Category Archives: Communication

Tandem eNews 13 May 2020

Dear Tandem members and supporters,

We are excited by the announcement of Australia’s new mental health official in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and would like to congratulate Associate Professor Ruth Vines, former Chief Psychiatrist of Victoria, who will become the first Deputy Chief Medical Officer with a focus on mental health.

Professor Vine’s role will be to listen to community concerns and provide advice to the government, with a focus on anxiety linked to physical distancing and economic stress. Read about the announcement here.

It is heartening to see mental health on Australia’s agenda and we will continue to strive for a system that is safe, inclusive, fair and funded in Victoria.

Our link to register for Tandem Time with Carer Gateway didn’t work last week. We apologise for the frustration and ask you to register again for the Zoom meeting below. 

It will be a very powerful session and we hope to see you all there.

In this issue

• Tandem Time with Carer Gateway
• Tandem C.R.A.F.T. Challenge
• Ready steady NDIS
• Friends, family & carers forum
• Carer support groups
• Support services
• Join the Tandem family

Tandem Time with Carer Gateway

Tandem Time is a one hour, online meet-up for Tandem members and staff to connect with each other, ask questions and stay in touch. When you register you will be sent a link that will enable you to login to the meeting at the allotted time.

Special Guest: State Manager at Merri Community Health Services Vicki Down

When: Thursday 21st of May

Time: 10am – 11am

Where: Zoom
Some people reported issues getting into the session via Eventrbite, so instead we are happy to give you the direct zoom registration details here.

A few of you reported the link was broken last week – thank you, we have re-set the link.
Register in advance for this meeting
If the link still doesn’t work paste this URL into your browser:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

If you have any feedback, reflections or questions you would like to ask, please send them to or take our quick survey to help us create the best experience for you. 

Tandem Time Survey

To view the complete newsletter please click on the link below:

Alfred Health Carer Services eNews May 2020

Call us for carer support and respite on our
new phone number 1800 51 21 21
Monday to Friday, 8.30-5.00 pm

We will link you in with the right services, including services available for carers through the Carer Gateway.

Free online legal service for
disadvantaged Victorian renters

Anika Legal provides a free legal service for people who rent their home. If you need a rent reduction to help you through the COVID-19 pandemic click here.

You can access the complete enews by clicking on the link below:

Inner South Family and Friends News May 2020

Although in ‘The Time of Corona’ we cannot walk together, we can walk alone or with one friend, keeping 2m apart in your favourite spot.  While you walk (or sit with a cuppa) you can join us to chat by Zoom by clicking on the link below:

All you need to do is to click on the link below at 3pm on Thursday 7 May from any of the devices that you use to access the internet such as your smart phone, tablet or computer.  If you have Zoom already installed, you will be directed to wait till host opens the meeting. If you haven’t yet installed Zoom, you will be asked if you wish to install at that time. Proceed with the installation. Although it usually takes only a few minutes, if you haven’t yet installed Zoom, you may like to start the process a little earlier.
Meeting ID: 787 536 696      Password: 681213
Walk ‘n Chat is planned for 1st and 3rd of every month – keep 21 May, 4 and 18 June free

The full Zoom invitation to our coming Walk ‘n Chat is below. You are unlikely to need any of the details below unless you are unable to enter via the link shown above.

It is most unlikely that the link will fail but sometimes because of ‘traffic’ it takes a while. If you have to wait more than a couple of minutes, close Zoom, wait a little and try again. If you can’t get through after a couple.


Join the meeting from a comfortable spot at home, with some nibbles and a nice warm blanket.  A pen and some paper might also be handy to jot down notes.

Instructions on how to join a Zoom meeting are above. As above, you are unlikely to need the information in the box at the foot of this page
Meeting ID: 788 139 680.       Password: 096604

Speakers  Sergeant Ingrid Ebert, Prahran Proactive Policing  Unit, Southern Metro Division 1 Victoria Police and Angela Gallagher, Team Leader, Crisis Assessment Team, Alfred Mental and Addiction Health (AMAH)

Topic  Police, Ambulance and Clinical Early Response Team (PACER)

ISFAF office is not attended during ‘The Time of Corona’, but please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 0425 723 746 if you have any questions or difficulty in accessing any  meetings or would like information or just need to chat to someone. We all need to work together.

