• Jude Perera

    Jude and his family have lived in the local area since 1989 and have been actively involved in the local community

  • NINE LEVEL CROSSING REMOVALS AND 37 NEW TRAINS FOR THE CRANBOURNE LINE

    Labor will deliver the removal of nine level crossings and 37 new trains for the Cranbourne Pakenham rail lines. Improving service and reliability for train users.

  • Contact

    As your local Member of Parliament, I'm here to assist you in any way I can. I can help you contact local services, deal with state government departments, and advise you of your rights. If I am unable to help, I'll make sure to put you in touch with someone who can.

  • Jude Perera

    Jude and his family have lived in the local area since 1989 and have been actively involved in the local community

Media Centre

Paws For The Cause: Changing The Lives Of Young People

A social enterprise in Dandenong South is changing the lives of at risk young people by giving them opportunities to work in the picking, packing and warehousing industry. Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan was today given a special tour of Online PAWS (Picking and Warehouse Solutions) – a social enterprise supporting young people aged between 16 and 25. Online PAWS gives them access to training qualifications, work experience and sets up opportunities for full-time work. The registered charity is run by Whitelion – which also operates social enterprises Wheely Good Coffee and fruit2work. All of Online PAWS’ profits are directed back to the business to assist more young people and create more local jobs. Whitelion is also a partner in the Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN) – the Andrews Labor Government’s flagship program to help more than 4,000 disadvantaged Victorian jobseekers get a job and keep it. As part of JVEN, Whitelion received $2.65 million to place 240 at risk young people into work – with 60 participants already identified and 18 currently working. The Labor Government has also launched Australia’s first social enterprise strategy along with $5 million in funding. The strategy aims to grow the sector, support more social procurement and create jobs for Victorians from disadvantaged backgrounds. Victoria is home to Australia’s largest collection of social enterprises – with more than 5,000 operating statewide employing more than 75,000 Victorians. You can access the Social Enterprise Strategy at www.economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/social-enterprise Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan “Victoria’s landmark social enterprise strategy will ensure more people get access to a job – regardless of their background.” “We know that some people in our community face multiple barriers to work, which is why we are helping thousands of Victorians find sustainable jobs.”

Paws For The Cause: Changing The Lives Of Young People

A social enterprise in Dandenong South is changing the lives of at risk young people by giving them opportunities to work in the picking, packing and warehousing industry. Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan was today given a special tour of Online PAWS (Picking and Warehouse Solutions) – a social enterprise supporting young people aged between 16 and 25. Online PAWS gives them access to training qualifications, work experience and sets up opportunities for full-time work. The registered charity is run by Whitelion – which also operates social enterprises Wheely Good Coffee and fruit2work. All of Online PAWS’ profits are directed back to the business to assist more young people and create more local jobs. Whitelion is also a partner in the Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN) – the Andrews Labor Government’s flagship program to help more than 4,000 disadvantaged Victorian jobseekers get a job and keep it. As part of JVEN, Whitelion received $2.65 million to place 240 at risk young people into work – with 60 participants already identified and 18 currently working. The Labor Government has also launched Australia’s first social enterprise strategy along with $5 million in funding. The strategy aims to grow the sector, support more social procurement and create jobs for Victorians from disadvantaged backgrounds. Victoria is home to Australia’s largest collection of social enterprises – with more than 5,000 operating statewide employing more than 75,000 Victorians. You can access the Social Enterprise Strategy at www.economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/social-enterprise Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan “Victoria’s landmark social enterprise strategy will ensure more people get access to a job – regardless of their background.” “We know that some people in our community face multiple barriers to work, which is why we are helping thousands of Victorians find sustainable jobs.”

More Shade To Protect Victorians From UV Radiation

The Andrews Labor Government is installing more shade and trees in community spaces to protect Victorians from harmful UV radiation. Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced 228 recipients that will share in $1.78 million from the second round of the Community Shade Grant Program. Shade in outdoor public spaces, when used alongside other sun protection measures including sunscreen and protective clothing, is the best defence against UV over-exposure. The Community Shade Grant Program funds shade development, including building or repairing permanent shade structures, purchasing portable shade equipment or creating natural shade by planting trees. Through this initiative, the Labor Government is helping Victorians to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer, while also embracing the outdoors and enjoying a more active and healthy lifestyle. In delivering its election commitment, the Labor Government is investing $15 million for skin cancer prevention initiatives, including $5 million for SunSmart campaigns and $10 million in grants for shade in public places and government schools. Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three people diagnosed by the age of 70. It’s estimated that 40,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Victoria every year. In 2015, 421 Victorians died from skin cancer – more than 1.5 times the Victorian road toll that year. The Community Shade Grant Program is complemented by the School Shade Grant Program, which provides grants for shade in Victorian Government schools. So far, these programs have awarded 691 grants, totalling $6.8 million in funding with two more rounds still to come. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy “Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent, yet largely preventable cancers affecting Victorians – that’s why it’s so important to be sun smart.” “Spending time outdoors is a great way to stay healthy and active but we need to make sure there is shade available to protect people from harmful UV rays.” “With nearly $7 million already delivered, our shade grants are making a real difference to local communities right across the state.”

More Shade To Protect Victorians From UV Radiation

The Andrews Labor Government is installing more shade and trees in community spaces to protect Victorians from harmful UV radiation. Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced 228 recipients that will share in $1.78 million from the second round of the Community Shade Grant Program. Shade in outdoor public spaces, when used alongside other sun protection measures including sunscreen and protective clothing, is the best defence against UV over-exposure. The Community Shade Grant Program funds shade development, including building or repairing permanent shade structures, purchasing portable shade equipment or creating natural shade by planting trees. Through this initiative, the Labor Government is helping Victorians to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer, while also embracing the outdoors and enjoying a more active and healthy lifestyle. In delivering its election commitment, the Labor Government is investing $15 million for skin cancer prevention initiatives, including $5 million for SunSmart campaigns and $10 million in grants for shade in public places and government schools. Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three people diagnosed by the age of 70. It’s estimated that 40,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Victoria every year. In 2015, 421 Victorians died from skin cancer – more than 1.5 times the Victorian road toll that year. The Community Shade Grant Program is complemented by the School Shade Grant Program, which provides grants for shade in Victorian Government schools. So far, these programs have awarded 691 grants, totalling $6.8 million in funding with two more rounds still to come. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy “Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent, yet largely preventable cancers affecting Victorians – that’s why it’s so important to be sun smart.” “Spending time outdoors is a great way to stay healthy and active but we need to make sure there is shade available to protect people from harmful UV rays.” “With nearly $7 million already delivered, our shade grants are making a real difference to local communities right across the state.”

Protecting Tenants Rights In Specialist Disability Accomodation

Tenants, families and carers in specialist disability accommodation have been invited to share their views on how their rights can be protected in the transition to the NDIS when it comes to specialist disability accommodation. As part of the transition to the NDIS, all participants should be empowered to exercise choice and control in every part of their life – especially in choosing accommodation. It is about ensuring people with disability are able to live their life, their way. The current housing laws are not fit for an NDIS environment, as it is too difficult for residents to change service providers in their home. To address this issue, the Andrews Labor Government is undertaking public consultation around how the new laws will work. This includes hearing from Victorians about what they like and don’t like about the current laws, and what they would like to see happen in the future. Any new Victorian legislation will support all specialist disability accommodation residents to change their service provider and know their tenancy is secure and rights are protected. This consultation will happen hand in hand with the community so that people with disability, their families and carers, staff, service providers and advocacy groups can all have a say. In addition to taking formal submissions, the Government will also conduct sessions with affected residents to make sure that their views are front and centre of any new legislation. The consultation period will close on Friday 23 June 2017. For more information on the consultation, or to make a submission, please visit www.engage.vic.gov.au/sda. Further details about the NDIS rollout in Victoria are available at www.vic.gov.au/ndis. Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley “Victoria is committed to supporting people with disability and their families, the workforce and service providers as they transition to the NDIS.” “The NDIS rollout and the housing choices that will accompany it, is are a big step to delivering the promise of an ordinary life for people with disability, and ensuring they are able to live their life, their way.”  “We want to work with residents and the community to find out what tenancy rights and protections are most important – we encourage you to have your say.”

Protecting Tenants Rights In Specialist Disability Accomodation

Tenants, families and carers in specialist disability accommodation have been invited to share their views on how their rights can be protected in the transition to the NDIS when it comes to specialist disability accommodation. As part of the transition to the NDIS, all participants should be empowered to exercise choice and control in every part of their life – especially in choosing accommodation. It is about ensuring people with disability are able to live their life, their way. The current housing laws are not fit for an NDIS environment, as it is too difficult for residents to change service providers in their home. To address this issue, the Andrews Labor Government is undertaking public consultation around how the new laws will work. This includes hearing from Victorians about what they like and don’t like about the current laws, and what they would like to see happen in the future. Any new Victorian legislation will support all specialist disability accommodation residents to change their service provider and know their tenancy is secure and rights are protected. This consultation will happen hand in hand with the community so that people with disability, their families and carers, staff, service providers and advocacy groups can all have a say. In addition to taking formal submissions, the Government will also conduct sessions with affected residents to make sure that their views are front and centre of any new legislation. The consultation period will close on Friday 23 June 2017. For more information on the consultation, or to make a submission, please visit www.engage.vic.gov.au/sda. Further details about the NDIS rollout in Victoria are available at www.vic.gov.au/ndis. Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley “Victoria is committed to supporting people with disability and their families, the workforce and service providers as they transition to the NDIS.” “The NDIS rollout and the housing choices that will accompany it, is are a big step to delivering the promise of an ordinary life for people with disability, and ensuring they are able to live their life, their way.”  “We want to work with residents and the community to find out what tenancy rights and protections are most important – we encourage you to have your say.”

