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Connect Summer




Educator Kerry says goodbye

Beating Holiday Stress Are you


We are!


1300 946 337

CEO’s message

What you told us

Our focus is to: always know our community; listen to our consumers; improve lives through early intervention and prevention; strengthen our community and create lasting and positive change. To test how successful we are in doing this we have asked you what we’re getting right, what improvements we can make and how you found dealing with our staff.


of you believe your worker truly listened

Welcome to the Summer Edition of Connect. This issue is packed with stories and information about activities, groups, programs and services we provide. As we head into the festive season and the holidays it’s important we look out for each other and recognise whilst the coming months are full of excitement, they can also trigger lots of stress and anxieties. Page 6 has some strategies to help manage the festive season stress. Over the past few months, many people who live with a disability have begun transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The introduction of the NDIS means that many more people living with a disability will have access to the right level of care and support to help them live a more independent life. Our staff have been working hard to ensure they are across what these changes will mean for you. Whilst we know there will be a number of significant changes – what won’t change is the high quality service you know and expect from us. Check out page 4 for more information around our transition to the NDIS. I would also like to personally thank everyone who provided us with feedback across 2016. Your thoughts and opinions are important and truly appreciated. You can always share your feedback: •

Via SMS links



Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday. Dr Lynette Buoy Chief Executive Officer



of you felt the level of service and assistance you received was what you were expecting


of you who access our services said we make you feel comfortable and respected

Almost all of you would recommend us to your family and friends

Windermere Consumer


We try really hard to get things right for you so we are very pleased to hear that we are making a positive difference. If you’d like to tell us how you think we are going (good or otherwise) email us at info@windermere.org.au we’d love to hear from you.

In the spotlight... Name Rachel Hall Role Family Services Worker Background A mother of two teenage boys, I have been married for 17 years. Somewhat weirdly, I have a background in hospitality and financial counselling and hold a Bachelor of Social Science. My greatest professional achievement was finishing my schooling whilst doing the ‘juggle’ of working full time and looking after my family. Windermere I started at Windermere 4 years ago and haven’t looked back. I am passionate about my work and love the diversity of our services and programs we offer. All of my colleagues

Rachel at Windermere are so helpful and friendly. It’s great being able to call on anyone in any department for help which makes it so much easier to provide you with better service. Outside of Windermere I absolutely adore cooking (any types of food really), and relax by doing crafts. I enjoy spending time with my family and going on holidays together.

Educator Kerry says goodbye Life is about to get a little quieter at Kerry Dorling’s Bunyip home. The years since have delivered enormous satisfaction for Kerry, creating special friendships with the families and other educators and watching children grow and learn.

Having found the time to care for her own family, plus more than 150 children for other families through her career, retirement was a tough call for Kerry. Kerry’s love of babies led her to become a Family Day Care educator and carer. “At the time we had just moved. My son was 5 years old and my daughter 6 months.

“I found myself in a country town, with two young children and not knowing anyone. I had been told about Family Day Care and it seemed like a good job for me.”

James was the first child Kerry ever looked after. At the time he started with her, he was a similar age to her daughter, full of cheekiness and high spirited. Now, James is almost 32 years old and Kerry still runs into his mother from time to time. “We are still friends, I actually ran into her up the street a few weeks ago. I know James is doing really well and it is so rewarding hearing about the young man he has become.” Watching Kerry with the children, the affection is instantly obvious, “I can’t sit on the couch for book time without at least one child sitting on my lap, and they just love it.” The small group size – she currently cares for 4 children – makes this connection possible, and is what sets Family Day Care apart from Centre based programs. Because of this close connection, goodbyes are one of the toughest parts of being an educator. “Seeing the children grow up and move on to school knowing that you have contributed to their learning journey makes it all worthwhile”, she said.

So what will Kerry do with all her spare time? With 6 grand-kids aged from 18yrs to 1, we are not sure how much ‘spare’ time Kerry will actually have… Whilst educators like Kerry are irreplaceable, we are so lucky to have a network of like minded educators ready to fill her shoes.

Give your child the gift of

Family Day Care 1300 946 337

ECECSenquiries@windermere.org.au windermere.org.au/childcare

Did you know we also offer school holiday care and before & after school care options?

Enrol now for 2017!


Are you NDISready? We are! For John and Sarah Palmer* raising their daughter Cara* has been a challenging journey filled with much joy and anguish. You see Cara has cerebral palsy, autism, is vision impaired, has low muscle tone, is epileptic and displays severe behavioural issues. Understandably at first the Palmer’s were overwhelmed by their daughter’s diagnosis, and faced the issues most parents face after receiving such diagnosis. They had several questions, most of which appeared to have no clear answer. What was the prognosis for Cara? What caused Cara’s disabilities? What would her future be like and how would we cope as a family? The Palmer’s have had to make some really tough decisions, ones that have divided their family, but as Cara’s parents they have had to in order to keep their family safe and together. “Having a child with special needs has forced us to acquire new skills and re-focus our lives. It has made us intentional parents who constantly think about how we can keep our daughter’s needs from taking over our family. It has brought us closer together as a family, taught us the value of family and community, and helped us learn to cherish every little thing about our children”. After years of struggling to support Cara, the Palmer’s were granted an independent support package through Windermere – funding for Cara to finally get necessary equipment and services to maintain her safety and maximise her independence.

