2021 - 2022
Annual Report



(36.37% INCREASE)













Dot Painting


Board Directors and Staff of Star Health acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Yalukit Willam clan of the Boon Wurrung people, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We acknowledge and uphold their continuing relationship to this land and acknowledge that this land has never been ceded.


Star Health is committed to working in partnership with our local Indigenous community and addressing health inequity for all First Nations people. Star Health is proud to provide an inclusive service and work environment where individuals feel safe, accepted, affirmed and celebrated.


Star Health is committed to equity, irrespective of cultural or linguistic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, religion or spiritual beliefs, socio-economic status, age and abilities.


We welcome you to our Annual Report


We welcome you to our Annual Report. Each year we celebrate the progress and achievements made towards Health and Wellbeing for all. The report provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge the work that happens every day to deliver health and wellbeing outcomes for our community.


As we continue to navigate the challenging environment surrounding COVID-19, once again, we were mandated to only provide an Annual Report. However, we are proud to present this extended version, which features some of the stories of Star Health in 2021 - 22.


Services at Star Health span the full range of integrated care needed for those living with chronic and complex health conditions, including: 

COVID-19 Testing & Vaccination Services

Therapeutic Support, Service Coordination

Sex Worker Education & Support Services (RHED)


Older Person High Rise Program  & Supported Residential Services

Alcohol & Other Drug Services (AOD)


Homelessness to Home

Allied Health Services

Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Podiatry, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics & Speech Therapy

Case Management Services

Child, Youth & Family Services

Chronic Condition Management

Diabetes Education, Smoking Cessation

Community Health Nursing & Midwifery

Family Violence Services

General Practice Doctors (GP)

Harm Reduction Services

For people who use alcohol and/or drugs

Indigenous Access Services

Disability (NDIS) 

Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

Mental Health Services

Home Care Packages

Homelessness & Housing Support Services

Post-Acute Care

For more information on our services, or to book an appointment, visit: https://www.starhealth.org.au/services-2/


CEO / Board Chair Report

‘We exist to champion health equity for everyone in our community’.


Treasurers Report

Board Profile


Management Profile

Strategic Plan Update

The 2021-2024 Strategic Plan has steered us through its first year. This Plan has governed and aligned all our work across policy, service delivery and advocacy- including the important progress towards creating BHN Better Health Network.

The 2021-2024 Strategic Plan includes four priorities: Leadership, Excellence, Inclusive & Connected Services, and Capable & Sustainable. Some achievements under this Strategic Plan include:


  • Progressing the Voluntary Amalgamation and transformation to BHN with our partners at Connect Health & Community and Central Bayside Community Health Services

  • The finalisation of Star Health’s Lived and Living Experience Workforce Change and Development Framework, and successful recruitment of the LLE Lead position to steer implementation of the Framework across the organisation


  • Self-funding and commencement of the Better Start program- a Star Health-designed place-based initiative operating at a local public housing high-rise in partnership with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the local community

  • Securing a future-proof service plan for the South Melbourne Star Health site

Inclusive & Connected Services:

  • Developing and testing the Star Health Outcomes Framework, informed by the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Framework, which will better enable us to measure and understand the impact and efficacy of our work in the lives of our clients

  • Undertaking a research and evaluation project with Swinburne and community health partners, which centres the voices of clients living in higher-risk accommodation settings during the COVID-19 pandemic, and using these client experiences to influence policy

Capable & Sustainable:

  • Continuing to invest in enhancing and adapting our infrastructure to ensure excellent service settings for clients and staff

  • Building our digital capacity and online presence, in order to be an efficient, available and contemporary service provider

As we continue to transform into Better Health Network, a new Strategic Plan will be created. This Strategic Plan will be an exciting opportunity for the new organisation to articulate its vision and priorities for the coming years, achieving Better for Clients, Staff and Community.

To view the strategic plan on our website, visit: 



Accessible Resources

Star Health is committed to ensuring that our consumers can receive, read and understand the health information that we provide to them. We also provide resources to empower consumers to appropriately utilise the information we provide once their appointment is complete. 


We provide services and information according to consumers’ preferences and specific needs. Interpreters are available for all appointments, if requested, and we translate our key documents into the most utilised languages. We review interpreter usage data each year (see graph to right) and adjust our translations accordingly. 

