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New support service for new mums

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) has received almost $5,000 as part of the 2018 Freemasons Community Grants program.

The grant was awarded to fund the development and provision of a new community program called “Active Mums n Happy Bubs”, which aims to bring together new mums who want to meet other new mums who want to restore their fitness, or commence a new fitness journey.

GLCH’s Chief Executive Officer, Sue Medson OAM says, “The aim of this program is that the mothers involved will build social connections, so they’ll know where to go and feel more encouraged to seek support whenever they need it. Those initial stages of motherhood can feel overwhelming at times, so to create a space where mums can receive support, advice and connect with other mums is really valuable in terms of one’s general health and mental wellbeing.”

Based in Lakes Entrance, this innovative program will be delivered by GLCH Gym Instructor Kim Woolan, who has expertise in working with new mums and exercise.

“I’m really excited about this program because there’s a lot to be gained for new mums by just connecting with each other,” explains Ms Woolan. “Also, when women decide to start or return to exercise after having a baby, it’s really important they do so under qualified supervision.”

Darrell Traplin from the Gippsland Lakes Freemasons Lodge in Lakes Entrance says, “We’re excited to see the impact this program will have on our local community. GLCH’s application was selected because of its potential to support, educate and connect so many members of the community who can all greatly benefit from this type of program. This is one of many such programs throughout the state, to which Freemasons Victoria has provided support.”

Scheduled to launch in 2019, Active Mums n Happy Bubs will consist of weekly one-hour exercise sessions, followed by 30 minutes of socialising. The sessions will be conducted in accordance with school terms, and will be delivered in local parks, playground areas and walking tracks around Lakes Entrance.

“Our aim with these social fitness sessions,” explains Ms Woolan, “is to encourage and support mums to become active together, so they can keep exercising with other participants from the group, outside the program’s scheduled times. They’ll all be at similar places in their motherhood journey – sleep deprived, trying to find a routine, trying to maintain their identity – so it will be great for them to realise they’re not alone during this time; while also being able to surround themselves with people who are going through something similar, because shared experiences can be very powerful and bonding. I’m really looking forward to helping our community become fitter, healthier and more connected, through this program.”

Active Mums n Happy Bubs will also improve access for mums and their families, to connect with other social and health-related services, while also enhancing the visibility of the children, which could assist in the early detection of health or developmental issues.

“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.

To find out more about the Active Mums n Happy Bubs program contact GLCH on 5155 8370.

HMnHB

Photo provided: GLCH’s CEO Sue Medson OAM is pictured with GLCH’s Gym Instructor Kim Woolan, accepting a cheque from Darryl Traplin from Gippsland Lakes Freemasons Lodge in Lakes Entrance.

HnK

New program helps alleviate hip and knee pain

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Around the world, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and one of the leading causes of pain and disability. But, thanks to Complete Therapies at GLCH, sufferers now have an opportunity to bid farewell to hip and knee pain caused by OA.

The first line of treatment for osteoarthritis should be education – about your specific condition – coupled with exercise, which has been found to be beneficial for all sorts of conditions, as well as overall health.

“The main goal of treatment for patients with osteoarthritis is to relieve the common symptoms of joint pain, and improve everyday physical function,” explains Zac O’Rourke, GLCH’s Exercise Physiologist, who is based in Lakes Entrance.

“Clinical guidelines recommend exercise for the management of osteoarthritis, as it can help achieve both of those goals – to relieve pain and restore function – while also potentially enabling you to avoid, delay or prepare for any hip or knee surgery.”

In response to these clinical guidelines, Complete Therapies has developed a six-week exercise and program called the “Hip and Knee Program”, which aims to alleviate pain and improve function for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis, thus restoring their ability to perform the activities of daily living with less pain and more confidence.

Prior to attending the program, participants need to have their symptoms and level of function assessed by one of our exercise physiologists or physiotherapists. Once assessed, a personalised exercise program will be designed, which you’ll then be guided through with complete supervision and instruction, to ensure you can perform the program safely and correctly.

The program will also provide you with accurate and up-to-date information about your specific condition, including tips for best management. At the end of the six-week program, you’ll be reassessed to measure your improvements.

To find out more about the Complete Therapies Hip and Knee Program, book in for an assessment, or to seek help for any other aches and pains you’re experiencing, phone our Complete Therapies team on 5155 8370.

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Pictured: GLCH’s Exercise Physiologist Zac O’Rourke assists Hip and Knee Program client Gwenda Hunt.

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DisABILITY: increasing awareness in the workplace

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health recently launched a workplace awareness campaign to acknowledge International Day of People with Disability.

The International Day of People with a Disability is a United Nations sanctioned day that is celebrated internationally on 3 December each year. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability.

“One in five people, or 4.3 million Australians, have a disability,” said GLCH chief executive officer, Sue Medson OAM. “There are many different kinds of disability and they can result from accidents, illness or genetic disorders. A disability may affect mobility, ability to learn things, or ability to communicate easily, and some people may have more than one.”

A disability may be visible or hidden, may be permanent or temporary and may have a minimal or substantial impact on a person’s abilities.

By starting the conversation about disability in the workplace and the community, you can challenge perceptions, educate others and normalise disability in everyday life. We all have a role to play to ensure people with disability have the same opportunities as others to reach their full potential.

The delivery of disability services is set to change in East Gippsland on 1 January 2019 with the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The NDIS will provide a new way of delivering services and support to people with permanent and significant disability. With the NDIS, people with a disability will have greater flexibility and choice regarding the supports and services they receive to meet their individual needs.

“As a registered NDIS provider, the staged rollout of the NDIS has given us time to prepare for the new scheme, ensuring a smooth transition for people with a disability and their families and carers,” Ms. Medson explained. “The NDIS represents a significant change in the way in which people with a disability will access support, which will change the way in which service providers like us do business.”

To facilitate the change, GLCH has assembled a team of experts from all relevant areas of our organisation, who meet regularly to plan for this new way of delivering services. The team has been meeting for around two years now, and is not only made up of service providers but includes representation from our marketing, finance and human resources teams.

“With with the disability sector likely to double in size to meet the increase in demand for support and services, the team is also focused on recruitment as there will be many more opportunities for people wanting to work in disability services,” Ms. Medson added.

GLCH will provide a broad range of in-home services to people with a disability, as well as allied health and paediatric therapy, and social support. For more information click HERE

AGM

Celebrating another successful 12 months – GLCH AGM

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) recently held its 43rd Annual General Meeting at the Bairnsdale Sporting and Convention Centre in Lucknow.

It was a great celebration of the organisation’s achievements during the past 12 months, which included recognition for more than 30 staff members who have been with GLCH for 10, 15, 20 and even 25 years!

GLCH is one of the largest local employers in the East Gippsland region, with more than 400 employees engaged across its five locations in Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale, Bruthen, Nowa Nowa and Metung. And as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider, GLCH is set to release new employment opportunities, to coincide with the rollout of NDIS on 1 January 2019.

The impressive efforts of GLCH’s Health Promotion team were also acknowledged at the AGM; including their recent win against St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne Health and The Royal Children’s Hospital, for the “East – Love Where You Live” project, which received a Victorian Public Healthcare Award; and the “Healthy Eating for Life-Changing School Culture” project, which is a finalist in the Gippsland Primary Health Network Awards.

The highlight for many, however, was the guest speaker, Fiona Butlin, who generously shared her personal experience as a transgender person.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people are an estimated 11 percent of the population, but experience disproportionately lower health outcomes, directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and abuse in their everyday lives, for being LGBTI.

GLCH wants this to stop, and are making positive changes within the organisation to become even more inclusive to LGBTI people; this includes its current journey towards achieving Rainbow Tick accreditation, which is a commitment to seeking feedback around what is being done right, what is being done wrong, and to educating the board, managers, and staff about the findings.

The AGM’s guest speaker Fiona is a member of the Gippsland LGBTI Network and the Central Gippsland Health Service Diversity Committee. Fiona is committed to supporting and encouraging change and more inclusivity, particularly among the health services in Gippsland, and she is currently completing a Certificate in Community Services, which will help her to continue her important work in this area.

Fiona’s generous sharing of her own experiences helped the audience better understand the personal impact of discrimination, and the importance for people, particularly in service and frontline roles, to be mindful of how they welcome and treat transgender clients, to ensure their experiences with service-based organisations are positive.

To learn more about GLCH and its achievements, employment opportunities or support of the LGBTI community follow Gippsland Lakes Community Health on Facebook.

