Your health, our commitment

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Jenelle Osullivan


Our Children’s Centre is creating Eco Warriors!

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health’s Children’s Centre in Lakes Entrance is producing our next generation of ecological warriors via weekly Coastal Kinder outings – a unique part of their four-year-old Kindergarten program.

“Coastal Kinder promotes ecological sustainability and provides opportunities for children to discover and explore their environment,” said Child Care Coordinator, Jodie Jarvis.  “It aims to connect children to their world by getting involved in practical experiences, and in this case, in their unique and special back yard.” 

Each term the children explore several different coastal elements including our local waterways, beaches and tides; land animals and marine life; and weather patterns and events.  Recently the children visited Red Bluff, where they discovered crabs and sandworms and learnt the environmental impact that waste and litter has on our waterways, marine animals and their environments.    

The experienced team of educators at GLCH’s children centre believe that teaching environmental awareness to children at a young age is important for future growth. “Studies show that children who are exposed to a diverse range of natural settings are more creative, have increased physical activity, are more respectful to one another and are more aware of health and good nutrition,” explained Qualified Early Childhood Teacher, Angela Lina.  “It also helps shape relationship skills and critical thinking skills like analysing, questioning, investigating, interpreting data, forming theories, solving problems and developing conclusions.”

Every week the children enjoy taking the bus to beach or the bush. “We get to play with our friends and learn how to look after animals,” said one very enthusiastic participant.

“We’re thrilled by how the children and their parents have embraced our Coastal Kinder program,” Ms Jarvis said.  Many parents tell us that they look forward to their child’s stories and reliving their experiences, and are amazed by the things they’ve learnt.” 

Other Coastal Kinder outings the young eco warriors have undertaken this year include Koala spotting and tree planting on Raymond Island and exploring the Buchan Caves and Ferry Dell, and the educators are looking forward to taking the children on a tour of the Fisherman’s Co-op and a boat safari on the lake to spot marine life.

Find out more about their Children’s Centre’s four-year-old kindergarten program by contacting GLCH or call in and meet their team of early childhood educators at the Children’s Centre open afternoon on 20 June.




Celebrating our volunteers!

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On Tuesday 9 May we celebrated National Volunteer Week by treating some of our volunteers to lunch in recognition of the awesome work they do!

Each year National Volunteer Week provides us with the opportunity to celebrate the hard work and generosity of our volunteers, and to let them know how much we value their commitment to our organisation and clients.

In the last 12 months GLCH’s aged and disability volunteers clocked up over 850 hours of community support – delivering 13,876 meals to people living in Bairnsdale, Paynesville, Lakes Entrance and surrounding towns; and driving 23,785 kilometres to take people to non-urgent medical appointments; and our Planned Activity Group volunteers in Lakes Entrance prepared over 2,500 meals for appreciative group participants totalling an additional 3,775 volunteer hours.

Our volunteers are an invaluable asset to staff, our clients and our community. They help make our services stronger and we are truly grateful for their tireless support. We have a number of different volunteering opportunities available from our five locations across East Gippsland. To find out more about these opportunities, head to or contact the volunteer coordinator on 5155 8300.


Consumer Forum 2016 (7)

Clients help us plan for the future

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The aged care team at Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) recently hosted consumer forums where clients and their carers were invited to share their thoughts and ideas about the home care packages that GLCH provide throughout East Gippsland.

“At Gippsland Lakes Community Health, we value consumer participation and encourage our clients to have meaningful involvement in decisions made about their care, and guidance with service planning and evaluation,” explained Home Care Package coordinator, Debbie Smith. “It also gives us an opportunity to strengthen relationships and improve communication with our clients.”

Clients spoke openly with GLCH staff about their experiences and offered some great suggestions to help improve and promote the home care packages program.  Mrs Marjorie Reid of Bairnsdale was an active participant at the forum and “…thought it was marvellous.”

Amelia Seymour, who attended a smaller group forum agreed saying, “It was really great to put faces to names and see and hear from other community members who are also on packages.”

The forums provided the aged care team with the opportunity to discuss a number of new initiatives with participants including a proposed new service where people who are ineligible for a funded home care package or are on the waiting list will now be able to purchase care services directly from GLCH.  Groups were also asked their opinions on a collection of new promotional resources.

“There was plenty of useful two-way communication and valuable client insight and suggestions that will help us with our future planning,” said Ms Smith. “The forums were a great success and we will repeat them annually.”

To find out more about home care packages or their new self-funded care services, contact the home care packages team on 5152 0022.

ACNC Registered Charity Tick

We’ve recieved a Registered Tick for community support

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) has been given the ‘big tick’ as an authenticated charity which the community is encouraged to support.

Chief executive officer at GLCH, Sue Medson OAM said “GLCH had been recognised with an Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission’s (ACNC) Registered Tick.”

“The Registered Tick was introduced in December and authenticates a charity, so people can be confident their donations go to the right place,” Ms Medson added.  “The Tick ensures your donation is collected by a charity that fits with Australians’ expectations and goes to the people and communities Australians want to support.”

GLCH receives funding from a number of government sources to provide health and wellbeing services to East Gippsland communities. When first established, community health centres were governed by community committees under the Health Act and received funding for capital development as well as services. Now we are non-government organisations (NGOs) and companies limited by guarantee which requires us to raise money for the upkeep and further development of our facilities.

“The development of the services we provide is in response to the needs of the communities that we serve and have grown in both number and reach,” explained Ms Medson. “Through careful budgeting we have been able to buy additional property in Bairnsdale adjacent to our current premises. We now need to raise money to refurbish this building in order to continue to expand our services”.

