(02) 6620 1800 [email protected]
What’s in the 2020-2021 Federal Budget for the Northern Rivers?

What’s in the 2020-2021 Federal Budget for the Northern Rivers?

Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers NSW has summarised the effects of the latest federal budget on our region. It seems there are a lot of benefits for local industry and employment.

Roads will be improved, Apprenticeships made available, extending Skills for Education and Employment places for job seekers, relocation and support for Pacific and Timorese workers will provide welcome support for our agricultural industry. And much more around tourism and creative industries.

Follow this link to the full RDA Northern Rivers NSW eNews Alert for all the details.

Training Session – Centrelink Debts and Robodebts

Training Session – Centrelink Debts and Robodebts

In April, the Australian Government announced a ‘debt pause’ and Centrelink largely stopped contacting people to tell them they’d been overpaid. Although Centrelink stopped raising debts, they haven’t stopped calculating them.

The debt pause is scheduled to end on 30 October and we’re anticipating a debt ‘surge’ as more than 6 months of debt notices are sent out. The numbers are compounded by a range of factors including the unprecedented number of people claiming payments; Centrelink dropping some standard reporting requirements during the initial COVID response; many people’s lack of familiarity with Centrelink requirements; and overlapping payments of JobSeeker and JobKeeper. A lot of people are unaware they’ve been overpaid and have no idea what’s coming.

During the debt pause, people repaying debts were able to ask for repayments to be suspended. They will also need to start re-payments.
Welfare Rights Centre’s free community legal education session, Centrelink Debts and Robodebts, will outline options when Centrelink raises a debt. Speakers will cover common reasons debts are raised and measures you can take to check that there really is a debt and the amount of the debt has been calculated correctly. They will also address how to negotiate repayments.

The session will outline how to appeal Centrelink decisions that are incorrect or seem unfair, and the type of circumstances in which a debt can be waived. It will also address garnishee actions, Departure Prohibition Orders and possible criminal prosecution.
Speakers will also provide an overview of the current situation regarding Robodebts, including the Government’s commitment to refund recovered money and the pending class action for compensation.

Jointly presented by Welfare Rights Centre’s Solicitor and Community Legal Education Officer, the session will include case studies and time for questions. Participants are welcome to submit questions beforehand to ensure areas of particular interest are covered.

This training session is not an RLC event. For more information please contact Welfare Rights Centre: [email protected] . Welfare Rights Centre is a specialist community legal centre providing free legal advice on Centrelink and social security matters to people in NSW.

Please follow this link for bookings.

Webinar series on Whole-of-Government Approach to Prevent Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence

Webinar series on Whole-of-Government Approach to Prevent Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence

In the lead up to the annual 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (25 November to 10 December), Women NSW and Domestic Violence NSW have partnered to bring you a free webinar series on how the whole-of-NSW Government can prevent sexual, domestic and family violence across a range of settings.

Webinar 1 – Primary prevention of sexual, domestic and family violence (16 October 2020, 10am-12pm)

•         What is sexual, domestic and family violence, what drives it and how is it gendered? 

•         What is primary prevention of sexual, domestic and family violence? 

•         NSW Domestic and Family Violence Prevention and Early Intervention Strategy 2017-2021 

Webinar 2 – Intersectionality and inclusion in primary prevention (3 November 2020, 10am-12pm)

•         What is intersectionality?

•         What drives sexual, domestic and family violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, migrant and refugee women, women with disability and LGBTIQ+ people?

•         How can we challenge the intersecting drivers of violence and make primary prevention inclusive?

Webinar 3 – Prevention in Action: Interagency Challenge (10 December 2020, 10am-12pm)

•         What are the priority settings for preventing sexual, domestic and family violence? (Education, Sports, Arts, Health, Family and Community Services, Public Spaces, Transport and Infrastructure, Workplaces)

•         What are some promising approaches and initiatives for preventing violence?

•         How can you respond to resistance and backlash to efforts to prevent violence?

You can register for the free webinars here: https://whole-of-government-approach-to-prevent-violence.eventbrite.com 

Phone: 02 9539 7703 / email: [email protected]

Support services. 

1800 Respect National Helpline: 1800 737 732

Women’s Crisis Line (NSW): 1800 656 463

Safe Steps Crisis Line (Vic): 1800 015 188

Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491

Mensline: 1300 789 978

Lifeline (24-hour Crisis Line): 131 114

Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277

Scholarship: Tresillian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Clinician Scholarship Fund

Scholarship: Tresillian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Clinician Scholarship Fund

The Tresillian scholarship provides a platform for additional learning opportunities for health clinicians with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background to undertake clinical placement or further studies in child and family health. 

The Tresillian Scholarship can support the registration, travel, accommodation and incidental expenditure incurred while undertaking any designated Tresillian Family Care Centres education program, conference attendance and/or other Child and Family Health studies.

please see application here

For more information call or email Rita Fenech 0447 108 430 [email protected]

Innovative Youth Program Being Explored for the Tweed

Innovative Youth Program Being Explored for the Tweed

A group of local youth workers and community members have joined together to explore how young people at risk can be better connected to community and pathways to employment. The group want to respond to the growing numbers of young people disengaged from education and recent youth crime incidents with more effective programs.

