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Archive 2011

February

GROW support group – Cootamundra

about-growMeets Thursday mornings in Cootamundra.

For more information and venue ph.1800 558 268

GROW offers people organised friendly support through mutual help groups and a 12 Step Program of recovery. People in GROW have experienced many of the symptoms of mental illness; depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and mental and emotional distress. They’ve also had struggles with life. Losses of loved ones and jobs, marriage difficulties – these things can and do happen to people. These are some of the challenges that cause people to come to GROW.

People participating in GROW experience how extraordinarily liberating and affirming it is when they share their problems with others; especially when those other members have been through similar difficulties. At long last members discover that they are not alone.

» GROW

Mental Health First Aid course – Wagga Wagga

 

firstaidDate: 21-22 February 2011
Time: 9am-3pm
Instructor: Geoffrey Ahern
Venue: Wagga RSL
Cost: $250

Contact:
Geoffrey Ahern
Email: geoffrey.ahern@gmail.com
Mob: 0413 658 004

This course is fully catered (tea/coffee on arrival, morning and afternoon tea with fruit platters and fresh pastries, hot lunch with salads and freshly baked bread). The course is fully tax deductable for most people and each participant receives a Mental Health First Aid Manual and MHFA Certificate. Relaxed, fun and educational. This promises to be a great two days.

Numbers are strictly capped to maximise learning and facilitate group discussion so don’t wait too long to book in.

About Geoff
Geoff Ahern is a Clinical Nurse Specialist with extensive experience in Emergency and Trauma nursing, Rural Nursing, Drug and Alcohol Counselling and Psychiatric nursing, having worked in both the public and private sectors. As an educator Geoff has been involved in one to one mentoring and staff inservices right through to full-time lecturing at a tertiary level. Geoff works as a freelance educator with Newcastle University, Hunter Institute of Mental Health and Hunter Community College as well as running the MHFA course to private organisations. Geoff has been contracted to run the MHFA course for small community groups right through to senior managers with DADHC. Geoff is a passionate and creative intructor, bringing to his classes stories and experiences that give life and meaning to the subject areas that are taught in this course. Currently Geoff is completing a Masters Degree in Mental Health with a minor in Drug and Alcohol Studies and is a recipient of the Royal College of Nursing Australia’s Mental Health Postgradaute Scholarship Scheme.

» http://www.mindstrength.com.au

 

Health Matters for Men – Grong Grong

carrollAll Men are invited to an evening session to learn about men’s health and wellbeing.

6.00 pm FREE BBQ

7.00 pm Dr Stephen Carroll, men’s health specialist.

Drinks at Bar Prices

Venue: Grong Grong Sports Club, Canola Way

Registration essential for catering.

Contact:

Lou Revelant – Industry and Investment NSW
Tel: 02 6960 1313 or Mobile: 0419 167 662
Email: lou.revelant@industry.nsw.gov.au

Merilyn Limbrick- Murrumbidgee Local Health Network
Tel: 02 6959 1166 or Mobile: 0428 249 719
Email: merilyn.limbrick@gsahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Health Matters for Men – Leeton

carrollAll Men are invited to an evening session to learn about men’s health and wellbeing.

6.00 pm FREE BBQ

7.00 pm Dr Stephen Carroll, men’s health specialist.

Drinks at Bar Prices

Venue: Leeton Soldiers Golf Club Acacia Ave Leeton

Registration essential for catering.

Contact:

Lou Revelant – Industry and Investment NSW
Tel: 02 6960 1313 or Mobile: 0419 167 662
Email: lou.revelant@industry.nsw.gov.au

Merilyn Limbrick- Murrumbidgee Local Health Network
Tel: 02 6959 1166 or Mobile: 0428 249 719
Email: merilyn.limbrick@gsahs.health.nsw.gov.au

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AFL Interleague – Charity shield Wagga Wagga

Riverina Bluebell will be staffing the gate and has the opportunity to run a raffle and collect donations. A great opportunity to promote Riverina Bluebell, spread information about mental wellbeing and collect donations.

More volunteers welcome. Contact info@riverinabluebell.org.au

Maher Oval

5.30pm to 8.30pm

Volunteers needed from 4.30pm.

March

Health Matters for Men – Hay

carrollAll Men are invited to an (entertaining) evening about men’s health and wellbeing.

6.00 pm FREE BBQ

7.00 pm Dr Stephen Carroll, men’s health specialist.

Drinks at Bar Prices

Venue: Hay Services Club, 371 Murray Street, Hay

RSVP essential for catering.

Contact:

Danny Byrnes, Industry & Investment NSW – 0428 973 141
Nicola Barrie, Murrumbidgee Local Health Network – 0438 694 192
Misty Howard, Healthy Hay – 0488 181 352

carroll-logos

Navigating Teenage Depression

teenFree community workshop.

What is depression?

How to spot early warning signs.

How to build resilience.

What to do.

What is resilience?

Strategies for building resilience to combat stress.

For parents, teenagers and people who work with young people.

WHERE: Forum 6 Cinema, Wagga Wagga (77 Trail St)
WHEN: 27 April, 2011. 6.30pm – 8.30pm
RSVP: 22 April 2011

Live music. Light refreshments provided.

For more information, contact:
Chris Rule, Black Dog Institute
Project Manager – Rural Initiatives
ph. 02 9382 8203 or at c.rule@blackdog.org.au
Website: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

The Black Dog Institute is an organisation that specialises in mood disorders. The Institute is attached to the Prince of Wales Hospital and affiliated with the University of New South Wales. NavigatingTeenDepression | PDF 596kb

On Fire – fun, friendship, flourishing

The purpose of ON FIRE is to cultivate hope, resilience and wellbeing in children and young people aged 8-17 yrs in families affected by mental health issues. ON FIRE vision is for our members to learn, grow, and flourish. The objectives of ON FIRE are:

onfire

  1. Increase positive emotions (by providing children and young people with opportunities to have fun, enjoy leisure, and experience respite)
  2. Increase social belonging and engagement (by providing children and young people with opportunities to experience peer support and interact with positive adult figures).
  3. Increase social-emotional life skills (such as hope, positivity, resilience, and positive coping, awareness, through individual coaching and group discussions and activities).
  4. Increase knowledge and understanding about mental illness, mental health, and wellbeing.

