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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.


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

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


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.


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



Bunnings Bairnsdale support our Shedders

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Tony from Bunnings in Bairnsdale recently visited our Men’s Shed in Lakes Entrance, to deliver $250 worth of donated wood and sandpaper.

The local blokes who frequent our Men’s Shed – sometimes as often as twice a week – are making good use of Tony’s generous donation.

“We’re using this wood to make a new table and chairs for the garden,” explains Men’s Shed Coordinator, Ian Brown.

“We donated the last one we made to the Metung Bloodhounds as a ‘thank you,’ because they donated an air conditioning unit to the Shed. So the Bloodhounds can raffle that off to raise some more money, and we’ll then share any of Bunnings’ unused wood and sandpaper with other local Men’s Sheds, like Nowa Nowa’s.”

The GLCH Men’s Shed has been operating for around 16 years now. Says regular Shedder Mick, “I’ve got Alzheimer’s and my doctor says being at the Men’s Shed where I’m around other people and actually making things is the best thing for me. So whenever I can, I get Ian to come and bring me down to the shed and I love it.”


WTCTS tshirt back print

Take steps to end violence against women and children…

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At the beginning of 2018, Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) invited other local health and community services to join its working group, to create and deliver the inaugural Walk to Change the Story, which is being held at 10.30am on Wednesday 28 November 2018 at GLCH McCulloch Street Bairnsdale.

The Walk to Change the Story has been developed as part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, which is a global movement designed to end violence against women.

“Walk to Change the Story” aims to raise awareness about the violence that is experienced by women and children in our community. The event also seeks to highlight the local support services available to those impacted, and the many ways that our community can help prevent future violence. The Walk to Change the Story also serves as an important opportunity for the children in our community, to express how such violence affects them.

In 2018, the event includes:

  • A community walk along Main Street in Bairnsdale and finishing at the All Abilities Playground
  • A BBQ with children’s activities
  • A smoking ceremony
  • Presentation of a music video that was created by students from Toorloo Arm Primary School
  • Guest speakers
  • A drumbeat circle
  • Information stalls by local organisations and emergency services
  • Temporary Tattoo competition
  • Opportunity to create a White Ribbon pledge.

All educational institutions, community groups, organisations, businesses and members of the public are invited to participate in the walk and activities on Wednesday 28 November 2018.

GLCH also welcome information about other initiatives that are planned as part of the 16 Days of Activism, so that a calendar of local events and programs for the East Gippsland community can be created and shared.

For more information join our Facebook Group at and watch this space! Click HERE to view the event poster.


CAN DO, it’s up to YOU!

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For residents of Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale and surrounding areas, who need assistance with shopping, meal preparation, household cleaning, help is a mere click away!

Margaret from Lakes Entrance has been using the CAN DO Services provided by Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) since they commenced some 15 months ago. Margaret regularly enjoys the company of the passionate and caring Can Do team, who typically help her with shopping, gardening, transport, cleaning, and other general assisted living services. Margaret’s family are located interstate, and so appreciate the peace of mind knowing that the family’s matriarch is checked in on, well cared for and in good company, in their absence.

Whether you need someone to check in on a loved one, remind them to take their medication or even take them to an appointment, CAN DO Services are specifically designed to make life easier. With no task too big or too small the CAN DO Services team are on hand, ready to take care of the things that need doing, giving you and your family peace of mind and more free time to do the things you enjoy.

Of course, it’s not just older adults who can benefit from GLCH’s CAN DO Services. People recuperating after a hospital stay, new mums returning home, busy families juggling daily demands, individuals seeking respite from carer’s demands, and anyone else who needs a little helping hand to get through the day, can all take advantage of the highly personalised services that CAN DO offer. And with Christmas fast approaching, keep in mind that CAN DO Services are the gift that keeps on giving!

With competitive pay-as-you-go rates and an easy-to-use online booking system coming soon – it’s never been easier to lend a helping hand to someone you care about!

To find out more, contact the CAN DO Services team at GLCH on 5155 8354.


Pictured: Margaret from Lakes Entrance heading out with CAN DO Services team member, Sonya.

site closures


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Gippsland Lakes Community Health wishes to advise that due to a major computer, phone and security upgrade, our normal operating hours at our Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance sites will be affected from THIS FRIDAY, 17 August to Monday 20 August.

Please note the following closures:

  • Our BAIRNSDALE site will be CLOSED from 12.30pm on Friday 17 August, reopening at 8.30am on Monday 20 August.
  • Our LAKES ENTRANCE site will be CLOSED from 6.30pm on Friday 17 August, reopening at 8.00am on Monday 20 August.

    Please note that this will affect communication and ALL weekend clinic based services. If you require emergency care, please call 000 or attend your closest accident and emergency service.

    Clients with scheduled home based services will not be affected and will be advised of any alternative communication arrangements over this period by the relevant provider.

    Anyone requiring family violence or Child FIRST support can call 5152 0013.

    We apologise for any inconvenience.