As part of the group’s exploration of what new programs could help young people in our community, the group is hosting the award-winning ‘BackTrack Boys’ Documentary at the Regent Cinema on Thursday the 15th of October and is inviting community members along to find out more.  

Group Facilitator Ahri Tallon said ‘The screening will highlight how BackTrack’s unique youth program is transforming kids’ lives by engaging them in a long-term and holistic program. It tells the story of the highly regarded program set up by 2020 Australian Local Hero of the Year, Bernie Shakeshaft.

This is a great opportunity for the community to come together and start the conversation about how to better prevent struggling young people from turning away from education and turning towards crime. 

‘There are many programs around Australia demonstrating that we can keep kids safe and support them to chase their dreams by connecting them with nature, animals, community and practical skills that give them inspiration for what they can do with their life if they make healthy choices. We are inviting interested community members to join us in exploring the kind of program that could offer opportunities for young people to better connect to a positive vision of the future for themselves’. 


General tickets are available http://tiny.cc/ccwssz

Lovebites School Survey – North Coast NSW- Closes 9 October

Lovebites School Survey – North Coast NSW- Closes 9 October

A short survey monkey has been developed to capture data for the LOVEBiTES Program being rolled out on the North Coast.  The data collected from the survey will assist in forward planning of LOVEBiTES, identify any gaps in delivery and assist to compile a list of LOVEBiTES contact persons for each High School.

Please find survey link – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LoveBiteschools and will remain open until Friday 9 October 2020.

We are hoping for a response from all high schools between Tweed Heads and Bulahdelah (whether they have run Lovebites or not), to give us baseline data for the strategy.

Any questions, please contact Kiah Bowen, [email protected]

Fams | Hosting a national conversation with incoming National Children’s Commissioner, Anne Hollonds, 28/10/20, 3pm, via Zoom

Fams | Hosting a national conversation with incoming National Children’s Commissioner, Anne Hollonds, 28/10/20, 3pm, via Zoom

Children’s Week Council of Australia is thrilled to host a national conversation with incoming National Children’s Commissioner, Anne Hollonds, on Wednesday 28 October 2020 at 3pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).

This year the theme for Children’s Week is: UNCRC Article 15: Children have the right to meet together and join groups and organisations as long as it does not stop other people from enjoying their rights. In exercising their rights, children have the responsibility to respect the rights, freedom and reputations of others.

This is Anne’s first opportunity to introduce herself in her new role, and share her vision and aspirations for Australia’s children.

As part of the conversation, CWCoA Secretary Julie Hourigan Ruse will explore with Anne how children’s right to connect safely with others has been impacted by drought, bushfire, flood and pandemic across the nation this year.

You can join the conversation by registering here:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about how to join us.

If you have any questions email [email protected]

For more information about Children’s Week and to find your state or territory’s FREE Children’s Week activities visit www.childrensweek.org.au/

#childrensweekau #childrensweek2020

Traineeships open to 2020 School Leavers

Traineeships open to 2020 School Leavers

Traineeships open to 2020 School Leavers

Obtain your Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability), Individual Support (Ageing) or Business Administration while gaining on the job experience.

Located throughout regional NSW, LiveBetter provides a diverse range of services to the elderly, people with disabilities and their families, carers, and children and families.

LiveBetter is offering twelve month Traineeships available to 2020 school leavers who are 18 (or turning 18) on the Mid North Coast, Riverina and Central West regions of NSW.

Start your career with a job with real meaning, mentoring by experienced supervisors and great ongoing prospects in a sector that is growing.

For information on how to apply head to www.livebetter.org.au/school-leaver-traineeships/  or for more information email [email protected]

Applications close Friday 30 October at 5pm AEST.

BCF webinar | Legal Health Check- Supporting families to access legal support – 8/10/20

BCF webinar | Legal Health Check- Supporting families to access legal support – 8/10/20

Come and join us for an interactive forum- Registration required

Our speakers will assist you to better understand how you can assist children, young people and families to access legal support. They will explain what a Legal Health Check is and how and why we should be using this resource.

A key theme often discussed within BCF is the importance of early legal assistance to support families to maintain well-being. Families often have underlying legal issues that if not recognised and dealt with can undo the supports that services provide. This session will provide information on how to use the legal health check referral forms to identify legal issues and provide appropriate and effective referrals to legal services.


  • Karin Ness – Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre.
  • Naomi Priester – Legal Aid NSW

Q & A to follow speakers

Thursday 8 October
Via Zoom

Register via Trybooking www.trybooking.com/BLRRK to be sent Zoom details.

