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Voice

Welcome to the Voice February

This month, we introduce you to our new General Manager of Carer Services, Charmaine Vanderbeek. Charmaine comes to Carers Victoria with extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector. Find out more about her below.

The Final Report for the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System will be released in the coming weeks. Ahead of its release, Carers Victoria Senior Policy and Research Advisor Dylan Jansz has written a blog for Mental Health Victoria highlighting how the mental health system needs to be redesigned to better support carers.

The second and final Economic Support Payment for people financially affected by COVID-19 will be administered by Centrelink from March. Read on to find out if you are eligible.

Finally, if you haven't visited our website to check out the workshops we have available for carers and service providers, be sure to take a look. Scroll down for a summary of what's on this month.

Happy reading
The Carers Victoria Team

Meet Our General Manager: Carer Services

Carers Victoria is pleased to welcome our new General Manager of Carer Services, Charmaine Vanderbeek. Charmaine is a skilled not-for-profit leader, with extensive experience in building relationships with a range of stakeholders including large health organisations and local, state and federal governments. Charmaine understands the changing environment of the not-for-profit sector, particularly the need for social purpose organisations to demonstrate their impact using thorough data and evaluation. With post graduate qualifications in counselling and not-for-profit leadership, Charmaine has worked across a number of areas including mental health, early learning, cancer patient care and autism. Her interest in working at Carers Victoria combines a passion for the sector from a professional perspective, as well as her personal experience as a carer, primarily in aged and palliative care.

Since taking on this role in an Acting capacity in early November, Charmaine has demonstrated her ability, intelligence, energy and compassion and has embodied our organisational values.

Welcome Charmaine!


COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has now commenced in Australia.

Vaccines will be free and will be available for everyone in Australia, including all Australian citizens, permanent residents, temporary visa holders and those without a Medicare card.

Australia’s independent medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA), has strict standards for reviewing COVID-19 vaccines. They only approve vaccines that are safe and effective.

Even though the vaccine program has started rolling out across Australia, you should still stay COVIDSade. This includes: 

• Staying 1.5 metres away from other people.
• Staying home if you feel unwell and get tested for COVID-19.
• Washing your hands regularly or use hand sanitiser.
• Always cough or sneeze into your arm or a tissue.
• Having the COVIDSafe app to help health officials notify you if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

For the latest information about the vaccine rollout visit the DHHS website here


Blog: Who Will Care for the Carers?

Ahead of the release of the Final Report for the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System, Carers Victoria Senior Policy and Research Advisor Dylan Jansz has published a blog for Mental Health Victoria highlighting why the mental health system needs to take a broader view of the role and impact of being a carer.

Dylan explains that changes to clinical services and interventions aimed at improving carers' knowledge and skills are critical in redesigning a system that better supports carers.

Read the blog here


Economic Support Payment

Centrelink will administer the second and final Economic Support Payment from March (please note, exact date has not been specified). This payment will be automatically administered if you meet the criteria, there is no need to register.  

To be eligible for this payment, you must receive one of the following payments:

  • Age Pension
  • Carer Allowance
  • Carer Payment
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Double Orphan Pension
  • Family Tax Benefit
  • Pensioner Concession Card

For more information, visit the Services Australia website here.


Program: NDIS Kids Connect

Carers Victoria’s free NDIS Kids Connect program provides information, linkage and online workshops and information sessions to assist families with a child (0 – 7 years old) with a disability to successfully transition and connect to the NDIS. 

Even if you have been engaged with the Scheme for some time, you may feel overwhelmed with the service system and simply don’t know how to proceed. NDIS Kids Connect is here to help you navigate these issues.

Find out more


Mind the Step

Are you caring for a friend or family member?

Are you feeling uncertain, stressed or anxious?

Do you want to feel more connected?

Let’s talk.

Carers Victoria is delivering Mind the Step, a FREE four-week online program for carers who feel they would benefit from building their personal resilience and connecting with others in similar situations. The program is facilitated by qualified counsellors via Zoom for 90 minutes each week to support carers in Western Victoria.  Participant numbers are kept small to provide a safe and supportive environment.

