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Connect Autumn




Abigail shares her story Is your child starting

school next year? Managing coughs & colds

CEO’s message

What you said

Thank you to all those who participated in our ‘Tell us what you think’ client survey in 2014. We gained some valuable feedback and will continue to strive for excellence and look for ways to continually improve. We are pleased to report some of the results below:

93% felt respected by their worker


would recommend Windermere services to others

92% said their referrals were managed well

Hello Everyone, Welcome to our first combined services newsletter. We hope this newsletter will help us to continue to improve our communication with you and provide a greater connection to our services. For over 150 years Windermere has been offering a range of services to children and families within the local community. Each year we provide over 14,000 people with support and help in a range of areas, including: • counselling • housing support • court and judicial support • disability case management • parenting support • childhood learning and development • mental health, domestic violence and substance abuse programs • child care Our vision is for a stronger, connected and supported community, and we are proud to provide you with services that make a difference to your everyday life. As we grow and deliver more services to more clients, you can be assured that we are committed to the same quality of service delivery and will always care about your safety and wellbeing. We hope you enjoy reading the interesting information we have put together for our first newsletter and look forward to providing you with lots more in our future editions. Dr Lynette Buoy Chief Executive Officer 2

We would love feedback on our newsletter! Anything missing? Did you particularly like something? Got some hints and tips to share? Let us know what you think. Please email with the subject ‘Newsletter Feedback’


In the spotlight... “I am most likely the first person you’ll see when you walk in the door”. Name Davina Pele Role Senior Reception/ Admin Officer, Narre Warren Background I enjoy helping people so customer service has always been my passion. I have worked at a variety of places from telecommunications to energy companies through to pathology. Windermere I have been working at Windermere for 2½ years and love it. I live locally so I knew about Windermere and the fantastic work they do in the community, and thought it would be the perfect place for me. Luckily when I applied for the job they thought the same thing!

I work with a great team and love that my role at reception allows me to meet and talk to everyone who comes through our doors. Outside of Windermere I am a mum with two beautiful, crazy kids whom I love spending time with. I also enjoy going to boot camp and watching renovation shows like ‘The Block’.

Inspirational Carla Carla Gagliardi has come a long way since she first came to our services. On Friday 6th March she was named ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’. Here’s Carla’s remarkable story.

“If I can help Windermere to continue the great work they do by sharing my story and helping people see they are not alone, then I feel like I have given back; even in just a little way” - Carla Windermere to continue the great work they do by sharing my story and helping people see they are not alone, then I feel like I have given back; even in just a little way”, said Carla.

A single mum to her eight year old son, she was your typical every day woman, working full time to pay a mortgage. Carla had been engaged but had broken it off. Sadly she had also taken out an intervention order against her former partner. In 2012 he breached the order and attacked her, beating her with a sledgehammer in her home and leaving her to die all while her young son watched on.

Since that time Carla has been working hard to get laws changed so victims can name their attackers if they breach intervention orders. In August 2014 she got the heart stopping call from former State AttorneyGeneral Robert Clark, giving her the news that the law was to be approved and supported by the government.

Critically injured and in a coma Carla refused to give up. Unable to work and provide care for her son, Windermere provided them with temporary housing and counselling support. “Without Windermere I honestly do not know what would have become of us. I shudder to think what could have been. If I can help

“Carla, like many other people who have used our services, has shown true courage and strength. We at Windermere are in awe and so proud of this inspirational woman”, said Dr Lynette Buoy Windermere CEO.

Meet Rory! the newest member of our Counselling team.

a Shire Council

Photo courtesy: Cardini



skills, Centre is a state of the art The Toomah Community . ity centre, in Pakenham wellbeing and commun ere and the Shire Council, Winderm a ini rd Ca by d de fun ly Joint t services ermere delivers suppor nd Wi , nt me rn ve Go n Victoria . centre to the community and programs from the e another people connect with on “The centre aims to help e to meet, well as providing a spac as ity un mm co eir th d an ndermere ren and families”, said Wi learn and grow for child CEO, Dr Lynette Buoy.

e at terested in booking spac For community groups in the centre call 5941 2389

Rory is a trained Animal-Assisted Therapy dog and will be working with her owner and Windermere psychologist, Danielle Graber. Daniellle has found that during the sessions people mostly respond well to Rory, who is very friendly and loves to say hello. Rory will primarily be working with children and families who have experienced traumatic life events such as family violence. To find out more about our animal-assisted therapy program and if you might be eligible contact Counselling Intake on 9705 3296. 3


National Disability Insurance Scheme NDIS is a generational reform that focuses on a person centred system of support. The scheme will aim to provide a person with a permanent or significant disability access to reasonable and necessary supports to live life in their own way, to achieve their goals and participate in social and economic life.

