the key components – people, planet and economy – that we need to thrive.

We’ll keep you posted as this program unfolds.

AUTHOR: Lana de Kort

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