These objectives are achieved through a range of program activities including regular fun days, camps, tele-chat groups and coaching. ON FIRE is supported by funding from nib foundation and auspiced by The Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW Inc. ON FIRE is currently recruiting volunteers to assist with the program. For further information about the program and up coming FUN DAYS & CAMPS contact ON FIRE Area Co-ordinator Wagga Wagga, Bev Denley Ph: 6925 9259 or 0422 371 322 E: beverly@sfnsw.org.au

OnFire- WaggaWagga | PDF 120Kb

Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop – Griffith

 

wesley-missionVenue: Uniting Church Hall, Griffith.

9.00am – 10.00am Media Session
10.00am -12 midday Session for emergency services such as Police, Chaplains, Ambulance, Rural Fire Services, SES.

The workshops are a valuable opportunity for participants to gain knowledge, skills, confidence and resources and be able to practise those skills within the group. The workshops allow participants to gain insight into suicidal ideation, learn skills to identify warning signals and assess the risk of a person who is experiencing thoughts of suicide. They will also learn how to engage the person, have an understanding of their role as a caregiver, know whom to refer the person to for appropriate qualified help and be committed to suicide prevention in their community.

» Wesley LifeForce programs

Contact:
Media: Rebekah Halliday
ph.6960 1170
Kevin Adams
mob. 0428 295 582
Steve Mortlock
mob. 0428 977 500

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Don’t be careless! NSW state election HAVE YOUR SAY

carers-election

Carers of people with a mental illness and the people they care for are crying out for change. Since deinstitutionalisation, responsibility for mental health care has shifted onto carers and families. The institutions that were closed were not replaced with adequate community services. Carers have had to step into the breach, at great personal cost.

For too long we have been hearing the same stories of unnecessary frustrations, ill-health, grief and loss. Carers of people with a mental illness tell us time and time again of their concerns for their loved one, their inability to get the help they need, and of their exclusion from the treatment process. The impact on carers is huge. Their physical and mental health, their relationships with partners, family and friends, their careers and their financial situation suffer greatly. These stories are repeated year after year around NSW.

It is time for change.

We call on the NSW Government to:

  1. Increase funding for mental health in NSW in line with the proportion of the health burden constituted by mental health.
  2. Improve the quality, range and capacity of services and supports for people with mental illness, including appropriate accommodation options and social and vocational supports.
  3. Improve the quality, range and capacity of services and supports for carers of people with a mental illness, including education, counselling and respite.
  4. Advocate through the Council of Australian Governments for mental health reform on a national level and the inclusion of mental health in the National Health and Hospitals Reform (NHHR), in line with the 12 recommendations of the NHHR Commission regarding mental health.

» Read more

» HAVE YOUR SAY

Wagga Wagga Carers support group

A support group for carers of people with a mental illness.

1st Thursday of every month.

Contact:
Leonie Cain
ph. 6925 9399

carer-assist-540w

 

WaggaWaggaCarers | PDF 100kb

New Mental Health Services

richmondNew Mental Health Services for RFNSW & MLHN in Griffith, Leeton, Bega & Tumut Riverina residents with mental illness will be able to take part in everyday activities with greater ease, with the Murrumbidgee Local Health Network (MLHN) andRichmond Fellowship set to offer new services in the region. The new partnership will increase the range of services in Griffith, Leeton, Narrandera, Tumut, Tumbarumba, Gundagai, Batlow and Adelong to assist people who have a mental illness to lead full and active lives.

MLHN mental health, drug and alcohol clinical operations manager David West said patients in Griffith, Leeton and Narrandera would have access to resource and recovery services such as support to access social, leisure and educational services and links to exercise, physical health and nutritional activities. Meanwhile, Tumut, Tumbarumba, Gundagai, Batlow and Adelong residents will have access to a home-based outreach services. “The service is for people with mental health problems which affect their day-to-day living, who experience difficulty living and staying in the community, and who might be at risk of homelessness,” Mr West said. The Richmond Fellowship of NSW is a not-for-profit organisation that provides organisation that provides support programs, accommodation and hope for people living with a mental illness.

Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop – Rankin Springs

Venue: Rankin Springs pub.wesley-mission

The workshops are a valuable opportunity for participants to gain knowledge, skills, confidence and resources and be able to practise those skills within the group. The workshops allow participants to gain insight into suicidal ideation, learn skills to identify warning signals and assess the risk of a person who is experiencing thoughts of suicide. They will also learn how to engage the person, have an understanding of their role as a caregiver, know whom to refer the person to for appropriate qualified help and be committed to suicide prevention in their community.

» Wesley LifeForce programs

Contact:
Penny Davies
mob. 0429 690 060

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Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop – Murrami

Venue: Murrami Hall.

wesley-missionThe workshops are a valuable opportunity for participants to gain knowledge, skills, confidence and resources and be able to practise those skills within the group. The workshops allow participants to gain insight into suicidal ideation, learn skills to identify warning signals and assess the risk of a person who is experiencing thoughts of suicide. They will also learn how to engage the person, have an understanding of their role as a caregiver, know whom to refer the person to for appropriate qualified help and be committed to suicide prevention in their community.

» Wesley LifeForce programs

Contact:
Jackson Goman
ph. 6953 0955

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Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop – Barellan School

wesley-missionThe workshops are a valuable opportunity for participants to gain knowledge, skills, confidence and resources and be able to practise those skills within the group. The workshops allow participants to gain insight into suicidal ideation, learn skills to identify warning signals and assess the risk of a person who is experiencing thoughts of suicide. They will also learn how to engage the person, have an understanding of their role as a caregiver, know whom to refer the person to for appropriate qualified help and be committed to suicide prevention in their community.