How is NDIS different from services I am receiving currently? For many, current services are fragmented and it is quite common to have to repeat your story numerous times. You could also be placed on multiple waitlists, many of which can be several years until you receive service. NDIS aims to offer a prompt response - providing your service within a couple of months as well as ongoing funding.

Why isn’t NDIS provided Victoria wide at the moment? As you can imagine, transition for a program of this scale is an enormous task and will take time. At this point in time, the exact roll out dates are not known but we will provide you with further information and updates as they become available. In the meantime keep your eyes on our website or visit for further information.

Network with us! Did you know Windermere is on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin? Like and follow our pages to stay up-to-date on all things Windermere. /WindermereChild&FamilyServices /windermere_aust

Do you or someone you care for need support to live independently in the community?


Windermere’s Disability tea m have recently introduced a Supportin g Lifestyles program. Th

is is an individually funde d service that assists you to live at home and en gage in your community. We also assist you in transi tioning through life’s many stages and provide booking services, concer ns and crisis management. Support includes: • Case management sup port coordination • Financial intermediary services (such as financia l management and accou ntability of funds) • Behaviour management training & support

To further discuss your ne eds or those of someone you care for co ntact the Disability Services Team on 9705 3200. 4

Abigail shares her story One afternoon Abigail and her young daughter Sally, came into Windermere looking for help, this is their story. I’m a single mum. Recently I had to resign from my job as I was taking increasing amounts of time off to care for my daughter Sally both at home and in hospital. Sally has a severe physical disability and is unable to talk. Unfortunately Sally’s father wasn’t able to cope with her disabilities. Our relationship began to fall apart and he turned to drugs. Eventually, for our own safety, I left taking Sally who sadly no longer has contact with her dad. Soon our rent was in arrears and we were evicted from our home. With no support I was scared, I knew we needed immediate help, so I turned to Windermere.

Windermere were fantastic. They helped me access Child First so they could be appointed as my short term case manager. This was the best way for us to get the help we needed and fast.

“This young family had lost almost everything when they walked through our doors” said case manager Yvonne.

“Abigail sold most of her possessions in a desperate bid to meet Sally’s medical costs and living expenses but even that hadn’t saved them from eviction”, said Yvonne. “She even put one of her family pets on Gumtree as she could no longer afford to keep him. Abigail had another dog but couldn’t bring herself to give him up because he and Sally were the only family she had. Fortunately we were able to place him in emergency pet accommodation through the City of Casey”.

Meeting Sally’s needs and maintaining a routine was my absolute priority. We were now living in a boarding house, it was better than nothing but the environment wasn’t ideal. There were odd people wandering around, mould in the room and we had to go to the local pool for a clean shower. Sally’s health got worse and my stress was increasing. Windermere helped pay my debt arrears so I could get bond assistance from the Office of Housing, and then helped me find a private rental. I wrote a note with my rental application explaining our situation. Amazingly the landlord chose us as tenants because she too had once been a struggling single mother. I couldn’t believe it, finally we had a place to rent! We were so excited. I signed the lease, went to Kmart to buy bedding and other essentials and we moved in. I even picked up our beloved puppy on the way.

Seeking Expressions of Interest

We finally have stability. Sally’s health and behaviour has improved so much she now attends a recreational group and is enjoying school. Watching her thrive has reduced my own stress and anxiety and I can start thinking more about our future. I have even enrolled in studies so I can assist others in the future.

“As a dedicated and loving mother Sally has always been Abigail’s number one priority. It’s our pleasure and joy to help the many people we see each year find their place in our community”, said Yvonne, case manager. Want to share your story? We would love to hear from you and value your privacy and courage. Please call Maree DeGeorge (03) 9705 3200 or email for a private discussion. *Names have been changed to protect privacy

Do you want the chance to directly affect your services?

Windermere Disability Services is currently seeking expressions of interest to join our:

“I can’t explain my gratitude and thanks to Windermere for their support and working with other agencies to get our lives back on track” said Abigail.

