Mans­field is a great place to live

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By PAM ZIERKMAHON­EY

THE proof is in the liv­ing–Mans­field Shire has sig­nif­i­cantly greater well be­ing than all other Vic­to­rian shires ac­cord­ing to lat­est sur­vey re­sults.

VicHealth In­di­ca­tors Sur­vey of 2015 fo­cuses on the health and wellbeing of Vic­to­ri­ans through each lo­cal gov­ern­ment area and com­ple­ments other pop­u­la­tion health sur­vey work con­ducted in Vic­to­ria.

And Mans­field (across the shire and not just the town­ship) has come out on top with a score of 82.7 out of 100 for wellbeing – well above the Vic­to­rian av­er­age of 77.3.

The re­port for Mans­field states that there has been no sig­nif­i­cant change in sub­jec­tive wellbeing for Mans­field be­tween the 2007, 2011 and 2015 sur­veys.

Life sat­is­fac­tion mea­sures how peo­ple eval­u­ate their life as a whole.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port when asked to rate their gen­eral sat­is­fac­tion with life on a scale from zero to 10, res­i­dents of Mans­field re­ported an av­er­age score of 8.1.

This is sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the Vic­to­rian life sat­is­fac­tion av­er­age score of 7.8.

Some 96.3 per cent of Mans­field res­i­dents agreed that they felt safe walk­ing alone dur­ing the day, which is sim­i­lar to the Vic­to­rian es­ti­mate of 92.5 per cent.

And al­most eight out of 10 (79.1 per cent) res­i­dents agreed that they felt safe walk­ing alone in their lo­cal area af­ter dark, which is sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the Vic­to­rian es­ti­mate of 55.1 per cent.

The sur­vey re­port also stated that there has been no sig­nif­i­cant change in per­cep­tions of safety for Mans­field be­tween the three sur­veys.

Res­i­dents re­ported an av­er­age re­silience of 6.7 out of 8 in re­la­tion to men­tal wellbeing, in­di­ca­tors of neigh­bour­hood con­nec­tion and trust, and at­ti­tudes to gen­der equal­ity in re­la­tion­ships.

The pro­por­tion of res­i­dents re­ported that peo­ple in their neigh­bour­hood are will­ing to help each other out was a stag­ger­ing 92.1 per cent, much greater than the state av­er­age of 74.1 per cent.

Sim­i­lar fig­ures also in­di­cated that res­i­dents felt they lived in a close-knit com­mu­nity and peo­ple in their neigh­bour­hood could be trusted.

Mans­field res­i­dents are also very ac­tive ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey with many say­ing they do at least half an hour of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity on at least four days per week, above the state av­er­age by five per cent.

Most com­mon forms of ex­er­cise were walk­ing, cy­cling and jog­ging or run­ning.

And Mans­fiel­dians eat healthy with veg­eta­bles, fruit and wa­ter con­sump­tion, as well as fre­quency of take-away meals and snacks be­ing sim­i­lar to the state av­er­age.

Mans­field Shire mayor Paul Volk­er­ing said on hear­ing the news that this was ‘a fan­tas­tic re­sult’.

“One such area t hat i s prom­i­nent in Mans­field is that chil­dren are sup­ported very well and are ahead in so­cial ca­pa­bil­ity with com­mu­nity sup­port and sup­port from preschools and the Farm­house in de­vel­op­ing those so­cial at­tributes,” he said.

“By and large the kids are re­ally well sup­ported and when ask­ing new fam­i­lies what brings them to Mans­field I of­ten hear that ‘Mans­field ticks all the boxes for bring­ing up a fam­ily’,” Cr Volk­er­ing said.

“Fam­i­lies are mak­ing the move to Mans­field be­cause, al­though we don’t have ev­ery­thing, what we do have is a very car­ing, sup­port­ive com­mu­nity - a very wel­com­ing and en­gag­ing com­mu­nity.

“There is an in­ter­con­nec­tion with each other and there is al­ways some­one on hand to help out when needed - ap­pre­ci­a­tion and a gen­uine­ness within the com­mu­nity.

“It is about the strength of the com­mu­nity which gives a strong mes­sage to those who are com­ing in and - Mans­field is a good place to be,” Cr Volk­er­ing said.

Per­haps a lit­tle on the down­side from the sur­vey is that al­co­hol con­sump­tion gained a score of three out of 10 (30.1 per cent) iden­ti­fied as be­ing at risk of short-term harm from al­co­hol in a given month, sim­i­lar to the state av­er­age of 29.4 per cent.

Com­pared to all Vic­to­ri­ans, a sim­i­lar pro­por­tion of lo­cal res­i­dents were iden­ti­fied as be­ing at very high risk of short­term harm each month scor­ing 10.3 per cent com­pared to the state av­er­age of 9.2 per cent.

All in all the sur­vey is the proof in the pud­ding that Mans­field is a great place to live and is very healthy as well.

PHOTO: Cather­ine Steven­son

LIV­ING WELL: Lo­cal res­i­dent Ken Steven­son cel­e­brated his 80th birth­day over break­fast with fam­ily and friends at the Mans­field Cof­fee Mer­chant re­cently. A long term res­i­dent since 1944, Ken has en­joyed a va­ri­ety of com­mu­nity in­volve­ment with the...

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