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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Chicken and Leek Baked Risotto

It is mothers day this weekend! We know that mothers day stalls and school crafted gifts have been cancelled for this year.

So and kids why not give mum a special treat and cook her a yummy meal this Sunday. We thought you probably already have a handle on breakfast, Jenni has fond memories of cold Vegemite toast and lukewarm tea.

We thought we would share a really easy recipe for Chicken and Leek Baked Risotto. No need to stand and stir this risotto for AGES, the oven does all the hard work for you. That way you can enjoy more special time with Mum. Enjoy.

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Advice for people with disability

The Australian Government Department of Health has created a webpage containing COVID-19 advice for people with disability.

The webpage explains how people with disability can protect themselves from COVID-19, including through good hygiene, physical distancing, avoiding public gatherings, isolating if they are sick, and finding safe and alternative ways to get the services they need.

This advice supports and promotes the NDIS principles of empowering people with disability to exercise choice and control.

NDIS Commission resources for NDIS participants about COVID-19

The NDIS Commission has a COVID-19 webpage containing information for people with disability, and we have issued two fact sheets for NDIS participants about COVID-19.

1. The first COVID-19 NDIS participant information fact sheet explains:

  • what to expect from their NDIS providers
  • their rights and how to make a complaint about a provider
  • what resources are available from the NDIA
  • where to find more information and resources about COVID-19.

2. The second NDIS participant fact sheet explains what to expect from providers and workers during COVID-19, including some possible changes to the way supports and services are delivered during this time.

Disability Information Helpline

The Disability Information Helpline provides information and referrals for people with disability who need help because of COVID-19. It can also assist families, carers, and support workers. The helpline is available by calling 1800 643 787. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677. It is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm (AEST). It is not available on national public holidays.

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Get Zooming: Connect with your friends and family online.

We know know that some people are struggling with not seeing their friends and family.

We also know that it is easier to connect online than many people think. So we have put together a basic video on how you can use Zoom (which is free) to connect with the people important to you. While it’s not quite the same as in person, it is a wonderful substitute in these strange times.

If you have any hassles or need someone to answer any questions, please give us a call 5655 2524. Or you can comment on the post via Facebook.

Happy zooming!

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Food Safety Courses are still available!

Due to recent social distancing requirements you’ll understand the need for face-to-face classes to be cancelled temporarily.  So that participants and job seekers within our area are still able to complete their Food Safety courses we are pleased to enable participants to complete their Food Safety training ONLINE through CFT, Milpara’s standard training provider for these courses.

You can still do your food safety courses!

Simply select below the reliant training you wish to complete. This will take you to a secure link to complete your enrollment and payment. You will be sent an email with all the details to complete the training. This will come from CFT not Milpara. Training and assessment is provided by CFT International RTO # 21120. For terms and conditions students go to www.cft.com.au

Issue of certificates– Students will be emailed a secure e-certificate so that they can print, save or forward their certificate as needed. If they don’t have an email address or prefer a hard copy original, CFT will post their certificate.  Please be advised there is an extra cost for printing and posting hard copy certificates ($12). If you just need to print a copy Milpara is very happy to help with that, just give us a call to organise it.

USI– These are nationally accredited courses and therefore from January 1 2015 all students will need to have a Unique Student Identification number. If you do not have a USI or have forgotten your USI or password please visit www.usi.gov.au

Hospitality and Retail

Accredited Food Safety Training for staff and supervisors working in the hospitality or retail food sector such as:
Restaurants
Hotels
Cafes
Motels
Bistros
Fast Food Outlets
Catering Operations or Retail Food Outlets
Canteens
After School Care

Food Safety – Level 1, Use hygienic practices for Food Safety. Course code: SITXFSA001. Online Course Cost: $95

Food Safety – Level 2 ONLY, Participate in safe food handling practices. You need to have completed FOOD SAFETY – LEVEL 1 before enrolling. Course code: SITXFSA002 Online Course Cost: $115

Food Safety Supervisor (Level 1 & Level 2), Use hygienic practices for Food Safety. Participate in safe food handling practices. Combined course codes: SITXFSA001 and SITXFSA002. Online Course Cost: $210 (inclusive)

Community & Health Services

Accredited Food Safety Training for staff and supervisors in:
Child Care Centers
Aged Care
Kindergartens
Disability Services
Hospitality
Meals on Wheels

Food Safety – Level 1, Follow Basic Food Safety Practices. Course code: HLTFSE001 Online Course Cost: $95

Food Safety – Level 2, Oversee the day-to-day implementation of Food Safety in the workplace.. Apply and monitor Food Safety requirements. Pre-requisite: HLTFSE001 – Food Safety Level 1. Course codes: HLTFSE005 and HLTFSE007. Online Course Cost: $180

Food Safety Supervisor (Level 1 & Level 2) Food Safety Supervisor Certificate requires completion of all 3 courses: Follow basic Food Safety principles, Apply and monitor Food Safety requirements, Oversee the day-to-day implementation of Food Safety in the workplace. Course codes: HLTFSE001, HLTFSE005, HLTFSE007. Cost: $275 (inclusive)

Food Safety Supervisor: REFRESHER. Follow basic Food Safety principles: Apply and monitor Food Safety requirements, Oversee the day-to-day implementation of Food Safety in the workplace. Course codes: HLTFSE001, HLTFSE005, HLTFSE007. Choose this course if you already have a Food Safety Supervisor Certificate and need to update your training. As this is a condensed Refresher Course, students must provide a copy of their previously completed FSS Certificate. Online Course Cost: $220 (inclusive)

Food Processing Industry

Designed for people supervising food operations in businesses such as:Food Product Manufacturers
Flour Mills
Canneries
Dried Food Packers
Bakers
Pasta Manufacturers
Pickle, Relish, Chutney and Condiment Producers

Food Safety Supervisor, Follow work procedures to maintain Food Safety. Implement the Food Safety Program and Procedures. Course codes: FBPFSY1001 and FBPFSY2001. Online Course Cost: $210

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