Consumer Consultative Committee

The committee is made up of people who currently use our services or who are on the Priority Needs Register to access a program through Disability Services.

The role of the Committee is to give us feedback about how Disability Services are implemented, our policies and procedures, provide ideas and recommendations for improvements. Meetings are held monthly on Tuesday evenings and run for 1½hrs. Any costs incurred as a result of attending the meetings (travel, respite care, attendant care, interpreting costs etc) will be reimbursed to you.

Register now! Contact Disability Intake on (03) 9705 3200


Is your child likely to start school next year? Most children start school when they are 5 or 6 years old. The earliest is when a child is turning 5 years old by 30th of April. A number of factors influence a child’s readiness to start school including their: • Readiness to learn • Willingness to follow routines with or without support • Participation in group activities • Care for belongings • Desire to communicate basic needs.

ccess, e.g. facilities, a port, p ls ask schoo additional su Questions to t) si vi r u ms, specialist ne or at yo earning progra l  (over the pho , music). ildren are at programs (art ing? • How many ch deal with bully u yo o d l? ow o H o • the sch e perience with ildren are in th What is your ex • or delay? • How many ch h a disability y classes it n a w m n re ow ild h d ch n class a you) (if relevant to ave are there? er ff o r fees? Will I h l u o o yo e sch What are • • How does th g s? gram plannin any extra cost individual pro d to have my ee n hen do I W  • for my child? re a s to the school? es or program paperwork in • What resourc e school? available in th

Planning for school starts during term two of the year prior to starting school, or even earlier. • Find the schools you are interested in • Talk to people who know your child e.g. Kinder teacher • Chat to other parents with children at school • Check out the websites of the schools • Contact schools and ask questions • Attend information sessions at schools. What to do next? 1. Make a list of the schools that interest you 2. Prepare questions for the school (see left for examples) 3. Phone the school/s 4. Arrange a visit/tour - you can take a support person with you if you want 5. Attend open days – they start generally in Term 2. Things to consider: • Do you want your child to attend the same school as their siblings or friends? • Do you have a preferred option for educating your child e.g. Catholic or Independent school? • Do you need public transport to access the school? Sourced from

Looking for child care? Did you know Windermere offers quality family day care? • Educator’s home based care • Play based learning in small groups • Matched to the right educator • Flexible hours • Access to CCB/CCR 6

Call 1300 946 337 today!

Managing Coughs & Colds The season for coughs and colds is here and it can be very stressful when you or your child are unwell. Generally people who have a cold do not need to rest. In fact, getting active can be the best way to help you or your child recover as taking big breaths and getting their blood flowing will help clear the chest and fight the infection.

Chicken S oup

Here are some tips to help ease the symptoms of a cold and help recovery:

Keep active Encourage physical play (for children think about using balloons, bubbles, chasing and tickling) anything that encourages running around.

Tradition al chicken soup is said common co to cure th ld . This fe e el good reci different h p e uses som erbs and sp e ic es flavour an to give it a d fight the bit more winter sniffl Ingredients: es. Method 3 garlic cloves, cru shed 1. Heat a large grea 2 tsp finely grated sed saucepan over fresh ginger medium heat. Cook the ga 2 carrots, halved, rlic and ginger, sti thinly sliced rring, for 1 min or until 1L salt reduced ch fragrant. Add the icken stock carrot and cook for 3 min 1½ cups shredded s or until softened. hot roast chicken 2. A  dd stock, chicken ¼ cup chopped fla and 2 cups water. t-leaf parsley Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat , co Sourced from taste. ver and sim m er fo r 15 mins or until carrot is tender. 3. Season, serve an d top with parsley .

Drink, drink, drink Drink plenty of water or other clear fluids such as chicken soup (see right for recipe). Warm drinks help ease a sore throat and keeping up the fluids prevents dehydration which makes you feel tired and weak.

Big breaths Breathing deeply helps to move any phlegm or congestion. Try blowing bubbles, whistles, paper windmills or blowing through a straw into a glass of water. These activities may make you cough which means it is working to clear the chest. Children under 18mths can have difficulty coughing. The best way to get them taking bigger breaths is to run around so they get puffed.

Seek medical advice when you or your child:

If you can’t sleep because you cough when you lie down try placing an extra pillow under your back and head to prop you up. NOTE: This is not suitable for very young children due to SIDS guidelines.

