Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC) is dedicated to representing and providing health and wellbeing services to the Dja Dja Wurrung community (Jarra people) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the boundaries of Dja Dja Wurrung country, which includes over 1,800 Aboriginal people.
BDAC focuses on growing the health and wellbeing services available, developing the Aboriginal community, improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal people and being a lead agency in providing career pathways for Aboriginal people.
As a health and wellbeing leader in the community, BDAC joined the Healthy Workplaces Achievement Program in 2018 to demonstrate its commitment to workplace health and wellbeing. Baydon Widdicombe, human resource manager at BDAC, believes being seen to ‘walk the talk’ helps set a positive example for the community.
“As we’re a service that provides health and wellbeing support, we know the importance of being role models in our community, leading the way for our people to live healthy lifestyles,” Mr Widdicombe said.
BDAC, with support from the health promoter at Bendigo Community Health Services (BCHS), has introduced new initiatives to improve the policies, practices and culture, as it worked towards the smoking area of the Healthy Workplaces Achievement Program.
- An on-site Quit educator and supply of free smoking cessation products such as patches and gum. If staff don’t feel comfortable, they can also access the service at BCHS.
- Hosting a morning tea for World No Tobacco Day.
- Sharing Cancer Council Victoria resources and support services.
- Including the smoke-free policy in the new staff induction process.
- A proactive communications plan to raise awareness of, and support for, becoming a smoke-free workplace by July 2021.
- Workplace signage for non-smoking and designated smoking areas.
- Promoting health information and support services to staff in staff meetings and in the workplace newsletter.
- Outlining clear expectations in the smoke-free policy for smoke-free organisational and community events.
- Growing support from employees for becoming a smoke-free workplace, which was reported in the staff survey.
- Increased interest from staff wanting to reduce or quit smoking.
- A reduction in staff smoking.
The smoke-free initiatives have seen BDAC receive Victorian Government recognition for the Smoking health area in the Healthy Workplaces Achievement Program.
BDAC is committed to workplace health and wellbeing and will continue working towards other health areas in the Achievement Program.