Road Safety Operation Out In Force Over Holiday Period

An almost two-week long road safety operation will begin tomorrow to keep Victorian motorists safe over the Easter long weekend and Anzac Day period. With increased police numbers and booze and drug buses out in force, the 13-day Operation Nexus campaign will target the fatal five – speed, fatigue, distraction, failure to wear seatbelts, and drug and drink driving. Minister for Police Lisa Neville today launched the campaign, joining Victoria Police and road trauma victims in urging drivers to think of their loved ones when they hit the roads over the holiday period. Ken and June McGrath spoke of the devastating loss of their 38-year-old son, Damian Cox, who was killed in a head-on crash with a truck in Laverton North last year. Over the last five years, 16 people have lost their lives and 450 have been seriously injured on Victorian roads over Easter. Holidaymakers are often taking longer journeys on busier and unfamiliar roads over the period, which increases the risk of accidents. While police numbers will be boosted over this period, motorists are reminded of their responsibility to keep themselves and other road-users safe by ensuring they are not fatigued, distracted, speeding or affected by drugs and that their car is roadworthy. Booze and drug buses will be operating across the state, while Highway Patrol members will also be carrying out drug testing after the Andrews Labor Government provided ongoing funding for police to deliver 100,000 roadside drug tests every year. The Transport Accident Commission has contributed funding for overtime hours and accommodation for police members over the Easter period. A record $1.1 billion in funding for the Towards Zero road safety strategy has been invested, to deliver safer roads and protect Victorian motorists. Motorists are also reminded that children will be returning from school holidays after the Easter long weekend, with 40km/h school zones to be enforced from Tuesday, 18 April. Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville “The holiday period is a time to spend with family and friends. We want to make sure every driver makes it to their destination – and their loved ones – safely.” “The Operation Nexus campaign means police will be out in force, targeting the most common causes of death and injury on our roads.” “But it’s not just up to police - every single driver is responsible for keeping our roads safe. That includes making sure they’re not distracted, speeding or affected by drugs, alcohol or fatigue.”

Road Safety Operation Out In Force Over Holiday Period

An almost two-week long road safety operation will begin tomorrow to keep Victorian motorists safe over the Easter long weekend and Anzac Day period. With increased police numbers and booze and drug buses out in force, the 13-day Operation Nexus campaign will target the fatal five – speed, fatigue, distraction, failure to wear seatbelts, and drug and drink driving. Minister for Police Lisa Neville today launched the campaign, joining Victoria Police and road trauma victims in urging drivers to think of their loved ones when they hit the roads over the holiday period. Ken and June McGrath spoke of the devastating loss of their 38-year-old son, Damian Cox, who was killed in a head-on crash with a truck in Laverton North last year. Over the last five years, 16 people have lost their lives and 450 have been seriously injured on Victorian roads over Easter. Holidaymakers are often taking longer journeys on busier and unfamiliar roads over the period, which increases the risk of accidents. While police numbers will be boosted over this period, motorists are reminded of their responsibility to keep themselves and other road-users safe by ensuring they are not fatigued, distracted, speeding or affected by drugs and that their car is roadworthy. Booze and drug buses will be operating across the state, while Highway Patrol members will also be carrying out drug testing after the Andrews Labor Government provided ongoing funding for police to deliver 100,000 roadside drug tests every year. The Transport Accident Commission has contributed funding for overtime hours and accommodation for police members over the Easter period. A record $1.1 billion in funding for the Towards Zero road safety strategy has been invested, to deliver safer roads and protect Victorian motorists. Motorists are also reminded that children will be returning from school holidays after the Easter long weekend, with 40km/h school zones to be enforced from Tuesday, 18 April. Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville “The holiday period is a time to spend with family and friends. We want to make sure every driver makes it to their destination – and their loved ones – safely.” “The Operation Nexus campaign means police will be out in force, targeting the most common causes of death and injury on our roads.” “But it’s not just up to police - every single driver is responsible for keeping our roads safe. That includes making sure they’re not distracted, speeding or affected by drugs, alcohol or fatigue.”

