Your health, our commitment

Seniros Ad [March 2019]

Complete health and support for seniors

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Since 1975 Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) has been a leading not-for-profit provider of health and wellness services in East Gippsland. Today GLCH continues to help seniors enjoy a healthier, happier and more independent lifestyle through its extensive range of programs and services delivered by a friendly, compassionate and reliable team of local people.

Whether you’re looking for help at home, an exercise program, or socialisation opportunities for yourself or a family member, then GLCH is your local service provider of choice.

A major provider of Home Care Packages, GLCH provides flexible packages of in-home care and support services to people who need assistance to stay living at home. Chief executive officer Sue Medson OAM, says the aged and disability team are available to guide people through the new My Aged Care process and highlight the types of services we offer including domestic assistance, nursing, personal care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and assistance with meal preparation, transport, shopping, and social outings.”

“Establishing and maintaining social connections is also important for the wellbeing of our ageing community members,” Ms Medson says. “As such, we offer a variety of low-cost, weekly social groups in Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance and activities that provide physical, intellectual, emotional and social stimulation to participants; which create valuable respite and support opportunities for carers.”

Medical and services covering a range of health conditions and care needs are available from GLCH’s Lakes Entrance, Metung, Bruthen and Nowa Nowa sites; and in the home. The organisation offers a number of specialist nursing services including a Dementia nurse practitioner, who provides a specialist nursing service that helps East Gippsland GP’s and their patients with dementia diagnoses and links them to local resources if required.  “Not all changes in memory and thinking are signs of dementia,” explained Ms Medson. “However, if you’re worried about yourself or someone close to you, we offer a free in-home assessment to explore changes and address any issues.”

A complete range of therapies is also available to help seniors maximise independence and remain active and healthy. GLCH offers flexible services including physiotherapy, podiatry, exercise physiology, occupational therapy, personal trainers and a range of fitness groups that aim to increase mobility, manage chronic illness and pain, and improve strength and fitness.

“The professional team at Gippsland Lakes Community Health are available to support people as they age to remain happy, healthy and valued,” Ms Medson said.  “We’re ready to assist people with their enquiries regarding our services for seniors, call us today or visit for further details.”

IMG_1299-2Pictured: Maude Newman and Margery Cogger catch up at GLCH’s ‘Keep Active’ group in Lakes Entrance. Keep Active is a supervised gym session for people with reduced mobility to help maintain independence, and is just one of the many exercise programs available to East Gippsland seniors.

lentil bog

4 ways to eat healthily on a budget

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Eating healthily need not break the bank. Here are four tips from Chelsea Arceri, our Accredited Practising Dietitian.

Tip 1. Make your own lunches

It does take a little more time and effort, but it means you know exactly what you are eating, so you can make healthier choices and save money at the same time!

Tip 2. Buy your fruit and veggies seasonally

Fruit and vegetables that are in season are always cheaper. You can also buy fruit and veggies that are on special, and then find new and exciting recipes to cook or prepare them. Doing so is a great way to save money, while also helping you to increase the variety of foods you eat. Another tip is to buy your produce in bulk and freeze it. Many fruit and veggies freeze really well and doing this, means you may not need to the pay higher prices to enjoy them when they’re out of season.

Tip 3. Swap cereals for plain rolled oats

Many cereals contain added sugars and high GI carbohydrates, which cause your blood sugars to spike and drop erratically. Rolled oats are not only a great source of fibre, but they also don’t have any added sugars, as well as being cheap to buy. Rolled oats are a perfect breakfast option in the form of porridge or overnight oats. Just remember – don’t load it up with brown sugar! Instead, to sweeten, try using cinnamon, fruit or a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.

Tip 4. Choose legumes as your protein source

Legumes – such as lentils, beans and chickpeas – are full of vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre, making them a great alternative to meat. As an added bonus, canned or dried legumes are also much cheaper to buy than meat; in fact, you can pick up a can of chickpeas (serving two people) for less than a dollar! Ideally, aim to include around three serves of legumes in your diet each week. A good way to start is by adding a can of brown lentils to your bolognese sauce (see recipe) – by doing so you’ll save yourself a few dollars and help your body thrive at the same time!

