Reconciliation Week – May 27 to 2rd June 2018

Reconciliation Week

May 27th to 2nd June 2018

Background History

Australia has a long history of reconciliation and countless people – aboriginal Torres Straits Islander and non- indigenous – have dedicated their life’s work to reconciliation movement. As a result, many significant steps have been taken.

In the 25 years since the council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (CAR) was established, the concept of reconciliation has taken a holistic approach that encompasses rights, as well as so-called symbolic and practical actions. Over this time, reconciliation has introduced a greater focus on the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians and opened up a national debate on prejudice, discrimination and racism. It has raised broader questions about our national identity and the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders histories, cultures and rights in our nation’s story.

Don’t Keep History a Mystery

This year during National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Australia invites all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories to share that knowledge help us grow as a nation.

“Don’t Keep History A Mystery: Learn, Share, Grow” explores history hidden just beneath the surface, ready and waiting to be uncovered. “This National Reconciliation Week” learn more about the Australia story.

We as aboriginals and Non-aboriginal peoples are working and walking together with a holistic approach to learning and gaining a better understanding of Australia black history and their stories.

This understanding engages and builds stronger relationships for all Australians and improves a nation without prejudice, discrimination and racism a journey shared in the fight for unity, acceptance and pride.

Today we celebrate our reconciliation week with a morning tea between the GCH staff and the Grampians Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group representatives. (GIFVRAG)

Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation Week – May 27 to 2nd June2018 Grampians Community Health staff and Grampians Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group representatives (GIFVRAG)


Kitchen Gardens Playground

Kitchen Gardens to Teach Kids Healthy Food Habits

Kitchen Gardens Playground

Grampians Community Health are excited with the newly announced Kitchen Gardens Playground to Plate grants scheme funded by the Victorian Government.

Administered by the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, the aim is to help Victorian schools to enhance their whole-school approach to health and wellbeing. This targeted boost of infrastructure funding will support the delivery of pleasurable food education. It’s a significant move from the Victorian Government to fund schools where resourcing may be a barrier to implementing a kitchen garden program.

“Financial resources can be scarce for many schools, so materials and equipment need to be prioritised. Understandably gardening equipment is not always a top priority, so for the Government to acknowledge this is terrific” said Grampians Community Health, Health Promotion worker Rachel Whittaker.

Bronwen Milligan Community Health Nurse at Grampians Community Health said statistics show one in every four Australian children is overweight or obese, so this program is an excellent strategy to support good eating habits.

“Obesity is mainly the result of lifestyle behaviours such as unhealthy eating and low physical activity.” Said Ms Milligan.

According to population health evidence,

  • Northern Grampians and Pyrenees Shire’s rate of Type 2 Diabetes is higher than the state average, and half of the population are not eating enough fruit and vegetables to be meeting the Australian guidelines.
  • In the Northern Grampians, the intake of sweetened drinks was almost double of the Victorian average, while the Pyrenees shire was also more than the state average.
  • Although our community’s fruit and vegetable intake were similar to the state average much of the population is not eating the required amounts; and
  • People in the Ararat Rural City ate takeaway 1-3 times a week more than the Victorian average and drank sugar-sweetened soft drinks at a higher daily average than the overall Victorian population.

Teaching children to grow, harvest, prepare and share own fruit and vegetables, is proven to have a positive impact on the food choices students make. This learning extends beyond the classroom – research shows that engaged, excited students are likely to share their new skills with their family.

Launa Schilling Health Promotion from Grampians Community Health said, “the social connection that the kitchen garden into schools provides is of extreme benefit to young people. This initiative facilitates them to make new friends, learn together and consideration into carrying this into secondary colleges. This scheme is important as this creates a sense of community and belonging.”

Rachael Whittaker added that to make choices even easier for students consistent with what they are learning at school, other places in which young people spend time such as sporting facilities are changing what they offer in the way of food and drink.

“The healthier choice is slowly becoming the easy choice, and the student’s participating in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen garden program will have the knowledge in which to choose what is best for them,” said Ms Whittaker

Anyone wishing to access any of the Grampians Community Health services can easily do so by calling 5358 7400.

Becoming a Youth Engagement

Becoming a Youth Engagement Worker

Youth Engagement

Did you end up in the career that you thought you would? For Eddie Nsanzimana the Youth Engagement worker at Grampians Community Health the advice of his teacher provided all the impetus he need to go down a path he’d never considered.

“I was just one of those kids at school, doing a VET course in year 11 and thinking I was going to be a tradie.” said Eddie.

The teacher must have seen something in Eddie as when they were at a Careers Expo she said, “Eddie, why don’t you go introduce yourself to the youth team at Grampians Community Health’s NEXUS program, and see if they might take you on board for work placement”.

“I went over and met the guys from Nexus and then started doing my work placement” said Eddie.

Nexus, the Grampians Community Health Youth Centre ran several events throughout the year in which Eddie participated. A camp for multicultural youth to create groups to help kids from their varied backgrounds to fit into the local community is what excited Eddie to get involved as a career.

Eddie got together with the young people and started planning the ‘Young G’ group and having meetings at Nexus.

With the support of the team at Nexus they organised an event for Harmony day and had about 60 or 70 kids show up, and it was a huge success. This event was the turning point for Eddie, “that’s what I want to do, my heart is set to do youth stuff” he said.

