Victoria University’s strongest partnership in the health sector is with the major healthcare provider in Melbourne’s west, Western Health.
About the partnership
VU and Western Health have developed a 2025 Alliance Plan ‘to optimise our joint expertise in health, research and education to benefit the west of Melbourne’.
Our students are the important beneficiaries of the alliance, able to work closely and learn first-hand from leading Western Health professionals. Importantly, they have access to workplace opportunities that enhance their knowledge and employability.
Research opportunities also form part of the alliance. Our students are offered opportunities to work with Western Health on groundbreaking health research linked to real-life outcomes for local patients.
With this strong engagement, our teaching staff also maintain up-to-the-minute understanding of the innovative practices and procedures being implemented in the health sector.
When open in 2025, Western Health’s new Footscray Hospital adjacent to VU’s Footscray Park Campus will transform Melbourne’s west into a leading health and education precinct.
Staff and students at our Footscray Park Campus will have a direct connection to the new hospital via a footbridge, providing access to VU dedicated education and research facilities on site.
Student placements & education
Western Health is VU’s main industry training partner for the provision of nursing and midwifery work-integrated learning. Each year, almost 1000 VU students complete over 110,000 hours of clinical placement at Western Health locations.
VU also works with Western Health on the development of industry-relevant courses, including a Graduate Plus program for newly graduated nursing and midwifery staff.
We have worked together with Western Health on the development of industry-relevant courses such as our Diploma of Nursing. This benefits VU graduates by preparing them for the demands of employment in the health industry.
VU’s flexible study options and corporate training programs also allow Western Health staff to upskill in the workplace.
These joint education initiatives ensure both our students and Western Health staff are appropriately trained and qualified.
Our joint research projects with Western Health are a core element of the alliance.
The Western Centre for Health Research and Education (WCHRE) is an innovative and sustainable research, teaching and training and precinct based at the Western Health Sunshine Campus.
The Centre aims to make a major contribution to the future health of the Victorian community. Further, the work of the precinct will realise significant benefits for the social and economic development of Victoria based on excellence in research, developing a high calibre workforce and solid infrastructure support.
VU staff and students located within Western CHRE are primarily from the Colleges of Health & Biomedicine and Sport & Exercise Science with research aligned to the Institute for Health & Sport.
Western CHRE also incorporates the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS).
“Working together, Western Health and Victoria University researchers produce practical research that supports the needs of the communities they serve. Understanding the local community informs more targeted research with a greater impact.”
–Western Health Research Program Director, Bill Karanatsios
VU and Western Health are currently working on a major research project called WeMove. This collaborative project aims to co-design a low-cost, self-directed online intervention for patients with osteoarthritis in the community.
The inclusive and empowering e-health self-management program will assist patients who are currently awaiting specialist orthopedic care at Western Health by offering advice on ways they can manage their joint pain and improve their mental well-being.
Other joint VU/Western Health projects conducted by the Institute for Health & Sport in the following areas:
- exercise and disease
- nursing and midwifery
- bone and muscle research
- gait, rehabilitation and falls prevention
- cardiometabolic disease
- mental health.