The Hazelwood Health Study has been established in response to the concerns of the local community about the impacts of the mine fire. Therefore, it is vitally important to keep the community updated regarding the progress of the study and any findings. First and foremost, we are keen to connect directly with community members through public events including annual community briefings, and smaller community events (including presentations to existing community groups).
In addition, we are working closely with local media (print, radio and television) to release information about study progress and findings as well as providing updates via this website.
The study has also established a number of groups involving representatives from the local community. A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) has been established as the study’s peak advisory body. Its purpose is to ensure that the study hears directly from and works in partnership with Latrobe Valley community members, health and community service providers and local government in undertaking the research program and ultimately to improve health services and health outcomes for the local community.
A Clinical Reference Group (CRG) involving key local clinicians is providing input and advice on the clinical operations of the project. In addition to connecting with the local community, it is also vital for the study to connect with the research community. A Scientific Reference Group (SRG) has also been established, bringing together scientific experts in the various scientific disciplines contributing to the study. Local experts will be called upon to contribute to the CRG and SRG during the course of the project.
Broad representation through the CAC, CRG, and the SRG along with a two way communication process through regular and ongoing connections to the local community will ensure that community input is incorporated into the study’s operations at all levels. It should also ensure that information arising from the study is distributed broadly and taken up in the operations of local health and community service agencies.