During Volunteers Week in May Grampians Community Health are recognising the 60 volunteers who contribute over 5000 hours every year to our community, and who enable the community health service to function.
CEO of Grampians Community Health Greg Little said “to celebrate and thank all volunteers in our community GCH we partnered with other volunteer agencies during the volunteer celebration for National Volunteers week on the 24th of May 2018 at the Stawell Powerhouse”
“This has been a great chance for Grampians Community Health to thank all our valued volunteers who have assisted us in supporting people in the community over the last 33 years. You have helped many people and given those people a variety of opportunities to feel better and be part of our community. Some volunteers have been with GCH for as long as 20 years”, said Mr Little.
Geraldine Monaghan, a Volunteer Coordinator at GCH, said, “The last training I ran was exciting. I trained 15 volunteers in Horsham to work with the youth groups at our youth centre ‘Nexus’ to assist with Freeza events and other exciting youth fun”.
“This expansion of volunteers to support youth is a great opportunity to be connected with young people”, she went on saying.
Volunteers at Grampians Community Health, helps the community in so many ways. They drive people to appointments via our ‘Community Car’, they run the weekly exercise ‘Active for Life’ programs, they visit isolated older people through our friendly visiting service ‘DO Care’, and people with a NDIS plan who are socially isolated. They also assist aged and disability clients to access community through our ‘Talk Listen and Care’, they support and participate in youth events. The volunteers also help young people from LGBTI community, and provide help to our community in times of emergencies via our “Social Support and Recovery” services.
Gemma Beavis, Rainbow Committee chair at Grampians Community Health said that some of the volunteers offered to be part of our Juno Vesta group and will assist the Coordinator with transport needs, mentoring and activities such as arts & crafts, music, discussions on relevant topics, assist with planning community events and involvements in advocacy projects.
“The Juno Vesta group was established to help young LGBTI+ people in the Grampians feel included, supported in their community and provide the opportunity to make new friends. It is so important to have members of the community involved in these committees, we are grateful to have volunteers helping us,” said Ms Beavis.
Mr Little said that during times of emergencies or natural disaster, the volunteers of GCH and other agencies play a critical role in supporting our community.
“The Grampians Community Health trained network of volunteers assist with staffing relief centres that support people who have been affected by emergencies such as flooding and bushfires.” Said Mr Little
Grampians Community Health is always on the lookout to recruit and welcome additional volunteers into its ongoing program. Grampians Community Health provides ongoing training and support you and several opportunities that suit your skills and interests across Ararat, Stawell and Horsham.
Find more information about volunteering with GCH. Anyone wishing to volunteer at Grampians Community Health can easily do so by calling 5358 7400 and we will provide all information you need to start.
Family violence is now widely recognised to be a serious and widespread problem with enormous individual and community impacts and social costs. While this significant social problem is ultimately preventable, we first need to understand family violence.
Grampians Community Health is pleased to partner with Stawell Church of Christ to present and discuss this significant community issue of family violence. The focus of this presentation is on developing a shared understanding of family violence – the prevalence and impacts, the causes and drivers and how our community is responding through services and community-wide initiatives.
Family violence is as pervasive in the Grampians Region as it is across Victoria – in fact statistics show the overall rate is higher. Over 75,000 family violence incidents were reported by Police across Victoria in 2015. More than 3,700 of these were in the Grampians region – five per cent of the state’s total while the Grampians region accounts for approximately four per cent of the Victorian population.
In the six months from July to December 2017, Grampians Community Health responded to 502 family violence incidents. In general, there has been an increase in the number of recorded family incidents in recent years with a 45 per cent increase across Victoria since 2012. This shows that the messages about family violence are getting through and are being taken more seriously across the community with more women and more community bystanders reporting incidents to Police. It’s worth noting that research suggests the true incidence of family violence is significantly higher than the figures reported to police, with most incidents going unreported.
Women living in rural and regional areas experience an increased risk of family violence and regularly experience barriers that make it more difficult to report violence or seek support. They often face barriers such as geographical isolation and limited availability of services that can be compounded by lack of access to public transport.