» Wesley LifeForce programs

Contact:
Leanne Hawker
mob. 6963 9441

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April

3rd Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium

windmillImpacts & Outcomes Mercure, Ballarat » 3rd Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium You are invited to join us in November 2011 when we will examine the impacts & outcomes of social, financial and environmental issues on Mental Health Clients and their Service Providers in Rural & Remote communities in Australia.

“In 1991 a national study of 2000 GP’s concluded the rates of depression in Urban and Regional areas were similar. The same study conducted in 2001 saw a marked increase in depression in rural and regional populations. A key factor for the increase was the rural economy and rapid rate of change in regional Australia. The rapid changes continue in 2010, with loss of services and employment opportunities. As an example the introduction of water management schemes and FIFO work forces have ensured Rural and Remote communities are continually under pressure to adapt”.

About 35 per cent of Australians named mental health as one of their country’s two or three greatest challenges, in contrast to the international average of just 10 per cent, with the second-most worried country on that issue being China on 15 per cent Social changes: the “slow death” of some remote towns has led to an increase in isolation of individuals and communities, and the exclusion of others from reasonable access to the services, education and technology, most communities take for granted. Financial factors: the increased cost of living, crop failures, unemployment and lack of local services, are among the financial adversities negatively impacting on the mental health of our rural and remote communities. Environmental adversities: evidenced by recent incidents of natural disaster in the form of bushfires, floods, cyclones and oil spills, the trail of death and destruction, shattered communities, and displaced people has increased exponentially. These factors and others can severely impact on the mental health of individuals and upon community functioning, cohesion, and resource availability.

  1. What lessons can be learned from our response to these changes?
  2. How can mental health professionals prepare themselves, their clients and their communities, to deal more effectively with future negative occurrences in rural and remote areas?
  3. How can the resources of government, mental health professionals, emergency services, and private practitioners, be better utilised for optimal benefit?

I invite you to join me, together with the symposium committee, in learning from our keynote speakers and their analyses, what is being done, and what needs to be done to better meet the mental health needs of rural and remote populations. With their input, and our interactive symposium program, we can be guided in our efforts to examine the efficacy of existing programmes in order to efficiently meet current and future needs. This symposium will explore ways to develop skills related specifically to the mental health needs of our rural and remote communities, and ways to effectively prepare mental and other health professionals to meet future challenges. I look forward to seeing you in Ballarat at the 3rd Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium. Dr Norm Barling Symposium Chair Confirmed Speakers

  • Hon. Mark Butler MP – Minister for Mental Health & Ageing
  • Prof Patrick McGorry Australian of the Year 2010 – Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne
  • Jaelea Skehan – Program Manager Mindframe National Media Initiative
  • Janet Devlin – Mental Health Academic, Australian Government University Departments of Rural Health (UDRH) Programme& Coordinator, Mental Health and Community Engagement, Spencer Gulf Rural Health School, UniSA
  • Dr John Setchell General Manager, Health Services Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • Adjunct Professor Joseph P. Reser Griffith University (Psychology)

Who Should Attend

  • Policy Makers
  • Non-government organisations
  • Nurses
  • Workers in the provision of rural mental health services
  • Public health services
  • Private health services
  • Private practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Researchers
  • Social Workers
  • Rehabilitation Consultants
  • Health Professionals
  • Academics
  • Allied Health Professionals
  • Carers
  • Clinicians
  • Commonwealth Government
  • Community representatives
  • Counsellors
  • Educational Institutions
  • General Practitioners
  • Local/State/Governments
  • Emergency Service / Defence / Police / Volunteer personnel

The Conference Streams

  • Youth Services
  • Policy & Funding
  • Cultural Mental Health Issues
  • Treatments
  • Research
  • Community Resilience
  • Planning & Prevention
  • Building Capacity
  • Natural Disasters Implications on Mental Health
  • E-Connect – Breaching the Distance with the Internet
  • Suicide
  • Consumer Participation & Measuring Client’s Outcomes

» 3rd Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium

Sunflower Family Services – Official Opening


schiz-fellowship-200wOfficial Opening Program

Wednesday 11th may 2011

12 noon Open House at 47-49 Gurwood Street (meet staff and view facilities)

12.45pm Light refreshments

2.00pm Official Opening Ceremony of Sunflower Family Services including the Launch of the ONFIRE Program.

3.00pm Afternoon tea

RSVP for catering purposes by 5pm on Friday 6th May cdoww@sfnsw.org.au
ph. 6925 9259 (please leave message)

onfire

Wagga Wagga Takes 2

wwt2

Thursday 28 April 2011
8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Friday 29 April 2011
8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

**** A limited amount of seats have just been released – this event is no longer sold out. ****

» BUY TICKETS

Now in it’s fifth year, ‘Wagga Wagga Takes 2’ teams together 12 of Wagga’s best entertainers with 12 local celebrities to provide two nights of great entertainment. Cabaret style. Bring your own supper.

In 2010, Wagga Wagga Takes Two raised over $108,000 for local charities and went on to be nominated for the Community Theatre Award at the recent 16th ActewAGL Canberra Area Theatre Awards.

Over the previous three years, Wagga Wagga Takes Two has cumulatively injected over $250,000 into the local community, with local charities being the main beneficiaries.

Joe McGirr – Deirdre Moulden – WWBH – Stroke and Rehabilitation Units

Ryan Dedini – Rebecca Hennessy – Australian Diabetes Council

Ricky Dumigan – Rene Van Delft – Southern Inland Junior Rugby Union

Adam Warren – Shelley Melzer – St Vinnies Camps for Kids

Corey Pavitt – Lauren Carlson – WWBH Children’s Ward

Joe Howard – Danielle Papasidero – Riverina Blue Bell

Kellie-Jo Gustowski – Josh McKellar – Telstra Child Flight

Tanya Reid – Mark Atkinson – Kids Kottage Ronald McDonald House

Anita Harmer – Daniel Tooze – Willans Hill School

Donna Goodwin – Dave Cook – Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust

Leonie Johnson – Bill Robertson – Cancer Council NSW

Sue Pottie – Dave Biggin – Kurrajong Waratah

Venue: Capital Entertainment Centre, 109 Baylis Street, Wagga Wagga
Prices: $47.50 Adults
General Enquiries: Civic Theatre Booking Office, Phone: (02) 6926 9688

Logo design competition


wesley-missionWagga Wagga & Region Suicide Prevention Network

We would like a logo that is innovative, exhibits the culture of the region and will connect our community with suicide awareness and prevention.

