Innovation Breakfasts kick off with Hazelwood Health Study

27 February 2024

2024 Gippsland Innovation Breakfasts 

The Innovation Breakfast series is a collaboration between Federation University, Latrobe Valley Authority and Regional Development Victoria. The event brings together community, government, industry and education to generate creative thinking and inspire change in Gippsland.

The first Innovation Breakfast of 2024 reflected on progress from the Hazelwood Health Study, designed to monitor the long-term health impacts of Latrobe Valley community members following the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire event.

The research study is now in its final year of a 10-year Victorian Government supported project.  Researchers working on the health study presented findings to the breakfast audience and the group.

A clear message from the presentation was that 'Extended smoke events can have both immediate and longer-term effects on people's mental health - and can take time to become apparent and be exacerbated by later events (eg. Black Summer). Health care services should anticipate a swell in mental health-related presentations during and following an event and prepare accordingly.' More detail can be found on the Hazelwood Health Study website.

The group also heard from the Latrobe Health Advocate who highlighted the importance of listening to the community voice throughout the process of disaster planning, response, and recovery.

Upcoming Innovation Breakfasts to register for are:

Wednesday 20 March - Spotlight on Intersectional Stigma
Join a workshop designed and delivered by the youth of Latrobe Valley to identify and increase awareness about stigma, and how we can all help to reduce its effects and improve the emotional wellbeing of our community. Register here.

Wednesday 17 April - Gippsland's opportunity in the Circular Economy
Globally, moving towards a more circular economy is being driven by the need to decarbonise and reduce the production of waste. Circular activities and processes not only extend the usable life of products but also extend their value, create new jobs and raise economic growth.

Join a discussion about how this approach is moving beyond the linear “take-make-dispose” models and is leading to innovative systems to recycle and strategically reuse and repurpose a wide range of materials, generating value and new business models. Register here.

Register your interest to attend future Innovation Breakfasts with the Morwell Innovation Centre.

Photo - Dr Lieke Scheepers, Latrobe Early Life Follow-up Study Research Fellow; Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania.