Helpful COVID-19 Resources

Getting accurate information regarding current time is important to help keep everyone safe. Please ensure you check the publication dates to ensure it is the up to date information. For example if you watch a video made 2 weeks ago about face mask wearing it may say its optional, however we all know as of Monday in Victoria it is mandatory. We all know that corona virus can spread quickly so information can change quickly too, so keeping an eye on dates. If you are unsure always double check with a reputable source of information.

Below you will find some information we think may help, click on the blue writing to activate the links to take you to the reliant pages. There are many more support services and resources but this would be a VERY long post if we included it all. We have tried to provide pages that include further information. If you can’t find a service or information and need and require assistance please call Milpara on 5655 2524.

Is English your second language? Get COVID-19 information in your language.

Helpful resourses and information: The South Gippsland Shire council have a dedicated page on their website for COVID-19 information. https://www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au/covid19

Family violence crisis response and support during coronavirus. This government page has a variety of services with links that are easy to follow. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 000.
Or if it is safe to do so, for help and support contact safe steps 24/7 crisis service on 1800 015 188. Or email safesteps@safesteps.org.au. The safe steps web chat support service is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm.

Beyond Blue: This is a really challenging time for all Victorians. Beyond Blue have created a coronavirus specific website to assist people with their mental health and wellbeing during this difficult period.

Centrelink: Payments and services during coronavirus (COVID-19). Services Australia also have a COVID-19 Crisis Payment for more information click here.

Victorian State Government Worker Payments: Victorian workers can apply for a $300 Test Isolation Payment. If a positive test or close contact you may be eligible for $1500 COVID-19 Worker Support payment. More information here.

Life Line: You are not alone, life line are there to listen. Every 30 seconds a person in Australia reaches out to Lifeline for help. They are a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hours crisis support and suicide prevention services. As they say on their website ‘they exist so that no person in Australia has to face their darkest moments alone’ Click here for their website or call 13 11 14.

Information on Victorian restrictions https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-victoria

Using hand sanitiser: We all are getting used to sanitising but are we getting a bit slack? Using it correctly is a little more involved than a quick squirt and rub. You may not be sanitizing as well as you think. Please watch video for proper application and stay safe! (PS same technique when washing your hands but you need to use soap)

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Stage 3 Restrictions what it means for Milpara

From Thursday August 6 2020 until further notice.

When we all wake up on Thursday August 6, as you all know by now we will be required to abide by Stage 3 restrictions. So that means Milpara Community House will operate a little differently.

Milpara staff will be onsite to provide essential services so we will be taking calls. Remember we will only have limited staff so we may not be as quick at answering calls as normal. You may leave a message, alternatively bounce us an email milpara@dcsi.net.au. If you need assistance finding a service please call us and we will do our best to assist, we achnowledge this will be a difficult time and help is available.

Centrelink will be open the following hours. Tuesday 10 am – 2 pm, Wednesday & Thursday 10 am – 1 pm. You will need to call us when you arrive 56552524. We will grab your details and ask you to wait in your car until it is your turn. If arriving on foot (walking) please ring the door bell and we will take your details and provide a waiting room for you. Customers will be served in order of arrival, please be aware you may need to wait so bring a book, your knitting or something else to keep you entertained.

Food Bank will be open Monday – Friday 9.30 am – 4 pm by appointment. We ask that you please book a time to access this service rather than just drop in. YOU MUST BRING YOUR OWN BAG or BOX these will not be provided.

General Classes and all non essential activities on site are cancelled. A number of classes/activities will be available online.

Our conditions of entry will remain in place you must provide your name, contact number and, postcode. You must wear a mask (unless you meet government reasons for not requiring to, you will need to provide evidence), sanitize on entry & exit and maintain 1.5 meter distance from others. You are required to follow other directions given by staff.
If you are unwell even with mild symptoms or awaiting results from a COVID-19 test you must not enter the building, please call we may be able to assist over the phone.
Again if you need to please give us a call on 56552524.

Please help us keep everyone safe.

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Korumburra Skate Park – Concept design is ready for your feedback.

How exciting, the new Korumburra Skate Park concept design is out. So please down load a copy of the report and have a good look.

