Community update #8
September 2020
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The recent easing of some restrictions for regional Victoria is welcome news for all of us. Many of us will be feeling extra grateful for the little freedoms that we had missed so much over the last weeks. While we want to encourage everyone to stay local and support the many wonderful businesses and cafes we have within our community, it's important to be patient and continue to follow the rules. 
Businesses are still trying to navigate how they are operating, with staff doing the best they can. 
Remember when you are out and about within the community, continue to wear your mask and stay 1.5m from others. 
Although we want everything to open up again as it was, we can't just wish this to happen. If we continue to follow the rules, we will find a new 'normal' and be able to spend our Summer enjoying everything we have been missing the last few months. 

It's also as important as ever to continue to get tested. If you show even mild symptoms, make sure you get tested and isolate whilst waiting for your result. 

To find out about receiving a test for COVID-19 or clinic opening times, please call ahead and speak to one of our staff members on:
Daylesford - (03) 5321 6654 
Kyneton - (03) 5422 9900 
Regional Victoria has done a wonderful job of lowering case numbers of COVID-19 and has since seen some easing of restrictions. 
The new restrictions came into place on Wednesday September 19 and some key points include:
  • No restrictions on leaving home
  • Spend time with others outside where possible
  • Public gatherings: up to 10 people outdoors
  • Visitors allowed at home from 1 other household (up to 5 people)
  • Schools return to onsite learning from Term 4 with safety measures
  • Hospitality open for predominantly outdoor seated service only
  • All retail open, hairdressing and beauty services where a face covering can be worn for the duration of service
For more details on the easing of restrictions please visit the COVID-19 re-opening roadmap: Regional Victoria.   
The Victorian Government has allocated Central Highlands Rural Health (CHRH) a supply of reusable face masks to be distributed to vulnerable Victorians. 
To see if you or someone you know qualifies, visit the DHHS website

If you are eligible please contact Daylesford Community Health Reception on (03) 5321 6550 to discuss and arrange pick-up.

We understand that some of our most vulnerable community members may be unaware of this service, so we are asking our whole community to pass this information on to those who it may benefit. 

We understand that wearing a face covering is new to most people and that it can be a potential trip hazard for some members of our community. 
In this video, Thea, one of our Physiotherapists gives us some tips on safely wearing a mask and how to prevent falls or injuries when wearing one. 
For our community members who wear glasses, it can be extra tricky to manage a face mask. Check out the following article, for ideas to help prevent your glasses fogging up. 
Community Health and Wellbeing Centres at Central Highlands Rural Health (CHRH) will continue to operate as they have been. Face-to-face and Telehealth appointments are available for clients. 

If you are unsure about your appointment or would like to discuss please make contact with your clinician or the appropriate Reception:
Clunes Community Health - (03) 5345 9750
Creswick Community Health - (03) 5345 9100
Daylesford Community Health - (03) 5321 6550
Trentham Community Health - (03) 5421 7200

If you are attending your appointment in-person we ask that you reschedule if you have any COVID-19 symptoms and you will be required to have your temperature checked and be wearing a face mask during your appointment.  

This Dementia Action Week, we’re joining forces with Dementia Australia to show how we support people living with dementia to live well for many years after their diagnosis.

Dementia affects close to half a million Australians. That number is set double in the next 25 years.

With so many people impacted now and into the future, Dementia Australia is working hard to clear up some of the prevailing misconceptions about dementia.  People living with dementia can continue to live active and rich lives many years after diagnosis.

During Dementia Action Week we will be sharing videos of our staff chatting about their role working with clients with dementia. 

•    Sonnia May is an ANUM with Macedon Ranges Community Nursing. She will chat about some of the ways community nurses can support people in their homes with dementia 
•    Janelle Judge is the Program Facilitator for the Treehouse, Kyneton Health’s supportive and safe social place for people with dementia, a palliative condition or any chronic illness. Janelle discusses how the Treehouse supports both the carer and the client with dementia
•    Louisa Dunn is a Ward Clerk at Trentham Aged Care. She talks about how she supports residents with dementia in her role at Trentham Aged Care.

To watch the videos, click here or keep an eye on Facebook during the week.

The effects of COVID-19 are being felt far and wide across our community, with many people seeing an impact on their mental health and wellbeing. 

If you are not coping or have been feeling distressed, anxious or down over several weeks, help is available through the Partners in Wellbeing service. 

The free service offers one-on-one support to help you improve your wellbeing, develop strategies to cope and provide emotional support when and as you need it. 