 

Recognising Our World-Class Medical Researchers

The prestigious 2017 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research has honoured the outstanding work and revolutionary advances of four talented health and medical researchers in the early stages of their careers. Minister for Health Jill Hennessy presented the awards last night, which are now in their 23rd year. Ms Emma Nolan, the recipient of the 2017 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research was recognised for her research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the University of Melbourne. Ms Nolan has now started a post-doctoral position at the new Francis Crick Institute in London. Ms Nolan’s research analysed breast tissue donated by women with a faulty BRCA1 gene, and was able to pinpoint ‘culprit cells’ that are likely responsible for breast tumours. These findings will lead to new ways to prevent and treat breast cancer in women carrying a faulty BRC1 gene. Also receiving commendations were Dr Katherine Gibney from Monash University, Dr Calum Roberts from the Royal Women’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne and Dr Amy Winship from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Monash University. The Awards are a joint initiative of the Victorian Government and the Australian Society for Medical Research. Recipients were selected by a panel of eminent health and medical researchers. The Healthier Lives, Stronger Economy: Victoria’s Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020 outlines our key priorities over four years to support new and evolving fields of world class medical research. We are supporting the strategy with an additional $20 million to ensure Victoria stays a world leader in ground-breaking health and medical research, by quickly translating breakthroughs in health and medical research into clinical practice. This is the first time in 10 years that a health and medical research strategy has been developed for Victoria. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy “Victoria is home to some of the best and brightest medical minds who are leading the world in discoveries that are saving lives and improving patient care.” “Congratulations to Ms Emma Nolan and her ground-breaking work that is giving new hope for women diagnosed with breast cancer.” Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research Frank McGuire  “We’re continuing to drive medical research here in Victoria – whether it’s by building first-class facilities, investing in world-first clinical trials or attracting global investment and creating jobs.” Research abstracts of recipient and commendees of the 2017 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research Ms Emma Nolan – Recipient – Identifying novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer in BRCA1-mutation carriers Women who inherit a faulty BRCA1 gene have a high lifetime risk of developing an aggressive form of breast cancer, and as a result often undergo a mastectomy to minimise their risk. Ms Emma Nolan’s research at The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the University of Melbourne, analysed breast tissue donated by women with a faulty BRCA1 gene, and was able to pinpoint ‘culprit cells’ that are likely responsible for breast tumours. Ms Nolan’s research demonstrated ‘culprit’ cells had a protein on their surface called RANK, which means they can be targeted using an existing medication (a RANK inhibitor) used in the clinic to treat osteoporosis. She discovered that this inhibitor was able to shut down the growth of these culprit cells, and significantly delayed tumour development in mice carrying a faulty BRCA1 gene. These findings, currently being confirmed in a clinical trial, suggest that the RANK inhibitor could delay or prevent breast cancer arising in these high-risk women, and therefore be used as an alternative to breast removal surgery. This would have a significant impact on the lives of both present and future generations of BRCA1 mutation carriers. Ms Nolan’s findings gives great promise of new ways to prevent and treat breast cancer in women carrying a faulty BRCA1 gene. Dr Katherine Gibney – Commendee – Surveillance and burden of infectious diseases in Australia Infectious diseases continue to be a significant burden causing illness in Australia and worldwide. Dr Katherine Gibney’s research at Monash University  reviewed 21 years of data from Australia's National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), which includes information about laboratory-diagnosed cases of 65 infectious diseases in Australia. Dr Gibney found that NNDSS data from 1991-2011 reveal some diseases (e.g. measles) became less common through immunisation. Other diseases (e.g., chlamydia infection, influenza, pertussis) became more common, partly through improved diagnostic tests and increased testing. Indigenous Australians and residents of remote and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged areas were shown to have higher disease rates. Additional sources provide data on disease severity, including hospitalisations and deaths. These results are being used to prioritise diseases for public health intervention, have been incorporated into a draft revision of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, and have changed the way certain data (e.g. Indigenous status of notified cases) are ascertained by public health departments. Dr Gibney’s findings will help to protect Australians from infectious diseases that are common, severe, or that disproportionately affect vulnerable communities. Dr Calum Roberts – Commendee – Nasal High Flow as Primary Respiratory Support for Preterm Infants (The HIPSTER Trial) Every year in Australia, more than 7000 babies born prematurely require breathing support. Dr Calum Roberts’ research at the Royal Women’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne examined High Flow, an increasingly popular type of breathing support for use in premature babies. High Flow is preferred by parents because it is easy to use, and is more comfortable and less likely to damage skin around the nose. For babies currently being treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), High Flow had not been adequately studied as an alternative. CPAP is effective, but has some disadvantages: it is bulky, requires highly trained nurses to use effectively, and can damage the skin around the nose. Dr Roberts’ research (the HIPSTER Trial) compared High Flow with CPAP. The research identified which group of premature babies requiring early breathing support could safely receive High Flow and benefit from its advantages, and which group should still receive early treatment with CPAP (those who are more premature, or have more severe lung disease). Dr Roberts’ findings have furthered our understanding of early breathing support for premature babies. Dr Amy Winship – Commendee – The role of glycoprotein – 130 cytokines in female reproduction and reproductive cancer Dr Amy Winship’s research at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Monash University examined the effects of a small signalling protein, IL-11 on abnormal placental and cancer cell growth in the womb. Dr Winship’s work demonstrated for the first time that high levels of IL-11 cause a serious pregnancy complication called preeclampsia. She found that IL-11 can be measured in maternal blood to develop a diagnostic test for early detection on preeclampsia and improve pregnancy outcomes for these women. Dr Winship’s developed a new pre-clinical model of preeclampsia, which is currently being utilised by a research group and others around the world to test an urgently-needed treatment. Dr Winship’s work also proved that high levels of IL-11 cause uterine cancer growth, and that by blocking IL-11 there is evidence for efficacy of a novel non-chemo-/radio-therapy and non-hormonal treatment for uterine cancer. Dr Winship’s findings have led to preclinical studies in the Embryo Implantation at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, advancing fertility-preserving therapeutic research for women undergoing cancer treatment into clinical trials. Further research is now underway to develop a diagnostic test for preeclampsia and to investigate the potential of blocking IL-11 to treat preeclampsia during pregnancy. This research has great promise in leading a new fertility-preserving treatment for pregnancy disorders and cancer.

Recognising Our World-Class Medical Researchers

The prestigious 2017 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research has honoured the outstanding work and revolutionary advances of four talented health and medical researchers in the early stages of their careers. Minister for Health Jill Hennessy presented the awards last night, which are now in their 23rd year. Ms Emma Nolan, the recipient of the 2017 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research was recognised for her research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the University of Melbourne. Ms Nolan has now started a post-doctoral position at the new Francis Crick Institute in London. Ms Nolan’s research analysed breast tissue donated by women with a faulty BRCA1 gene, and was able to pinpoint ‘culprit cells’ that are likely responsible for breast tumours. These findings will lead to new ways to prevent and treat breast cancer in women carrying a faulty BRC1 gene. Also receiving commendations were Dr Katherine Gibney from Monash University, Dr Calum Roberts from the Royal Women’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne and Dr Amy Winship from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Monash University. The Awards are a joint initiative of the Victorian Government and the Australian Society for Medical Research. Recipients were selected by a panel of eminent health and medical researchers. The Healthier Lives, Stronger Economy: Victoria’s Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020 outlines our key priorities over four years to support new and evolving fields of world class medical research. We are supporting the strategy with an additional $20 million to ensure Victoria stays a world leader in ground-breaking health and medical research, by quickly translating breakthroughs in health and medical research into clinical practice. This is the first time in 10 years that a health and medical research strategy has been developed for Victoria. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy “Victoria is home to some of the best and brightest medical minds who are leading the world in discoveries that are saving lives and improving patient care.” “Congratulations to Ms Emma Nolan and her ground-breaking work that is giving new hope for women diagnosed with breast cancer.” Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research Frank McGuire  “We’re continuing to drive medical research here in Victoria – whether it’s by building first-class facilities, investing in world-first clinical trials or attracting global investment and creating jobs.” Research abstracts of recipient and commendees of the 2017 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research Ms Emma Nolan – Recipient – Identifying novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer in BRCA1-mutation carriers Women who inherit a faulty BRCA1 gene have a high lifetime risk of developing an aggressive form of breast cancer, and as a result often undergo a mastectomy to minimise their risk. Ms Emma Nolan’s research at The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the University of Melbourne, analysed breast tissue donated by women with a faulty BRCA1 gene, and was able to pinpoint ‘culprit cells’ that are likely responsible for breast tumours. Ms Nolan’s research demonstrated ‘culprit’ cells had a protein on their surface called RANK, which means they can be targeted using an existing medication (a RANK inhibitor) used in the clinic to treat osteoporosis. She discovered that this inhibitor was able to shut down the growth of these culprit cells, and significantly delayed tumour development in mice carrying a faulty BRCA1 gene. These findings, currently being confirmed in a clinical trial, suggest that the RANK inhibitor could delay or prevent breast cancer arising in these high-risk women, and therefore be used as an alternative to breast removal surgery. This would have a significant impact on the lives of both present and future generations of BRCA1 mutation carriers. Ms Nolan’s findings gives great promise of new ways to prevent and treat breast cancer in women carrying a faulty BRCA1 gene. Dr Katherine Gibney – Commendee – Surveillance and burden of infectious diseases in Australia Infectious diseases continue to be a significant burden causing illness in Australia and worldwide. Dr Katherine Gibney’s research at Monash University  reviewed 21 years of data from Australia's National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), which includes information about laboratory-diagnosed cases of 65 infectious diseases in Australia. Dr Gibney found that NNDSS data from 1991-2011 reveal some diseases (e.g. measles) became less common through immunisation. Other diseases (e.g., chlamydia infection, influenza, pertussis) became more common, partly through improved diagnostic tests and increased testing. Indigenous Australians and residents of remote and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged areas were shown to have higher disease rates. Additional sources provide data on disease severity, including hospitalisations and deaths. These results are being used to prioritise diseases for public health intervention, have been incorporated into a draft revision of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, and have changed the way certain data (e.g. Indigenous status of notified cases) are ascertained by public health departments. Dr Gibney’s findings will help to protect Australians from infectious diseases that are common, severe, or that disproportionately affect vulnerable communities. Dr Calum Roberts – Commendee – Nasal High Flow as Primary Respiratory Support for Preterm Infants (The HIPSTER Trial) Every year in Australia, more than 7000 babies born prematurely require breathing support. Dr Calum Roberts’ research at the Royal Women’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne examined High Flow, an increasingly popular type of breathing support for use in premature babies. High Flow is preferred by parents because it is easy to use, and is more comfortable and less likely to damage skin around the nose. For babies currently being treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), High Flow had not been adequately studied as an alternative. CPAP is effective, but has some disadvantages: it is bulky, requires highly trained nurses to use effectively, and can damage the skin around the nose. Dr Roberts’ research (the HIPSTER Trial) compared High Flow with CPAP. The research identified which group of premature babies requiring early breathing support could safely receive High Flow and benefit from its advantages, and which group should still receive early treatment with CPAP (those who are more premature, or have more severe lung disease). Dr Roberts’ findings have furthered our understanding of early breathing support for premature babies. Dr Amy Winship – Commendee – The role of glycoprotein – 130 cytokines in female reproduction and reproductive cancer Dr Amy Winship’s research at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Monash University examined the effects of a small signalling protein, IL-11 on abnormal placental and cancer cell growth in the womb. Dr Winship’s work demonstrated for the first time that high levels of IL-11 cause a serious pregnancy complication called preeclampsia. She found that IL-11 can be measured in maternal blood to develop a diagnostic test for early detection on preeclampsia and improve pregnancy outcomes for these women. Dr Winship’s developed a new pre-clinical model of preeclampsia, which is currently being utilised by a research group and others around the world to test an urgently-needed treatment. Dr Winship’s work also proved that high levels of IL-11 cause uterine cancer growth, and that by blocking IL-11 there is evidence for efficacy of a novel non-chemo-/radio-therapy and non-hormonal treatment for uterine cancer. Dr Winship’s findings have led to preclinical studies in the Embryo Implantation at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, advancing fertility-preserving therapeutic research for women undergoing cancer treatment into clinical trials. Further research is now underway to develop a diagnostic test for preeclampsia and to investigate the potential of blocking IL-11 to treat preeclampsia during pregnancy. This research has great promise in leading a new fertility-preserving treatment for pregnancy disorders and cancer.