The location has been chosen and the funding conditions require the skate park to be located in a public location that is well used and visible.

Often youth do not feel their feedback is important. Let us reassure you that your voice is important, after all you will be the users of the park.

To make providing feedback easy a survey has been created to collect responses from people interested in the proposed concept design. We would encourage everyone to provide their feedback as soon as possible. A link to the survey is below. Alternatively send us an email, please put Skate Park Feedback in the subject title and send to Jenni at milpara@dcsi.net.au

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Milpara and TAFE Gippsland delivering together.

Milpara Korumburra’s Community House is very excited about a new course “Getting Ready” offered in partnership with TAFE Gippsland.   This 20-hour course is a two week program to help you prepare for what study at TAFE is like.  Learners have the opportunity to gain study skills, assignment writing techniques, basic computer skills, experience the enrolment processes including completing the English and Maths testing in a supportive environment.

This course is perfect for those who are interested in education however have not been in study for some time or would like to learn study related skills to assist them to be successful.

You will learn:
• Your personal learning style
• How to research online
• Presentation skills
• Study skills
•Computer skills including introduction to Moodle
• Assistance with enrolment processes including the LLN assessment.

This course is part of a TAFE, Learn Local Partnership and has been co-designed and delivered. To assist learners to move into accredited studies. It provides an overview of the Vocational Education and Training sector and the expectations of study at level III or IV.

The course is FREE and will be delivered at TAFE Gippsland on Neerna Road in Leongatha over four sessions in June; Thursday 18, Friday 19, Thursday 25 and Friday 26.  For further information and bookings please call 1300 133 717 (press option 1)

Click for poster Getting-Ready-for-TAFE_A4-flyer_fa.pdf

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Worried about your bills? Get in touch early!

One thing that we can say at Milpara is getting onto things early can make a huge difference.  With visits from Stuart the financial counsellor we have heard of some fantastic success stories, shared by participants of course, as the free service is discrete.  A common comment we hear is “I wish I had done something earlier it has caused so much stress!”.  Financial matters do affect day-to-day life and negatively affect mental and physical health, so doing something early really is important.

There is a clear message going out currently from many companies and services, from rent/mortgage to energy providers, householders and business get in touch the moment it looks like it will become difficult to pay a bill.

Many companies have been broadening access to payment plans, payment extensions and hardship programs to people financially affected by the Coronvirus pandemic.

Many companies are receiving a significant increase in calls to their call centers; many have employed more staff to cope but are still struggling to keep up with demand. So be patient it may take longer than usual to get through, but it is well worth making contact.

Moneysmart.gov.au have a great statement ‘when it comes to getting on top of debt, the most important thing is to get started.’ You might feel overwhelmed, but you have options and there are steps you can take yourself.   

If you feel you need a bit more guidance or need help quickly, simply call National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. Alternatively book in to talk with Stuart the free financial counsellor covering this area, you can do this by calling Anglicare on 1800 286 260.

Some wise words from Energy Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Collette:

“With the Australian economy suffering from the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, some households and businesses will inevitably run into financial difficulties.”

“Please – don’t let the issue build up. The earlier people get in touch the better we can help with payment plans and bill extensions. We can put people in touch with trained financial advisors to talk about their individual situation. And we can connect people with government support programs that they may not have known about.”

Milpara encourages anyone who is having trouble, or can see trouble coming, to not sit back and wait. Make contact with your provider/service and have an honest conversation. The emergency food bank at Milpara is well stocked and may assist to take some pressure off, that’s what it is there for.

If you are having trouble, you are not alone and help is out there. Do not leave it; get in touch with your provider/service early.

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Easing of restrictions, what it means at Milpara Korumburra’s Community House.

I know that everyone is rather looking forward to a return to some sort of normal.  We also know it is not as simple as jumping back to business as usual.  During the last two months, Milpara has been closed for general activities; however, we made adjustments to accommodate for essential activities such as the Emergency Foodbank and Centrelink Agency to continue.

Community safety is very important to Milpara, so users will notice some changes when they do next visit the house.  All house users will have their contact details recorded on arrival, a new cleaning regime has been implemented and social distancing is a requirement of entry.  Anyone who is feeling unwell or have even the mildest symptoms are not to enter Milpara, please phone us 5655 2524, to keep everyone safe.