You can find out more information here.  
If you would prefer to access mental health support online please visit:
Beyond Blue 
Black Dog Institute
Lifeline or call 13 11 14 if you are in a crisis
Many thanks to those who completed our recent online survey Health and Wellbeing during COVID-19 and beyond. We were overwhelmed with the number of respondents and coverage across the Hepburn Shire and surrounding regions. The survey has highlighted the significant impacts that COVID-19 has had on individuals living in our community, from not being able to see loved ones or participate in usual activities through to financial stresses and increased feelings of loneliness and isolation.
The following provides a brief snapshot of preliminary findings.
Demographics of respondents:
  • 362 respondents to the survey with a 100% completion rate. Majority of respondents live in Hepburn Shire (n=239).
  • 58% (n=208) of respondents have lived in their area for 10 or more years
  • Over half of respondents are aged between 45 and 64 years of age (54%, n=188)
  • 77% of respondents are female, 20% male.
  • Before COVID-19, majority of respondents were employed either in part time (35%, n=127) or full time work (27%, n=97). 20% (n=74) of respondents are retired and 11% (n=40) identify themselves as active volunteers in the community.
  • 40% (n=144) of respondents live with a partner, 20% (n=72) of respondents live alone. 17% (n=63) live with a partner and school aged children.
  • Majority of respondents (84%, n=301) household did not change during COVID-19.
Health and Wellbeing:
  • There was an overall slight decrease in the amount of physical activity during COVID-19 with more respondents getting less than 30 minutes of activity per week.
  • Decrease in the number of respondent's participating in the arts, health and wellness groups and religious activities.
  • Overall, there was an increase in respondent’s loneliness during COVID-19 with a larger number reporting feeling lonely more than 3 days a week. There has also been an increase in respondent’s level of anxiety during COVID-19 with a 20% (n=71) increase in self-reported anxiety levels between 5-7 days per week in comparison to before COVID-19.
  • 25% of respondents do not drink alcohol and 35% had no change to their alcohol consumption during COVID-19. 11% had a moderate increase and 14% of respondents had a significant increase.
Social Connections:
  • During the pandemic, respondents have been interacting and connecting less with friends, family and neighbours.
  • The main ways respondents have been receiving information during the pandemic is via the television (76%) and online news (74%). 63% are receiving information via social media and 51% via radio. Majority of respondents did not have any barriers to receiving information.
  • Individuals are most looking forward to cafes, pubs/restaurants opening back up again, and having meals with loved ones.
We will continue to provide updates on the evidence in the near future. For more information about this survey, please feel free to contact

Through a Virtual Challenge, Sports Central are encouraging community, clubs and organisations to participate in physical activity over a 14-day period and go into a draw to win individual and team prizes worth a total of $1,250.
The Virtual Challenge, begins next Monday 28th September.  Once registered, participants simply upload photos or videos of themselves, their environment or their fitness app whilst completing a physical activity.
Participants who register by Sunday 27th September will also go into a draw to win a three-month membership to the Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre.   
The Virtual Challenge is being delivered by Sports Central in partnership with the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, City of Ballarat and Women’s Health Grampians, and is proudly sponsored by Rebel Sport. 


Getting Involved:
Step 1 – Visit the Get Active Central Highlands – Virtual Challenge Facebook event and click “going”: 
Step 2Register for the event (upon registration, participants will nominate the organisation/club they are competing on behalf of during the Virtual Challenge). 
Step 3 – Complete any type of physical activity during the Virtual Challenge period  
Step 4 – Record your physical activity – via a selfie, a photo / video of your activity or a screenshot of your activity on a fitness app *maximum one entry per day over the 14-day Virtual Challenge period
Step 5 – Upload your entry to social media via any of the following forms:  
•    As a comment / post on the Facebook event page 
•    To your own social media page with the hashtag #GetActiveCH
•    To your social media story with the hashtag #GetActiveCH
•    Email your entry to

Remember to use the #GetActiveCH hashtag and tag Sports Central to ensure we can see your posts! 
**By registering for the Virtual Challenge, participants provide Sports Central permission to use their photo and video entries for marketing and promotional purposes. 

The Achievement Program is a State Government initiative which aims to support settings including workplaces, early learning facilities and schools to ensure that policies and initiatives best support the health and wellbeing of everyone including employees, teachers, students and the wider community.

For schools, there are seven priority areas to work through, including Physical Activity and Movement and Healthy Eating and Oral Health.
With support from the Population Health Team, Trentham District Primary School are one of our local schools participating in the Achievement Program and are currently working through the Mental Health and Wellbeing priority area.

Mental health affects every part of school life – from academic achievement to student engagement and staff morale. With one in seven young Australians between 4 and 14 experiencing mental health disorders it is important to create positive environments that build resilience, encourage inclusivity and help everyone to participate at every level.

Working through this priority area will ensure schools are undertaking supporting programs like Respectful Relationships and are providing adequate staff professional development. It’s an opportunity to reflect and update mental health school policies and continue to build positive family and community partnerships.

We look forward to sharing the recognition from settings across the Hepburn Shire as they work through the Achievement Program in the future. If you have any questions about the Program please feel free to email us at

Students at Daylesford Preschool 

Smiles 4 Miles is an initiative of Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) which aims to improve the oral health of children and their families in high risk areas across Victoria.
CHRH is supporting all 7 early learning services within the Hepburn Shire through the Smiles 4 Miles program which focuses on the following key messages; Eat Well, Drink Well, Clean Well.  

As part of the program the Oral Health team would usually visit services and provide an oral health examination on children and also an oral health education session. Due to the current climate this was unable to happen and instead a video was created to ensure the children did not miss out. Our youngest community members watched the video as well as received toothbrushes and toothpaste to ensure they maintain good oral health habits at home. 

