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Outcomes-based sports and wellness centre opens in Brimbank

In September 2022, the $60M Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre (BAWC) was opened in Melbourne’s inner west. The facility is located in the heart of the Brimbank local government area which has continually ranked in the top Victorian locations for socio-economic disadvantage for decades. 

Much more than a leisure centre, the BAWC is unique in Australia as the country’s first outcomes based infrastructure project. Beyond the fitness rooms, gym equipment and swimming pools, the centre incorporates a hub with three social service agencies providing integrated support programs in disability, education and social support. This integration of services and support and of fitness, wellness and social support is meant to address some of the intergenerational disadvantage experienced by families and individuals in the area.

Latitude Network was a core partner in the outcomes concept and design of the BAWC, providing expertise in community segmentation and needs analysis, outcomes planning, service design as well as structuring and negotiating tenancy agreements for the social service partners. 

From the outset, Brimbank City Council aimed to address complex social and health challenges with a focus on measurable improvements. Latitude Network's expertise in data and outcomes measurement was crucial in creating an innovative space that will have a life-changing impact.

The key to the outcomes focus is the three social service organisations which have established a home in the BAWC to deliver targeted, integrated support to specific cohorts. The joint service model is a partnership between Brimbank City Council, CommunityPlus, Good Shepherd, and Distinctive Options in Life. These organisations were selected for their alignment with Council's vision and the services they could bring to an integrated partnership. 

The wraparound support program is informed by outcomes-based planning, as Brimbank City Council and community wanted the centre to drive long-term health and wellbeing changes for the entire community. Not only are these organisations generating benefits from co-locating at the BAWC, but they are also innovating in their service delivery, building an aligned model so their resources can complement each other. The first cohort for collaborative services is the ‘Carer’ segment - focusing on designing services for people who support others with disabilities, age or health issues or mental health.

While we’re used to seeing social services run programs or set up in community hubs or childcare centres, embedding targeted social services within a leisure and recreation facility is new. However, now that the doors are open and the services are beginning, this integration seems like an idea that was waiting to be discovered.

Latitude Network was instrumental in creating and developing the program logic for the Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre, as lead adviser through the conceptual, planning and internal approvals stages. We supported Council through the negotiations with each agency and began the process of identifying key cohorts and building an integrated model with the service partners. Seeing the Centre come to life and start to deliver on its promise to the community is incredibly rewarding, but it’s in the future, as outcomes are measured, reported and identified that we will see the true impact of integrated and co-located leisure and social services.  

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