Wellbeing in the valley project evaluation

Project Status

Chief Investigators
Mark Harris, Teresa Anderson, Lynda Johnston

Other Team Members
Roberta Chavez, Ben Harris-Roxas


The suburb of Miller, within Green Valley, is an area of significant socioeconomic disadvantage. In 1997, the Miller Community Health Centre was fire-bombed, leading to the evacuation of the mental health team. The area became known as a 'no-go zone' for both residents and services. In September 1997, a multi-agency working party, the Miller Recovery Group was esatblished to advance a recovery program for Miller.


The aim of the project was to implement a whole of government and community partnership model in Miller to strengthen:

1. community health services through the integration and coordination of services

2. the local community through employment activities and the formation of social capital

Design and Method

A mixed-methods quantitative and qualitative evaluation was undertaken to gather evidence on both the planned and unplanned impacts and outcomes of the community intervention.

1. Household surveys, reaching up to 70% of households in Miller, were conducted in 1999 and 2002 at baseline and follow-up, respectively. The survey assessed community perceptions of health service access and use, social capital, health status, amenity, crime and safety.

2. Analysis of relevant administration data, such as COMCAS (Community Health Clients Administration System) and BOSCAR (Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research).

3. Semi-structured interviews with key project stakeholders including representatives from the Miller community, Liverpool Health Service, Liverpool City Council, Department of Housing and other government and non-government oragnisations. Interviews explored stakeholders' perceptions of project success, problems and methods of implementation.

Key Publications

Chavez R. Health Service Use In Miller: findings from the Miller household survey 1999, Sydney: CHETRE, 2001. Download PDF

Chavez R. Miller Household Survey: a descriptive demographic analysis Sydney: CHETRE, 1999.

Chavez R, Kemp L, Harris E. The Social Capital and Health Relationship in Two Neighbourhoods of Known Disadvantage, Journal of Health Services Research & Policy. 9 (Supp2): 29-34, 2004.