Enjoy more legumes with this recipe for Lentil Bolognese

lentil bog

  •  Lentils are a fantastic source of fibre, protein, folate and iron
  • Try to include legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas) in your meals at least three times a week
  • For a meat-free option, omit the beef
  • For a gluten-free option, swap regular pasta for spiralised zucchini or pulse pasta


  • 2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 300g of lean beef mince (omit to create a meat-free option)
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 can of brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 400g bottle of passata (unseasoned tomato sauce)
  • Sea salt flakes, to season
  • 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
  • 500g packet of spaghetti
  • 2 cups of baby spinach (optional, for an extra serve of veggies)


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high
  2. If using mince, add it first and cook until brown.
  3. Next add onion, garlic, carrot, zucchini and lentils and cook until softened.
  4. Next add the passata and season with salt* and oregano.
  5. Bring it to a simmer and cook until it reaches your desired flavour and texture.
  6. If it is reducing too quickly, place on the lid; or to reduce faster, remove from heat altogether.
  7. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of lightly salted water.
  8. Drain and serve.

 *To decrease your salt intake, try a herbed seasoning such as Herbamare; it adds flavour with less sodium

Serves: 4

For more healthy recipes or to learn more about how to eat well and feel great, contact Chelsea on 5155 8370.


We’ve made art therapy affordable

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There’s no need to pay $50, $75 or even $100+ dollars to sort through your thoughts and emotions because Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) are kicking off their popular Art Therapy program in April – and sessions are just $15!

What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is based on the idea that a creative act can be healing as it can help you express hidden emotions; reduce stress, fear, and anxiety; and provide a sense of freedom. Art Therapy can also help you manage physical and emotional problems by enabling you to express your emotions through creative activities. It can help you come to terms with emotional conflicts, increase self-awareness, and express unspoken or even unconscious concerns about issues or stress that may be going on in your life.

The name “Art Therapy” can cause confusion – it’s important to understand these sessions are not art classes where you’ll learn how to paint or draw, and Art Therapy is not about what’s produced. Instead, it’s simply about allowing your thoughts and emotions to flow freely, in a comfortable, non-intimidating, confidential and highly supportive group environment. For this reason, you don’t need to have any artistic talent or ability to participate in Art Therapy.

Over time, the result of this process is that you’ll learn how to better connect with your emotions and gain clarity around your thoughts and behaviours.

Who is Art Therapy for?

Art Therapy is conducted worldwide with great success, particularly among people who are undertaking another form of therapy at the same time.

“Art Therapy is ideal for people who want or need to work through some emotions, but who don’t want to sit and talk about their feelings,” explains Andrea Farley, GLCH’s qualified Art Therapist. “Our program provides people with a safe place to express and release their emotions, which is an environment that is entirely confidential and free from judgment.”

The Art Therapy program will be held in Lakes Entrance every Tuesday from 1pm to 2.30pm for 8 weeks, starting on 23rd April.  To find out more contact our Health Promotion team on 5155 8370.



Primary School children ask for RESPECT

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Last year our Health Promotion team partnered with Save the Children and local primary schools to explore the prevention of family violence in the community.

The grade 5 and 6 students at Tambo Upper Primary School brainstormed ways that they thought would send a clear message to people in their school and the broader community, and the grade six students felt that the word “RESPECT” was a clear message for how people should act towards others – because if you respect everyone, then there would be no family violence.

Students worked creatively to then illustrate the word in a way that would capture people’s attention and convey the message.

The artwork was turned into a banner, which GLCH’s Health Promotion worker Andrea Farley, recently presented to the whole school.



Tender – Site redevelopment to a storage area

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REQUEST FOR TENDER | Site redevelopment to a vehicle storage area

Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) is inviting suitably qualified and experienced contractors to complete the redevelopment of 16 Jemmeson Street Lakes Entrance into a dedicated Fleet Vehicle Storage area.

Specifically, the project will require:

  • Obtaining relevant permits and approvals for demolition and development of the site
  • All civil works including site preparation, drainage and power to be completed by the contractor

A detailed copy of the Tender is available HERE.

All enquiries regarding the Tender should be directed to David Faraday, Facilities and Environmental Services Manager on 0427 053 061 or email

Tenders may be lodged electronically or by mail and must be received by GLCH no later than 5.00pm on Wednesday 3 April 2019.  Please address your Tender to David Faraday and send to:

Gippsland Lakes Community Health

PO Box 429

Lakes Entrance, Victoria 3909


No Smoking Signs

Sharing the message – local Aboriginal communities say smoking is not okay!