GLCH have several different ways for people to support the health and wellbeing of their communities including online at GiveNow, a web based fundraising initiative of the Our Community Foundation for not-for-profit organisations. For alternative options visit or telephone executive assistant, Marnie Graham on 5155 8300. All gifts are tax deductable.

Photo 2

Meals on Wheels is chilling in 2017…

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) and Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) will be introducing new chilled meals to their Meals on Wheels clients next week.

“From next Monday, Meals on Wheels recipients will be delivered chilled main meals rather than the old-style heated meals,” said Chris Tipa, Executive Manager of Aged and Disability Services at GLCH.  “This change will provide a number of benefits for our clients, one being the flexibility to reheat or freeze their meals and eat them at time that best suits them.”

Up until now, GLCH have been able to keep meals hot using specially designed heating containers from the time it’s cooked and leaves the kitchen at BRHS, to its delivery to clients residing as far away as Lakes Entrance and Raymond Island.  However, sometimes this has been at the expense of the apparent freshness of the meals delivered.

“Another reason for changing from heated meals to a chilled meals was our need to enhance food safety and nutritional benefits,” explained Mr Tipa.

The Food Services Department at BRHS have recently installed new equipment that allows them to supply GLCH’s Meals on Wheels program with chilled and frozen meals in brand new packaging, specifically designed to reheat easily and safely in a microwave oven.

“The new meal packaging features a transparent seal so clients can see the meal quality upon arrival,” added Mr Tipa.  “Packaging also includes ‘meal specific’ labelling with heating and storage instructions, shelf life and expiry dates; and people who have special dietary requirements will have personalised labelling to avoid the risk of cross contamination or incorrect deliver.”

GLCH and BRHS have tested the new packaging on Meals on Wheels recipient, Will Redebach. Mr Redenbach was pleased with the new, more convenient chilled meal, and was at ease with the new packaging and reheating instructions.  Mr Redenbach is grateful for the program and its volunteers. “Having Meals on Wheels has made a real difference to me and I am very grateful to everyone involved in providing it from the kitchen to the volunteers, he said.”

The use of chilled meals is now considered best practice for Meals on Wheels programs, with this method becoming increasingly common in many Victorian municipalities.  GLCH and BRHS are delighted to give their clients the flexibility to eat their meals when they are hungry, and the opportunity to order meals that that like to eat from a new menu of chilled options in the coming months.

Helen Gottschalk is a long-time volunteer with the Meals on Wheels program with 25 years under her belt and has seen number of changes to meals.  Helen believes clients will embrace the change with time.  “Meals on Wheels clients have managed other changes before,” said Helen.  “It always works best if clients are properly informed and changes are introduced gradually.”

To find out more about meals on wheels or volunteer opportunities, contact us on 5155 8300.


Pictured above is Meals on Wheels recipient, Mr Will Redenbach of Bairnsdale (seated) is pictured at home with Head Chef, Cameron Penwill (left) and Food Services Manager, Shawne McKenna (right) from  Bairnsdale Regional Health Service; and Chris Tipa, Executive Manager of Aged and Disability Services at Gippsland Lakes Community Health.

Photo 1

Mr Will Redenbach (above) demonstrates how simple it is to reheat his new chilled meal in the microwave without punching holes in the new packaging or transferring to another container.

Photo 2

Long-time volunteer, Helen Gottschalk is pictured with GLCH volunteer coordinator, Janet Taylor and the new chilled meals transport containers.


We have a vacancy on our Audit & Risk Committee. Are you interested?

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We’re looking for an Independent person to join our Audit and Risk Committee…could this be YOU?
We’re seeking expressions of interest from members of the public with appropriate risk management and audit skills, and experience in business, governance, or management, to serve as independent members of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.
The Audit and Risk Committee provides the Board with assurance and assistance in the areas of risk management, clinical governance and quality processes. 
Members of the Audit and Risk Committee should exhibit an independence of mind in their deliberations and not act as a representative of a particular area of the community, or with conflicts of interest. Meeting preparation and attendance at five scheduled meetings is required each year. 
This is an honorary position.
Expressions of interest should be forwarded to Sue Medson either by email at or by mail at P.O. Box 429, Lakes Entrance, 3909 quoting “Audit and Risk Committee – Independent Member” by COB Friday February 24.  Please include a CV stating relevant experience and qualifications and a short explanation of your interest in the position.

We have an eight week art therapy program starting soon. Are you interested?

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Art therapy is based on the idea that the creative act can be healing, that it can help people express hidden emotions, reduces stress, fear and anxiety; and provides a sense of freedom.

The Power of the Mark art therapy program provides people with a way to come to terms with emotional issues, increase self-awareness and express unspoken and often unconscious concerns about what is happening in their lives via a variety of exciting activities that are non-threatening, self-explorative and most of all fun!

Previous art experience is not necessary – just a commitment to working towards achieving healthier mind, body and soul.

Be quick! We have limited places available in our eight week program commending Monday 6 February at our Lakes Entrance site. Contact Andrea on 5155 8370 to register your interest.

Lawn Bowls Team [Jan 2017]

Our Lawn Bowls team is number one!!

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We’re very proud and just have to brag…

In a story reminiscent of rags to riches, the GLCH lawn bowls team have risen from the bottom of the pack (where they finished in their first season) to the top of the Tuesday night Crackerjack Tournament ladder! Well done you awesomely talented human beings. We have our fingers crossed for you to take the win!

Pictured below is Helen (Captain and 2nd); Stephen (Skipper); Kerstin (Coach); and Nicole and Tanya (Leads). The team would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank their long time loyal supporters and players Eion, Michelle, Jen, Melissa, Mandy and many others.  GO TEAM!!

Lawn Bowls Team [Jan 2017]