Worker Mental Health To Take Centre Stage

Keeping Victorian workers healthy in mind as well as body will be the key focus of a new initiative that empowers bosses to make mental health a priority in the workplace. The new $50 million WorkHealth program includes a free, interactive online platform that will act as a go-to site for businesses to access the latest advice, research and support on workplace mental health and wellbeing. It allows employers to conduct a mental health check on their business, employ specially tailored support programs and link like-minded businesses together. WorkHealth also includes a $17 million innovation fund to kickstart new initiatives and expand existing workplace mental health and wellbeing programs. Minister for Finance Robin Scott and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley today launched WorkHealth at the Arts Centre Melbourne, which currently leads the Arts Wellbeing Collective – a consortium working together to achieve better mental health outcomes for creative industries workers. This group suffers high levels of depression and twice the number of suicide attempts as the general population. Mental health continues to be a significant concern in the community, with WorkSafe Victoria recording more than 3,100 mental disorder claims last year, or about 12 per cent of total claims. WorkSafe will fund and manage the five-year WorkHealth program, with the assistance of the Department of Health and Human Services. WorkHealth – which was developed by a special advisory group including government, business and union representatives – is set to go live early next year to coincide with a major public awareness campaign. You can visit workhealth.vic.gov.au for further details. Quotes attributable to Minister for Finance Robin Scott “A happy worker is a good worker – we want all businesses and workers signing up to make mental health a priority in the workplace.” “Employers tell us mental health support can be confusing to navigate and we’ve listened. “WorkHealth will be able to deliver the right tools and advice straight into their hands.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley “We know around 20 per cent of Victorians are experiencing mental health concerns – this program will equip the community to have the tools to staying mentally well.” “It is essential employers have measures in place that not only minimise risks to mental health but promote health for employees.” Quote attributable to Advisory Group chairman Todd Harper “We have drawn on a broad range of expertise and experience to design WorkHealth, and we are confident it will make a real difference to lives of Victorian workers.”