If your child has not recently had an oral health examination, please book in to one of our Dental Clinics at Creswick or Daylesford for this to happen. There is NO fee for children aged under 12 years. To book an appointment or find out please please contact Dental reception on 5321 6580.
The Daylesford Community Church aim to care, support and build connections amongst people. When they could no longer run their Pop-Up Café due to the impacts of COVID-19, they decided to offer healthy hot takeaway soups made from local produce for anyone who needed a break from cooking.

The initiative is ran by a team of 10 volunteers and one paid cook/chef who produce 36litres of soup per week. Around 45 people receive the soup on a weekly basis. 

Quite a few people who have come to receive soup have recently moved to Daylesford during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have used their weekly pick up of soup as a way to create social connections. This has also proved to be a great ‘check-in’ and socialisation opportunity for those feeling isolated or lonely due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive, with one soup recipient reporting that it feels like a "big hug each week when I get my soup". In addition to this, quite a few of the people who come to get soup obtain an extra one to give to a friend or neighbour just as a way to let them know that someone is thinking of them.

To find out more about Daylesford Community Church's takeaway soups and other organisations providing food, please visit our Food Relief resource.
Women's Health Week has come to an end for 2020 and what an exciting week it was!
The Population Health team created videos demonstrating how you can take a few extra minutes for your health. Jean Hailes for Women's Health Ambassador, Tina McCarthy also created a video for our community on what women's health means for her. You can check out all of these videos here.
The Population Health team also put together a range of women's health resources and information which you can view here. These resources are locally focused and will be beneficial for women of all ages and stages.

14 of Central Highlands Rural Health staff members also participated in the all abilities ‘virtual step challenge’ as they collectively aimed to walk the 210km Goldfields Track from Ballarat to Bendigo. We raised over $300 and walked 613km far exceeding our goal!  
Click here if you wish to donate to the challenge and help Jean Hailes support women all across Australia to be as healthy as they can. 

We hope you enjoyed Women's Health Week and look forward to WHW 2021!
Seasonal eating. What is it? Eating seasonally refers to purchasing and eating fruit and veggies that are grown at a particular time of year. 

Purchasing according to season is a great option for both health and our budget. Why? Eat seasonally means we are eating a wider variety of fruit and veggies. This is a great way to keep our bodies healthy and energised. It is also often cheaper and tastier as the produce grows more easily and in larger amounts, meaning you can get more bang for your buck! 

To see the produce available in each season in Victoria, visit here.

Cook Well, Eat Well is brought to you by VicHealth and Nutrition Australia to help Victorians to create healthy meals whilst staying home during COVID-19. The recipes are created by nutrition experts and use pantry staples to help you enjoy simple and delicious meals in the comfort of your home, that they whole family will enjoy. 
Check out their Lentil Burgers and Sweet Potato Wedges recipe below.  
Serves 4

4 small sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 400g can brown lentils
½ brown onion
2 cloves garlic
½ carrot
¼ cup flour
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
4 wholemeal bread rolls
4 iceberg lettuce leaves
1 tomato
4 slices cheese

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Wash sweet potatoes under cold water. Cut into wedges. Arrange on a large baking tray and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook for 20 minutes in the oven. Turn the potatoes over and roast for another 15 minutes or until crispy.  
  • Drain the can of brown lentils into a sieve and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  • Peel and finely dice the onion and garlic cloves. Wash and grate the carrot. Add onion, garlic and carrot to a large bowl.
  • Add flour and breadcrumbs to bowl. Mix together until flour and breadcrumbs are coating the vegetables. Add egg and brown lentils. Mix until combined.
  • Shape mixture into 4 burgers with hands.
  • Heat a frypan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Fry lentil burgers for 5-7 minutes on each side or until brown.
  • Place lentil burgers on a wholemeal roll with lettuce, tomato slices and cheese. Serve with sweet potato wedges.

Feeding Kids Tip: With your help, kids from about 3 years old can mix and shape into burgers. Getting them involved in cooking can help them eat new foods.
Remember to drink water regularly (approximately 6-8 glasses a day) to stay healthy and hydrated and try to eat a variety of 5 portions of vegetables and 2 of fruit each day.
Central Highlands Rural Health (CHRH) continues to operate two COVID-19 respiratory testing clinics at our Daylesford and Kyneton campuses. 
To receive the test for COVID-19 please call ahead and speak to one of our staff members on:
Daylesford - (03) 5321 6654 
Kyneton - (03) 5422 9900 

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, no matter how mild, you should seek advice and get tested. 
  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats 
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered. 
To get further advice, contact the 24-hour coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
The Population Health team endeavours to keep you updated with everything health and wellbeing within our community. If you would like to stay updated with a range of services across the organisation, please check out our Central Highlands Rural Health Community newsletter.   
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Central Highlands Rural Health 
Integrated Primary Care 
13 Hospital St
Daylesford 3460

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Central Highlands Rural Health · 13 Hospital Street · Daylesford, Vic 3460 · Australia

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