All classes and activities that transitioned to online learning will continue online at this stage.  In-person activities will not resume until Term 3, we understand this may be disappointing.  Due to the layout, room size and social distancing requirements we have to factor in a number of logistics considerations to ensure everyone’s safety.

Just a reminder that anyone using the emergency foodbank MUST bring their own bags. The foodbank is open to anyone who needs to use it, please don’t be shy it is a service for a purpose, if you need it, it’s there for you.  We greatly appreciated the number of donations and support we have received recently.

We are excited to have Terry, who is a JP (Justice of the Peace), available to sign documentation on a Tuesday mornings.  Please give us a call to make a booking.

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A new program at Milpara, Learning to Grow.

We are really excited to have a new staff member Jess join the team at Milpara. Jess will be facilitating a new program “Learning to Grow”.

This new community program is to support participants to identify and achieve their goals. Driven by participants needs and wants. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about our communities needs.

The program can assist people on their journey to identifying their goals, get a job or return to work, set education goals and /or enrol to achieve them, access support services relevant to them, develop skills, build confidence and feel supported.

We anticipate this program will start in Term 3 (pending COVID 19 restrictions), but we are looking for people now who may be interested. So give Jess a call on 5655 2524 or email milparaL2G@outlook.com.

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FREE Resume, Interview Skills and Employability Skills workshops – Register today.

Now is the perfect time to brush up on your skills. We are excited to announce the Skills and Jobs Centre are launching a series of FREE Webinars that are running in next few weeks.

The Skills and Jobs Centre has adapted their very popular workshops so that they can deliver them online through Zoom and are now taking registrations.

The workshops are free and the topics are Resumes, Interview Skills and Employability Skills. Details, including how to register, can be found on the link below.

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/skills-and-jobs-centre-11053185457

Here at Milpara we often suggest people touch base with the Skills and Job Centre who provide expert advice on training and employment opportunities including:

  • careers advice
  • help with job searching
  • assistance preparing resumes
  • apprenticeship and traineeship advice
  • assistance using the Victorian Skills Gateway
  • referral to welfare support and financial advice
  • assistance in using your existing skills to align to a new job or to undertake new training (Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL))
  • information on employment trends, areas with a shortage in skills and employment opportunities.
  • assistance with career and training plans, identifying training qualifications that could be undertaken to make a successful career transition.

The Centre also engage with a broad range of local industries, ensuring that it is tailored to meet the needs the local communities and industries. Locally the Skills and Jobcentre is based at TAFE Gippsland. If you’d like to get in touch give them a call on 1300 282 317 or email: skillsjc@tafegippsland.edu.au 

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Local library has a lot to offer kids and their families.


West Gippsland Libraries will not let COVID-19 ruin our National Simultaneous Storytime plans- we will be scheduling an extra special online story time on there Facebook page.

You’ll also find a new online Story Time posted on the West Gippsland Library Facebook page every week day and a Baby Rhyme Time posted once a week. 

Interested in what else West Gippsland Libraries has to offer to pre-school children and their families? There is a lot including Ziptales, Online storytime, National Geographic Kids, Code Disco as well as Storybox. They also have Britannica, Kanopy and Busy Things. Better not forget Belinda’s favorite BorrowBox for both eBooks and eAudiobooks. Check out the images below for more information or visit there website.

Not a library member? No problem below is a guide for signing up for a free library membership to access what West Gippsland Libraries has to offer.

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Breaking the Cycle: New online groups.

Anglicare’s ParentZone Gippsland are pleased to offer Breaking the Cycle online.

Breaking the cycle is an eight-week therapeutic program for parents and carers whose adolescents are abusive or violent in the home. The program is supportive, informative and affirming, giving an opportunity to discuss all issues and learn new skills to better manage challenging situations.

They have two groups:

  • Thursdays beginning 28th May (1:00pm – 3:00pm)
  • Fridays beginning 5th June (10:30am –12:30pm)

For more information or to register please contact Parentzone Gippsland on 5135 9555 or parentzone.gippsland@anglicarevic.org.au

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