Interpreter Usage
FY 21-22

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Hearing from our consumers

We continually look at our feedback and monitor trends. Over the last year feedback has been provided over the phone, on the online feedback form or via email.

Some of the key trends and actions have been to:

Child Psycholgist

What consumers said

Offer more services

What we did

As we become Better Health Network, consumers will have access to a wider range of health and wellbeing services located in the inner south and southeast suburbs of Melbourne.

What consumers said

Creating a safe environment for all community members

What we did

To ensure that all clients have a safe experience, Star Health offers staff members training initiatives that focus on inclusion and justice. Over the last financial year, this has included LGBTQI+ Affirmative Practice Training and Intersectionality Training.

What consumers said

Make feedback easier to access

What we did

Translated version of feedback posters and forms will be stablished across sites, making it easier for people from diverse backgrounds to provide feedback.

We have also introduced a feedback QR code across our physical sites so that those with a device can easily access our feedback form.





The COVID-19 pandemic offered an unexpected and unprecedented testing ground for the development of large scale, community-based and community-focused mobile primary health care initiatives. Star Health has demonstrated its ability to work collaboratively internally and with other services and stakeholders to provide a rapid, coordinated and adaptable COVID-19 testing, COVID positive client management, engagement and vaccination response. Notably;




COVID-19 Response

COVID Positive Pathways

COVID Positive Pathways has been providing care and support at home for Victorians diagnosed with COVID-19. The program is delivered by Victorian hospitals, community health services (including collaboration with Aboriginal health services), GPs and other providers, and coordinated by the Victorian Department of Health.

COVID Positive Pathways makes sure clients are cared for in the best possible place, whether at home or in a hospital bed, depending on personal needs. The program also connects client with COVID-19 to other important services needed while sick, including emergency accommodation, food relief, and alcohol, drug, mental health and family violence support services.

Star Health has supported over 380 people through this initiative.

Rapid Response Testing Teams

Rapid Response Testing Teams delivered agile and flexible outreach testing as part of Victoria’s mounting COVID-19 pandemic response. To address an over-representation of culturally diverse Victorians in outbreaks, the team grew over time to include skilled community engagement and bicultural workforces and a large vaccination program. Using existing relationships, the team meaningfully engaged with multicultural groups, leaders, and organisations to build trust and understand diverse community needs. The team aimed to provide flexible, modular, and rapidly deployable on-site testing in high-risk settings and communities. COVID-19 testing was delivered through pop-up clinics and van-based outreach to workplaces, community spaces, places of worship, and complex residential settings. Providing over 17,000 tests, the team made a critical contribution to the success and equity of Victoria’s pandemic response.

COVID Vaccination Services

Star Health vaccination teams have been both roving and static. Combined, these teams delivered over 115,000 vaccinations to the Victorian community during the pandemic. We have been an agent for both the state and federal governments vaccination programs and have given over five different vaccines types.

Vaccines have been given in more than 80 different locations encompassing all cohorts of the community including general population in their homes, schools and sporting groups. It included CALD communities, high, medium and low rise public housing, SRS’s, rooming houses, indigenous communities, AOD rehab centres and mental health facilities.

​The Star Health vaccination team have shown adaptability, resilience and teamwork making this program a great success.

GP Respiratory Clinic (GPRC)

The General Practice Respiratory Clinic (GPRC) was one of 30 across Melbourne, established through partnerships with local Primary Health Networks. GPRCs aided in taking the pressure off hospitals by providing an alternative pathway to an emergency department for people with less serious illnesses. The service ran 7 days a week during times of peak activity and provided clients with face-to-face assessment of respiratory symptoms, on-site testing (including for COVID-19) and links to antiviral therapy if eligible.


As part of winter preparedness, the GPRC's role was imperative in supporting people with mild respiratory symptoms. As expected, we saw an upsurge in the demand and our team was prepared to assess, test and treat these clients. In January 2022, Prahran Town Hall COVID-19 testing clinic extended its services to a GPRC and has safely administered over 80,000 COVID-19 tests. The clinic expanded to provide extended after-hours service by doctors and nurses to manage low risk COVID positive patients. The GPRC, in addition to COVID-19 testing, has supported access to respiratory assessments and care close to where clients live, 7 days per week. This expanded service in the City of Stonnington came online from the end of January 2022 and is set to continue into late 2022.