The winning logo will be used on all stationery and promotional material.

Three categories with great prizes:

  • Best logo design: Bendigo Bank $500 account and Good Guys MP3 Player
  • Runner up: Bendigo Bank $500 account
  • Peoples choice award: Bendigo Bank $500 account

All entires must be received by 5pm on Friday, 6 May 2011

For further information please contact either:

Sally Douglas at Landmark
Phone: 02 6921 1511
Email: sally.douglas@landmark.com.au or

Chloe Campbell, Secretary WWRSPN
Phone: 02 6923 3178
Email: c.campbell.rdgp.com.au
Monday and Tuesday, 9am-5pm

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Health Matters for Men – Moulamein

carrollThe Moulamein Football/Netball Club invites all men to an entertaining evening about men’s health with Men’s Health Specialist, Dr Stephen Carroll (preceded by a talk to netballers/women at 7pm)

7.30 pm FREE BBQ

8.00 pm Dr Stephen Carroll, men’s health specialist.

Drinks at Bar Prices

Venue: Moulamein Bowling Club

RSVP: 7 April – essential for catering.

Contact:
Danny Byrnes, Industry & Investment NSW – 0428 973 141
Nicola Barrie, Murrumbidgee Local Health Network – 0438 694 192
Kerry Lowing, Moulamein Football and Netball Club – 03 5887 3248

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Health Matters for Men – Wakool

carroll

All Men are invited to an (entertaining) evening about men’s health and wellbeing.

6.00 pm FREE BBQ

7.00 pm Dr Stephen Carroll, men’s health specialist.

Drinks at Bar Prices

Venue: Wakool Hotel

RSVP: 7 April – essential for catering.

Contact:

Danny Byrnes, Industry & Investment NSW – 0428 973 141
Nicola Barrie, Murrumbidgee Local Health Network – 0438 694 192
Annette (Café) – 03 5887 1217

carroll-logos

Health Matters for Men – Booligal

carroll

All Men are invited to an (entertaining) evening about men’s health and wellbeing.

6.00 pm FREE BBQ

7.00 pm Dr Stephen Carroll, men’s health specialist.

Drinks at Bar Prices

Venue: Booligal Hotel

RSVP: 7 April – essential for catering.

Contact:

Danny Byrnes, Industry & Investment NSW – 0428 973 141
Nicola Barrie, Murrumbidgee Local Health Network – 0438 694 192
Misty Howard, Healthy Hay – 0488 181 352

carroll-logos

Building personal resilience

planeFree community education workshop.

What is resilience?

Strategies for building resilience to combat stress.

Where: Piercy Place, 185 Morgan St, Wagga Wagga (Conference Room)
When: 28 April 2011, 9.30am – 12.30pm
RSVP: 22 April 2011

Light refreshments provided.

bdi-vert
For more information, contact: Chris Rule, Black Dog Institute, Project Manager – Rural Initiatives, on 02 9382 8203 or at c.rule@blackdog.org.au
Website: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

The Black Dog Institute is an organisation that specialises in mood disorders. The Institute is attached to the Prince of Wales Hospital and affiliated with the University of New South Wales.

NavigatingTeenDepression | PDF 596kb

Mate helping Mate in Lockhart

harper-dvdMurrumbidgee Local Health Network (MLHN) is supporting a guest coach to visit a training session of the Lockhart Football and Netball Club on Tuesday 5 April.

John Harper is a rugby coach in his home town of Stockinbingal and will join in the Rusty Demons fitness session at 6pm and then talk about his ‘Mate Helping Mate’ initiative.

MLHN Rural Mental Health Promotion Officer Merilyn Limbrick said John will speak about his experience as a farmer who has lived through and recovered from depression.

Ms Limbrick said: “He talks with passion and delivers some key messages in an entertaining way about the importance of mateship and the powerful support people can give in difficult times.”

“Everyone is welcome to attend,” Ms Limbrick added.

All residents of Lockhart and the surrounding community are encouraged to bring their neighbours, family and friends to the local event. The training and presentation will be at the Lockhart Football Ground and includes a free barbeque. Drinks will be available for purchase.

The event is supported by the NSW Government’s Rural Adversity Mental Health Program.

For immediate assistance or advice about mental health concerns, please see your General Practitioner or phone the MLHN Mental Health AccessLine on 1800 800 944.

MediaRelease-MHM | PDF

 

May

SwearStop

JOIN SWEARSTOP AND STAY CLEAN!

Give up swearing for one week, have your friends sponsor you (bet they think you can’t do it!) and raise money to support Schizophrenia research.

 

Workforce Well Being Day

You are invited to the annual Workforce Well-being Conference which is being held on Wednesday the 8th of June 2011 at The Riverina Football Club (The Rules Club) in Wagga Wagga and is proudly sponsored by The Riverina Division Of General Practice, Centacare, Intereach, The Richmond Fellowship of NSW and Catholic Community Services.

The conference is for health and community employees and employers, operations managers, HR professionals and the academic community. The day focuses on current issues in work and wellbeing, viewed over the course of the traditional working life, from both employer and employee perspectives. Given the amount of time spent at work, the workplace is central to physical and psychological health, as well as life satisfaction. As the costs of ill health continue to rise, workplace health has become an issue that employers can no longer afford to ignore.

This conference brings together all the latest thinking on current issues in work and wellbeing, from both academic and practitioner perspectives.

We are delighted to have Dr. Sally Cockburn presenting at the conference, who is better known around Australia by her alter ego: “Dr Feelgood.” She is currently seen on Channel 7’s ‘The Morning Show’ and can be heard each Sunday hosting her own talkback radio program. In 2010, Sally was one of 20 inspirational women inducted into the prestigious Victorian Government’s Women’s Honour Roll.

