(02) 6620 1800 [email protected]
Supporting vulnerable communities to understand and access COVID-19 vaccination

Supporting vulnerable communities to understand and access COVID-19 vaccination

Better Chances Forum (BCF) is a collaboration supporting better chances for children, young people and their families to lead safe, happy and healthy lives.

On 20 October we held a zoom conversation about how we can support our vulnerable community members to understand the risks and benefits, make an informed choice and access COVID-19 vaccinations.

While COVID-19 vaccine supplies are now more plentiful in Northern NSW our vulnerable communities are facing greater risk if they are not vaccinated and may face barriers in taking up their choice to be vaccinated.

The conversation included a discussion panel with:

  • Carolyn Lloyd, Immunisation Coordinator Clinical Nurse Consultant, North Coast Public Health Unit, NSW Health
  • Dr Brett Lynam, General Practitioner and Healthy North Coast Population Health Clinical Adviser
  • Georgina Cohen, CEO Rekindling the Spirit.

What did we learn?

Many community members are keen to understand the technology behind different COVID-19 vaccines. Medical professionals have never seen this level of interest in vaccine technology, types or brands for flu vaccines or other population-wide immunisation programs.

The panel helped us unpack some of the questions that community members are asking. Here are some of the issues we discussed keeping in mind when supporting vulnerable community members to understand the risks and benefits, make decisions and access vaccination.

  • COVID-19 is a new disease that humans have not been exposed to before, unlike the flu, which we have some resistance to. That’s why it poses so much risk to our community, and particularly vulnerable community members.
  • mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has been around for about a decade now. Although these vaccines are new, mRNA technology is not unknown and research and development for these types of vaccines has been going on for decades in the scientific community.
  • Studies in 2020 saw more people participate in testing than for other vaccinations we have been using for decades. COVID-19 vaccines were developed faster using existing technologies, but without cutting corners in development, testing or approval. This was possible because of the massive number of people infected and available to participate in testing, and a huge input of time, funding and resources with most experts in the industry working intensively on COVID-19 vaccine development in 2020-21.
  • To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines visit the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccines website.
  • Our vulnerable community members who are not vaccinated, and young children who cannot access vaccination, will carry a big share of the burden of risk in the coming weeks and months.
  • History, past policy, and past and some current practice has eroded some community members’ trust in governments and services. This can affect how some people think and feel about vaccination for COVID-19.
  • Some BCF members work with vulnerable young people who have no Medicare card and are reluctant to visit health services. Some collaboration between services, over time, may be needed to support some young people to understand and access vaccination. Contact BCF if you need support linking young people with relevant services.
  • A Medicare card is not essential to access COVID-19 vaccination.
  • We do not offer individual advice that we are not qualified to give. Seek medical advice for yourself and your family when you need to. Encourage your staff, participants and customers to seek individual medical advice when they need to too.

Contacts and links

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02483-w

https://www.science.org/content/blog-post/mrna-s-history–and-its-future

Escaping Violence Payment

Escaping Violence Payment

The new Escaping Violence Payment (EVP) trial as announced in the 2021-22 Federal Budget has commenced. The service provider delivering this trial, UnitingCare Network, commenced operations on the EVP on Tuesday, October 19.

Financial insecurity is a key barrier to women leaving a violent relationship and a factor as to why women return to an abusive partner. To assist in removing this barrier, the EVP will enable eligible individuals leaving a family and domestic violence situation to access financial assistance to support them to establish a home free from violence.

The EVP will provide eligible women with up to $5,000 in financial assistance, which may include a cash payment of up to $1,500 and the remainder in goods and services. The assistance may be used pay for bills, bonds on a new rental property, relocation expenses, furnishings, school fees, white goods, counselling and legal services.

The EVP is available across Australia from the UnitingCare Network. Further information can be found at this link: www.unitingvictas.org.au/escaping-violence-payment

Other support links:-

https://socialfutures.org.au/emergency/

1800 RESPECT  1800 737 732

This is a 24-hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Trial for Escaping Violence Payment begins

Trial for Escaping Violence Payment begins

The new Escaping Violence Payment (EVP) trial as announced in the 2021-22 Federal Budget has commenced. The service provider delivering this trial, UnitingCare Network, commenced operations on the EVP on Tuesday October 19 .