If you’d like to enrich your mental health and wellbeing, build awareness or resources and support services and feel more empowered as a carer, register your interest for Mind the Step. The program is for anyone living in Western Victoria who is in a caring role.

To learn more about the program click here

 


Multilingual Older Persons COVID-19 Line

Older people, their families and carers can call a new phone line for free, tailored COVID-19 information in 6 languages other than English.

The Multilingual Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line – set up by the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing and funded by the Australian Department of Health – offers assistance in Greek, Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese and Italian.

The Support Line can be contacted Monday to Friday 2pm to 5pm AEST (except public holidays) on:

📞 1800 549 844 - Italian
📞 1800 549 845 - Greek
📞 1800 549 846 - Vietnamese
📞 1800 549 847 - Mandarin
📞 1800 549 848 - Cantonese
📞 1800 549 849 - Arabic


Members Family Day

Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in our Members Family Day at the Melbourne Zoo on 13 March. We had an overwhelming response to this event and it sold out within the hour.

We will be holding more events like this one in the future, so be sure to follow us on social media  and keep reading VOICE  to be the first to find out about future events and promotions.


The LGBTIQA+ Carers Group is Back

Are you currently providing unpaid care for your parents, partners, siblings, housemates? Are you looking to connect with others in a similar situation?

The LGBTIQA+ Carers Group is for LGBTIQA+ people who provide unpaid care and support to others. After a successful program last year, we are looking forward to delivering the program in 2021, with a mixture of face to face and online sessions. This group is facilitated by queerspace and Carers Victoria and supported by City of Melbourne.

This group provides a space to connect, relax, unwind and get information and resources available for LGBTIQA+ carers. The sessions will run once a month with some opportunities to catch up in-between sessions. The sessions are between 1-2 hours depending on the activity and if the session is online.

Please contact qsgroups@ds.org.au to sign up or to receive more information, or phone 96636733 and ask to speak to Cam.


In The News: Carers Watching Over Their Own Mental Health

Have you heard the saying you can’t pour from an empty cup and in the case of an emergency we must put the oxygen mask on first before attending to othersIn this Q&A with Anna Solarikis of Restoring Resilience, a partnership aiming to support individuals and organisations in the treatment of chronic stress and trauma, Anna discusses why families, carers and frontline support workers need to prioritise their own mental health.

Read the full article here.

Article by Paulo Rizal, Third Sector

Voice

1 February 2021

Welcome to the new look Voice. We have refreshed our eBulletin for the new year and look forward to continuing to bring you the latest news for carers, but with a stylish new design!

From now on, issues of the Voice will be published here on our blog. This means, in addition to receiving Voice in your inbox, you can revisit past editions of Voice at any time.

This month we kick start the year with some great events and programs for carers. Scroll down to find out how you can reserve your place at our upcoming Members event in March, and find out more about the workshops and programs we have on offer. 

To celebrate the release of the new film Wild Mountain Thyme starring Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan, we have a number of double passes to give away this month to see the film. Find out more under What's On.   

We hope you enjoy our new look.

Happy reading.

The Carers Victoria Team


Save the Date: Member's Family Day

Carers Victoria will be holding a family-friendly Member Event at the Melbourne Zoo on Saturday 13 March. You don’t have to be a member of Carers Victoria prior to attending this event, you can sign up to our free membership program on the day.

Save the date for a fun day out with the family and the opportunity to meet some of our wonderful staff who are dedicated to making carers’ lives better.

To express your interest, email events@carersvictoria.org.au

We look forward to seeing you there.


Carer Wellbeing and Connection Program

We know that people who provide care for a loved one often experience loneliness and can feel isolated. COVID-19 restrictions have only made it more complicated and difficult. If this sounds familiar, the Carer Wellbeing and Connection program may be right for you.

Commencing from Tuesday 2 or Wednesday 3 March, the four consecutive weeks will consist of approximately 90-minute online therapeutic group sessions to promote a deeper understanding of connectedness and personal wellbeing. The sessions will be facilitated by an experienced mental health professional and group numbers will be kept small to maintain a safe and supportive environment.

