The city of Greater Geelong is the largest musicality of Australia’s Victoria province and is a beautiful city with a seaside location located in the western part of Victoria, with an area of 1250 square kilometers and has a population of 259000 (as of 2019) with expectations to reach 274000 by 2026 and 296000 by 2031 (Profile, n.d.). It was formed in 1993 with the amalgamation of some local areas. The current mayor is Stephanie Asher. The natural features of the city are Corio Bay, the Bellarine Peninsula, Barwon river, yangs regional park, wildlife sanctuaries, wetlands, and parklands.
The city has 133 km of coastline with 16.2 % of the population born overseas having a median age of 40. 83 % of the workforce of the council lives in the greater Geelong area (Municipal Council of Geelong, 2018). Looking at the infrastructure available, 77 % of the council homes have an internet connection, the average size of the household is 2.4 acres. The growth rate of the city council is 2.66 % and it has over 6 million visitors every year. The city council has also aboriginal and Torres strait islanders numbering 2400 and which keeps a place in the city planning and development activates.
The Gross regional product of the city is 13.6 b $ which is 3.08 % of the state's GDP (Profile, n.d.). It employs 116,800 local jobs and having 18,500 local businesses, with health and social assistance being the largest industry (Profile, n.d.). The greater Geelong region recorded a good Gross regional product in the recent past, however, the recent coronavirus pandemic has its impact on the growth and economy of the region which interrupted this growth trend. The healthcare sector and social assistance have made its mark but the industrial sectors have experienced job losses and reduced revenue. Tourism, hospitality, retail, services, education, and arts are the sectors worst affected by the pandemic (Government of Victoria, 2016). Industries with the most jobs and add value to the gross regional product are healthcare and assistance, education and training, manufacturing, retail, and construction sector. In the re4cent years, high-value industries like advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, and cleantech have grown.
The financial performance for the year 2018-19 had a surplus of $ 85 million, which is a decrease of 40 m from the previous year (Municipal Council of Geelong, 2018). 487 m of revenue, with 402 m of expenditure including 122 m of capital expenditure. The total assets stand at 2.76 b $ which is a 251 m increase in the previous year (Profile, n.d.). The council has a plan of 2018-22 which is the key document of the guidance and planning for the future and is supported by other and subsidiaries' plans of the municipality.
Socioeconomic status, be it is assessed by the income, education level, or occupation is directly linked with a wide range of health issues which includes cardiovascular disease, maternity and birth problem, communicable and non-communicable diseases. Low socioeconomic status is directly proportional to high mortality and the fact is that the greatest results and disparities take place in middle adulthood. This has a feedback impact on the community as higher health problems will make the community poorer with more out of the pocket expenses on healthcare, this is the reason why most of the democratic governments provide free health care to people below a particular income level as there is a threat of pushing of such people towards poverty by such health expenses. Thus social expenditure on basic amenities includes pure and clean water and basic facilities to all, health and education which help the poor to come out of poverty and contribute to the socio-economic well-being of the community.
While socioeconomic status is certainly linked to morbidity and mortality, the exact mechanism and factors responsible for it are not identified. The pervasive effect of socioeconomic status allows for no single policy or a series of such policies to guarantee to eliminate such health problems and disparities.
The share of the population attending the educational institutions does reflect the age proportion of the citizens and age structure of the population because the factors included are the number of students attaining primary, secondary, and higher secondary schools, colleges, and tertiary education, which can reflect that the higher education is available nearby or not, to what extent and age people are ready to seek the educational knowledge and opportunities. In 2016, 10, 600 people in the city of greater Geelong attended university, which represented 4.5 % of the population as compared to 6.4 % in the city of greater Melbourne (Geelong City Council, 2018 ). But in nearly all other clauses of education, the city of Melbourne and greater Geelong are more or less the same in the percentage of people attending educational institutions, for example, 18,500 h children attended primary school in 2016 which is 7.9 % of the population same as Melbourne city. Secondary level government educational institutions saw 14,700 people in greater Geelong which was 6.3 % compared to 6.1 % of Melbourne (Profile, n.d.).
