Mildura Private Hospital is a not for profit 50 bed surgical, medical and post-natal hospital located on 13th Street Mildura. Mildura Private Hospital provides healthcare for members of the Mildura District Hospital fund. Myself being a member of this private fund for the past 10 years, I do see the benefits of its private cover, with all the ancillaries. At a cost of $195.00 per fortnight this provides my family with not only the private hospital facilities, but also full dental, physio, chiropractic and optometrist cover. The fund pays a large portion of the expense gap, this being an incentive to families to pay the extra money rather than having public cover. Having the private cover is also used for tax purposes, by having the private cover the Australian tax payer can avoid paying the Medicare Levy of 2% where as if they’re above the tax threshold bracket would pay another 1%-1.5% surcharge.
They provide healthcare to both privately insured and self-insured patients also providing tier 1 healthcare services to the Veteran Community.
The hospital opened in 1985 and has been owned by the current owners Mildura Health Fund since 1997.
The Inpatient ward; Banksia has 29 beds incorporating a two bed High Dependency Unit (HDU), five bed Post Natal service and Palliative Care room with family facilities. Accommodation is within single and shared rooms. The rooms are modernised and are equipped with flat screen televisions and direct dial telephones.
The hospital’s Day Procedure Unit offers privacy and individual care with private patient bays. (http://www.mildurahealthfund.com.au)
After speaking with former Access Manager Yasmin Birnie, she informed me the Mildura Base Hospital is a 165 bed Hospital and is currently managed by Ramsay Health Care in a contractual arrangement with the Victorian Government. This arrangement is currently being negotiated and a possible new management team may take over the role. Mildura Base Hospital provides public hospital services to the Community of Mildura and Sunraysia District. Yasmine also said while there are 165 beds available, however when a critical incident occurs in the region, many people are struggling to find an available bed.
The hospital provides a range of services including Emergency, Maternity, Intensive Care, General Medicine and Surgery, Oncology, Medical Imaging, Pathology, Dialysis, Mental Health (Inpatient and community services) and a range of Ambulance Services.
The hospital itself is built on former drainage wetlands (salt lakes) to which caused many issues in the construction phase, with movement in the foundations due to poor ground conditions. This caused cracks and damage to walls and footings. Not only was the hospital built on wetlands, it was built directly across from the Mildura Tip causing more issues in the fit-out stage, with rats from the tip eating out wiring systems through the hospital rooms and offices. This slowed down construction and caused an uproar in the township as to hygiene and diseases once operational. fro
Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council (SMECC) provides refugee settlement services by providing range supportive of programs. Over several years (2014-15) The Sunraysia region has welcomed almost 120 newly arrived refugees, including 40 families. Mildura also hosts number of asylum seeker community members who stay here while waiting for their residency status to be resolved. Most of the new community members come from Afghanistan followed by Sri Lanka, Burundi, Congo, Sri Lanka and Iraq.
(Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council)
Q3a) Describe a significant positive or negative incident/event that has affected relationships with police in your Division/Police Service Area.
b) How has this impacted social cohesion?
Mildura (9,222.0 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, down 1.4%) Crime statistics are produced annually by Victoria Police. Summaries of offences are reported per 100,000 population to enable comparisons across different areas. The above chart displays current 2018 crime statistics from LEAP extracts on 18 July 2018.The main offences in Mildura PSA are:
• Theft at 2011.9 offences.
• Breaches of orders with 1358.1
• Assault and related offences in third place with 1257.2 offences recorded.
• Burglary came in at fourth place with 1023.1 reported offences.
During my DTW placement 1 at Mildura Police Station, I found that while taking
counter reports and phone calls from the public, most of the offences matched up to the listed crime statistics report. I dealt with a number of thefts from motor vehicles followed by numerous breaches of orders (Mainly domestic violence related). This was also what the other staff members were following up on. (Crime Statistics Agency, 2018)
Q5. Explain the underlying factors driving the crimes you described in Q4. Use the framework of social determinants for crime (health, housing, education, employment, family and social networks) and your understanding of your Division/PSA to form some conclusions. Note this is more than drugs and alcohol – consider the social determinants framework to understand what is driving the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.
According to the SEIFA (Socio-economic Indexes for Areas) which through the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ranks areas in Australia according to relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage, Mildura ranks as the fifth lowest demographic in the state.
Being a local to the Mildura PSA for the past 37 years I’ve seen firsthand the disadvantage within local families. These disadvantages have been passed down several generations creating a snow ball effect of poverty and welfare dependence, with families being unable to break the cycle. Having seen this first hand throughout my schooling days and through to adulthood, I still see the same families that have grown up in the Mildura PSA continuing the same sequence of events. The children being brought up in a world of crime and neglect, not knowing any different and hence continuing the cycle of welfare and crime. The indexes are based on information from the five-yearly Census of Population and Housing.
SEIFA 2016 has been created from Census 2016 data and consists of four indexes: The Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD); The Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD); The Index of Education and Occupation (IEO); The Index of Economic Resources (IER). (ABS, 2018)
Other factors associated with the top 3 crimes in Mildura’s PSA also include issues such as, drug and alcohol use and abuse, which can be linked to high unemployment rates, assaults, thefts and property damage. As well as these factors, family violence is also on the rise which can account for the breaches of orders that are being reported to local authorities.