Worker Mental Health To Take Centre Stage

Keeping Victorian workers healthy in mind as well as body will be the key focus of a new initiative that empowers bosses to make mental health a priority in the workplace. The new $50 million WorkHealth program includes a free, interactive online platform that will act as a go-to site for businesses to access the latest advice, research and support on workplace mental health and wellbeing. It allows employers to conduct a mental health check on their business, employ specially tailored support programs and link like-minded businesses together. WorkHealth also includes a $17 million innovation fund to kickstart new initiatives and expand existing workplace mental health and wellbeing programs. Minister for Finance Robin Scott and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley today launched WorkHealth at the Arts Centre Melbourne, which currently leads the Arts Wellbeing Collective – a consortium working together to achieve better mental health outcomes for creative industries workers. This group suffers high levels of depression and twice the number of suicide attempts as the general population. Mental health continues to be a significant concern in the community, with WorkSafe Victoria recording more than 3,100 mental disorder claims last year, or about 12 per cent of total claims. WorkSafe will fund and manage the five-year WorkHealth program, with the assistance of the Department of Health and Human Services. WorkHealth – which was developed by a special advisory group including government, business and union representatives – is set to go live early next year to coincide with a major public awareness campaign. You can visit workhealth.vic.gov.au for further details. Quotes attributable to Minister for Finance Robin Scott “A happy worker is a good worker – we want all businesses and workers signing up to make mental health a priority in the workplace.” “Employers tell us mental health support can be confusing to navigate and we’ve listened. “WorkHealth will be able to deliver the right tools and advice straight into their hands.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley “We know around 20 per cent of Victorians are experiencing mental health concerns – this program will equip the community to have the tools to staying mentally well.” “It is essential employers have measures in place that not only minimise risks to mental health but promote health for employees.” Quote attributable to Advisory Group chairman Todd Harper “We have drawn on a broad range of expertise and experience to design WorkHealth, and we are confident it will make a real difference to lives of Victorian workers.”

Stay Safe On The Roads This Easter Holidays

As Victorians prepare to visit family and friends these Easter holidays, drivers are reminded to slow down, stick to the speed limit and take regular breaks. With drowsy driving a factor in one-in-ten road deaths, Easter is a particularly dangerous time with thousands of Victorians driving to holiday destinations around the state, often travelling long distances on less familiar roads. To help keep our roads safe over the Easter weekend, the State Emergency Services will be running their Driver Reviver campaign. The campaign will be out at more than 45 roadside locations across Victoria between Thursday and Monday, offering hot drinks and snacks to encourage drivers to stop, rest, refresh and arrive safely at their destination. The Transport Accident Commission Pit Stops will also return to six of Victoria’s busiest rest stops, complete with free barista coffees, sausage sizzles, prizes and fun family activities. Pit Stops will operate at Kerang, Dimboola and Euroa on Thursday and Good Friday, and Marong, Drouin and Ballarat on Easter Monday. Motorists are urged to ensure they are well rested before setting out on a road trip and give themselves plenty of time to get to their destination, travelling at safe speeds and stopping every two hours to swap drivers or rest. Over the past five years, 16 people have died on the state’s roads over the Easter period (from Thursday to Easter Monday) and 450 have been seriously injured. For a full list of Driver Reviver locations please visit: www.ses.vic.gov.au/get-ready/driver-reviver/locations Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “Over the Easter holidays our roads are busy. For drivers, that means taking your time, planning your trip, and slowing down.” “SES volunteers are taking time out of their holidays to help you stay safe this Easter – they’ll  give you a warm welcome, a cuppa and a biscuit to help you on your way.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Road Safety Luke Donnellan “There are choices we can all make every time we use the roads, like slowing down, ensuring you’ve had enough sleep and avoiding distractions. These choices can be the difference between life and death.” “We don’t want to lose another life, or leave another family heartbroken.  It’s why we’re asking every Victorian driver to plan ahead, and be safe on our roads.”

