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Gippsland Primary Health Network and Quit Victoria finalists in the 2019 VicHealth Awards

Posted 7 Nov, 2019

Gippsland Primary Health Network and Quit Victoria finalists in the 2019 VicHealth Awards

Gippsland Primary Health Network and Quit Victoria were last night recognised as a finalist in the VicHealth Awards for their joint initiative Smokefree Gippsland, which aims to ensure people who smoke in the Latrobe Valley and beyond are, at every opportunity, provided with consistent and best practice care to quit smoking. 

Held annually, the VicHealth Awards are the state’s highest accolade for health promotion, celebrating organisations working to create a healthier Victoria.

Gippsland Primary Health Network and Quit Victoria was one of two finalists in the Preventing Tobacco Use category for their work in reducing the impact of smoking in the Latrobe Valley region and reinforcing the crucial role of health professionals, in particular GPs, in helping patients to quit smoking. 

Since 2017, Gippsland Primary Health Network in collaboration with Quit Victoria have trained over 170 health professionals in the Latrobe Valley to have effective conversations with their patients about smoking.  Smokefree Gippsland is the next iteration of this work, with online training for GPs now available across the whole Gippsland region. 

The initiative drives referrals to Quitline, helping people in the Latrobe Valley who smoke to access trained Quitline counsellors who can offer personalised, empathetic and non-judgemental support throughout a person’s quitting journey.

Gippsland Primary Health Network Chief Executive Officer Amanda Proposch was thrilled to be recognized on behalf of the dedicated Primary Health Network staff, GPs and practice nurses involved in the project.

“Smoking rates in the Latrobe Valley have traditionally been higher than the state average but are on the decline. This initiative promotes wellbeing in the community by encouraging people who smoke to speak to their GP for advice and help to quit, and supports GPs through delivery of online training, resources for patients and practices and development of evidence-based clinical guidelines,” Amanda Proposch said.

“This partnership has utilised the strengths of each partner organisation to develop a suite of work relating to the smoking cessation initiative and tailored to the needs of the local community.”

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White was equally delighted with the recognition. “We know that one in 33 conversations in which a health professional advises someone to stop smoking results in that person successfully quitting. This initiative helps to ensure these conversations are held at every opportunity,” Dr Sarah White said.

Smokefree Gippsland is an initiative implemented as a result of the State Government’s investment in the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone. More information about the ‘Smokefree Gippsland’ initiative can be found in the VicHealth Awards Finalist Gallery and at

For more quitting advice, visit or call the Quitline on 13 7848. 

Quit Victoria is a partnership between VicHealth, the State Government of Victoria and Cancer Council Victoria. For more information, visit: 

Gippsland PHN is part of a national network of 31 Primary Health Networks across Australia. Primary Health Networks are predominantly funded by the Australian Government to tackle identified national objectives and priority areas. Visit:

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