High Risk Accommodation Response

The purpose of the Star Health High Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) Program was to actively link residents into other services and supports. Both internal and external referrals were facilitated. The HRAR project worked collaboratively with housing support providers, general practitioners (GPs), child protection agencies, alcohol and other drug (AOD) services, fire services, family services, migrant services and many more. In some cases, residents who became COVID-positive were further monitored and cared for via the HRAR program, rather than other primary services delegated this role.


The HRAR Program played a lead role in assisting and supporting our community. Rapid and targeted delivery of prevention, preparedness and outbreak response activities were scaled up to effectively meet the demands of emerging outbreaks.



In the past two years, including 260+ days Melbournians were living in lockdown conditions, residents of StarHealth's HRAR community were supported to stay COVIDSafe.

This is how!




















PCR Tests



Rapid Antigen Test Distributed 


Vaccine Certificates Generated


PPE Training Sessions




High-Rise Dwellings



  • Door Knock COVIDSafe Campaign
    Visited nearly 4000 dwellings and delivered care packs, hand sanitiser and face masks.

  • COVID Health Hub Services and Active Linkages 
    Supported nearly 2000 clients with food drops, medication support, waste support and laundry support.

  • Isolation Support
    Engaged with over 15,000 residents to distribute masks and Rapid Antigen Testing kits.


Low/Medium Rise Dwellings


Community Housing


Supported Residential Services (SRS)




Rooming Houses 


Community Languages



Supporting our staff so they can better support consumers

Due to the abrupt nature of the pandemic, there was limited time and opportunity to provide staff from COVID Programs with key training modules. Considering that these staff members reported a range of incidents involving occupational aggression, including physical violence towards staff, threats of violence and offensive language, there was a heightened need for formal training.


De-escalation and debriefing training programs were established to better meet this need. De-escalation training provides staff with a comprehensive set of skills that can be mobilised in various situations, allowing them to diffuse threatening situations confidently, conduct constructive discussions and effectively, provide the required support; all while keeping everyone safe.


Debriefing involves informal peer facilitated discussions allowing staff members to exchange thoughts and feelings about work issues affecting their emotional health. Debriefing practices allow staff to feel supported and heard, whilst promoting resiliency and diminishing consequences of stress.


Over 95% of participants either ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that the session was helpful. Feedback from the de-escalation training highlighted the importance of this skillset in personal and professional development. Following this de-escalation and debriefing training in the COVID programs, the training has been made available to teams across the organisation

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Actions to address health literacy and equity in social housing in Victoria - Swinburne research project

New social and public housing research led by Swinburne University of Technology, in collaboration with Connect Health & Community, Star Health, Merri Health, Peninsula Health and Bendigo Community Health Services, offers insight into situations many Victorians found themselves in during the pandemic. Star Health embarked on this study as an opportunity to recognise the impact and significance of the contributions the High Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) programs made to wider communities. It also provided an opportunity to identify best practice and determine program and practice improvement. The voices of more than 800 residents reveal the challenges, fears, and the strength and resilience that helped many residents prevail, despite significant adversities.


“The significant health and social inequity described in these stories cannot be ignored. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make real change because of this research. The learnings from this Australian-first research should now be used as a blueprint for policy-makers, local government, health organisations and community organisations to build upon as we work to improve the lives of community members.”


In many ways, this research validates what we thought we knew about our community, but it goes far further towards identifying precise needs of groups of marginalised community members. We can be more effective in supporting them and help to enable their sense of personal health agency.


The outputs from this research are key findings in each of these areas and invaluable current data on how residents experience their health and wellbeing, having a significant influence on our practice and program delivery.

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Older Persons’ High Rise (OPHR) Dietetics Nutrition Project at

The Older Persons Highrise (OPHR) team undertook a collaborative project with Star Health Dietitian, Marina, from February to June 2022. The project included three tiers of targeted interventions to improve the nutritional status of tenants:

1. Engaging displays of nutrition resources in the high rise foyers;

2. Group sessions for tenants experiencing barriers to service access;

3. One-on-one consultation with the Dietitian.

One of the objectives of the project was to identify the barriers tenants experience in accessing healthy food options. A needs analysis was created in collaboration with our Health Literacy Committee, which identified:

  • Tenants’ nutrition needs

  • Preferred method of communication for nutrition information

  • Barriers that prevented tenants from accessing healthy food (including poor dentition, chronic illness and food intolerances, lack of appropriate cooking facilities, cognitive and visual impairment, poor manual dexterity, reduced mobility and financial hardship)

Fortnightly group sessions were established, during which two recipes were selected for demonstration. These recipes met the ‘cheap, healthy and easy to prepare’ criteria. There were high levels of engagement at the group sessions with all tenants participating in the meal preparation. 