Community attitudes that accept unequal power relationships can normalise abusive behaviour and a lack of anonymity and fear of stigma, shame and community gossip in small communities represent barriers many women face is seeking support. In addition, there may be a fear for her and her children’s safety while continuing to live in small community. The need to move away and uproot children and leave behind supportive friends and work, often with limited financial resources can make it feel that she has little control over her situation.
Grampians Community Health provides a range of support services for people affected by family violence including practical support, case management and counselling. These services are available alongside a host of other health and wellbeing services to provide holistic and comprehensive support. Working collaboratively with a range of other agencies across the region is essential in ensuring everyone understands what is available and how to access support.
Family violence is preventable and it’s through a shared understanding and a commitment to all work together that we can change the story for our community – and the momentum for change has never been stronger.
For more information about ours services and support to you please visit our Family Violence page.
You can contact Grampians Community Health on 5358 7400. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, you should always call 000 for urgent assistance.
Read about a family violence information night will be held later this month April 2018 at Stawell Church of Christ’s.
Saturday April 21st 2018 – 7.30 – 9.30pm
Stawell Church of Christ, 18 Sloane Street, Stawell.
Supper to follow discussion.
No cost to attend
Individual Support Worker and NDIS – application form
We are seeking staff who are reliable, have a caring and compassionate personality, are flexible and willing to work with a wide range of people. You will need to have the availability and willingness to commit to on-call and short shifts.
The Individual Support Worker and NDIS Support successful candidates will take pride in delivering a seamless, high quality service to their clients with a consumer directed care approach, positive, can-do approach, and a friendly, caring attitude. Grampians Community Health staff deliver exceptional levels of care and support to elderly, frail clients who wish to remain living independently in the community.
Grampians Community Health is a registered NDIS provider, supporting participants in many areas of their lives such as:
- Access in the Community,
- Social and Recreational Activities and,
- Daily Living Skills.
To be considered for this opportunity, you will have:
- Qualifications in Certificate 3 Aged Care, Certificate 4 in Disability /HACC / Individual Support
- Current First Aid Certificate and CPR
- Current Victorian Drivers licence
- Police check, dated within last 3 months
- At least six months experience working in Aged Care, Disability, Home and Community Care is preferred
- Social Welfare, Community Services and Mental Health Certificate 4 qualifications are advantageous
Key Duties may include (but are not limited to):
- Connecting and linking people into the community with local activities and recreational interests
- Supporting people with daily living skills such as shopping, cooking, travel, training
- Performing tasks in relation to domestic assistance (e.g. mopping, vacuuming, gardening, feeding pets)
- Providing meal assistance and meal preparation
- Medication prompting assistance and monitoring
- Assisting with showering, dressing and personal care related tasks with the use of manual handling aids if appropriate
- Basic tasks that may include booking appointments, assisting with shopping, paying bills, liaising with service coordinator
- Accompany to social group and other activities if required
How to apply
Enjoy the chocolate but remember the carrot
Usually during festive times we are told to take it easy and not indulge too much; not too much chocolate and if over 18 limit your alcohol intake. The usual tips of watch your meal size, have regular snacks, enjoy a good breakfast , fill up on vegies, move more and exercise are useful but often fail to motivate change – especially when chocolate tastes so good. Living in the Grampians Wimmera we can take this health advice and eat the odd Easter egg free of guilt as there is plenty to keep local residents and visitors active and well-nourished over the Easter holiday period.
“Being active during times of celebrations is more than going to the gym, running 10 kilometre, climbing Mount William or being part of formal sport like football or netball” said Rachel Whittaker. She said its important to find something that is social and fun. Examples of activities and events available over the holiday period include; Tai Chi sessions, Parks Victoria Junior Ranger program, Barefoot Bowls, Petanque, cross country runs, ice skating and dancing. Go to your Local Government webpage for more ideas.
Although tasty there is more to offer than hot cross buns and chocolate says Rachel Whittaker – Health Promotion at GCH. There’s plenty of seasonal fruit and veg on offer which can be found at local farm gates, markets, cafes and community gardens around the Grampians Wimmera Region. Seasonal produce to look out for includes zucchinis, cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins, capsicums, apples, peaches, nashis, pears and plums.
Set up by the Grampians Food Alliance ‘Share Your Spare’ provides another opportunity for enjoying seasonal fresh produce. Locals who grow their own produce and have surplus are encouraged to share it at the Ararat and Stawell Libraries and the Bendigo Bank in Ararat at the ‘Share Your Spare’ sites. Visitors and residents alike are encouraged to take what’s on offer. Just look out for the ‘Share Your Spare’ wheelbarrows.
So it is possible to have your chocolate and eat it to; it’s just a matter of knowing what else is on offer and where fresh local carrots can be purchased.
For some useful tips and hints on festive eating and Easter presents have a look at
Anyone wishing to access any of the Grampians Community Health services can easily do so by calling 5358 7400.
Are you ready for Active April?
We are thrilled at the number and variety of ways to participate. Rachel Whittaker, Health Promotion at Grampians Community Health is excited about this campaign and invites you to get involved.
- For more information or register an activity visit the link https://bit.ly/2pxDulB,
- To check what will be available during April visit this link http://www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/Events/Events-Listing-Page we will have a full calendar soon.
- Check the Premi…er’s Active April Facebook page or website you may register as individual, team or workplace, either way this campaign is a great opportunity to help you to get active.
Grampians Community Health and Stawell Regional Health have been working closely with the Northern Grampians Shire Council, East Wimmera Health Service, Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership, Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly and Parks Victoria to help community members in our regions get active in April.
Northern Grampians Shire Gets Active in April is a campaign across the region that provides a diverse and exciting range of opportunities to encourage people to participate and be more active in their own community.
Activities include tai chi, bush and trail walks, come and try bowls, colour run, fun runs, petanque, bike riding scavenger hunt bare foot bowls, dancing and much more.
“Northern Grampians Shire, Grampians Community Health and Stawell Regional Health work together to plan priority health promotion areas. Active Living is one of the three priority areas to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in our area for the next four years,” Ms Toomey said.
“Increasing your activity doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive, simply playing with your children in the park, taking the dog for a walk, standing more, walking to work or school, gardening or dancing around the house are all great.”
There are great activities in the Grampians Wimmera, make sure to check your local area for activities you can join in to get active.
Youth Mentor Training schedule for 2018
Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN (WSMLLEN) are pleased to be working with our partnering agencies to provide our community with free and quality training in Youth Mentoring to support the MATES Mentoring Program and Connecting the Service Puzzle crime prevention initiative.
Youth Mentors provide our Young People with positive role models who mentor, assist, target, engage and enhance the skills and life experiences of young people.
INFORMATION SESSIONS – 2018
Information sessions run for approximately 1 hour. Participants will be guided through the commitment, expectations, mentee profiles, training, benefits and policies.
Monday 22nd January @ 5:30pm
Wednesday 7th February @ 5:30pm
Wednesday 24th January @ 12:30pm
Wednesday 7th February @ 12:30pm
Booking link: https://wsmllenyouthmentoringinfosession.eventbrite.com
TRAINING – 2018 Evening Series
Attend 3 consecutive Monday evenings from 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Series 1 – 29th January / 5th February / 12th February
Booking link: https://wsmllenyouthmentoringevening1.eventbrite.com
Series 2 – 19th February / 26th February / 5th March
Booking link: https://wsmllenyouthmentoringevening2.eventbrite.com
TRAINING – 2018 Morning Series
Attend 3 consecutive weekday mornings from 9:30am – 11:30am
Series 1 – Wed 31st January / Thur 1st February / Fri 2nd February
Booking link: https://wsmllenyouthmentoringmorning1.eventbrite.com
Series 2 – Wed 14th February / Thur 15th February / Fri 16th February
Booking link: https://wsmllenyouthmentoringmorning2.eventbrite.com
Series 3 – Wed 28th February / Thur 1st March / Friday 2nd March
Booking link: https://wsmllenyouthmentoringmorning3.eventbrite.com
TRAINING – 2018 Full Day
Attend 1 full day event to complete all 3 key session topics. The full day session runs from 9:30am – 4:00pm
31st January 2018
14th February 2018
28th February 2018
Booking link: https://wsmllenyouthmentoringday.eventbrite.com
Further information or to arrange alternative training please contact:
Mary Bysouth MATES Mentoring Coordinator
Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN
Mallee Building, Federation University
289 Baillie Street, HORSHAM
Tel: (03) 5381 0122
This training extensions within this program were developed in collaboration between Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN, Centre for Participation, Alternative Pathways Horsham College, and Emma McCarthy Consulting. Thank you to all who participated and provided feedback during the training pilot and development.
