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30 March

Welcome to March 2017 edition of Voice.    

The Victorian Carer Statement face-to-face consultations with carers are now underway. Upcoming carer consultations will be in Melbourne, Geelong and Horsham. 

We want to hear about what works best in existing services and supports, what could be improved and how.  

To learn more about the Victorian Carer Statement watch the video with Gabrielle Williams MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Carers & Volunteers and Caroline Mulcahy, CEO, Carers Victoria. 

Please check our website to register and for details.  

Carers can participate with an online or paper survey and have their say on:
• What works best in existing services and supports?
• What could be improved and how?
• What service gaps are there?  
New Report Highlights Need for Government Support for Informal Mental Health Carers 
On the morning of Monday 27 March, Victorian peak bodies Mind Australia, Tandem and Carers Victoria attended Parliament House along with mental health carers to launch a report conducted by the University of Queensland. 

The report, 'The economic value of informal mental health caring in Australia’ identifies informal care by people for family members; partners or friends with mental illness, collectively contributes $13.2 billion annually to the nation’s economy.  This contribution is 1.7 times the government investment in mental health services nationally. ‘The economic value of informal mental health caring’, is the first national study of its kind and reveals the significant scope and economic value of informal mental health caring in Australia. Tandem, Mind Australia and Carers Victoria called on the Victorian State Government to protect existing supports and increase funding for mental health carers. 

Save The Date – Thursday 19 October 2017
National Carer Counselling Conference 2017 For Professionals
The only conference of its kind where professional practitioners (counsellors, psychologists and social workers) from across Australia will come together to focus on the therapeutic and counselling approaches demonstrated to be effective with unpaid family and friend carers. Registrations open Monday 15 May 2017.  Calls for abstracts now open.  More.

Young Carers Scholarships Now Open
The Young Carers are now open. Carers Victoria's Young Carers Scholarship program gives young carers attending secondary school the opportunity to be acknowledged for their contributions to their family and the community and to participate in school or community based activities that enhance their skills, educational achievement and abilities, or that help them to participate more fully in their community. Scholarships of up to $500 are awarded to successful applicant. Applications close 19 April at 5pm. More 

Harmony Day 
Last week we celebrated Harmony Day at Carers Victoria with a lunch. We brought in lovely food celebrating dishes from our diverse community. 


Carers Victoria Education Services Workshops  

Carers Victoria offers carer workshops and educational programs to help carers and Carer Support Groups enhance their knowledge about how to best support themselves and the people they care for. For more information on our upcoming workshops, please see our website

Group Counselling for Carers  
Carers Victoria has a number of 
group counselling programs for carers.  These include - Considering residential care, Sharing the care - when the person you care for moves into residential care, New Horizons - for bereaved carers and Residential Group Counselling. For more information see our website. or call 1800 242 636 and ask to speak to Mary O'Mara or Linda Espie.

Expressions of Interest: Carers Victoria NDIS Learning Online Program
This exciting new program will enable carers to take important steps to prepare for the NDIS at a time and place the suits them.  A seven week online learning program (April to May) will be delivered through a facilitated online community.  NDIS Carers Online is a place for carers to learn, share resources and knowledge about preparing for the NDIS.   Places are limited to 50 participants.  To register email.

Living Local for Carers  
Living Local events are for carers living in the Wyndham area who are caring for someone over 65 years old. These events are free and give you the opportunity to meet other carers in your area. Respite can be arranged if required. We encourage you to attend all three sessions. Please call Carers Victoria on 1800 242636 to RSVP by Thursday, 13 April and quote the event number 4490.    

Stroke and Carer Optimal Health Program
The Optimal Health Program is offering support to both stroke survivors and their carers, through a free nine week program. This will include personalised support with a healthcare professional, self-care plans, how to navigate health care services, face to face, telephone and home visits.  For more information call 03 9231 3779 or email:

Mental Health Week Art Competition is Now Open 
The 2017 Mental Health Foundation Art Competition is now open. For information on entrance details please see. The competition will be showcasing entrances in Mental Health Week (8 – 14 October 2017). More

Different Journeys Teens ASD Social Group 
Different Journeys run a number of events for teens and young adults who are living with Autism (ASD) in the Maroondah City Council area. 
For more information and to register call 0490 774 068 or email:  More.