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Pictured left to right: Tania Ryan (Diversity Advisor, Gippsland Sectoral Development Team), Fiona Butlin (guest speaker), and Sue Medson OAM (CEO, GLCH)

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We’re going orange for change

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Bairnsdale is set to turn orange from 10.30am on 28 November, when the “Walk to Change the Story” is held, to highlight the need to end violence against women and children.

“Walk to Change the Story” is an initiative of Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) who, at the start of this year, invited other local organisations to help raise awareness about the alarming prevalence of violence against women and children in our community, and to highlight the local support services available for those impacted.

Sue Medson OAM, chief executive officer at GLCH says, “It’s horrifying to think that in Australia, one woman is murdered by her former or current partner every week; and equally alarming to discover that when it comes to reported incidents of family violence, East Gippsland is actually ranked 13 out of 79 local government areas in Victoria.”

“Walk to Change the Story is a community walk that will temporarily shut down Main Street in Bairnsdale from around 11am to 12pm.” Ms Medson explains. “The Walk starts at McCulloch Street, travels down Main Street and ends at the All Abilities Playground. In the adjacent reserve, there’ll be a free BBQ lunch, with lots of activities including entertainment, a traditional indigenous smoking ceremony, drum beat circle, temporary tattoo competition, guest speakers, information stalls and giveaways. Toorloo Arm Primary School will also launch a professionally produced music video that they created, which shares their powerful messages around respectful relationships and the prevention of violence.”

As a participant in the Respectful Relationships school’s program, Toorloo Arm Primary has spent much of this year exploring the impact of violence and the ways it can be prevented. The process saw students express their feelings through the creation of artwork, and many of the designs they came up with have been used to help promote the Walk, including the Walk’s official logo.

Kerry Hughes, Principal at Toorloo Arm Primary School says, “Our school has a strong values-based culture that provides all stakeholders with a consistent language around behaviours. For social change to happen, we need to start at the grassroots. The implementation of the Respectful Relationships program and an amazing partnership with Gippsland Lakes Community Health has strengthened our culture of respect for others instilled empathy, and empowered students to be upstanders to be able to say that violence in any form is not okay.”

The students at Bairnsdale Primary (“754”) will also be walking on the day. Says principal Trudie Nagle, “The scourge of domestic violence, and the regular murder and physical aggression against children and women every week, is a problem that Australian communities must address quickly. Events like this highlight the need for action and all students and staff at 754 are proud to be involved.”

It is hoped the Walk will inspire other schools to encourage students to explore and express how violence affects them, and how it can be prevented in the future.

GLCH is inviting educational institutions, community groups, organisations, businesses, and community members to participate in the Walk and activities. Everyone is encouraged to wear orange, with free t-shirts available from GLCH in Bairnsdale on Walk day (while stocks last).

“We appreciate the local businesses who are supporting the event by displaying posters and other resources, wearing orange on the day, and by sending staff to walk,” says Ms Medson.

Nick’s Bairnsdale on Main Street is one such business, who are turning their window display orange in support of the event. Co-owner Amy Walkley says, “Nick’s are proud to support such an important community event that will raise awareness about violence against women and children.”

“We all have a responsibility to encourage change and to end the vicious circle of violence, once and for all,” says Ms Medson. “As Ms Hughes said, it’s not something that can be achieved overnight, but we need to start somewhere, and this is why the Walk to Change the Story was created.”

Walk to Change the Story is led by Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) and is supported by Uniting, Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault, Gippsland & East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-Operative Ltd (GEGAC), Save the Children, Respectful Relationships, Yoowinna Wurnalung Healing Service (YWHS), Bairnsdale Regional Health Services, East Gippsland Shire Council, and Victoria Police.

More details, including updates, can be found on the “Walk to Change the Story” page on Facebook.

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We’ve got the early years covered!

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Families with young children are well catered for by the early childhood services provided by Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) in Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance.

Beginning at birth, GLCH’s maternal and child health (MCH) nurses provide parents of children aged 0-6 with health and development advice and information; and also offer an ‘Enhanced’ Maternal and Child Health Service to families who require additional or specialist support.

“GLCH is passionate about providing high-quality, client-focused early childhood and parent support services,” said Sue Medson OAM, Chief Executive Officer. “And we’ve been operating since 1975, so are proud to be a leading source of information and support for parents and families in the region.”