Young Leaders follow the ‘Rainbow’ to making Stawell a safer place for all – LGBTI
Juno Vesta, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTIQA+) Youth led group, is working towards making Stawell a safer community for LGBTIQA+ people the ‘Rainbow Project’.
With the support of Grampians Community Health, the Northern Grampians Shire Council and the Central Grampians LLEN the group approached local Stawell Businesses to display a small rainbow flag in their windows, symbolising a safe place for LGBTI people to shop, eat and relax.
The members stated the project made them feel at home and accepted. A Juno Vesta member stated “some businesses were quite enthusiastic about the project which made me feel very happy.”
Juno Vesta believes the Rainbow Project has been a great conversation starter for the community and the involvement with the Northern Grampians Shire Council was crucial. The Northern Grampians Shire Council supported Juno Vesta with the Rainbow Project and encouraged businesses to be involved by placing their logo on the support letter which showed their commitment to making Stawell a safe community.
Juno Vesta would like to implement this project in other towns including Ararat in the near future. Juno Vesta is encouraging businesses and community groups to join in with the Rainbow project and place a rainbow flag on their window front.
The Rainbow Project will make other LGBTIQA+ people feel safer in the community. New reports suggest that nearly 30% of young people are now identifying as LGBTIQA+. Young people aged 16 to 24 years are most likely to hide their sexuality or gender identity. Sixty-one percent reported they had experienced verbal homophobic abuse, eighteen percent reported physical homophobic abuse, and nine percent told of encountering other types of homophobia.
“We understand there is a lot more work that needs to be done, but to see a youth led project making such a difference is incredible,” said Gemma Beavis, chair of the Rainbow committee at Grampians Community Health.
Juno Vesta is supported by Grampians Community Health and the Central Grampians LLEN. If you are aged between 12 and 25 and are interested in joining Juno Vesta, please contact Gemma on 52587400. The Stawell group meets every Monday afternoon at the Grampians Community Health building, 8-22 Patrick Street, from 4pm.
For more information visit our Sexuality and Gender Diversity information page.
International Women Human Rights Defenders Day
Grampians Community Health is calling on all people and organisations in the community to join with them in recognising the role of female family violence workers on the 29th of November, the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day.
Grampians Community Health CEO, Mr Greg Little, said that too frequently the women who worked in supporting victims of family violence are either not recognised for the important function they provide, or vilified by perpetrators or uninformed people as the bad guys.
“The Homelessness and Family Violence team at Grampians Community Health is an incredibly dedicated and proud group who are there for the people in our community who are impacted by family violence. This however also creates a heavy burden on them as they are also part of the community” said Mr Little.
“The women in our team still need to be part of society, they need to relax, spend time with their families, shop, go out like everyone else, but this can sometimes be daunting when they know the person walking towards them or serving them in a shop may also be a perpetrator of family violence” Mr Little added.
International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, held annually on November 29th is an international campaign launched in 2004 for the recognition and protection of women human rights defenders who are advocating for the realisation of all human rights for all people. Because of who they are and the nature of their work, women human rights defenders face significant violations and abuses.
In Victoria, family violence is well recognised for the impact it has on families in our community, and 75% of family violence is perpetrated by men towards women. Grampians Community Health believes that November 29th, the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, is a worthy day for recognition in Victoria, and have today released a YouTube clip highlighting the challenges faced by family violence workers [https://youtu.be/5AqqOMTHlvM]
Mr Little said “Attracting and retaining staff to work in the field of family violence in rural Victoria is difficult when they don’t always feel valued in the community.”
“Grampians Community Health is only one organisation, hopefully other domestic violence services, community organisations, government and the communities we serve will join us on the 29th of November in the years to come in celebrating the role family violence workers provide” said Mr Little.
If you would like more information about Family Violence Support please call us on 03 5358 7400
The ‘Rainbow Project’
Juno Vesta a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTIQA+) Youth led group, is working towards making Stawell a safer community for LGBTIQA+ people.
