Health Promotion in Benalla

Benalla Health is currently working towards the Central Hume Primary Care Partnership Healthy Eating and Active Living Plan 2017-2021. Our previous work from 2012-2017 has focused on preventing family violence, improving food security and healthy eating. 

Many children do not eat enough fruit and vegetables or get enough physical activity. Benalla Health is tackling poor food access by making healthy food an easy choice. We also work together with other health services in the Hume area to improve healthy eating.

Our Vision: “For all people in the Hume Region are able to have access to food that is safe, nutritious and culturally valued.” 

Some programs include:

Please see Central Hume Primary Care Partnership Healthy Eating for our work from 2017-2017. 

Benalla Grow Your Own: wicking garden beds

Benalla Health, St Vincent de Paul Society of Benalla and Beechworth Correctional Centre teamed up to build wicking garden beds in people's backyards. The project aimed to reduce the reliance on emergency food relief, improve community connectivity and increase people's confidence and skills to grow their own food at home. As of 2020 we have installed 74 garden beds since 2016.

The project was a joint winner of the 2017 VicHealth Awards "Improving Health Equity" Category. 

Please see our video on the wicking gardens beds in the Central Hume

What is a wicking garden?

A wicking beds is a water saving garden bed that include a water reservoir in the bottom Instead of watering the plants with a hose, they get water from the box.

Am I eligible for one?

To be eligible you must:

  • Live in Benalla
  • Have children under 18 years at home
  • Have experienced food insecurity
  • Be keen to give gardening a go!

Our local supporters

Benalla Men’s Shed, Benalla Timber Products, Mitre 10, Sprayline, H P Excavations

For more information:

Contact our Health Promotion Team on (03) 57614500 or email

Healthy Eating: Getting Fresh Food 

Benalla Food Security Network

The Benalla Food Security Network was formed in February 2014 in response to a food security scan (see below). The group coordinates local solutions to improve access to healthy foods in Benalla. The group has members representing local government, neighbourhood houses, emergency food relief providers, non-for-profit organisations, schools and community members. 

In 2018 the group was reformed into the Benalla Local Food Network. It is run as an action group under the Benalla Sustainable Future Group. 

Contact: The Health Promotion Team, Benalla Community Health, (03) 57614500 or

Please visit the Benalla Sustainable Future Group website for more details and meeting dates. 

Latching Onto Breastfeeding 

Benalla Health, the Tomorrow Today Foundation and Benalla Rural City Council are working to improve breastfeeding rates. 

The Central Hume Primary Care Partnership "Latching onto Breastfeeding" campaign was launched to make Benalla a place where mothers feel supported to breastfeed.

The campaign focuses on messages of what dad/partners, family, friends, workplaces, health services and businesses can do to support women to breastfeed.

Having a baby?

Gateway Health has created an app for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The app details what to expect during your pregnancy and breastfeeding it also shows you where to find breastfeeding-friendly cafes and venues, feed and change facilities.

To download search "breastfeeding gateway".

Also available on IOS

See the Central Hume Primary Care Partnership video on the Breastfeeding App

For breastfeeding friendly places in Benalla click here 

Breastfeeding SMS system

Benalla Health, in partnership with Benalla Rural City Council and the Tomorrow Today Foundation started a breastfeeding SMS system in 2017. In May 2017 overall feedback was positive. All mothers discharged from Benalla Health midwifery have the option of receiving SMS until their baby is eight weeks old and can opt out at any time. Each text message has a supportive message with contact details of local breastfeeding services. 

See Flyer for Breastfeeding SMS Service

See attached for results in 2017

See the presentation of results to the North East and Goulburn Valley Allied Health Conference 2019

As part of the campaign, Benalla Health collected a survey from parents to hear about their needs and experiences feeding their children (both breast and bottle) in Benalla.

Please see the Benalla Parenting Needs Survey Results.

More information:

For more information please contact our Dietitian or Community Health Nurse on 57614500.


Healthy Food Connect: Food Systems

Many people in Benalla have trouble buying healthy affordable food. Why is this so?

  • Poor transport to shops
  • Low income
  • “Food deserts” where affordable and nutritious food is not available in a 500m walking distance
  • Expensive food: See how much does it cost for healthy food?

Benalla Health and Benalla Rural City Council are working together change our local food system.

Benalla Rural City Council: Food initiatives could improve health for local children

What have we done?

North East Local Food Strategy

The North East Local Food Strategy is a regionally developed, community collaboration document involving many organisations and people across the North East.

The purpose of the strategy is to:

1. Coordinate systems level approach to strengthening the regional food system

2. Identify priority areas for action

3. Be used as a resource to support funding applications by community members or organisations.

The document is available at

Food Cents

Discover new ways to balance your food and budget - check out the free cooking sessions for kids and parents

Need simple tricks to help budget family food? Learn to prepare easy, kid friendly meals and snacks suitable for a lunch box.

We can run three cooking sessions in your home! This is free and available for families with children aged up to 12 years old. 

For more information, phone Benalla Health on (03) 57614500 to book your place.

Benalla Small Plates

The Benalla Small Plates Project aims to increase the number of healthy portioned meals for both adults and children in Benalla restaurants.

Families that eat outside of home often have little choice with meals being up to 250 per cent larger than at home.

A Small Plates restaurant offers healthier portions, and alternatives to deep fried kid’s meals.

The project was launched at the Thoona Pub in 2014. The project wrapped up in 2017 but has continued running and the following business:

Accredited Benalla Small Plates restaurants

Want to know more? 

Information for Businesses

For more information please contact our Dietitian, phone (03) 57614500 or email;


Each week about 80 Benalla families with 120 children sing, enjoy rhymes, read stories and have fun with activities that teach skills that will resonate throughout the childrens’ lives.

The PEEP program is designed for children from birth to school age. PEEP responds to research findings that young children who are given lots of opportunities and support to explore, play, problem solve, read, sing and socialise in a group environment will be better prepared for life and learning.

Each PEEP session has a special ‘talk time’ when parents explore topics related to child development and parenting. The program also links families into local services and groups, as well as the wider community.
Benalla Health has established a strong partnership with the Tomorrow Today Foundation to assist in the delivery of the PEEP program.

PEEP age-based sessions run for approximately an hour and a half each week during school terms.
Seven programs now run at the Tomorrow: Today PEEP Centre in Cecily Court.  Registration is essential for all Cecily Court sessions as places are limited.

Phone Tomorrow: Today (03) 5762 1211 for more information.

Real Men Make Great Dads

Who knew that being a dad didn't come with a manual? 

Real Men Make Great Dads is the “manual” you've been looking for with great ideas and strategies to help you be a great dad.

The program caters for wherever you are at:

  • Step-parenting;
  • Sole-parenting;
  • Co-parenting;
  • Parenting when the kids are not in your care. 

Join us to learn about:

  • Understanding your child as they grow;
  • Your relationship with your child;
  • How to deal with behavioural issues;
  • How to communicate to your child.

Enquiries: Phone: 5761 4500 or email:

Deakin Infant Program

The infant program is being offered by Benalla Health to help families get their baby off to a great start with healthy food and being active. It was designed by Deakin University and involves interactive sessions with other parents. 

Free sessions are offered when your baby is around 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months old. Sessions are also run in conjunction with the Tomorrow Today Foundation PEEP Program

Please see Deakin Infant Website or Benalla Infant Facebook Page for information including recipes and videos on healthy eating and active play. 

See attached flyer for upcoming dates


Active Living in Benalla

Benalla Health has completed mapping Active Living in the Benalla Community from 2019-2020. Please see attached report on Active Living 

The mapping project aims to better understand current oppurtunities for phsyical activity, community felt needs and areas for improvement. 

The report identified 4 key reccomendations

1. Improvement to Walking and Bike paths

2. Free programs/groups/activities

3. Promotion of Physical Activity Initiatives and and Opportunities

4. Policy Implementation