For more information email [email protected]

Education Centre Against Violence Online Domestic Violence Training – applications close 15/9/20

Education Centre Against Violence Online Domestic Violence Training – applications close 15/9/20

An introduction to essential skills in recognising and responding to Domestic and Family Violence -Virtual training
Date: 13/10/2020

The Education Centre Against Violence in response to the restrictions imposed by COVID 19 has developed courses to run online. The courses, due to the complexity of interpersonal violence, abuse and neglect are introductory level with the view to participants coming across to our face to face training being scheduled again for 2021.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me by return email if you have any questions. ECAV are also taking requests for face to face training to be run in areas across the state for 2021 please see below the links which can provide further information should services wish to apply for training in their area.

As we are currently accepting training requests to plan the 2021 training calendar, the website has been updated in the following sections with a brief message regarding Covid and training requests.

COVID-19 http://www.ecav.health.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/

Courses & Forums http://www.ecav.health.nsw.gov.au/courses/

What is involved in requesting and coordinating an ECAV Course 

Requesting ECAV Training http://www.ecav.health.nsw.gov.au/training-request-form/

Kind regards

Wendy Frost

Statewide Domestic Violence Educator| NSW Health Education Centre Against Violence
Locked Bag 7118 Parramatta CBD  NSW  2124
Tel 02 9840 3359 | Fax 02 9840 3754 | E: [email protected]

Become a Member of the 2021 Regional Youth Taskforce

Become a Member of the 2021 Regional Youth Taskforce

Are you aged 12-24, living in regional NSW and ready to speak for young people in your area?

Applications are now open for next year’s Regional Youth Taskforce, an advisory group to the NSW Government about everyday issues facing young people in regional and rural NSW.

Two representatives from each of the nine NSW regions will be selected to join the taskforce and share their experiences and ideas for programs, services and infrastructure to improve life in the regions.

It’s easy to apply – simply fill out the online form and create a short video on your phone about who you are and the most important issues facing young people in your part of the world.

To find out more and submit an application, go to nsw.gov.au/regional-nsw/regional-youth-taskforce.

Webinar- Delivering Quality and Culturally Responsive Telehealth Services (3/9/20)

Webinar- Delivering Quality and Culturally Responsive Telehealth Services (3/9/20)

Delivering Quality and Culturally Responsive Telehealth Services

Thu 3 Sep 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Event Organiser: Digital Health CRC

The focus of this panel discussion is delivering quality and culturally responsive telehealth services to people from culturally and linguistically diverse populations, through the pandemic and beyond.

COVID-19 quickly thrust us into using telehealth (phone, online and video consultations) which has resulted in a range of great benefits as well as numerous issues, particularly for this hard to reach population.

A panel will discuss lived experience and use expert knowledge to explore and unpack the issues and provide practical strategies to achieve best practice. There will also be time to answer audience questions.

This webinar is free to attend and is aimed at health service providers wishing to improve capacity, capability, and confidence in this area. It may also be of interest to health consumer representatives.

RSVP Here by Thu 03 September, 05:00 pm

Rural Health Seminar Series- Complementary Medicine Use in Pregnancy and Lactation

Rural Health Seminar Series- Complementary Medicine Use in Pregnancy and Lactation

This seminar will be provided via Zoom

Date: Thursday 17th September

Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm


Pregnant and breastfeeding women commonly use complementary medicine products (CMPs) including dietary supplements and herbal medicines. This mixed-methods research investigated pregnant and breastfeeding women’s use of CMPs, and specifically focused on women’s CMPs information-seeking behaviours, information sources, and types of information sought. Factors that influenced women’s decision-making, including health literacy, were also examined. Results show that establishing the safety and benefits of CMP use were central to women’s decision-making. Participants had good health literacy skills. They aimed to promote and maintain the health of their babies and themselves, making their decisions in line with the concept of maternal health literacy. They sought information widely but were discerning when evaluating the information collated. Women’s most trusted sources of CMPs information were health care practitioners, government and hospital information, and published research.

Presented by Larisa Barnes, PhD Candidate, University of Sydney School of Pharmacy and Education Support Officer, University Centre for Rural Health

Larisa Barnes, PhD Candidate, submitted her thesis in February and expects her graduation letter any day. A naturopath and researcher by profession, Larisa studied under the supervision of Professor Parisa Aslani (School of Pharmacy), and Emeritus Professor Lesley Barclay and Professor Kirsten McCaffery (School of Public Health) at the University of Sydney. Larisa is passionate about supporting women to make informed decisions regarding their health, and about furthering research into complementary medicine. Larisa has worked as a clinical educator at Southern Cross University and was in naturopathic practice for 17 years. Currently, Larisa works in the multidisciplinary education team at Sydney University’s University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore, Northern NSW and as a Unit Writer for Southern Cross University’s National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine.

Co Authors: Professor Parisa Aslani,

Emeritus Professor Lesley Barclay &

Professor Kirsten McCaffery

For further information please contact

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 6620 7570

ASIST Workshop

ASIST Workshop


The Family Centre is running 3 training session in Tweed and Byron Bay.

Tweed Heads 16–17 September

Byron Bay 21–22 September

Tweed Heads 15–16 October

To find out more or register HERE

Reading this post may cause feelings of discomfort and/or distress. If you experience any distress please contact one of the following free services:

Lifeline 131 114
Beyondblue 1300 22 4636
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467