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The Health Promotion team at Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) have partnered with the Tackling Indigenous Smoking team from Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association (LEAHA) to promote a smoke-free message to local Aboriginal families.

At a recent Family Fun Day at Cape Conran, the teams encouraged community members to have their photo taken with their ‘Fresh Air Frame.’ Images were printed off on the day for people to take home and display in their home as a reminder not to smoke cigarettes.

“Some of the adults admitted that they were or had been smokers,” said Andrea Farley, health promotion worker from GLCH, “but were keen to share the message to children and younger family members that smoking is not okay.”

Contact the team at LEAHA to find out more about how they are tackling Indigenous smoking.

Fresh Air Frame

Active Mums n Happy Bubs Image

Active Mums ‘n’ Healthy Bubs program in Lakes Entrance

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At 9am on Tuesday 5 February at the rotunda near the footbridge in Lakes Entrance, Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) will commence a new FREE program called “Active Mums n Happy Bubs”, to bring new mums together to restore their fitness or commence a new fitness journey.

GLCH’s Chief Executive Officer, Sue Medson OAM says, “Those initial stages of motherhood can feel overwhelming at times, so we wanted to create a place where mums can receive support, advice and connect with other mums, as we know that connections during this important time can help with general health and mental wellbeing. This program aims to help the new mothers involved to build social connections, so they feel more encouraged and know where to go, to seek support whenever they need it.”

The program is delivered by GLCH Personal Trainer Kim Woolan, who has expertise in working with new mums and exercise. She says, “When women decide to start or return to exercise after having a baby, it’s really important they do so under qualified supervision, so I’m really excited to be able to help new mums in the region become their best, while they adjust to their new role as a mum.”

Also involved is GLCH’s Accredited Practising Dietitian, Chelsea Arceri, who will be available to the group to provide nutrition-related advice, which is very important for mums and bubs during this post-natal period.

Active Mums n Happy Bubs consists of weekly one-hour exercise sessions, followed by 30 minutes of socialising. The sessions are held in local parks, playground areas and walking tracks around Lakes Entrance and are run in accordance with the school terms.

“Ultimately, we want to help new mums in the area to establish connections with others, so they can get together and exercise or socialise outside the program,” explains Ms Woolan. “Through the program, we also want them to be aware of the local services that they can turn to if they need any support, advice or help along the way.”

“If we can facilitate a more connected and confident community of new mums, who know where to turn when they need support, then we can reduce that sense of isolation that is often experienced during the initial phase of parenthood – and the wider local community will also become stronger and more connected as a result,” says Ms Medson.

Active Mums n Happy Bubs received almost $5,000 as part of the 2018 Freemasons Community Grants program, to fund the initial development and provision of this sought-after community program.
To register your interest or to find out more about the Active Mums n Happy Bubs program phone GLCH (which is also a registered NDIS provider) on 5155 8370.

Basic RGB

Are you interested in becoming a member of our Board?

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Appointed Board Position

Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) currently has two vacancies for Appointed (non-elected) Directors.  The first position is for a full term of three years concluding December 2021 and the second position is for one year only, concluding in December 2019.

GLCH is a company limited by guarantee, reporting to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.  With a budget of $30 million and over 400 staff, the organisation’s mission is to provide health and community support services to the communities of East Gippsland.  Main offices are located in Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale with outreach sites in Bruthen, Metung, and Nowa Nowa.

The Board consists of nine members, six elected from the membership and three appointed, to ensure a broad range of skills.

The ideal applicant for each position will be a resident of East Gippsland with skills in one of the following categories:

  • Knowledge and experience in safety and quality standards of service delivery in primary health care and welfare support services; or
  • Qualifications and experience in accounting and/or finance and the ability to: analyse key financial statements, contribute to strategic financial planning;  budgets and the efficient use of resources; and financial accountability

All Board positions at GLCH are honorary.  Out of pocket expenses are reimbursed.

A Nomination Kit is available from Marnie Graham on 5155 8358 or

Nominations are due by COB Friday, January 25, 2019.