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what is vital signs?

Vital Signs® gathers, collates and reports on data of significant social and economic significance in our community. Uniquely, Vital Signs presents the information across a range of themes collectively in a simple to read, easily understood format published for all to see in the local newspaper. The report gives the community a snapshot of their quality of life and over subsequent reports will create an understanding of the impact of improvements in our community. It will also compare to other like cities or across the state to measure how we are performing comparatively. .

Based on a well established and highly regarded program conducted by Community Foundations in Canada, Vital Signs was initiated by the Toronto Community Foundation. It is highly successful and is viewed as a benchmark model. Vital Signs has been licensed in Australia to Australian Community Philanthropy Limited.

Keep me informed about Vital Signs®

ballarat’s vital signs

The Ballarat Foundation has developed its own version of the Canadian model and uses publicly accessible and verifiable data in assessing our community’s health. This is the Vital Signs Report , published on March 30th, 2011.

The ‘community report card’, is a compilation of data and research from numerous sources, which will help the community to make connections between issues and trends in different areas.  Key themes could include: Gap between Rich and Poor, Safety, Education/Learning, Health & Wellness, Work, Housing, Environment,  Arts & Culture, and Getting Around.

Findings are be presented in a reader friendly format published in the Ballarat Courier, making the information assessable to the whole community.  The local report card is intended to get people and organisations thinking about and discussing the next steps to build a better community.

On the release of subsequent reports the community will be able to quickly understand in which areas there is positive or negative movement. The release of the initial Vital Signs report card marks the beginning of a process, not the end.

Ballarat and its region’s Vital Signs are compiled from current statistics and other publicly available studies. The report draws heavily on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and from federal, state and local government departments. The study examines a number of issue areas, many of which are interconnected, and are considered to be central to the well-being of our city and region. We trust that this study deepens our understanding and is a valuable tool for residents, leaders and elected officials who develop the new ideas required to build a stronger city and region.

special thanks

The Ballarat Foundation is indebted to many people who have assisted in the gathering and building Ballarat’s Vital Signs with particular thanks to Emeritus Professor Wayne Robinson for his commitment, dedication and insight which has brought this report to completion.
The Ballarat Foundation acknowledges the assistance and support of the Ballarat Courier in publishing this report as a special editorial feature in the newspaper.

vital signs survey

posted by Pam McKee, 29 Sep 2015

Complete the survey today and have your say about the vitality of Ballarat.


vital signs 2011

posted by Pam McKee, 30 Mar 2011

Click below to see the 2011 Vital Signs report and coverage in The Courier.