Art for the Heart Exhibition – Entries Open To Show Your Art 
Tobin Brothers Funerals - Art for the Heart art exhibition that honours the use of creativity as a powerful source of healing and expression during the process of grief. It offers a space for people to tell their stories of loss, love and hope in new ways and to bring the community together to share the often hidden experiences of grief and depression. Registrations are now open. More.
When: 8th - 10th August. 9am – 5pm daily. Free Admission.
Where: Parliament House, Queens Hall, East Melbourne. 
Let’s Talk About Mental Health 
This free event provides information about Mental Health and other support services available to the Frankston and Peninsula Communities. Guest MC is David Hughes Communications Coach and Consultant.  Listen to and be inspired by people’s real life experiences. Browse through the many stalls and receive information about Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, Advocacy, Employment, Counselling, Respite and Housing Services. Refreshments will be available. 

When: Friday 21 April, 10am2pm
Where: The Function Centre, Frankston Arts Centre, 27 Davey Street, Frankston. 
For further details contact Judy Anderson, Peninsula Health on 03 9238 8634. 
NDDCO – Getting Ready for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) 
These sessions run by National Disability Coordination Officer Program will be facilitated by YDAS, NDIS Readiness Coordinator from the Youth Disability Advocacy Service. 
When: Monday 1 May, 9.30am – 11.00am
Where: West Gippsland Health, Pettit Centre, 31-35 Gladstone Street, Warragul
When: Monday 1 May, 1pm – 2.30pm
Where: Moe Library, Meeting Room, 1-29 George Street, Moe
For more information contact Andrew Evans-McCall, National Disability Coordination Officer on 0418 208 039 or email: More
The Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria 2017 Victorian Disability Awards Are Now Open  
The Victorian Disability Awards recognise people who make an outstanding contribution to empower and include people with a disability. We want to recognise those that lead the way in creating a fairer, more inclusive community.  You can help acknowledge the people who are making a real difference in the lives of people with a disability by nominating a person (including: self-advocates; carer; and disability workers), team or organisation. People from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply and nominate. More.
Show Your Support for Fair Rental Laws in Victoria 
The Victorian Government is currently reviewing our Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), which controls safety, security and privacy for 1.2 million people across the state.  This is an opportunity to make positive changes to these laws, but we are also at risk of seeing consumer protections for tenants weakened. If this happens, the most vulnerable people will be hit hardest. More. 
Call For Submissions by The Department of Health From Organisations and Individuals on the Social and Cultural Determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.  
The inclusion of connection to family and community is an opportunity for carers from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to raise issues regarding unsupported care relationships, and how their 
carer supports can be improved.  They are seeking submissions from organisations or individuals who will be able to comment on one mor more of the social and cultural determinants. Submisssions close on 30 April. More

Murdoch University – Caring for people with severe mental illness: the association between gratitude and carer burden 
Murdoch University are conducting a study to establish whether feelings of gratitude influence the burden experienced by carers of people with severe mental illnesses. If you have any questions please contact Dr. Norman Stomski on 08 93606038  or via email: More.   
We have five double passes to see the film FRANTZ, thanks to our friends at ABCG Film. 

The latest masterpiece from French auteur François Ozon (Swimming Pool, Under the Sand) is a hypnotic tale of love and remembrance. In a small German town in the wake of the First World War, Anna, a young woman mourning the death of her fiancé (Paula Beer, in a Venice award-winning performance), forms a bond with an unknown Frenchman (Pierre Niney, Yves Saint Laurent) who has arrived to lay flowers on her beloved’s grave. The arrival of this enigmatic Frenchman raises suspicions and ignites passions in Anna’s war wounded home town and, as the mystery deepens, secrets long-buried in the past threaten to surface and change everything.   In Cinemas 13 April.
The first five people to email their name and postal address to by Monday 3 April  will win a double pass to see the film.

Carers Have a Say 
Sunraysia Daily Mildura, 9 March 2017
Premier of Victoria, 9 March 2017
Carers Victoria, 27 March 2017 
The Guardian, 23 March 2017  
Carers Cottage Launch   
Last week, our Vice President, Helen Johnson (front left) and staff from the Leadership, Older Families and the Mental Health teams celebrated the launch of the Carers Cottage in Officer. It was a wonderfully upbeat afternoon where we had the opportunity to thank our very generous donors Geoff and Mary Griffiths; Sandra and Dario Lucignani. We also acknowledged the many suppliers who contribute to the upkeep of the property and some of the Carers Victoria staff who have worked very hard to bring the Cottage to life.
The Carer Cottage provides a beautiful house and garden, in a lovely country setting, where carers can have a break away from their caring responsibilities. During the launch we enjoyed some live music from Moira Yffer and Nova Marsh. Councillor Brett Owen, Mayor Cardinia Shire Council spoke warmly about the value of the Cottage in the region and acknowledged the generous contributions from those in attendance. Thank you to all staff who have made this gift a reality for carers and for making the ‘opening’ a very special and enjoyable event.  

For more information and or to book your stay call 1800 242 636 or email
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