With the support of the Grampians Community Health, Northern Grampians Shire and the Central Grampians LLEN the group approached local Stawell Businesses to display a small rainbow flag in their windows, symbolising a safe place for LGBTI people to shop, eat and relax.
The members stated the project made them feel at home and accepted. A Juno Vesta member stated “some businesses were quite enthusiastic about the project which made me feel very happy.” Juno Vesta believes the Rainbow Project has been a great conversation starter for the community and the involvement with the Northern Grampians Shire was crucial. The Northern Grampians Shire supported Juno Vesta with the Rainbow Project and encouraged businesses to be involved by placing their logo on the support letter which showed their commitment to making Stawell a safe community.
Juno Vesta would like to implement this project in other towns including Ararat in the near future. Juno Vesta is encouraging businesses and community groups to join in with the Rainbow project and place a rainbow flag on their window front.
The Rainbow Project will make other LGBTIQA+ people feel safer in the community. New reports suggest that nearly 30% of young people are now identifying as LGBTIQA+. Young people aged 16 to 24 years are most likely to hide their sexuality or gender identity. They reported experiencing: Verbal homophobic abuse 61 %, Physical homophobic abuse 18% and other types of homophobia 9%
“We understand there is a lot more work that needs to be done, but to see a youth led project making such a difference is incredible” Said Gemma Beavis, chair of the Rainbow committee at GCH.
Juno Vesta is supported by Grampians Community Health and the Central Grampians LLEN.
If you are aged between 12 and 25 and are interested in joining Juno Vesta, please contact Gemma on 52587400.
The Stawell group meets every Monday afternoon at the Grampians Community Health building, 8-22 Patrick Street, from 4pm.
It is National Carers Week; we celebrate and thank all Carers.
A Proud Mum of Foster Kids!
Being a Foster Carer has been one of my most rewarding achievements. Seeing a child walk in to your home scared and insecure is heart breaking. Seeing a child walk out of your home with a smile on their face ready to face the world – that is what I call beauty!
Grampians Community Health is excited to hear about the continuing commitment from the state government to support some of our most vulnerable young people who live in out of home care. Numbers of young people requiring, short, medium, long term and even permanent care are increasing therefore we need more carers to share in this much needed commitment.
GCH believes in and supports equality for all, in particular for those that often have little or no voice and face a range of challenges. For young people in out of home care and who live in rural and remote areas, the challenges can be even more significant. Having been part of this great community for over 30 years, GCH is aware of the challenges that living in rural and remote areas can be as well as the great opportunities that exist in our region. GCH offers a range of supports to people who might already be or thinking of fostering. We provide a range of supports to Carers, access to counselling, links to social opportunities, mental health support, education connections and an intake and referral system to meet everyone’s needs.
In our local community, the out of home care agency that provides a range of foster care options is Uniting Care. GCH values the amazing work that Uniting undertake in this space and we are always happy to provide complimentary services to support carers, young people and extended family and friends. GCH recognises that being a foster carer can be a challenging and rewarding opportunity. The commitment from the state government to provide extra support to carers is welcome and acknowledges the different world we now live in and the make-up of our community is diverse and always changing, therefore policy needs to reflect that change.
Much more work is needed and we need to build on the recent exiting range of commitments to strengthen and reform the out of home care sector. We encourage anyone who might be thinking of becoming a carer to find out more information or to come in and have a chat to one of the many friendly and dedicated staff members at GCH.
In Victoria, it is estimated that nearly 10,000 children currently live in out of home care. About 40% are in foster care, 48% in relative/kinship care and the rest in other forms of home based care. In Australia over 45,000 children live in out of home care and this number continues to rise.
About 40% of those in out of home care have been in that system for 5 years or more. As a community, we have a responsibility to provide care for our most vulnerable and the need for Carers has never been greater. We encourage people, who might have thought about fostering, to take that first step and to find out more.
As a local carer recently said “I was unsure about my ability to be a carer and the extra demands that would come along with it, however after over 15 years of being a foster carer I wouldn’t change a thing. The experience has been so rewarding and the kids in my care have provided me with memories and experiences I will cherish forever” they also went on to say “I encourage anyone who might be thinking of being a foster carer to contact your local agency and to find out more”.