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Celebrating the
changing vision heritage community innovation people landscape nature of the
Latrobe Valley

Shifting the Stigma of the Valley

Changing Perspectives
















Latrobe Health Assembly have been working with Urban Scale Interventions to co-design wellbeing principles and projects in Latrobe Valley

In a nutshell

Below outlines the following areas developed in this project


Key Opportunity Areas

4 Principles for Wellbeing

7 Themes

The People of Latrobe Valley

This 6 week project has involved surveys, workshops and engagement activities; with the local community, charities, policy makers, council members and the Latrobe Health Assembly. Crossing areas such as health, tourism, sports and planning.


Returned community


Young people




Week project


Hours of



Strategic Ambition in Latrobe Valley is High

Policies have been reviewed across the region, from the local council to Victoria wide.

Taking these from across departments e.g. Health to education, tourism to housing to deliver key themes to build projects on.

Whilst people told us of the challenges, there’s plenty of opportunities to capitalise on.






Great for families




Sport Facilities

Diversity of space

Mountains & Sea

Our Big Holes

Trains & Buses


Stigma of the area

Crime and suicide rates


Poor prognosis in cancer survival


Food Insecurities

Disadvantaged Areas

Infrastructure needs to
grow with the population

Negative attitudes

Digital Divide

Lack of pride

Poor internet

Poor connectivity between areas


Toxic Waste

Key Opportunity Areas

Across all of the research, 3 big opportunity themes stood out:

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"Our weird and wonderful people"

The people of Latrobe Valley are resilient, diverse and welcoming...let's celebrate this! Bring people together to create a future everyone can be proud of.

How can Latrobe Valley celebrate this diversity and keep people at the heart of its success?

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“We are so lucky, we are surrounded by beautiful park lands and scenery”

Whilst industry and mining has often dominated the perception of Latrobe Valley, it has always been a place of natural beauty. Looking forward, as the mines close, we can use this as an opportunity to bring the community together and celebrate our natural assets.

Latrobe Valley as a hub for flora and fauna

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“What shall we do with our ‘Big Holes?”

Brown coal was an innovation of an era gone by, celebrating this and bringing forward new technological advancements as well as rehabilitating the land and the image of the area are key.

How can Latrobe Valley continue to be a centre for innovation?

Designing wellbeing into our projects across Latrobe Valley

The Latrobe Valley Wellbeing Principles

Building on our opportunities for celebrating people, nature and innovation, the following principles have been developed to embed wellbeing into projects across Latrobe Valley:

Creative and Curious

Do I have a reason to go there?

Culture & creativity has long been associated with improved mental wellbeing. How can culture and creativity be embedded in spaces:

  1. Involving the creative and cultural sector in the development of the region.
  2. Creating a unique identity for the region.
  3. Ensuring people are stimulated when they visit.
  4. Celebrating the unique assets of the valley - our people and culture, our heritage and innovation, and our nature.

Measured by

  1. Increase in arts and cultural organisations participation in major regional projects
  2. Measured increase in cultural access, participation & consumption
  3. Improved networks, regionally and internationally
  4. Increase in people stopping in the region, when previously they would have passed through
  5. Increased transformation of derelict sites, grey spaces and ‘meanwhile’ spaces through creative and cultural intervention
Vibrant and Connected

Do I feel connected to people, nature or the space?

Helping people feel connected to their place, their community and nature has huge wellbeing benefits. Can connectivity be increased through:

  1. Creating new relationships within the community
  2. Creating physical points for connection
  3. Reducing exposure to isolated spaces
  4. Improving connection to nature and green spaces
  5. Improving citizen participation
  6. Telling the stories of our place
  7. Promoting neighbourhood tourism across the region to support local people

Measured by

  1. Improved dispersal of leisure and tourism across the Valley
  2. Increase in active citizenship
  3. Increased movement in between towns in the Valley
  4. Increased use of green spaces
  5. Increased spend on green infrastructure
Physical and Mental Activity

Do I want to be more active - physically and/or mentally in the space?

As well as mental stimulation, a huge part of good wellbeing is through physical wellbeing. Can this be supported through:

  1. Promoting physical activity and exercise
  2. Improving mindfulness
  3. Supporting active travel and transport
  4. Developing strategies for activity ‘at my own pace’
  5. Offer outdoor alternatives for working, playing and learning

Measured by

  1. Reduction in levels of anxiety and diagnosed mental health disorders
  2. Increases in active travel cycling and walking
  3. Reduction in admissions of long term health conditions
  4. Increased access to exercise alternatives
Equal and inclusive

Do I feel safe and as though I belong?

Feeling part of something bigger has huge benefits on wellbeing. Can a feeling of belonging be created or enhanced through:

  1. Supporting integration into the Latrobe Valley community
  2. Feeling comfortable about having their say on community issues
  3. Having equal ownership of spaces
  4. Welcoming for all groups and supporting those that feel missed
  5. Talking and supporting all individuals, such as those affected by suicide

Measured by

  1. Reduction in perception of crime in areas
  2. Improved community satisfaction and feelings of safety
  3. Improved learning of different cultures
  4. Improved participation by marginalised and vulnerable groups
  5. Improved measurement of softer ‘social’ metrics in our strategies
  6. Making cultural and wellbeing value visible

Applying the principles

The following focus areas highlight opportunities for how the principles can be applied:

  1. Connecting Up

    Communities and green spaces across the region

    Learn More
  2. Industry Latrobe

    Interventions to highlight the range of industries in the area with a key focus on train drivers

    Learn More
  3. Viewpoint Latrobe

    Installations exploring the potential futures of the valley, a window of opportunity.