Please find attached a flyer and registration form if you would like to be a part of this enjoyable and valuable day.

Kind regards,
Jenni Campbell
Manager- Adult Mental Health Services
Riverina Division of General Practice and Primary Health

Venue: The Rules Club, Wagga Wagga
Date: 8th of June 2011
Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm
RSVP: 30th May 2011
Email: cryanchapple@centacarewagga.org.au
Cost: $50 (early bird: 19TH MAY 2011) $60 Normal Cost (includes lunch & Refreshments)

Wellbeing-Registration | PDF 472kb  WorkforceWellbeingConference2011 | PDF 485kb

June

Superb fundraising – thanks to Joe Howard

wwt2A big thanks to Joe Howard and his partner Danielle Papasidero for their impressive (and hilarious) performance at Take Two. Joe has raised over $14,000 for Riverina Bluebell. In it’s fifth year, ‘Wagga Wagga Takes 2’ teams together 12 of Wagga’s best entertainers with 12 local celebrities to provide two nights of great entertainment. Cabaret style. In 2010, Wagga Wagga Takes Two raised over $108,000 for local charities and went on to be nominated for the Community Theatre Award at the recent 16th ActewAGL Canberra Area Theatre Awards. Over the previous three years, Wagga Wagga Takes Two has cumulatively injected over $250,000 into the local community, with local charities being the main beneficiaries. 2011 entertainers: Joe McGirr – Deirdre Moulden – WWBH – Stroke and Rehabilitation Units Ryan Dedini – Rebecca Hennessy – Australian Diabetes Council Ricky Dumigan – Rene Van Delft – Southern Inland Junior Rugby Union Adam Warren – Shelley Melzer – St Vinnies Camps for Kids Corey Pavitt – Lauren Carlson – WWBH Children’s Ward Joe Howard – Danielle Papasidero – Riverina Blue Bell Kellie-Jo Gustowski – Josh McKellar – Telstra Child Flight Tanya Reid – Mark Atkinson – Kids Kottage Ronald McDonald House Anita Harmer – Daniel Tooze – Willans Hill School Donna Goodwin – Dave Cook – Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust Leonie Johnson – Bill Robertson – Cancer Council NSW Sue Pottie – Dave Biggin – Kurrajong Waratah

What is your health worth?

“Are your body and mind in balance, or is it time for a tuneup?”

That is the message of the Community Wellbeing Day to be held next Sunday, June 19, at the Gundagai District Services Club from 10am until 2pm.

The event, organised by the newly re-formed Gundagai Interagency, will be replete with health and wellness information for people of all ages.

A special feature of this year’s event will be the “Pit-stop for Men”, designed to help educate men about eight common health issues. Chris Ryan-Chapple, Rural Support Worker with Centacare and co-organiser of the event, said the Pit-stop was an effective health education model that had previously been used at Henty Machinery Field Days.

“Using the analogy of the body as a car has been very successful, with the exhaust system representing the lungs, oil pressure as blood pressure, fuel additives as alcohol consumption and so on. Men complete surveys about their health at each of the 8 stations, and that information is often very valuable in helping them decide whether anything needs to be followed up.”

Also on offer at the Community Wellbeing Day will be the services of a Rural Financial Counsellor and Family Support Worker specialising in exceptional circumstances and counselling services for families and individuals.

Representatives from Greater Southern Area Health Service will be on hand to provide information on diabetes and nutrition, and information on mental health from Beyond Blue and eye care from Vision Australia will also be available.
Local activity groups will conduct interact demonstrations of tai-chi, yoga, and pilates, and the Gundagai Vintage Car Club will have a fine collection of their vehicles on display all day.

For further information, contact Chris Ryan-Chapple on 69 233 888 or 0408 558 282.

Gundagai-flyer | PDF 169kb

 

August

Riverina Highlands Dramatic Minds Festival

dramatic-highlandsThe Riverina Highlands Dramatic Minds Festival 2011 has invited local secondary school students to create and perform a dramatic piece on a mental health topic to educate their
peers and the general community. Through this they will aim to break down stigma of youth mental health and promote hope and resilience.

The Festival is a cross partnership of the Tumut Shire Council under the Be Somebody Sober Project, Schizophrenia Fellowship NSW, Eastern Riverina Arts, Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Riverina headspace and Centacare.

Four local schools: Gundagai High School, Batlow Technology School, Tumut High School and McAuley Catholic Central School are all participating in this year’s festival. Participants attended a workshop on 2nd June 2011 in preparation for the
festival which will be on the 8th September 2011 at Montreal Community Theatre.

Where: Montreal Community Theatre, 44 Russell St , Tumut, NSW
Contact: Barb McKimmie
Tumut Shire Council
Tel: +612 6941 2552
Email: youth@tumut.nsw.gov.au

DramaticMindsTumut | PDF 2mb

Booking form – An evening with Riverina Bluebell, 21 October 2011

You can make a booking using this form or:

» RSVP by phone to Tanya Friend mob.0417 069 061
» RSVP by email to bookings@riverinabluebell.org.au

Items with an asterix are required.

September

Browsing

 Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011.

With thanks to Anna Shannon.

Riverina Bluebell stall

Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011. With thanks to Anna Shannon.

Morning tea.

Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011. With thanks to Anna Shannon.

Slices

Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011. With thanks to Anna Shannon.

Time out

Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011. With thanks to Anna Shannon.

People

Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011. With thanks to Anna Shannon.

Deciding

Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011. With thanks to Anna Shannon.

In the shade

Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011. With thanks to Anna Shannon.

Shopping for clothes

Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011.

With thanks to Anna Shannon.

Big decisions

Morning tea fundraiser for Riverina Bluebell at Yass markets. 18th September 2011.

With thanks to Anna Shannon.

 

October

Mental Health First Aid training – West Wyalong

Two day training courseVenue: West Wyalong Sports Club, Tallimba Road, West Wyalong.
Time: 9.00am – 4.30pm both days.

Who should attend?

