Author Archives: Inner South

Tandem eNews 6 April 2020

Dear Tandem Members and Supporters,

Today marks the official launch of a series of new, expanded services from Carer Gateway for Victorian carers.

From 6 April, a consortium of Victorian health providers will offer free, early intervention support under the brand Carer Gateway, in an effort to avoid carers reaching a crisis point.

Victorian Carer Gateway state manager Vicki Down said nationally, anxiety is the biggest driver of traffic to Australian carer websites.

“Carers have told us they only seek support when they are in crisis and struggling to cope – we’re trying to change this.”

Carers will be able to access over-the-phone and in-person support such as coaching, counselling, peer support, information and advice. Online groups and courses, and crisis and emergency support will also be available.

Led by Merri Health, the Victoria Carer Gateway consortia includes Alfred Health, Ballarat Health Services, Barwon Health, Bendigo Health Care Group, FamilyCare and Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) Ltd.

Anyone caring for a family or friend with mental health issues, disability, or is frail, aged or has a chronic condition may be eligible for support.

Call 1800 422 737 or visit the Carer Gateway website

For more news from Tandem click on the link below:


Alfred Health Carer Services – Carer Gateway Goes Live – Update 6 April 2020

Important information about
changes to our service

Dear Carers,
The Australian government has funded a new service to help carers. The service is called the Carer Gateway. It will operate across Australia. It starts on Monday 6th April, 2020. We will provide Carer Gateway services.

Services for carers from Alfred Health Carer Services:

  • Carers can call us on 1800 51 21 21, Monday to Friday, 8.30-5.00 pm.
  • Carers can call us for support and respite
  • All carer services are free
  • We will assist you to link in with the Carer Gateway or the right service
  • Our website is

New services for carers from Alfred Health Carer Services under the new Carer Gateway:

  • To start, carers can call the Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737, Monday to Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm.
  • Once you are ‘registered’, we will offer local help using a new support tool called the Carer Star.
  • We will help carers meet with other carers
  • We will give carers coaching

Other services for carers under the new Carer Gateway:

  • Carers can now access online services: chat forums, coaching, counselling and skills courses
  • The website is

For now, the main change is that across Australia, 24 hour emergency respite is now available by contacting the Carer Gateway directly on 1800 422 737.

This is a positive change for our carer community. We encourage you to talk with us about how we can help you.

We look forward to continue to working together.

Yours sincerely,

Melanie Hill

Alfred Health Carer Services

Alfred Health Carer Services COVID-19 Update 6 April 2020

Alfred Health Carer Services COVID-19 Update

Dear Carers,

Alfred Health Carer Services remains open. You can phone us for support and respite.

COVID-19 means we need to change the way we work with you and the person you care for. We have paused our face to face services for now.
We will make sure respite we arrange is safe by asking health questions about you, your family and the person you care for.
If you have booked respite and you or someone at home is unwell, call us straight away.  We need to act to keep you and the community as safe as possible.
We are working with respite service providers to ensure that their personal care staff are vigilant about their own and their families’ health.

Stay in Touch
As government advice changes, our emailed newsletter and website are the quickest way to keep carers updated. If you haven’t, please subscribe to our Carer South eNews.

How to subscribe to our emailed news?
If you already receive Carer South eNews you don’t need to do anything, you are ‘subscribed’.

  1. If you DO have access to the internet, go to and enter your name and email address.
  2. If you DO NOT have access to the internet, please call us to discuss your options. We are only able to post urgent information about the service.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us on our new number, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm on 1800 51 21 21.

Yours Sincerely,

Melanie Hill

Alfred Health Carer Services


Inner South Family and Friends News Update 30 March 2020

Walk’n Chat social outings planned for April have been postponed until further notice due to restrictions introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 cases.  Outdoor activities are now limited to two people unless members of the same household.  Members who would like to continue to enjoy outdoor exercise with company are encouraged to link up with one other person.

Our office at Level Four, Spotless Building 549 St Kilda Road Melbourne is currently unattended, however if you need information or support please call Judi on 0425 723 746

An important message from our Chairperson Judi
‘Life in the Time of Corona’
is an interesting and challenging experience which we are all coming to terms with. If we wish to survive we will have to live with the challenges for some time. Regrettably tonight’s announcement from our Prime Minister was the absolute death knell for our monthly Thursday Walk’ n Chats. Hopefully we will be able to resume them in a few months, so keep the first Thursday afternoons of each month free.

ISFAF Facebook page
So that members who may not have each other’s contact details can chat, we will have an ISFAF Facebook page up in the next couple of days. This can continue as a forum among members. An ISFAf Facebook page will also provide a means for members to catch up with one another, either  by continuing on the page, or by reverting to private contact with some of their Facebook friends – or both.

Please don’t forget our ISFAF Webpage at


Monthly Meetings
We are planning to run monthly meetings via Zoom.  I think I can safely say that a speaker with extensive experience acting for carers will speak to us on the very important topic: ‘NDIS tricks and Tips’ at 7.30pm Tuesday 14 April.  Zoom provides the opportunity for discussion and question time. Once the meeting is set up you will all receive invitations.

A Tale of Two ISFAF Travellers
Two of our members recently travelled to Italy, where they boarded a lovely cruise ship for fun on the Mediterranean. As you might imagine, the fun was cut short. Rather than the ship returning to Italy, our friends were evacuated returning to Melbourne via Paris instead of Rome.

The older of the two is in her 80’s and perfectly healthy. Our younger friend, aged in her 60’s is recovering from corona virus, which has been treated at her home uneventfully.