    Learn More
  4. Creative Latrobe

    Increasing connection through new installations and pop-ups to celebrate our people and culture particularly focused on interchange areas.

    Learn More
  5. Bringing everyone together

    To build on our welcoming diverse community

    Learn More
  6. Looking to the future

    A ‘hero’ project that emcompases the future of Latrobe Valley and our ‘big holes’ in the ground

    Learn More
  7. Change the perception

    Creating a joined up identity for the whole of Latrobe Valley

    Learn More

Connecting Up

Joining up green spaces, infrastructure and the communities

One of the key strengths of Latrobe Valley is that it is full of natural spaces and parks - key factors for good mental and physical health.

This proposition looks to connect all the natural spaces in the valley through:

This will help to demonstrate how accessible the valley really is. Joining this to public transport infrastructure, public amenities, green spaces and landmarks will also help people to see reasons to walk/cycle and help connect communities, particularly those without a car. (7.2% of the population, (2016 Census))

Learnings from around the world

Industry Latrobe

Highlighting the Role of our Key Workers

Covid has highlighted key workers in our communities more than ever. As part of a ‘Celebrating Latrobe’ campaign exhibitions, embedded designs and mini events can bring these people to life and show the community the vast array of different industries in the area. Inspiring hope for the future and new ways to move forward.

Installations could focus on key themes and areas where there may be challenges, for example a photo & audio trail that humanises the rail drivers at key sites where access to the rail line is an issue.

Learnings from around the world

Viewpoint Latrobe

Creating new viewpoints

There are certain areas that feel unsafe or disconnected. Creating new ‘viewpoints’ will add interest and life to forgotten or isolated places. Getting the general public to view places they perceive as ugly or boring with a new sense of optimism will help people to see the opportunities for the future. These frames will play with perspective to reframe the potential of spaces from a cooling tower to a biodome, from an highway to a greenway or from a bus stop to a festival.

Learnings from around the world

Creative Latrobe

Creating new interchange spaces

Arts and mural pieces, created by local artists in conjunction with community groups; to bring vibrancy and change the perception of the space. Community ‘adoption’ will bring a sense of community ownership and responsibility, with the opportunity for additional busker type spaces for street performers and activating the spaces with community activities.

The first areas to tackle would be larger bus/rail interchanges with smaller community bus stops also being activated; to create a public transport art tour celebrating the different areas of the Valley.

Learnings from around the world

Art adding vibrancy, purpose and ambience

Graffiti, murals, and sports giving spaces a renewed use and give people a reason to visit and a sense of pride/belonging to the space.

Walk the Walls Street Art Festival, Sydney

Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Southbank Skate Park, London

Bringing everyone together

Creating an inclusive Latrobe Valley

Research highlighted how several groups of people feel particularly unsafe within the Valley. The ‘Inclusive Latrobe Valley’ campaign develops through education and community responses in business, organisations and public spaces to help people to feel more included and accepted.

This campaign brings together the community to support people who are part of communities such as LGBTQI, Aboriginal and Torres Strait people and those from migrant backgrounds.

Learnings from around the world

Initiatives for
other causes

Stickers and public displays have been used with great success nationally and globally to help people to feel included and to know an area is safe. Examples of which are shown to the right.

JAM, Just a Minute Card, Neurodiversity, Northern Ireland, UK

Safe Space, LGBTQI awareness GLSEN, America.

Blue Flag beaches, Safe beaches, marinas and tourist boats, Global

Looking to the future

The long term goal of bringing the mines back to the community

A lot has been made of the mines and their impact on the Latrobe Valley region. The long term ambition is to use these as a ‘hero’ project that would encompass all of the above themes - celebrating our people, nature and innovation. The wider community have done some compelling work around the future of the mines especially groups such as the Greater Latrobe Park focusing on the Yallourn and Hazelwood mines.

A connected trail of experiences from sustainable power generation to interactive heritage exhibitions, bio-parks and playful experiences would give a central platform for the whole community to be proud of and deliver on goals for tourism, health, wellbeing, heritage, education and infrastructure.

Great Latrobe Park, Latrobe Valley, Australia

Closer to home, the Great Latrobe Park is an organisation of people from across community, industry and politics looking at alternative uses for the mines in the region to help boost tourism, economy, health and wellbeing.

Find out more about the project

Learnings from around the world

Changing perceptions

Creating a Latrobe Valley to be proud of

Latrobe Valley is a family place, bursting with natural life and innovating towards a brighter future. The projects identified can help in celebrating this with a valley-wide identity that people recognise, feel pride in and feel represents their future.

Of all the people surveyed, the below percentage wanted to celebrate Latrobe Valley as:

Learnings from around the world


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