Thnswhealth-160we NSW Health funded Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, in collaboration with the Murrumbidgee Local Health Network, are delighted to offer this workshop to rural community members from West Wyalong and surrounding areas, and people who work with them.

Course Outline:

The course covers helping people in mental health crisis situations and/or in the early stages of mental health problems.

Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems, where and how to get help and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective.

Presenters:

Merilyn Limbrick and Fiona Perrett

What to bring to the course?

All necessary resources are provided although participants are free to take a pen and paper for note taking if they wish.

firstaidFees:

Free of Charge

Refreshments:

Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon tea are provided at no cost for both days.

Enrolments Close:

Thursday 20 October, 2011

Course Applications:

Complete the attached registration form and return either electronically, by fax, post or over the phone to the details shown below.

Georgia-Lee Pollard
RAMHP MHFA Project Coordinator
Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health
Locked Bag 6005
Orange, NSW 2800
Phone: 02 63638426 Mob: 0429 994 025
Fax: (02) 6361 2457
Email:georgia.pollard@gwahs.health.nsw.gov.au

For more details or any last minute issues please call Merilyn Limbrick on 0428 249 719

FirstAid-Registration-Oct2011 | PDF 236kb

firstaid-banner

 

 

Are visits to psychologists covered by Medicare?

No, but they can be. The government’s Better Access program was introduced to include Medicare rebates for visits to psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists.

To qualify to have your visit to a psychologist covered by Medicare you need to see a GP and get a treatment plan which specifies the professionals you will get services from.

» Better Access to Mental Health Care

Reference/s:

Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
Better Access to Mental Health Care – Questions and Answers
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/coag-menta…

 

Are visits to psychiatrists covered by Medicare?

Yes, because they are medical practitioners. However, each doctor sets their own fee which will probably be above the standard fee defined by Medicare. You will get a proportion of the standard fee back from Medicare and will have to pay the rest yourself.

It is a good idea to ask about fees the doctor charges before you make an appointment. Your first appointment is likely to be a longer one – so the doctor can get the full picture on your medical background – and more expensive than follow up visits.

 

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

Psychologists and psychiatrists both work in the area of mental health, and often work together. However, there are some significant differences between the two professions in the following areas.

Education and qualifications

Psychologists study human behaviour in their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees before undertaking supervised experience and gaining registration. They do not have a medical degree; however, many have postgraduate qualifications to specialise in various aspects of psychology, including mental illness.

Psychiatrists have a medical degree, which involves six years of studying general medicine, followed by further study to specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and emotional problems.

Services provided

Psychologists assist people with everyday problems such as stress and relationship difficulties, and some specialise in treating people with a mental illness. They help people to develop the skills needed to function better and to prevent ongoing problems.

Psychiatrists treat the effects of emotional disturbances on the body and the effects of physical conditions on the mind.

Prescribing medication

Psychologists cannot prescribe medication. Their treatments are based on changing behaviour and emotional responses without medication. There is a considerable amount of evidence showing psychological treatments are effective.

Psychiatrists can prescribe medication. Some combine medication with other forms of therapy.

Reference/s:

Australian Psychological Society
http://www.psychology.org.au/community/about/ [accessed 9 October 2011]

 

An evening with Riverina Bluebell 2010

Riverina Bluebell’s “evening” was held on 15th October 2010 at the Commercial Club in Wagga Wagga. Guest speakers were Amanda Stevens (Young Australian & Businesswoman of the Year), John Harper (Mate Helping Mate) and Dr Tony Hobbs (Local GP).

 

John Bull at ‘an evening with Riverina Bluebell’, 15 October 2010

 

Family Fun Day – Wagga Wagga

A Mental Health Month event.

Free family fun day with activities including skateboard demonstration, hip hop music, balloons, face painting, sausage sizzle, indigenous dancing.
Venue and address: Bolton Park, Morgan Street, Wagga Wagga
Event Date: 29 October 2011
Start time: 11am
End time: 2pm
Contact Person: Julie Howell or Bev Denley
Contact Organisation: Mental Health Month Planning
Committee
Contact Phone: 02 6925 8009

 

Big Blue Day – Deniliquin

A Mental Health Month event

Event description: Targeting workplaces around Deniliquin to get involved in Mental Health Month, and participating in an activity day on 26th October known as “Big Blue Day”.
Venue and address: Cressy Street, Deniliquin
Event Date: Wednesday 26th October 2011
Start time: 10 am
End time: 6 pm
Contact Person: Lourene Liebenberg
Contact Organisation: Occupational Therapy Practice
Contact Phone: 0428 281 060
Contact Email: allou@bigpond.net.au

November

What is anxiety?

Self-assessment tools

Everyone at some point experiences anxiety – that unpleasant feeling of nervousness, apprehension and distress that something bad is happening or about to happen. When worry or fear becomes constant and excessive and interferes with everyday life, it is considered a medical c condition known as an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is the most common mental disorder affecting 14% of Australians every year, with women more likely to develop anxiety than men.

People with anxiety disorders may experience persistent, excessive or unrealistic worries and feel distressed for no apparent reason. They may worry excessively about the past, present or future and believe situations to be much worse than they actually are. These feelings of panic and fear can interfere with a person’s ability to concentrate, sleep and carry out ordinary tasks, are difficult to control, and can last a long time. Physical symptoms may include sweating, shortness of breath, pounding heart, dizziness and trembling.

There are many forms of anxiety disorders and a person may be anxious and fearful of lots of things or have one specific fear or be experiencing significant anxiety after a trauma. Some people may also suffer from depression at the same time.

Anxiety disorders can be managed using interventions and strategies such as cognitive behaviour therapy, relaxation and mindfulness.

Anxiety Self assessments tools

Self-assessment tools can help you understand how you are feeling and if you may be suffering from anxiety.

  • The Jean Hailes self-assessment tool starts with three simple questions. It aims to help you to understand more about whether you are worried, anxious or have an anxiety disorder.