“We can’t thank Windermere enough for supporting us and Cara, and we are so proud of Cara, her endurance and perseverance, and we are excited to see what she will accomplish next.”

“Windermere worked tirelessly on the disability services register to ensure they understood not only Cara’s needs, but the needs of our family as a whole.” The Palmer’s are now receiving enough respite for Cara, to give them a break and some time together as husband and wife. To date the Palmer family continues to thrive, they are using their package in the best possible way that will benefit Cara, enabling her to be included in the community and to reach her goals. *

Names have been changed to protect privacy

Network with us! 4


Did you know Windermere is on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin? Like and follow our pages to stay up-to-date on all things Windermere.



Have you heard? We’ve got a new website. After many months in the making – and jam packed with new and exciting information and news just for you – we were so excited to share that our new website officially went live in July. Wrapped inside a super user friendly layout, our site not only gives you easier navigation – it also keeps you informed with fresh and relevant news and articles related to our diverse programs and services – all delivered to you in an easy to read and engaging way – windermere.org.au/subscribe to receive these straight your inbox. If you haven’t already take a look around www.windermere.org.au Like all new things (but especially technology) we’d love to hear your feedback on what’s working, what’s not and what we could improve, send us your feedback to websitefeedback@windermere.org.au

You Asked... #NDISchat To be considered for the NDIS do you have to already be receiving services? No, if you are already receiving funded disability services the NDIA will contact you when the scheme is available in your area. If you are not receiving services you will need to contact the NDIA for an “Access Request Form” – you will only need to do this when the NDIS comes to your area.

Can we come to Windermere for services regardless of where we live? Absolutely! Under the NDIS Windermere will be able to offer our services including Support Coordination, Early Childhood Intervention (key worker) and allied health to people living in a number of areas including Casey, Cardinia, Bayside & the Mornington Peninsula.

Can I still get a case manager? Windermere will still be providing existing funded services (including disability case management) until the NDIS comes to our area, then we will offer it as an NDIS funded service. The service will become known as ‘support coordination’.

Is there a list of services that Windermere will be providing under the NDIS? You can access a list of all our services on our website. We will be keeping these up to date as we introduce new services so revisit

If you require an interpreter to help you access any of our services, we can arrange one for you at no cost.

the website regularly. Additionally, if you are after something specific phone us and we can talk to you directly about what you may need under the NDIS. Stay up to date with all the latest NDIS information by subscribing on line at windermere.org.au/subscribe or visit windermere.org.au/ndis for more information and FAQs.

How do you think your life might change under the NDIS? We would love to hear your story about what the NDIS will mean for you and your family. If you’d like to be part of our NDIS journey and share your story to inspire others, drop us an email at emailmarketing@windermere.org.au

The NDIS has already started giving. Congratulations to Toni, our iPad winner! Thanks to all those who provided their thoughts and feedback around the NDIS, in our September survey. Toni was thrilled to win and cannot wait to put it to good use.

Your feedback will inspire positive change We are currently recruiting members for our Consumer Consultative Committee – a group of people who want to help influence and improve service delivery.

Our interpreters follow a strict code of ethics; this means that the interpreter will not tell anyone else what you have discussed with them.

Join today and create positive change and action around your services and the sector.

For more information info@windermere.org.au

1300 946 337 5

Beating Holiday Stress The festive season is meant to be a time of joy, but for many it can be a time of stress, anxiety, disappointment and loneliness. Things don’t always go to plan, so here are some steps you can take to help manage stress and anxiety during the holidays.

(1) Plan Ahead

Make a list of the things you need to do for Christmas (shopping, food, presents etc). Make it as detailed as possible and try to prioritise each item.

(2) Know when to stop

Decide when you will stop your Christmas preparation and start to relax and enjoy the holidays. Work to this date and try to stick to it.

(3) Keep Calm

Play some relaxing music (maybe even Christmas carols!), burn some scented candles or take a relaxing bath.

(4) Practice Breathing

Stress causes our heart beat to increase and our breathing shallows, it’s all part of the fight/flight reaction. Work on reversing this by taking the time to breathe deeply. Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold for 15–20 seconds, then breathe our slowly through your mouth. Repeat for a few minutes you’ll be surprised at how instantly calm you’ll feel.

(5) Stay active

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress as it burns off hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. So make use of daylight savings and the great weather and go for a walk after dinner, the fresh air is guaranteed to lift your mood.