• • • • • • •


Where to get help:

Colds are often caused by viruses and antibiotics will not help. Paracetamol can help if you have a mild fever. Lozenges may help to relieve a sore throat and cheaper ones are often just as good as the expensive brands.

• Your GP • Nurse on call (1300 60 60 24) advice from a registered nurse 24hrs a day, 7 days a week • Pharmacist


Has difficulty breathing Has a high fever, particularly if not responding to Paracetamol Is frequently vomiting Refuses to drink Is not showing improvement in 48hrs Has a history of compromised respiratory function If you are worried!!!

Sourced from


What’s On Little Rays is for children aged 0-6years currently using Windermere’s early childhood development services or who may be eligible for Early Intervention Services in the Casey and Cardinia area. A number of different activities are set up each week for all abilities, in a welcoming supportive environment.

Useful Contacts

Windermere Contacts:

Little Rays of Sunshine

rted playgroup, run “Little Rays” is our suppo Development team. by the Early Childhood

Little Rays is a wonderful opportunity to have some play time with your children and chat to other parents who have a child with developmental delay or a diagnosed disability. Siblings are also welcome to attend. See program table below for times, dates and venue. What to bring: A snack, drink bottle, hat, jacket and sunscreen (please do not bring products containing nuts due to risk of allergy)

New supported playgroup coming soon to Pakenham. for more details.

To find out more and let us know you are coming phone Simone/Suzy on 9709 6900.

Counselling Intake: 9705 3296 Enquiries about service, referral pathways and support. Victims Assistance Program (Gippsland): (03) 5135 1500

Other agencies: SECADA (Drug and Alcohol Recovery Support) 1800 142 536 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) Family violence and sexual assault counselling services. Lifeline: 131 114 Crisis Support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Windermere’s ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) is a two day workshop that teaches people to recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide, how to respond in ways that help increase their immediate safety and link them to further help. Recommended for everyone over 15yrs of age. Windermere’s next ASIST workshop is schedule for August at the newly opened Toomah Community Centre in Pakenham. For more information visit phone Gen Dawson (03) 5995 4655 or email

Head Office (Narre Warren): (03) 9705 3200 or 1300 946 337

Disability Services Commissioner Complaints: 1800 677 342 (free call) General Enquiries: 1300 728 187 (local call) TTY 1300 726 563 Fax 03 8608 5765 Department of Health & Human Services Intake & Response Team 1300 131 079 Information and support to people with disabilities & their carers.

Would you know what to do if someone told you they were think ing of killing themselves?

Alfred Health 1800 052 222 Information and support for carer’s (business hours) and emergency respite (24 hours)

Group Program


Date Time 2015


Clear Minds Better Lives

Dual diagnosis recovery group for adults covering different theme each session.

Thursdays during school term 9.45am-11.30am

Pakenham Consolidated Primary School, 2 Rundell Way, Pakenham

Little Rays Supported Playgroup

Supported playgroup

Thursdays during school term 10am-12noon

Windermere 26 Parkhill Drive Berwick

Mother Goose For All

Rhymes, songs, stories for parents with pre-school children. Cranbourne Residents only

Tuesdays during school term 9.30am-10.30am

Cranbourne Park Primary School Tucker Street, Cranbourne

Resilience for Life

A four week program about learning positive ways of dealing with day to day problems, life stresses and life changes

Thursdays at Headspace • 28 May-18 June 4.30pm-6.30pm • 23 July-13 August 4.30pm-6.30pm Wednesdays at Toomah • 3 June - 24 June 10.30am-12.30pm

 eadspace, 66 Victor Crescent H Narre Warren Toomah Community Centre 18 Golden Green Street Pakenham

The Sensory Piece of the Puzzle - Parent Workshop

Understand your childs sensory needs and the impact on behaviour.

Two part workshop Thursdays 11 June & 18 June 4.30pm-6.30pm

Windermere 26 Parkhill Drive Berwick

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Suicide intervention training (See above What’s On)

Two day workshop Wed 19 - Thurs 20 August 9am - 5pm

Toomah Community Centre 18 Golden Green Street Pakenham

123 Magic Parenting

A 3 week program to assist parents to manage difficult behaviour in their children.

Wednesdays 24 June - 8 July 5.30pm-8.30pm

Windermere 48 Webb Street, Narre Warren


Places are limited so bookings are essential. Please call Group Coordinator on 9705 3200


Connect Windermere Community News Issue 1  
Connect Windermere Community News Issue 1