JeanHailes – for women’s health » self-assessment tool

  • beyondblue has a simple checklist to measure how you may have been affected by depression and anxiety in the past four weeks. All answers and results remain confidential. After you take the test, results can be printed for your records or to give to your GP.

beyondblue » anxiety and depression checklist

  • Mindspot has a brief quiz to help measure your symptoms of anxiety.

Mindspot » quiz

Techniques and strategies for dealing with anxiety

  • Smiling Mind is modern meditation for young people. It is a web and App-based program, designed to help bring balance to young lives by helping to provide a sense of clarity, calm and contentment.

» Smiling Mind

  • MoodGYM is an interactive web program designed to prevent depression. Consisting of five modules, it includes an interactive game, anxiety and depression assessments, downloadable relaxation audio, a workbook and feedback assessment.

» Moodgym training program

Reference/s:

Mindspot » http://mindspot.org.au/
SANE  » http://www.sane.org
mindhealthconnect   » http://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au
JeanHailes – for women’s health » http://jeanhailes.org.au/

 

What is schizophrenia?

sane-factsheetSymptoms can vary widely between sufferers and may include jumbled and confused thoughts, hallucinations and delusions. Other signs include hearing unpleasant voices or having false and sometimes weird beliefs.

People with schizophrenia may also avoid family and friends, lack motivation and have difficulty working. They can experience increased suspiciousness, irritability, anger, tension, or depression and a very small number of people with schizophrenia may become violent.

Around 1 in 100 people in Australia will be affected by Schizophrenia with symptoms appearing in adolescence or young adulthood. The illness may begin rapidly, with acute symptoms developing over several weeks, or it may progress slowly, over months or even years. Men are slightly more likely to develop schizophrenia than women with symptoms appearing at a younger age.

20 to 30 per cent of people with schizophrenia recover completely while some may have episodes that come and go. For some sufferers it can also be a life-long chronic condition which can be very distressing and disabling.

Early diagnosis and treatment is important for improving long term outcomes and to prevent the severe, chronic debilitating form of this illness from developing.

Schizophrenia treatment options are becoming more effective and more tolerable. Under the care of a psychiatrist a combination of medications, psychological treatments and community support programs can be tailored to help each individual manage their symptoms.

sane-schizophrenia-factsheet | PDF 124kb

Reference/s: 

Neuroscience Research Australia http://www.neura.edu.au/health/schizophrenia
mindhealthconnect http://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/schizophrenia
Australian Treament Guide for Consumers and Carers, The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. https://www.ranzcp.org/Files/Resources/Publications/CPG/Australian_Versi…
SANE http://www.sane.org/information/factsheets-podcasts/187-schizophrenia
Australian Psychological Society http://www.psychology.org.au/community/schizophrenia/

 

What is bipolar disorder?

bdi-vertBipolar disorder is the name used to describe a set of ‘mood swing’ conditions, the most severe form of which used to be called ‘manic depression’.

Bipolar disorder I is the more severe disorder – with individuals being more likely to experience mania, have longer ‘highs’, be more likely to have psychotic experiences and be more likely to be hospitalised.

Bipolar disorder II is generally viewed as less severe, with no psychotic experiences, and with episodes tending to last only hours to a few days, but longitudinal studies suggest impairment is often as severe as in bipolar I disorder.

The high moods are called mania or hypomania and the low mood is called depression.

It is important to note that everyone has mood swings from time to time. It is only when these moods become extreme and interfere with personal and professional life that bipolar disorder may be present and medical assessment may be warranted.

Reference/s:

Black Dog Institute
http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/bipolardisorder/bipolardisorderexplained/index.cfm

 

What is meant by “psychotic symptoms”?

‘Psychotic’ symptoms in mental illness interfere with a person’s perception of reality, and may include hallucinations such as seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling things that no-one else can.

Reference/s:

“Terminology used in mental health” from the Am i mad? website
http://www.amimad.org/terminol.html
This website provides information about support services in Kent in England. However, it has a lot of good and very accessible information about mental illness/wellbeing in general.

 

What does “psychosocial” mean?

  1. involving both psychological and social aspects
  2. relating social conditions to mental health

In practice, if a professional is focusing on your psychosocial situation they are concerned about such things as your living environment, your relationships and support and their impact on your psychological state.

Reference/s:

Merriam Webster online dictionary
http://www.merriam-webster.com/

 

What is clinical depression?

DEPRESSION – everyone has the blues but clinical depression is very different. It can strike at any age and is the most common cause of suicide The lows are much more severe and persistent than in common depressions. People who are affected may experience psychotic symptoms. Symptoms may include feelings of hopelessness, unable to carry out normal duties, thoughts of guilt and worthlessness.

By 2020 depression is estimated to be the second biggest international health problem

Reference/s:

“Terminology used in mental health” from the Am i mad? website
http://www.amimad.org/terminol.html
This website provides information about support services in Kent in England. However, it has a lot of good and very accessible information about mental illness/wellbeing in general.

 

Wagga brothers raise $4000 for mental health awareness

The Daily Advertiser 2 November 2011 WAGGA’S Cole brothers, Heath and Neil, raised more than $4000 from their recent fund-raising bike ride but they have no plans to stop there. The pair spent seven days riding a 1000-kilometre route across the Riverina last month, in a mammoth effort to raise funds and, more importantly, awareness of mental health in the region. It was an emotional and personal ride for Heath who has suffered depression himself, and he was joined by brother Neil to raise money for Riverina Bluebell.

