About the Program

The Grit and Resilience Program 

The Grit and Resilience Program (Social Inclusion Action Groups - SIAG), is funded through the Victorian State Government, based on recommendation 15 of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.  In the Rural City of Wangaratta, the program is a transition and transformation of the successful four-year Grit and Resilience Program, which ran from July 2019 – June 2023 taking a community-driven approach to better understand and address mental health and community wellbeing within the Wangaratta municipality. 

Delivery of the Grit and Resilience Program is through the Rural City of Wangaratta Council, however it is overseen by a Consortium of representatives from various local organisations as well as a strong representation of community members.   

The priority of the Grit and Resilience Program is to continue to identify and strengthen how Wangaratta communities build connections, support and pathways for inclusion.

Objectives & Values

Taking the learnings from the successfully run initial four-year Grit and Resilience Program, the evolved Grit and Resilience Program brings together community and organisations to:

  • identify local needs, existing initiatives and gaps related to social connection and social inclusion in the local community
  • test and develop a range of funded initiatives that support community participation, inclusion, and connection. 

The Program recognises that social inclusion is vital in supporting and maintaining social connection efforts that strengthen individual and community mental health and wellbeing.

Social inclusion is a “population or community-level approach to not leaving anybody behind”, it is about all people being able to participate in society and creating the conditions for equal opportunities for all” and is “a continuum of the size and diversity of one’s social network and roles, the functions these relationships serve, and their positive or negative qualities”.

While taking a place-based approach and building on local knowledge and evidence, the program also considers evidence of successful initiatives across the State and within other jurisdictions, testing these for the local context.

The Grit and Resilience Program is supported by a collective impact approach, applying a common agenda, continuous communication, shared measurement system and mutually reinforcing activities.

The Programs values include:

  • We are community focused, led and designed.
  • We strive to ensure that our activities are relevant to the entire local government area.
  • We recognise the interdependence of wellbeing across our community and that social and environmental determinates of health are critical.
  • We will actively work together.
  • We support and facilitate inclusion and acceptance.
  • We will communicate with each other and all members of our community with respect, honesty and in good faith.  

    The Purpose of The Program is to:

  • Prevent social exclusion
  • Increase social inclusion
  • Increase social connection

    The Program achieves this by:

  • Being community led and owned, empowering communities to identify their own needs, make decisions and develop solutions at a local level
  • Considering equity and inclusion when making decisions about flexible funding.
  • Applying a place-based approach
  • Being informed by evidence, learning from past programs and activities, and local knowledge
  • Operating from community development and collective impact approaches and principles.
  • promote mental health and wellbeing through place-based coordination and activities/initiatives addressing social inclusion and connection.

The Program is community led and owned, supported by a Program Coordinator who will support members from all parts of the community to be empowered to have an active voice at the table.



Delivery of the Grit and Resilience Program is by a Consortium of representatives that includes community members and organisations. 

Membership of the Grit and Resilience Program Consortium (Social Inclusion Action Groups) reflects the broader Wangaratta community. Membership includes a variety of lived and living experiences including members with experience of mental ill health, psychological distress, addiction and/or social exclusion, isolation and discrimination. Membership reflects the diverse communities (defined as people with a disability, LGBTIQ+ people and people from CALD background), as well as include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young people and older adults.

The membership of the Grit and Resilience Consortium has two types of partners:

  • Community partners - includes local community members with a variety of lived and living experiences and reflect our diverse community.
  • Organisations - who provide a perspectives on social inclusion, connection and mental health and wellbeing promotion within the Wangaratta Community

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