Late last year ISCH undertook an investigation into food security in the Port Melbourne area. The project was led by Dietitian Students on placements from La Trobe University, Matisse Chambers and Wendy Fedele.

Food Security in Port Melbourne Report

The research was undertaken in the context of the Social and Health Inclusion Port (SHIP) initiative, a 5 year project focused on promoting health and wellbeing for the Port Melbourne community. This report aimed to investigate issues around food security to inform future planning and strategies of the SHIP initiative to assist in meeting its goals of “Healthy Eating for All” and assist residents to have access to adequate healthy food. The study also provides the opportunity to update client resources based on up-to-date data.

Key findings from the Report include:

  • the cost of the ‘Victorian Healthy Food Basket’ is higher than the average in Port Melbourne for all family types (on average, the cost was 39% higher than the state average).
  • Food affordability and therefore food access is more difficult for residents of Port Melbourne. Low income households were more disadvantaged in relation to access
    to healthy food while families from medium and high income households were likely to have adequate financial access to healthy food.
  • There were less supermarkets and other food store in Port Melbourne relative to other suburbs in the Local Government Area.
  • Most food outlets are clustered around the Bay Street precinct, making access harder for those on the western side of Port Melbourne, and those relying on public transport.

Based on these findings, the researchers made a series of recommendations around advocacy on planning and infrastructure, stakeholder engagement and partnerships, community and council-based initiatives and education and capacity building.

The researchers have also developed a comprehensive toolkit of resources:

Toolkit cover page

Tips for healthy eating on a budget

Cheap eats for a week

Give your leftovers a makeover

Balance your plate

Markets, gardens, cooking classes and related social activities

Free and cheap meals

For further information on ISCH nutrition and dietetic services click here.




Yesterday, 19 March marked National Close the Gap Day and the ISCH community celebrated the occasion with our partners at the City of Port Phillip and the launch of a new book by Meyer Eidelson, Yalukit Willam: The River People of Port Phillip.

Organised by the Indigenous Access Team and the City of Port Phillip, the event took place at the regular fortnightly barbeque at Our Rainbow Place. Aunty Caroline Briggs and her grandson, Jayden, welcomed everyone to country before speeches were made by Mayor, Amanda Stevenson and ISCH CEO Damian Ferrie. Meyer Eidelson then spoke about the process of writing the book and thanked the Indigenous community for working with him on this important resource.

As highlighted by Todd Condie, Indigenous Policy Advisor for the City of Port Phillip, the book is an important resource for the community, including schools and residents. It is a starting point for the community to learn the Indigenous history of our local area. It contains a suburb by suburb account of historical events sourced from early records and the point of view of descendants and contemporaries of the Yalukit Willam clan of the Boon Wurrung.

With the assistance of the City of Port Phillip, the book is available for free to local residents, schools and community groups. Further information on the book can be found here.

Following the formal speeches, the community and Council representatives stayed on for the regular Our Rainbow Place barbeque lunch, which as always, was an amazing spread prepared by our wonderful volunteers. A great afternoon was had by all.


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