Stay Safe On The Roads This Easter Holidays

As Victorians prepare to visit family and friends these Easter holidays, drivers are reminded to slow down, stick to the speed limit and take regular breaks. With drowsy driving a factor in one-in-ten road deaths, Easter is a particularly dangerous time with thousands of Victorians driving to holiday destinations around the state, often travelling long distances on less familiar roads. To help keep our roads safe over the Easter weekend, the State Emergency Services will be running their Driver Reviver campaign. The campaign will be out at more than 45 roadside locations across Victoria between Thursday and Monday, offering hot drinks and snacks to encourage drivers to stop, rest, refresh and arrive safely at their destination. The Transport Accident Commission Pit Stops will also return to six of Victoria’s busiest rest stops, complete with free barista coffees, sausage sizzles, prizes and fun family activities. Pit Stops will operate at Kerang, Dimboola and Euroa on Thursday and Good Friday, and Marong, Drouin and Ballarat on Easter Monday. Motorists are urged to ensure they are well rested before setting out on a road trip and give themselves plenty of time to get to their destination, travelling at safe speeds and stopping every two hours to swap drivers or rest. Over the past five years, 16 people have died on the state’s roads over the Easter period (from Thursday to Easter Monday) and 450 have been seriously injured. For a full list of Driver Reviver locations please visit: www.ses.vic.gov.au/get-ready/driver-reviver/locations Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “Over the Easter holidays our roads are busy. For drivers, that means taking your time, planning your trip, and slowing down.” “SES volunteers are taking time out of their holidays to help you stay safe this Easter – they’ll  give you a warm welcome, a cuppa and a biscuit to help you on your way.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Road Safety Luke Donnellan “There are choices we can all make every time we use the roads, like slowing down, ensuring you’ve had enough sleep and avoiding distractions. These choices can be the difference between life and death.” “We don’t want to lose another life, or leave another family heartbroken.  It’s why we’re asking every Victorian driver to plan ahead, and be safe on our roads.”

Victoria Launches First Family Violence Workforce Census

The Andrews Labor Government has launched a landmark survey of the Victorian family violence workforce, as the Victorian Government gets on with planning its first ever Family Violence Industry Plan. Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings announced today that the census is now open, with workers across community services, health, justice and education all invited to participate and have their say. The survey follows a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which highlighted a lack of information about Victoria’s existing family violence and related workforce. The workforce census seeks to address this knowledge gap by collecting data from across the range of workforces that play a role in preventing, identifying and responding to family violence. Information gathered in the census will inform the development of Victoria’s first ever 10 Year Family Violence Industry Plan, which will be delivered in December 2017. The industry plan will provide a systematic approach to workforce planning and development, and will address crucial issues of workforce capability, health and wellbeing, and career pathways. The survey has been developed in consultation with family violence practitioners and groups, service providers, trade unions and workers. The project is supported by Domestic Violence Victoria and the Victorian Council of Social Service. The Victorian Government getting on with implementing all 227 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The workforce census is open until 5 May 2017 at www.vic.gov.au/familyviolence/workforce-census.html. Quotes attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings “Our first ever family violence workforce census is a great opportunity for our dedicated and skilled workers to have their say and ensure we are best placed to keep women and children safe.“ “The results of the landmark survey will help us plan for the future and deliver the skilled workforce needed to help put an end to family violence.“ Quotes attributable to Domestic Violence Victoria CEO Fiona McCormack “The census is a huge opportunity for our sector. It’s a chance to collect data we’ve never had on the family violence workforce.” “The census will provide robust evidence of the challenges this sector faces, which will be critical in building and supporting our workforce for the next ten years and beyond.”

Victoria Launches First Family Violence Workforce Census

The Andrews Labor Government has launched a landmark survey of the Victorian family violence workforce, as the Victorian Government gets on with planning its first ever Family Violence Industry Plan. Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings announced today that the census is now open, with workers across community services, health, justice and education all invited to participate and have their say. The survey follows a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which highlighted a lack of information about Victoria’s existing family violence and related workforce. The workforce census seeks to address this knowledge gap by collecting data from across the range of workforces that play a role in preventing, identifying and responding to family violence. Information gathered in the census will inform the development of Victoria’s first ever 10 Year Family Violence Industry Plan, which will be delivered in December 2017. The industry plan will provide a systematic approach to workforce planning and development, and will address crucial issues of workforce capability, health and wellbeing, and career pathways. The survey has been developed in consultation with family violence practitioners and groups, service providers, trade unions and workers. The project is supported by Domestic Violence Victoria and the Victorian Council of Social Service. The Victorian Government getting on with implementing all 227 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The workforce census is open until 5 May 2017 at www.vic.gov.au/familyviolence/workforce-census.html. Quotes attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings “Our first ever family violence workforce census is a great opportunity for our dedicated and skilled workers to have their say and ensure we are best placed to keep women and children safe.“ “The results of the landmark survey will help us plan for the future and deliver the skilled workforce needed to help put an end to family violence.“ Quotes attributable to Domestic Violence Victoria CEO Fiona McCormack “The census is a huge opportunity for our sector. It’s a chance to collect data we’ve never had on the family violence workforce.” “The census will provide robust evidence of the challenges this sector faces, which will be critical in building and supporting our workforce for the next ten years and beyond.”