(6) Limit the partying

Alcohol dehydrates your body and makes your liver work overtime, so drink as much water as possible to help you stay hydrated, feel better and cope better with stressful situations.

(7) Have an ‘escape’ plan

Have some pre-planned excuses to escape from proceedings if they get too stressful. Be imaginative and use things such as leaving the room to make a phone-call to a friend. Actually leaving even just for 5mins, will help clear your mind.

(8) Have Fun!

Looking for something fun to do with the kids? Here are a few ideas of things to do with the kids these holidays that won’t break the bank! • Make Christmas decorations • Enjoy a movie together • Read books • Bake cookies • Go for a walk and look at all the Christmas lights around the neighbourhood • Make a gingerbread house • Visit friends • Have a picnic • Go to the park


In case of an emergency please ring Lifeline: 13 11 14

• Check out the “what’s on” section in your local paper for more ideas.

Windermere in the community It’s all about the children...

Thursday 27th October saw children of all ages and their parents attend the Children’s Week celebrations at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick. Alice, from Windermere’s Wonderland, was an absolute hit with staff from our Early Childhood Development team all dressed up as characters from the Disney movie. There were plenty of activities on offer for children of all ages and their parents. The treasure hunt and gooey slime seem to be favourites, along with the various arts and crafts. Children’s Week is all about celebrating a child’s right to enjoy childhood.

Hanging Hope Over the last 6 months Communities for Children Cranbourne have been making a stand against family violence. Working in partnership a number of local community organisations, they have been running workshops with families who are affected by violence, painting messages on t-shirts as part of the worldwide Clothesline Project. The Clothesline Project gives women and children affected by violence a way of expressing their emotions by decorating a t-shirt, which is then hung on a public clothesline to be viewed by others as a testimony to the problem of violence against women. Currently displayed at the Cranbourne library, the project team will be running more workshops and displays in 2017.

Useful Contacts Windermere:

1300 946 337 Counselling Intake: 9705 3296 For enquiries about service, referral pathways and support. Victims Assistance Program (Gippsland): (03) 5135 1500 or (Southern): (03) 9705 3200 Other agencies: SECADA (Drug and Alcohol

“Violence is never the answer” Participant of Clothesline Project

Celebrating culture with a clap! On Wednesday 6 July, our team took part in a successful NAIDOC week celebration day. Despite the challenging weather, the day was full of fun and laughter. NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This year, clap sticks - a traditional instrument of all Aboriginal people - were the theme of our NAIDOC week activities, with staff helping the children to paint them. They were then shown how to play them and had a bit of a sing along and dance. As the children clapped them together they gave out beautiful rhythms which delighted and amused onlookers. At the end of the day, children were able to take their clap sticks home with them, helping to ensure their memories of the day lived on. For information about future events with Windermere, visit windermere.org.au/upcoming-events

Recovery Support) 1800 142 536 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) Family violence and sexual assault counselling services. Disability Services Commissioner Complaints: 1800 677 342 (free call) General Enquiries: 1300 728 187 (local call) TTY 1300 726 563 Fax 03 8608 5765 www.odsc.vic.gov.au Department of Health & Human Services Intake & Response Team 1300 131 079 For people with disabilities & their carers. Alfred Health 1800 052 222 www.carersouth.org.au Carer’s support (business hours) and emergency respite (24 hours)

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What’s On

Windermere offer a range of programs and initiatives to support the wellbeing and development for you and your family. Places are limited so bookings are essential.

For Term 1 dates contact the Group Programs Coordinator 9705 3200 or check out the website windermere.org.au/group-programs Making Sense of Behaviour Did you know that some behaviours in children can be caused by differences related to how they process sensory input? This session will provide you with: • A foundational knowledge of Sensory Processing • Common behaviours that relate to sensory issues • Practical strategies to support inclusion and optimal participation of children with sensory challenges in community activities

Women Managing Anger Need help managing your anger? This 6 week program for women offers you practical strategies and support to take control of your emotions. • Learn how to express your anger safely • Recognise your personal anger triggers and learn strategies to help with these

Who it’s for: Professionals working with children. Parents of children in the early years who are interested in the sensory impacts to their child’s behaviour.

• Learn skills to help manage anger including how to communicate and be assertive.

Healthy Women Healthy Relationships Identify and understand the dynamics and impact of family violence during this 6 week program. You’ll also learn the meaning of healthy relationships - Safety, Trust, Hope, Respect, Love, Equality, Independence and Choice Who it’s for:


Windermere Closes 4:00pm Friday 23rd December 2016


Women who have experienced family violence in their relationships.

9:00am Tuesday 3rd January 2017

*If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence please call us on 1300 946 337.

In case of an emergency, please ring: 8

Lifeline: 13 11 14 Child Protection: 131 278

Parentline: 132 289 All other emergencies: 000

Profile for Windermere

Connect Newsletter Issue 4  

Connect Newsletter Issue 4