21 % of the people in greater Geelong had earned vocational training and qualification in 2016 which is higher than in Melbourne and it represents an increase of 5700 people since 2011 (Profile, n.d.). The analysis holds that there is a lower proportion of people holding formal educational degrees, diplomas, or vocational qualifications. 49 % of the population aged 15 or more held educational qualification compared to 52 % for greater Melbourne (Profile, n.d.). The major changes observed are
The reasons for health disparities are numerous and unclear but many may be obvious. Education in terms generally leads to better jobs, money, a higher social status which affects the level of thinking and self-consciousness to some extent. These factors allow a person to think proactively on his health and well being and he will focus more on prevention than cure because the basic needs of his life are fulfilled due to the job and he has sufficient leisure time to think about his future (Fonseca et al, 2020). People with low income often live in the areas with communities often struggling with health problems due to the obvious reasons of nonavailability of basic facilities and amenities which includes the factors such as lesser reach to supermarkets and better food options, lesser space of greenery, fewer jobs, lower-quality education and more rate of crime.
Fonseca et al (2020) further explain that in addition to that, if the government does not spend on social assistance like health and education and the basic amenities and they have shortages of physicians and other healthcare officials. However, there is evidence that people with a lower level of education had worse health they were having a higher level of education, and the level of access to care being equal. Thus if the greater Geelong community strengthens schools, it will make the community healthier and will reduce expenses on health care spending in the long run.
The Geelong city council has a cultural and open space interaction plan of 2012-21 which aims to provide open spaces and communication and interaction according to the aspiring young people. The initiative of building inclusive communities will support the rural and encompassing areas tom plan and develop strategies for effective communication and related activities. The city of greater Geelong works to build the capacity of the local communities and the aboriginals to be able to remove the language and access barriers and inclusion (Cohut, 2018). The people of greater Geelong support people with disabilities to fully make them participate in mainstream activities. The people support the council to build and strengthen community capacity to ensure the needs of people with disabilities be addressed properly. 73 % of the households have an internet connection and it is improving for access to information for services and community activities (Geelong City Council, 2018). The city council has issued an accessible communication handbook in which the proper address and communication policies have been mentioned with the people with disabilities and the aboriginals.
The city has several local newspapers like The Echo, The Geelong Advertiser, the Geelong independent, local radios like K Rock, The Pulse, Bay FM, country FM, and Rhema FM, the city has some local publications like Forte magazine, Geelong business news, Surf Coast Living magazine, GT magazine and What's On Geelong (Central Geelong, n.d.).
Humans are innately compassionate beings, and this compassion and empathy have serviced the race positively. Pinker (2014) states that person to person contact triggers such parts of the nervous system which release a mixture of neurotransmitters which help in mood stabilization and physical and mental well being. The human race s born in a social group and it strives to live in a society for the entire life, the social elects are an integral part made out of evolution in the human race, and it dies also has considerable health impacts on an individual. A human being dream, learn, and work as a part of society, throughout his life shape the mindset and personal identities of the person to a huge extent. But the right communication for which the mind has evolved itself must take place in order to maintain mental and physical health. For example, there is an increasing population of netroverts, the people who do not interact or communicate directly with people but do so on the internet or text messages. Thus a quantity and quality time spent in direct social interaction does have a positive health benefit. The aspirations, the emotions of different levels can be leveled up through social interaction as the human mind wants a surety from outside for whatever he is thinking. Thus newspapers, radio, internet, direct physical and social interaction like conventions, parks, and play, councils fare are very necessary for communication to affect positive health benefits (Cohut, 2018). By interacting with others, we train our brains and it helps to build memory and formation of brain cells and protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases.
Geelong city has a social support network with 56 % of the Geelong adults believe that they can seek help from the neighbors compared to 51 in Victoria. With the view of social isolation, 1.2 % of the Geelong adults have no social contact compared with 2.2. % of Victoria. 27 % pouf the Geelong adults have volunteered their time to community organizations compared to 23 in Victoria (Geelong City Council, 2018).