Financial insecurity is a key barrier to women leaving a violent relationship and a factor as to why women return to an abusive partner. To assist in removing this barrier, the EVP will enable eligible individuals leaving a family and domestic violence situation to access financial assistance to support them to establish a home free from violence.

The EVP will provide eligible women with up to $5,000 in financial assistance, which may include a cash payment of up to $1,500 and the remainder in goods and services. The assistance may be used pay for bills, bonds on a new rental property, relocation expenses, furnishings, school fees, white goods, counselling and legal services.

The EVP is available across Australia from the UnitingCare Network. Further information can be found at this link: www.unitingvictas.org.au/escaping-violence-payment

The Social Futures Emergency webpage features a list of resources useful to anyone impacted by domestic violence.

What is Carer Gateway?

What is Carer Gateway?

What is Carer Gateway?

Carer Gateway provides in-person, phone  and online services and support to Australia’s  2.65 million unpaid carers.

By calling 1800 422 737 Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm, you can talk to a Carer Gateway service provider who will help you access services and support.

The dedicated Carer Gateway website (carergateway.gov.au) connects you  with online support and information.

Networking Event for services helping separating families in the Grafton Region

Networking Event for services helping separating families in the Grafton Region

Coming up is an inter-agency speed networking event for services operating to help separating families in the Grafton region, entitled ‘Working Together for People and their Families’. It is on November 18, 10am to noon and will be online. It is free to attend.

Register Here. You will be sent a link to join on the day.

We would like to hear from your agency or you may wish to attend just to listen and learn about what interagency’s have to offer:

– If you or your agency wish to present: three-minutes to introduce yourself and tell us about the services your agency provides.

– One presenter per service or program.

Let’s join together to improve coordination between organisations operating within the family law system.

We would love to hear from you.

Connecting professionals in the broader family law system to achieve the best outcomes for separating families.

Our contact details: Wendy Murray – Project Officer [email protected] M: 0481 799 844

YFoundations new report: Young, in trouble and with nowhere to go

YFoundations new report: Young, in trouble and with nowhere to go

For this report, Yfoundations conducted 143 interviews with caseworkers, managers and leaders in the Youth Justice and SpeYfoundations would like to share our new research report with you, entitled Young, in trouble and with nowhere to go: Homeless adolescents’ pathways into and out of detention in NSW.

Read the report here

cialist Homelessness Services system. This research sheds light on the two-way relationship between adolescent homelessness and incarceration in our state.

It demonstrates that vulnerable young people are being held in detention every year in NSW, simply because they are homeless. And even when these vulnerable adolescents are released, the report shows that too many are exiting detention only to insecure accommodation and homelessness.

Register for our virtual launch panel

Join us for the virtual launch of the report on Tuesday 26 October at 11 am where Yfoundations’ Research and Policy Manager, Dr Elizabeth Watt will present the report’s main findings and recommendations.

We will also hear from three other panellists who will discuss their knowledge and experience of supporting young people who have come into contact with the youth justice and homelessness systems

Grafton Interagency Speed Networking – Family Separation

Grafton Interagency Speed Networking – Family Separation

There is a free Grafton Interagency Speed Networking Event.

Connecting professionals in the broader family law system aims to achieve the best outcomes for separating families and to improve coordination between organisations operating within the family law system. It will be held on Thursday November 18,  10am to 12pm 12:00 PM (UTC+11).

Online event access details will be provided by the event organiser. Click here for more information. 

Family and Carer October Calendar

Family and Carer October Calendar

The Family and Carer Mental Health training calendar is out now.  We offer an opportunity to family and supporters of those with mental health issues to get together, check in, learn something new and look after themselves.

We’re not currently running face-to-face groups, but we are doing online training. Hopefully we’ll be back soon.  There are some great benefits to having our training online. We are able to offer a whole bunch more as we have our wonderful trainers in the mid, mid north and far north coasts running a variety fun and interesting workshops and training.

To register get in touch with whichever trainer is running session. Hope to see you there!

Access and Inclusion Community Survey from Byron Shire

Access and Inclusion Community Survey from Byron Shire

Byron Shire Council invites you to complete the All Welcome – Access and Inclusion Community Survey to inform the next Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

Please take a few minutes to tell us how you feel about access and inclusion in the Byron Shire and what we can do to improve it.

When something is accessible, everyone can use it.

When something is inclusive, everyone can take part.

If you prefer a paper copy, you can download the easy read version and drop it off in person to Byron Shire Council at 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby, or email it to [email protected]

 Survey closes 19 November 2021

Community Sector News

Community Sector News

This week is Community Sector Climate Change Advocacy Week (4-8 October)! Climate change is increasing extreme weather events that threaten our environment, as well as people’s homes, livelihoods, health, quality of life, employment and increases risks and burdens for future generations. See below for three key ways to support #FairFastClimateAction during Community Sector Climate Change Advocacy week – together, we can help push for fair, fast and inclusive climate change action this decade!

A new series of interactive maps developed by the ACOSS/UNSW Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnership shows how different parts of the country have been impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. These maps informed yesterday’s COVID Income Support: Analysis of income support in the COVID lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 report. Check out the maps and the report here: https://bit.ly/3ip8j7I

Quick reminder that the 2021 ACOSS Annual General Meeting is coming up on Monday 8 November. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety concerns, the meeting will be held virtually. Register here.

Social Sector Support Fund – closes Friday, October 8

Social Sector Support Fund – closes Friday, October 8

The $50 million Social Sector Support Fund was announced by the NSW Government in August 2021. It is part of the $200 million support package for not-for profitsopens in new window.

The SSSF is for eligible charities and Not-For-Profits (NFPs) in the social, health, disability and animal welfare service sectors in NSW. The Fund aims to help these organisations continue to deliver services to the community amidst increased demand, and also retain their workforce through COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Fund is targeted at organisations that are ineligible for the NFP JobSaver scheme and are experiencing an increased demand for services and/or a decline in income. Grants paid under the SSSF may include different allocation methods, such as direct payments, an open grants application, and workforce surge payment to support organisations which have had to stand down or temporarily replace staff (e.g. due to self-isolation requirements).

DCJ is administering this fund. The SSSF webpage will be update as more information is available on eligibility, application and assessment processes. SSSF grants will be delivered flexibly to ensure NFPs are supported and can continue to provide services to vulnerable people and communities.

You can register your interestopens in new window for the SSSF. Registration will close on 5:00PM Friday 8 October 2021.

The registration process is simple and will ask for information about your organisation and the services you provide. This will help DCJ to design the processes to effectively allocate SSSF grants. There is no funding commitment from DCJ or by your organisation in registering for the SSSF.

Please note: if you are already receiving the JobSaver paymentopens in new window or will be applying for the NFP JobSaver payment then you will be ineligible for a SSSF grant.

For enquiries, please e-mail: [email protected]

New artwork installed in Lismore Laneways Precinct

New artwork installed in Lismore Laneways Precinct

Lismore’s Laneways Precinct is coming to life – a new piece of artwork has been installed in Eggins Lane.

The Antechinus Family by 2021 Brunswick Nature Sculpture Walk winner and installation artist, Andrew Cullen, features a series of cheeky wire sculptures of this endangered marsupial that is native to Lismore and its villages.

This enchanting and colourful artwork in Eggins Lane is sure to be a hit with the kids as they follow the Antechinus family scurrying along buildings and roofs in the laneway.

The Lismore Laneways Project is designed to help reinvigorate our inner-city laneways precinct and attract more visitors once lockdown has ended. The project is funded through a $510,000 grant, which is part of a $1.5 million grant from the NSW Government for the ongoing revitalisation of the Lismore CBD.

Over coming weeks, visitors to the Laneways Precinct will see more artworks installed to give the area even more life and more reasons to visit.