But, before they set off on their ride Neil’s 16-year-old daughter Jessica chimed in by organising her own fund-raiser for the cause. Inspired by her father and uncle’s dedication, Jessica arranged for her school The Riverina Anglican College to hold a mufti day and barbecue to raise money. The event raised more than $800 in itself, bringing the total close to a whopping $5000. All the money has been donated to Riverina Bluebell, but Heath says the awareness generated is the real donation. “Our main goal was to raise awareness, and any funds were really a bonus,” Mr Cole said yesterday. “We wanted to acknowledge the support of TRAC because they were more than happy to get behind the mufti day, and all the kids got involved. “We tried to get a few other schools interested but because it was a bit late notice they couldn’t do it. “It was good to get the schools paying attention though, because obviously a lot of the kids feel anxiety about school and exams, and entering the real world.” The mufti day was held at TRAC on the Wednesday before the brothers began their 1000km ride, and all the students dressed in purple to show their support for Riverina Bluebell. Heath and Neil also ran a raffle, and Morgan Street Cycles donated a mountain bike as the major prize. The pair cycled from Wagga to Tumbarumba, then through Tumut, Cootamundra, Temora, Griffith and back to Wagga in seven days. They have since been recovering from the ride but Heath said yesterday they are already planning another one for next year, which will be held in October to coincide with Mental Health Month.

 

2011/12 Black Dog Institute Writing Competition

bdi-vertWalking the tightrope – caring for someone with depression or bipolar disorder

News Release

21 October 2011

2011/12 Black Dog Institute Writing Competition

Walking the tightrope – Caring for someone with depression or bipolar disorder

The impact of depression is like the tremors of an earthquake. While one in five Australians will personally experience clinical depression or a bipolar disorder over their lifetime there are the families, partners, friends and work colleagues who are also drawn into the crisis.

Often, it is these people on the perimeter that selflessly reach out to assist those who are living with a mood disorder, offering their time, their acceptance, support and hope. In searching for strategies to deal with mood disorders, the latest Black Dog Institute Writing Competition throws the spotlight on the powerful stories that come from Carers, with a particular focus on the questions of what worked best, what didn’t work and what did you learn?

“While depression can be very isolating, individuals fighting this private battle are often surrounded by those who love them, with friends, family and colleagues all looking for practical and sensitive ways to show their support,” said Professor Gordon Parker, Executive Director of the Black Dog Institute.

“The theme of the 2011/12 writing competition is ‘Walking the Tightrope – Caring for Someone with Depression or Bipolar Disorder.” I feel this will resonate with Carers who are often the unsung heroes in helping people with mood disorders while at the same time exposing themselves to an increased risk of them facing a similar fate.”

This year the writing competition is being conducted with the support of Carers Australia, Mental Health Carers ARAFMI NSW Inc. and Hunter Institute of Mental Health’s national initative,Partners in Depression.

Over the past eight years the writing competition has focused on a wide range of topics including adolescents, the elderly, postnatal depression and tackling mood disorders in the workplace, as well as mastering depression and bipolar disorder; resulting in the publication of five (soon to be six) books by distinguished publishing companies.

“People have commented that most books on depression and bipolar disorder have been written from the outside looking in. Drawing together perceptions and personal accounts from those who have experienced such mood disorders- whether personally or in this case, as a Carer – allows us to reverse this approach. ‘Inside out’ views offer rich information that assists in breaking down their mysteries and their management and are particularly appreciated by general readers” he said.

“In each of our past writing competitions, there is always mention of the role played by Carers. This time we felt it was appropriate to focus specifically on the Carers’ contributions to gather new insights,” said Professor Parker.

Essays are to be no longer than 1500 words and will need to include:

  • • At least two recommendations which will be collated into a list of tips to help all carers.

(For example, there was the case of a couple that adopted the following practice when one of them was depressed. They would hold hands and while looking into each others eyes, jump up and down. Not before long, they were laughing at each other; thus providing a fun way of finding a ‘circuit breaker’ to override this black cloud of depression.

(There was also a couple living in London. When one of them was feeling depressed, they would go cycling around London – at 2.00am and 3.00am.)

  • • At least two useful strategies such as the type of support services or websites that proved the most helpful and practical.

The 2011/12 competition invites entries from the Australasian region.
Prizes will be awarded for the three best essay entries.
First Place: $2000; Second Place $1000 and Third Place $500.

Participants are required to complete an application form and forward, where possible, an electronic copy of their essay toblackdog@blackdog.org.au plus an original copy of the essay on A4 paper (paper clip/not stapled) by post, addressed to:

Black Dog Institute Writing Competition
Black Dog Institute,
Hospital Road, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick NSW 2031

An application form and further information can be obtained via the Institute’s website
(www.blackdoginstitute.org.au) or by telephoning (02) 9382 4523. An independent judging panel will select the winning entries and they will be announced early in 2012.

Media Inquiries: Contact Ian Dose, Media Manager at the Black Dog Institute, mobile: 0419 618
606 or email: i.dose@unsw.edu.au

WritingComp2012 | PDF 32kb

The 8th Australian and New Zealand adolescent health conference – youth health

 youthhealthThe NSW Centre for the Advancement of Adolescent Health and the Department of Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead are organising this conference. It will be held in conjunction with the 3rd International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH) Asia Pacific conference. This conference will provide an exciting and important opportunity for a diverse group of people interested in young people’s health and well being to come together, including:
  • Youth health workers, nurses, allied health staff
  • Medical pracitioners – GPs, specialist physicians/paediatricians
  • Mental health, drug and alcohol and sexual health professionals
  • Youth workers, health promotion workers and community service providers
  • School counsellors, teachers
  • Researchers, academics
  • Managers, policy advisors
  • Young people

The conference themes are:

  • Emerging youth health issues (obesity, mental health, flu pandemics, sexual and reproductive health, chronic and disabling conditions, preventing violence and injury, the developing adolescent brain)
  • The changing world in which young people live (challenges and opportunities for young people’s health in relation to new technologies, media, societal change, climate change etc)
  • Effective and innovative strategies (creatively engaging and working with young people, particularly the most disadvantaged, involving young people in taking care of their health, engaging families and schools through holistic and partnership approaches)
  • Raising the profile of youth health in the region (investment in young people, promoting rights to a safe and healthy life now and into the future, whole of community responsibility, focus on Indigenous young people)

Contacts

Youth Health 2011 Secretariat
C/-Conference Action Pty Ltd
PO Box 576
Crows Nest NSW 1585
Ph: (02) 9431 8641
Fax: (02) 9431 8677
Email: youthhealth2011@conferenceaction.com.au

» http://www.youthhealth2011.com.au/