“Without the support of GCH staff, Jodie and Alois none of this would have been possible. They have support me a lot through the past two years, and they have shaped the person I have become, so I’m grateful that I met them in that cold winter day in June 2014 at the Career Expo, and now I wouldn’t change it for the word”, Eddie proudly said.

Mr Greg Little, Chief Executive Officer of Grampians Community Health, said, “it is a genuine win-win outcome, we are fortunate to have Eddie working with us, and he tells me that he feels lucky and fortunate that GCH was able to give him a chance as a trainee.”

Eddie also said that “it has been amazing, how young people can develop their skills through initiatives such as the Nexus café. From this experience, they now have enough confidence to find work in the hospitality industry”.

Eddies traineeship finished and he is rightly proud of the Diploma of Community Services he received through the Sunraysia Institute. He is now a fully-fledged Youth Engagement Worker with GCH and wants to continue to drive Young G and make it bigger.

Mr Little said often the young people from Horsham accessing Nexus programs don’t play sport and there is also a large mix of young people from multicultural backgrounds that don’t have the money for school camps, and sports. NEXUS programs are able to give this cohort opportunities to go up to the mountains for walks, go to camps, and participate in events where they can learn new skills.

“We are really pleased that Eddie has continued on his path as a youth engagement worker with Grampians Community Health, he has not only shown that anything is possible with his hard work, but is also able to model that to the young people he works with” said Mr Little.

Anyone wishing to access any of the Grampians Community Health services can easily do so by calling 5358 7400.

Drug Drive and Drive Drives will be faced with tough penalties

Drink Drug Drive program

Grampians Community Health are preparing now for an expected increase in drug and drink drive offences following changes by the Victorian Government to bring in tougher Drink and Drug Drive enforcement.

In April, stronger penalties for drink drive in Victoria from 30th April 2018 were announced by the Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads and Road Safety. The changes announced will impact all drink drivers, drug drivers, including first-time offenders. If a driver records a blood alcohol reading of 0.05 and over they will lose the driver license for at least three months, the interlock will be mandatory for a minimum of six months, and there is a requirement to participate in the behaviours change program.

Grampians Community Health has been delivering many Alcohol and Drug Counselling support services for 30 years making positive changes in our community. The Grampians Community Health Drink Drive Drug Drive program has been under review since October 2017 in anticipation of the changes and the new requirements for accreditation by VicRoads.

 “An average of 70 people contacted Grampians Community Health for support drug drive related in the past two years” said Caleb Lourensz Manager of the Alcohol and Drugs Support Services.

Mr Greg Little, Chief Executive Officer of Grampians Community Health, said that GCH employees are undertaking further training as established by VicRoads, to ensure we are ready to deliver the Drink Drug Drive Behaviour Change programs under the new framework, which will be held in Stawell and Horsham.

To coincide with the new legislation requirements, Grampians Community Health will be re-launching the revised Drink/Drug Drive program In June. It will be a 6 hours program for Victorian drink drivers and a 10-hour intensive drink/drug driver program. The 6-hour program will be conducted over two separate sessions and for first-time will for drink drivers with a blood alcohol reading below 0.15. The session will comprise of cognitive behavioural and motivational techniques, education, motivations for drink driving consequences, risk-taking, impulsivity and decision-making.

The 10-hour program will be conducted over four separate sessions (3×3 hour sessions one week apart). It will be for repeat drink drivers, drug drivers, combined drink/drug, refusal of test, first-time drink drivers blood alcohol reading 0.15 and above, and these participants will also be required to attend Alcohol and Drug counselling.

 “Unfortunately, there are still people who risk lives on the roads through drink and drug driving” Mr. Little said.

 “Until the message is headed in the community that drink or drug driving is not acceptable, the tougher penalties and requirements mean that for now it is expected that there will be even more people undertaking drink and drug drive behavior change courses” added Mr Little.

 Anyone wishing to access any of the Grampians Community Health services can easily do so by calling 5358 7400.

Thank you to all volunteers in our community


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.

Understand Family Violence


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 April 2018

Individual Support Worker and NDIS – Job Opportunity

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:

Minimum requirement

  • 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

Fill in the online FORM, answer the Key Selection Criteria, include a copy of your current Resume and a cover letter and send to GCH. Please read the Position Description.

Have a Healthy Easter – More than chocolate at Easter in the Grampians

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.

Active April

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.

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.…/stawell-residents-encour…/…

youth mentor

Become a Youth Mentor in 2018

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.

Download the Youth Mentor Training Schedule 2018 and the Brochure information for Mentor Connecting Services Puzzle Brochure.


Information sessions run for approximately 1 hour. Participants will be guided through the commitment, expectations, mentee profiles, training, benefits and policies.

Evening Dates:

Monday 22nd January @ 5:30pm

Wednesday 7th February @ 5:30pm

Day Dates:

Wednesday 24th January @ 12:30pm

Wednesday 7th February @ 12:30pm

Booking link:

TRAINING – 2018 Evening Series

Attend 3 consecutive Monday evenings from 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Series 1 – 29th January / 5th February / 12th February

Booking link:

Series 2 – 19th February / 26th February / 5th March

Booking link:

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:

Series 2 – Wed 14th February / Thur 15th February / Fri 16th February

Booking link:

Series 3 – Wed 28th February / Thur 1st March / Friday 2nd March

Booking link:

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

Available Dates

31st January 2018

14th February 2018

28th February 2018

Booking link:


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.