An OPHR staff member designed recipe cards which included a cost breakdown of the ingredients. The recipe cards were used during the sessions and given to tenants to take home. Participants engaged in discussion that addressed various themes and questions based on the needs and preferences of the group. Several referrals (including podiatry and OT) resulted from the sessions and discussions, building on our model of integrated care.

Tenants reported improvements in both their knowledge of nutrition, and confidence preparing healthy meals from the sessions and displays. Participants also expressed feeling more comfortable with the idea of seeing a Dietitian in the future and understood that OPHR staff could refer them if they required support with this. The project promoted capacity building and embedded sustainability, with the OPHR team continuing elements of the nutrition sessions beyond Marina’s tenure.


Framework for Growing, Enabling and Integrating the Lived/Living Experience Workforce

As part of its quality improvement work, Star Health has developed a Lived and Living Experience Workforce framework to best assist the company in its recruitment, support and integration of lived/living experience roles and practices within its workforce.


Star Health has a history of supporting lived experience roles in some of its programs, including Indigenous Access, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Mental Health and Resourcing Health and Education. However, until the introduction of its Lived and Living Experience Framework, it did not have an overarching approach to best support this critical work.


With an increase in the growth and development of Lived Experience roles and practices in the past few years, the development of the Lived and Living Experience Workforce Framework is a very timely and welcome addition to Star Health’s organisational workforce knowledge and support.


Lived and Living Experience Worker roles have continued to multiply and evolve over time in alignment with growing support and interest in this vital field of practice. They include well established peer worker and representative positions and newer additions in Lived Experience Research, Lived Experience Supervision and Senior Management and Leadership roles.


The growth and development of Lived Experience work highlights a need for increased planning, career mobility opportunities and communication around lived experience roles. The Lived and Living Experience Workforce framework fosters the development of a diversified lived/living experience workforce positioned to contribute to culture-making, innovation and leadership.

In recognition of the key role individuals with lived/living experience can play in improving the relevance and quality of services, Star Health has implemented a framework for growing, enabling and integrating the lived/living workforce. The Framework was enriched and guided by a group of Star Health staff with lived/living experience, a consumer representative and mental health program managers. This Framework will support organisational readiness to grow, support and integrate an LLE workforce. The newly appointed Lived and Living Experience Workforce Change and Development Lead will lead the implementation of the Star Health Framework.


The key domains of the Star Health Framework are:

1. Organisation/program readiness

2. Leadership and structure

3. Lived and Living Experience workforce planning

4. Program and service models

5. Supporting systems and processes

6. Partnership and advocacy


Some of the actions under these domains include:

  • Designate an Executive team member to hold formal responsibility for and sponsor this Framework and implementation;

  • Introduce training on supporting and supervising Lived and Living Experience practitioners for managers and leaders;

  • Take a systematic approach to articulating the underpinning evidence for program and service models and incorporate a focus on Lived and Living Experience workforce impact.


Effort across the six domains allows for the necessary dual focus on developing and growing the Lived and Living Experience workforce across a range of programs and services and ensuring organisation readiness for change.


Connected Communities
A Digital Inclusion Project between the Older Persons High Rise Program (OPHR) and Infoxchange

In 2020, during COVID-19 lockdowns, the expectation to go online further increased the divide between those who are digitally connected and those who are not. In response to this growing divide, The Older Persons High Rise (OPHR) team reached out to Infoxchange to begin the first of many conversations with residents of 49 Union St High Rise. These discussions helped in understanding the individual and shared experiences around ambitions and barriers related to digital technology and community participation.

This collaboration resulted in a series of workshops that ran for 8 weeks. Workshop participants were aged from 62 to 92 years of age. Group members were culturally and linguistically diverse with 7 languages/cultures represented in the group of 14. An interpreter supported the participation of people with a low level of English comprehension. Workshops maintained a co-design model with residents’ feedback informing the planning of the next sessions. This iterative approach contributed to high levels of engagement and enthusiasm among the resident participants.