All the artworks are by artists from the Northern Rivers.

In the Heart by Lismore artists Holly Ahern and Eden Crawford-Harriman is a quirky and playful piece that is sure to bring a smile to visitors to our CBD. It will be located on the corner of Magellan and Carrington streets.

Inspired by Lismore City Council’s much loved Come to the Heart logo, the artwork features two large vibrant pink arms embracing a pulsating heart with “YOU ARE HERE” in bright neon inviting all to come and experience the “heart” of Lismore.

Built from recycled plastics with ground-breaking 3D printing, this work was fabricated by the world class workshop Studio Kite in the hills of the Northern Rivers.

At the centre of the laneways is a wall-mounted corten-steel panel work by Bundjalung weaver and designer Tania Marlowe.

Her artwork reflects and acknowledges First Nations Bundjalung culture. It is based on a weaving story around cultural continuation, bringing customary practice into the modern world. Set with solar-powered LED back lighting, this work will be a graceful and elegant addition to the Laneways Precinct.

Lismore City Council’s Manager, Liveable and Active Communities, Tony Duffy, said the artworks will stand the test of time and like other public sculptures, will be embraced by the Lismore community and become genuine place markers and way finders long into the future.

Executive Director of Arts Northern Rivers Jane Fuller applauded Lismore City Council for commissioning local emerging and established artists for the project.

“These remarkable Laneways works amplify our arts and culture experience in the CBD. Cultural expression and past-times are a central part of our everyday lives and these works are playful, reflective, powerful and full of our stories,” she said.

“We have a resilient and vibrant arts and culture community which is known widely for its unique cultural style and enriched Indigenous culture and history. This is a fabulous addition to our unique Laneways experience, and I encourage everyone to experience these artworks,”

Other works included in the Laneways Precinct project are:

• New street furniture installation and landscaping in Carrington Street and Eggins Lane

• Replacement of existing small bins in Carrington Street with dual bins and decorated with local artwork on both sides

• Installation of decorative lighting in Carrington Street and Eggins Lane

• Installation of retro phone booth “activation pods” in Carrington Street

• Installation of wayfinding signage and murals throughout the precinct

• Refresh of existing road pavement paint in Carrington Street

Elder financial abuse – know the signs

Elder financial abuse – know the signs

What exactly is elder abuse? Elder abuse can be defined as a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, such as in circumstances of neglect, which causes harm or distress to an older person. This may occur in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust between the older person and the person responsible for the abuse or neglect. These relationships may involve family, friends, carers or service providers.

Changes in personal living arrangements, ongoing or developing health issues, and supporting adult children through hardship are circumstances that can create fertile ground for elder abuse. Commonly accepted types of elder abuse include neglect, sexual, physical, financial, social and psychological abuse. Often people experience more than one form of abuse at a time.

Free support services for people experiencing elder abuse exist around the country. These include services which provide legal help and social work and mediation support. For more information on the free help which is available visit the Community Legal Centres Australia website.

For more information, go to the following article –

https://nationalseniors.com.au/news/latest-finance/elder-financial-abuse-are-you-being-financially-and-emotionally-abused-know-the-signs-and-take-action?

GSAC pool to close for essential maintenance

GSAC pool to close for essential maintenance

The Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre (GSAC) pool will be closed from Monday, 27 September to undergo essential maintenance works and is expected to re-open on Saturday, 2 October.

Lismore City Council’s Manager of Liveable and Active Communities Tony Duffy said it is a standard service procedure that occurs during the life of the pool’s filters.

“The maintenance works includes replacing all the filter media to ensure the pool stays clean for longer,” he said.

“The pool filters replacement is commonly undertaken because the filter media degrades over time, reducing the efficiency of the filters.

“Due to the recent lockdowns and border closures, the timeframe for these works had to occur as soon as possible.”

There will be some disruptions to pool activities with the Learn to Swim Holiday Intensives Clinic moved to the Lismore Memorial Baths for the second week of the school holidays.

GSAC staff will update participants of the Aqua and Swimfit schedules during this period. The Switch Fitness Gym will not be affected during this time.