As a registered service provider under the National Disabilities Insurance Scheme (NDIS), GLCH provide a range of parenting groups, early childhood intervention services, and therapy programs to eligible children and their families.

“Starting intervention early is the best way to support the development and wellbeing of children with a disability or developmental delay,” explained Ms Medson. “The supports and services GLCH offers under the NDIS can help children develop the skills they need to participate in everyday activities.”

Services and supports include physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology. GLCH also offer a variety of therapy groups for children who need help with language and motor skills. These groups also provide an opportunity for children to develop social skills, such as engaging in conversations, following instructions and interacting with other children of their own age group.

GLCH’s Children’s Centre in Lakes Entrance provides high-quality and affordable care and education programs, that promote a sense of emotional wellbeing and social and cultural awareness for children. The Children’s Centre offers full-time, part-time and casual child care with places available for children aged 6 weeks to 12 years, including children with special needs. The Centre also offers vacation care, as well as a four-year-old kinder program which operates five days a week, including one day of Coastal Kinder, which is an off-site experience where children get to interact with nature and learn about their local coastal environment.

At its Bairnsdale location, GLCH also offers support programs for parents, including a ‘New Parent’s Group’ – providing first-time parents with information to assist with the healthy nurturing of their baby; ‘FAB Tuesdays’ – an eight-week group for women who suffer from mild to moderate anxiety or depression, delivered in partnership with a peri-natal emotional health practitioner; ‘Bumps to Bubs’ – a weekly social group that also provides information and advice about parenting and child development; and ‘Tunning into Kids’ – a parenting program that focuses on the connection between parents and kids.

To find out more about these and GLCH’s other early childhood services and programs, visit one of their five service locations in Bairnsdale, Bruthen, Metung, Lakes Entrance, and Nowa Nowa, find them on Facebook or go to www.glch.org.au.

AGM Invitation 2018

Invitation to our AGM

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Celebrate another 12 months with us at our 43rd Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 20 November at 2.00pm at the Bairnsdale Sporting and Convention Centre, 117 Great Alpine Road, Lucknow.

Guest speaker | Afternoon tea provided

Please rsvp by Friday 11 November to Marnie Graham on 5155 8358 or marnieg@glch.org.au

 

Carers Week compressed

Celebrating Carers

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health has celebrated the tireless and passionate contribution that carers make to our local community, as part of 2018 National Carers Week (14 to 20 October).

Carers make an enormous contribution to our communities as well as our national economy, which is why National Carers Week is held annually to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of these 2.7 million Australians. If all carers decided to stop performing their caring role, it would cost the country $60.3 billion per year to replace those supports – that’s over $1 billion per week! Anyone at any time can become a carer, so National Carers Week is an opportunity to raise community awareness about the diversity of these individuals and the importance of their roles.

On Thursday 18 October, GLCH hosted a ‘thank you’ BBQ and raffle at their Lakes Entrance location, in appreciation for, and to help raise awareness of carers of young adults with additional needs.

In attendance were members of GLCH’s weekly social group, ‘The Lounge Crew’, and their family members.

The Lounge Crew is a social group for people with different abilities who are aged between 20 to 45 years. The Crew meets up twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays to enjoy activities and experiences such as mini golf challenges, movie afternoons, exploring local bushland and coastal areas, and coffee and lunch dates.

Angela Ellis, Executive Manager, Community Health Services at GLCH says, “This social group has been running for five years now, with three of the young men attending since the program launched in 2013. We’re always excited to be able to celebrate the valuable contribution of carers, so this event was a great way to do so.”

If you or someone you know would like to join or find out more about The Lounge Crew, phone GLCH on 5155 8370.

Award

LOVE EAST Project WINS at Victorian Public Healthcare Awards

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Our LOVE EAST project WON the Victorian Public Health Care Award for Excellence in community engagement last night and we’re excited!

Pictured below at the award ceremony at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park Hotel, is the executive manager of community health services, Angela Ellis (center) and Sherryn Hewett and Kerrilee Kimber from our health promotion team.

Shout out to Communities for Children, Quantum Support Services, Uniting Care Gippsland, the East Bairnsdale Hub and the fabulous families who live in EAST – who without their support, this project would not have been a success.

More information about the LOVE EAST Project is available from our website https://tinyurl.com/y8mbelp6

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