Priority for this program is given to carers living in the North Western Metropolitan region of Melbourne.

To register your interest or find out more click here. 


Mind the Step

Are you caring for a friend or family member?

Are you feeling uncertain, stressed or anxious?

Do you want to feel more connected?

Let’s talk.

Carers Victoria is delivering Mind the Step, a FREE four-week online program for carers who feel they would benefit from building their personal resilience and connecting with others in similar situations. The program is facilitated by qualified counsellors via Zoom for 90 minutes each week to support carers in Western Victoria.  Participant numbers are kept small to provide a safe and supportive environment.

If you’d like to enrich your mental health and wellbeing, build awareness or resources and support services and feel more empowered as a carer, register your interest for Mind the Step. The program is for anyone living in Western Victoria who is in a caring role.

To learn more about the program click here

 


COVID-19 Update: Carer Education for Organisations

We are pleased to announce that face-to-face education events recommence in 2021 for groups who want a presenter to attend their own venue. This includes service providers and carer groups who have their own meeting space. COVID-19 guidelines will apply to ensure safety for participants and staff.

Please note, our office remains closed to the public for the time being and all other education workshops and events will be held online. If you need to contact us, please phone 1800 514 845.


Survey for Carer Support Group Facilitators

Carers Victoria is excited to be launching a Community of Practice for Carer Support Group Facilitators in 2021 across Victoria. We have worked closely with support group facilitators over many years and we have heard from facilitators that they want practical skills and ongoing opportunities to connect with other facilitators. 

If you are a support group facilitator, please complete this short survey to provide suggestions for professional development and how we can connect facilitators across the state.


Subsidised Uber Rides

Victorians with disability and accessibility needs now have more subsidised transport options, thanks to a partnership between Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) and rideshare service Uber. In an Australian first, members of the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) can now use Uber to take subsidised trips.

The subsidy is half the total cost of the trip including tolls and charges. For example a trip costing $60 would be subsidised to $30.

For further details or to find out how to join the program visit: https://cpv.vic.gov.au/about-us/news


In the News: “My son has Downs Syndrome. Please Think Before You Ask Me Questions.”

In this article for MammaMia, Carer Champion Julie Fisher reflects on the phrase “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything”. Julie’s son Darcy has Downs Syndrome and she has been the recipient of many unkind and uneducated comments about Darcy over the years. In her article, Julie responds to some of the common reactions she has received when telling someone she has a son with Downs Syndrome. Read the article here.


The LGBTIQA+ Carers Group is Back

Are you currently providing unpaid care for your parents, partners, siblings, housemates? Are you looking to connect with others in a similar situation?

The LGBTIQA+ Carers Group is for LGBTIQA+ people who provide unpaid care and support to others. After a successful program last year, we are looking forward to delivering the program in 2021, with a mixture of face to face and online sessions. This group is facilitated by queerspace and Carers Victoria and supported by City of Melbourne.

This group provides a space to connect, relax, unwind and get information and resources available for LGBTIQA+ carers. The sessions will run once a month with some opportunities to catch up in-between sessions. The sessions are between 1-2 hours depending on the activity and if the session is online.

Please contact qsgroups@ds.org.au to sign up or to receive more information, or phone 96636733 and ask to speak to Cam.

 


Able Foods

Able Foods is a purpose-led startup co-founded in 2020 by Dylan Alcott. The company’s aim is to provide great quality food and opportunities for people with disability to lead healthier and happier lives. They are an ambitious and socially conscious business with a focus on providing job opportunities for people with disability and they've launched with ready-made meals, texture modified meals, desserts and snacks.

NDIS participants may be eligible for co-funding of Able Foods' ready-made meals. This means you'll never pay more than $3 per meal, as the cost of meal preparation and delivery can be funded by the NDIS. To learn more call the Able Foods team on 1300 123 2253, send an email to info@ablefoods.com.au or visit ablefoods.com.au