ISFAF is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Time: 12 May 2020 7pm Australia/Melbourne   Topic: ISFAF Support Group Meeting

To join Zoom meeting

Meeting ID: 788 139 680         Password: 096604

Click on the link below for more information about these ISFAF events and Zoom instructions:
ISFAF News May 2020


News Article from The Alfred Community Program Newsletter April 2020

StarHealth COVID-19 Screening Clinic

StarHealth are proud to announce that we have opened a COVID-19 Screening Clinic, with the intention of helping reduce the load on our hospitals whilst ensuring the community has easy access to COVID-19 testing.

The clinic is based at the Prahran Town Hall and will operate 7 days a week between 9am and 5pm. The clinic is located at 255A Chapel Street Prahran.

Those who wish to be tested must meet the current testing criteria as set out by the Department of Health

Please note that in addition to the established criteria, new criteria now mean that if your client is symptomatic and living in a residential facility (including AOD or Mental Health residential services, crisis accommodation or a rooming or Boarding House with shared facilities) then they are eligible for testing.

Those seeking testing must register first in one of 3 ways:

1. Call 9525 1300
2. Self-register at
3. Attend at the clinic.

This service is FREE and does not need Medicare details.
We are required to only test according to the criteria and doctors will be on site to assess clients prior to approving testing.

Click on the link  to obtain a copy of the flyer. It can be printed in A3, A4, A5.
Other Star Health services remain open for referrals and we have added phone and online care in some programs to facilitate care. Information is also on our website

Tandem eNews 28 April 2020

Dear Tandem members and supporters,

The Mental Health Carer Support Fund (CSF) is a Victorian government program run by Tandem which provides financial support to family and friends supporting someone who is registered with an Area Mental Health Service.

In late March in response to COVID-19 we temporarily replaced posting physical vouchers with direct bank transfers to eligible family and friends of people receiving support from an Area Mental Health Service.

Additionally, the Victorian government has provided $130,000 of COVID-19 Emergency Relief funding to the Carer Support Fund. The new funding will enable family and friends of people using Victoria’s Area Mental Health Services to buy essential items like food, petrol, personal items, access to data and phones or tablets, etc.

The COVID-19 Emergency Relief funds will be capped at $300 per application and the existing overall caps still apply. The application process continues as usual, please contact your loved one’s Area Mental Health Service case manager for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Tandem’s letter to Area Health Services can be viewed over here.

In this issue:

    • Tandem Live Guided Meditations – every Thursday 12pm
    • Second Royal Commission Members Meeting – Tues 5th May
    • Tandem Time – fortnightly Thursdays 10am
    • eFriend peer support service launched
    • MyTime support groups for families with a child with a disability
    • Video: Love, Loss, Loneliness (and a Pinch of Humor) Under Lockdown
    • Lotti’s story: caring remotely in the time of COVID-19

Please click on the link below to access the complete newsletter:

Inner South Family and Friends Support Group Meeting Tuesday 14 April 2020 via Zoom

The ISFAF Support Group Meeting will go ahead this coming Tuesday 14 April at 7.30pm via a ZOOM meeting session.  Guest Speaker this month is Melanie Carson, Mental Health NDIS Project Officer from Alfred Health covering topic ‘NDIS Tricks and Tips’.
In preparation, please forward any questions you may have by noon on Monday 13 April via email to and   This will enable us to pass your questions to the speaker prior to the meeting. 

Link to Zoom session for the meeting:  Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 788 139 680.   Password: 096604
So prepare your evening drink of choice and supper snacks and join us next Tuesday evening.
ISFAF Walk ‘n Chat Group
Walk ‘n Chat catch ups are now held via ZOOM. We had our first zoom session on Thursday 2 April with a small group who enjoyed it. So instead of one Walk n Chat per month, we agreed to hold two. Please diarise the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month at 3pm.  
Link to Zoom session for the next Walk ‘n Chat 16 April at 3pm: Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 787 536 696      Password: 681213
Our office is currently not attended so we are unable to check voicemail but we are still here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact:
Judi Burstyner on 0425 723 746 or via email
Eleni Kontos on 0412018722 or email 
Hope you can join us next Tuesday. Keep Safe.
Don’t forget to keep you eyes on our website:
Recently set up as a private group so we can chat safely among our group and share information.   Please send a request to join the group and we’ll add you shortly.

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