ABS. SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDEXES FOR AREAS (SEIFA) 2016. Retrieved from Australian Bureau of Statistics: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/2033.0.55.001
Q6. Identify at least 3 barriers that may prevent victims from reporting crime to police in your area. *Identify a potential solution to one of these barriers. Use your knowledge of community diversity from question 1 to inform your answer to this question.
Barriers that prevent victims from reporting crime to police depend greatly on the situation. For example, people may have a lack of faith in the police force due to past experiences, being isolated or in a rural PSA may also have restrictions on available services. In comparison to the city, rural areas such as Mildura do lack a great deal of services that can provide necessary help and information. In relation to reporting family violence, thefts or assaults, victims may have a fear of retribution and/or fear for their safety. They may be worried about telling someone what happened for fear of embarrassment or retaliation with the belief that living in such a small community, locals may become aware of what has occurred (On the Grape Vine theory). Locals may also believe police won’t believe them or can’t assist them.
Providing more services in the Mildura area that could help the locals in the CALD and indigenous communities like SMECC (Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council) and MDAS (Mildura District Aboriginal Services) alongside providing funding for constant improvement in these services, we need to ensure the monies are spent correctly and distributed fairly. Doing this may ensure potential improvements in the future, which could also assist the local police in after care of victims, by perhaps increasing their understanding of what has occurred, reassuring people in the community that police are there to help.
Q7. Research and describe two police initiatives in your Division or Police Service Area that have been implemented to reduce crime and/or improve community relationships.
After speaking with First Constable Megan ALLAN of the Community Engagement Unit at Mildura Police Station, I was provided with the information below regarding initiatives Mildura Police use to help improve community relationships.
Eye watch – Mildura Police have a Facebook page called Eyewatch-Mildura Police Service Area, that they regularly monitor. On that goes the local crime report, any good news stories, warrants that Mildura Police need public assistance in locating offenders, missing persons and anything that promotes Mildura or Victoria Police.
This page is utilised by the public on a regular basis with many stories and KALOFs shared by the page users, this assisting Mildura Police in a great manner.
Junior Neighbourhood Watch – police in primary schools (Grades 5/6). Community based crime prevention programs aimed to build partnerships between police and local communities. 8 lessons a year (2 per term). Topics include School Holiday Security, how to be an effective witness, bike and road safety, crime prevention video, fingerprinting, crime scene related topics and some forensic art.
MASP (Mallee Accommodation and Support Program) exists to help with the impacts of homelessness, abuse, suffering and disadvantage in the Mildura community. They achieve this by delivering a range of services and programs for vulnerable children, youth and families, the disabled, aged, homeless and those people at risk of homelessness. MASP tries to provide services that are appropriate, and which will achieve the best possible outcomes for those people seeking help. MASP. (2018). About us. Retrieved from Mallee Accommodation and Support Program: http://www.masp.org.au/index.php?
Mildura Rural City Council delivers the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) which is funded by the Commonwealth Government. The program includes several different services for individuals who are 65 years and over and over 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and require support with daily tasks to remain living independently at home. It provides a domestic assistance which is designed to help people keep their independence and continue living in their own homes for as long as possible. The services are intended to enhance people’s abilities and independence. The social support group provides planned activity groups offering a range of social activities that aims to enhance the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of participants in a group environment as well as providing respite care and support for carers.
The Mallee Sexual Assault Unit (MSAU) provides support to all victims of sexual assault. They aim to provide services to victims and survivors of sexual assault in the context of their family and other support systems. Services include crisis care responses, counselling, casework, referral and group work. Other work undertaken includes the development and participation in a range of educative and training for relevant practitioners and communities of interest. Some of the key points are,
• To provide timely and appropriate responses to recent and past victims and survivors of sexual assault;
• To provide education, training and consultation to relevant individuals and services to facilitate meeting the broader needs and concerns of victims and survivors of sexual assault; and
• To develop and participate in community education strategies that work towards the prevention of sexual assault.
The target group for sexual assault services is women, men, young people and children who are victims / survivors of recent or past sexual assault. https://www.msau-mdvs.org.au
Sunraysia Wildlife Carers are a volunteer group of locals who are experienced in the rescue, care and rehabilitation of native wildlife, e.g. native birds, animals and reptiles that you believe to be injured or distressed or simply not where they should be. They will rescue and care for them. A referral to a snake handler can also be arranged throughout the summer snake season. (https://sunraysiawildlifecarers.wordpress.com)
Mallee Family Care was established in August 1979 in response to the needs of the communities of north west Victoria and south west New South Wales. Starting out as part of Melbourne Family Care, it was separately incorporated in 1984.
Today it’s a locally accountable provider of health, welfare and family services.
Mallee Family Care’s primary objective is to create stronger more caring communities. The approach to achieve this is through assistance to families in the community by guiding and supporting them into more meaningful lives, in turn benefitting the community.
Mallee Family Care has a range of programs and activities reflecting the current needs of the community in its cultural and social diversity. Mallee Family Care offers over 60 programs to support local individuals and families across the Mallee region.
They work in the fields of family, youth and children, disability, mental health, housing and settlement, legal, financial, research and education.
Mallee Family Care. (2018). About Mallee Family Care. Retrieved from Mallee Family Care: http://www.malleefamilycare.com.au/Home/About.aspx