With the indicator of community safety and family violence, 96 % of the Geelong adults feel that walking during the day is safe compared with 92 % of Victoria. 20 % of the Geelong adults do not feel safe while walking alone at the night compared to 17 % in 2015 (Geelong City Council, 2018). Geelong adults favor more to gender equality with 30 % scoring low in the gender equality index while this figure is 35 % for Victoria. The incidents of family violence have been increasing since 2013, with 3200 incidents recorded in 2016-17.
With reverence to the indicators of nutrition and healthy eating, the infect breastfeeding rate in Geelong has been continuously increasing since 2008 at 53 % compared to 51 in Victoria. 7 % of the Geelong adults take the recommended daily vegetable meal, compared to 6.4 of Victoria (Geelong City Council, 2018). The blood pressure screening is at 83 % in Geelong while it is 80 in Victoria. And 50 % of the adults were declared overweight over the BMI index (Geelong City Council, 2018).
These indicators tell that the community is socially very active and that the health indicators are improved since previous times and are better than the state of Victoria. However, the increased incidents of family violence which kept on increasing since 2013 is a matter of concern and the municipal council needs to do a fresh check on this increasing trend when all other factors are being positive, how could this factor keeps on increasing. The municipal council shall strive to increase awareness about the health and well-being factors that are necessary and to encourage it timely fare should be organized.
The three main health issues and concerns on priority are
Issue 1- Risk of alcohol and smoking-related issues- 58 % of the Geelong adults are at higher risk of long term alcohol reacted harm which is the same as Victoria, but 45 % of the Geelong adults are at short term risk of alcohol harm compared to 42 % of Victoria (Geelong City Council, 2018). The risk of alcohol consumption shall be taken seriously and ban and limitations on the sale of alcohol should be maintained to strict the use. Easy availability of alcohol should be banned by the council otherwise the short and long-term health impacts of alcohol may imbalance the aims of the 2021 health promotion program.
Issue 2- Hypertension problem is worst in Geelong city area as compared to Victoria 29 % of the Geelong people have hypertension while this number is 26 % for Victoria (Government of Victoria, 2016). This is directly related to obesity and bad food habits, the proof of which is that about 50 % of the Geelong adults have been weighted overweight on the BMI index and thus the municipal council should make a plan to make physically more fit people through engagement in various activities sponsored by the council.
Issue 3- Mental health issue- The greater Geelong area has the highest number of people who are diagnosed with dementia among all the local government areas of Victoria and related other neurological diseases and this should be the primary focus of the municipal council as old age well being and maintenance is one of the primary concerns of the modern administration (Government of Victoria, 2016).
Central Geelong (n.d.). Geelong media contact list. Retrieved fromhttps://www.centralgeelong.com.au/news/members/geelongs-media-contact-list
Cohut, M. (2018). What are the health benefits of being social?. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321019
Fonseca, R., Michuad, P. & Zheng, Y. (2020). The effect of education on health: evidence from national compulsory schooling reforms. SERIEs 11, 83–103.
Geelong City Council (2018). Council plan 2018-22. Retrieved from https://s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/hdp.au.prod.app.ggc-yoursay.files/9015/8759/7310/Draft_Council_Plan_2018-22_-_Update_2020-21.pdf
Geelong City Council (n.d.). Greater geelong city. Retrieved from https://knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au/councils/greater-geelong
Government of Australia (2016). Victoria in future. Retrieved from https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/11458/Greater_Geelong_VIF_2016_One_Page_Profile_Output.pdf
Government of Victoria (2016). An independent commission of inquiry established by the minister for local government. Retrieved from https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/file_uploads/Geelong_City_Council_Report_Combined_vn4s3j5T.pdf
Municipal Council of Geelong (2018). Municipal public health and wellbeing plan 2018–2021.
Pinker, S. (2014). The village affect: How face to face contact can make us happier, healthier and smarter. First edition. New York: Spiegel & Grau, Print.
Profile (n.d.) Economic profile of the city of greater geelong. Retrieved from http://economy.id.com.au/geelong/workers-income
Profile (n.d.). City of greater geelong. Retrieved from https://profile.id.com.au/geelong/qualifications
Profile (n.d.). Welcome to the City of Greater Geelong population forecasts. Retrieved from https://forecast.id.com.au/geelong
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