There was a varied level of confidence and digital skill among the participants. Lyuba, 92-years-old, has been a lifelong learner. In the first session Lyuba appeared unconfident and expressed her concern that she wouldn’t be able to learn anything. A few sessions later however, Lyuba was still attending the workshops and her enthusiasm was evident when she spoke about learning how to Google, YouTube and watch cat videos.

In addition to digital learning, the workshops were effective in reducing social isolation that had also increased due to Covid. Every session ended with a shared lunch provided by Star Health and Infoxchange and residents were always keen to be involved in the meal preparation. Friendships formed during the meals and two residents who hadn’t previously spent time together visited each other between sessions.

The Connected Communities project was a wonderful collaboration between the Star Health OPHR team, Infoxchange and the residents of 49 Union St High Rise. When we began this work, the focus was on digital technology and older people learning how to use it in a way that would be useful for them. What was evident in every session was the strength of community and the enthusiasm for learning about technology. To continue this work toward digital inclusion the OPHR team have purchased iPads and Wifi units that will be used across the 5 high rise sites to support older people improve their digital skills and understanding.

Volunteering Group

RhED Pathways – A Year in Review

Between July 2021 and June 2022, the Resourcing health & Education (RhED) Pathways team provided case management support to a total of 124 individual clients. Case management supports clients in meeting identified needs and goals, with a focus on providing client-centred, trauma-informed, choice affirming, and sex positive care.


Client’s discovered Pathways through many routes, including referrals via co-located staff, social media, the RhED hotline and other Star Health services. Co-locations and partnerships were developed in 2021-22 with the Thorne Harbour Country office in Bendigo to expand reach in regional areas, and Gatehouse St Kilda to increase accessibility and visibility in the St Kilda community.

Client Goals and Wellbeing

Many of the goals identified by clients related to ‘Health and Wellbeing’ or ‘Employment and Training.’ Case Managers also made referrals to external services, supporting the holistic wellbeing of client. 48% of clients were discharged from case management services because their goals were achieved.

At commencement and discharge, clients were asked to rate their ‘Health and Wellbeing’ and ‘Mental Health’ on a scale of 1-10. Overall, between 40% to 50% of all clients supported by Pathways program reported a drastic improvement in their ‘Health and Wellbeing’ and ‘Mental Health,’ scoring 8-10 at discharge. Clients reported a 37% increase in Health and Wellbeing, from an average of 0-5 at commencement to 8-10 at discharge. Regarding mental health, clients reported a noticeable improvement in scores, with 31% of clients scoring their mental health at 8- 10 when being discharged. In both categories, there was a significant decrease in the number of clients that reported below 7 on both metrics.

Looking Forward 

Pathways is committed to providing high quality and relevant care. Some of the aims for improvement and innovation in the program include:

  • Maintaining and establishing collaboration with community stakeholders (e.g., the new partnership with Gatehouse St Kilda offering co-located support).

  • Connecting with the CALD communities and sex workers that are international students and/or individuals on temporary visas or no visas.

  • Expanding program awareness among male sex workers with the aim of increasing support for male clients.

  • Establish a greater presence at state-wide community events.

  • Conduct an extensive RhED program evaluation.

StarHealth locations

9525 1300

South Melbourne

341 Coventry St, South Melbourne

VIC, 3205

Open Monday - Friday
8:15am - 5:00pm

Tram routes: 12 & 96

St Kilda

22 - 28 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
VIC 3182

Open Monday - Friday

8:15am - 5:00pm

Tram routes: 16, 96, 12, 3, 5, 64, 67


240 Malvern Rd, Prahran

VIC 3181

Open Monday - Friday
8:15am - 5:00pm

Tram routes: 73, 78, 79

Trains: Sandringham line
(Prahran Station)


Level 4, Suite 2, 973 Nepean HWY
Bentleigh VIC, 3204

Open Monday - Friday

8:15am - 5:00pm

Trains: Frankston line
(Moorabbin station)

Victorian Pride Centre

79/81 Fitzroy St, St Kilda VIC 3182 StarHealth does not deliver services from the Victorian Pride Centre