Regional Development Victoria


About this project

During 2020 Lirata worked in collaboration with local stakeholders to develop the guiding framework for the Barwon Blueprint, a bold systems reform initiative in Victoria’s Barwon Area. The initiative recognised that despite significant investments to support vulnerable groups in the region, key indicators of disadvantage persist.

Improving health, education and inclusion in Barwon

Effectively coordinating services to support vulnerable groups is a growing concern for governments and service providers. In the absence of strategic systems reform the costs of healthcare mount, while vulnerable people continue to fall through the cracks.

Regional Development Victoria, through Barwon Regional Partnership, commissioned Lirata to bring together a vision for how government and services could work better together to improve health, education and inclusion for vulnerable young people and families in Barwon. The Blueprint asks government, health and community services, local business and the community to work differently in order to provide more efficient, effective and coordinated responses.

Strategic research and stakeholder engagement

Lirata completed service mapping of universal and targeted programs for all people 0-24 years. This provided a picture of available services across the Barwon Area and identified gaps across age groups, outcome domains, and local government areas.

Lirata then consulted with key stakeholders to develop the Barwon Blueprint document. The Blueprint articulates how government could commission and plan services differently, and how service providers could work in greater collaboration to achieve mutually agreed outcomes. The role of workforce, evidence, local business and the broader community is also considered. The Blueprint includes a Theory of Change which describes how improved outcomes for young people and families can be achieved by:

  1. Developing more effective ways of working together to achieve collective impact; and
  2. Implementing more effective policies programs and interventions.

Previous consultation data, contemporary research on social health determinants, current government reform directions, and a continuum of support model were important inputs.

A foundation for systems reform

The Barwon Blueprint and associated research provide a vital foundation for the next stage of systems reform work in the Barwon Area. This foundation will enable conversations with government, health and community services and the wider community about how to ‘turn the curve’ on outcomes for vulnerable young people and families in the region.

The Barwon Blueprint and associated research provide a vital foundation for the next stage of systems reform work in the Barwon Area.

Specialist focus


Framework development


Child, youth and family
Early years
Education and training

Population groups

Young people
Socio-economically disadvantaged groups

Project Partners

Department of Education and Training - Victoria
Geelong Region Local Learning & Employment Network
Hydon Consulting

Project team

Project Lead

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