While the story shows there’s hope for us oldies, it does not provide an excuse not to follow the Federal Government  Strategy – stay home, connect on line / phone with your friends, enjoy your gardening, clean the house, read and make good use of media.  Below this message are links to a number of interesting sites, but since I compiled the list, many more have opened up. Youtube has an inexhaustible supply of diversions.

I look forward to catching up with you all on 15 April at our Zoomed Monthly Meeting,

Warm Regards,


Entertainment on line
Since I made the list below, many other galleries and musical groups /orchestras have provided access to their works, so if you google any orchestra or gallery of your choice, you might find them to have put material on line.

Melbourne Museum
Melbourne Immigration Museum
Melbourne Symphony Concerts live
Opera lovers who attend screenings of some of these performances at Palace cinemas and the Nova, know they can be mind blowing experiences especially when Anna Netrebko is in them. I thought $20 for a top seat at the MET (via Palace cinema) was cheap, but now it’s totally free for the first 7 days and no long plane ride is needed.
NGV Channel

Also many other events/entertainments are available on line.

M: 0425 723 746
Ph/Fax: 03 9528 2820



Tandem eNews 20 March 2020

Dear Tandem members and supporters,

During this unprecedented time it is more important than ever for us all to stay connected.

We will do this in a number of ways:

  1. We will send out a twice weekly enews to update you on mental health and related news that might be of interest and provide you with links to practical support, and self-care tips
  2. We will continue to post regularly on social media and
  3. Will Provide website updates (launching next week)

If you have any suggestions for content please email us at you have a podcast you would like to share? A story? A song?

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has announced it has taken the preventative measure of cancelling its second and final round of public hearings. Those of you who signed up to work with us as Family Ambassadors might be wondering how we continue in this current environment.  I will be in touch with you all next week as I have no intention of letting the situation we face impact any more than necessary on our efforts to be heard. We will find a way!

The WHO suggests to avoid watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones.

Get the facts. Gather information at regular intervals, from the WHO website and local health authorities platforms, such as the DHHS website in order to help you distinguish facts from rumours.

The Tandem team is here for you so please call us on the FREE Tandem Support and Referral Line 1800 314 325 if you have a query or just want to touch base.

Please enjoy the clip below of his Holiness The Dalai Lama sharing his wisdom with us all in How to Have a Happy and Meaningful Life.

I would like to leave you with this inspiring quote I recently read by Rabbi Josef Kanesky

And the very last thing we need right now, is a mindset of mutual distancing.
We actually need to be thinking in the exact opposite way:

Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern.

Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise.”

In Tandem we will get through this!

Let’s stay connected, continue to communicate and support each other.

Take care,


Please click on the link below to read the complete newsletter:
Care for Carers Tandem Update

Tandem eNews 17 March 2020

Dear Tandem members and supporters,

Due to the state of emergency recently announced by the Victorian Government based on COVID-19 health advice, Tandem has suspended all group meetings for the foreseeable future, however will continue to provide support to you via telephone on the Tandem Support and Referral line 1800 314 325.  

As you may be aware, many organisations have cancelled events and conferences, which are now being postponed to the end of the year.

We will continue to keep you updated in our ENEWS.

In regards to our Members’ Meeting with the Commissioners on April 7th we are now exploring ways to run this event remotely while providing you with the opportunity to send questions in and have them addressed by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

These are testing times and I am hopeful that we can all show kindness and compassion to each other as we navigate our way through such uncharted territory.

In the meantime, we ask that you take steps to manage your own risks by:

  • Knowing what to do to avoid/minimise exposure;
  • Recognising symptoms; and
  • Knowing what to do if symptoms are present.

If you or a family member has been travelling recently or been in close contact with someone who has recently travelled, and are exhibiting fever or respiratory symptoms we kindly ask you to please seek medical advice.

For more information about COVID-19 please visit the DHHS website as a recommended resource:

To read the complete enews please click on the link below:

Alfred Health Carer Services Important Notice 17 March 2020

Dear Carers and Service Providers

Due to the current outbreak of COVID-19, Alfred Health Carer Services has cancelled all carer events for March and April 2020.Taking the greatest precautions against the spread of COVID-19 is sensible at this time, and our highest priority is protecting the health of our carers and the people they care for.For those with confirmed registration to an event, or those who have expressed interest in an event – we will hold on to your booking information and advise you when we are able to recommence our events program.We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.


Justin Pacey
Alfred Health Carer Services

Inner South Family and Friends Support Group Walk’n Chat


Please join us for our Walk ‘n Chat:  First Thursday of the month from 6 February through to 3 December 2020.  Meet at North Point Cafe at the end of North Road Brighton.
Walkers meet at 1.45pm, (owners welcome to bring their dog along) non walkers are welcome to join the group at 2.45pm for refreshments at North Point Cafe.
Phone 9076 4722 or 0425 723 746 for details or changes according to weather on the day
Next Walk ‘n Chat Thursday 2 April and extra Walk’n Chat Thursday 16 April

The above photo is of beautiful black swans taken at Brighton Beach on our last Walk’n Chat.  Although it rained a little, it was quite warm, so don’t be put off by a few grey clouds.

Alfred Health Carers Network Free Events for Carers March-May 2020

“Free events for carers in March – May, 2020

We are delighted to present our Carer Events Program featuring free events for carers to take a break and look after your own well being. Tickets to all events will be allocated through a ballot process, to ensure all carers get a chance to attend an event. Look through our new program and let us know what you would like to do.”

Please click on the link below to access the free events for carers March to May 2020: