Victoria ALIVE Newsletter - Edition 3

Victoria ALIVE Newsletter - Edition 5

Victoria ALIVE works with community sector organisations to encourage greater inclusion and involvement of people with disability through volunteering. 

This project is being delivered in partnership with Volunteering Victoria and Neighbourhood Houses Victoria with the support of the Victorian Government. The project management office is hosted by Volunteering Victoria.
Exciting things are happening soon on our social media channels!  A series of videos and a new campaign #WeAreAble is being launched in September  - like and follow our channels below so you don't miss out
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Low-vision not seen as a barrier for Melanie Edge, Captain of the Hawthorn Hawks Blind AFL team and a Communications Officer with DHHS
- written by Melanie Edge
“I need to be seen as a person - not a disability”
I originally became involved in volunteering in order to gain skills and experiences to get a job, which I’ve done. Now it’s about trying to get other people to have similar experiences; trying to create more social equity and employment opportunities.
I hang on every word people say in our first conversation. I have a background in literature, journalism and sociology and if they first talk about my interests and background, rather than just about my visual impairment, I feel comfortable with them.
When first speaking with a volunteer, you could ask "Would you like to say anything to the staff on your first day about what assistance you need or don’t need? What strategies would you like us to use to communicate with the organisation?”  It’s about having a chat about boundaries and expectations, and it’s always better to ask than not to ask. The way and why you ask is what matters the most. Some people aren’t confident talking about their disability and assistance needs, but others would prefer to talk about it so others can engage and have an understanding.
If you want to talk to someone with a disability and build respectful communication, find things to discuss first to build a rapport and remember not to make assumptions.
Read the rest of Melanie's story as the Captain of the Hawthorn Hawks Blind AFL team and her views on disability and ability HERE
Hello? What do you think of my shirt? Read more about the We Are Labtrobe Hello campaign under the Promoting Change heading.

Marnie Higgs - Editor & Communications Coordinator
Leanne Skipsey - Volunteer Writer / Researcher

>> Email: 


Name: Julyne Ainsley
Position: Volunteer Coordinator at Duke Street Community House and member of the lived-experience Advisory Group for the Victoria ALIVE project.

"There is still a long way to go to be fully inclusive, but I really do think people are more aware now of people with disability and how to accommodate them.  It’s just slow to change because people are slow to change their old views."

>> Read Julyne's Spotlight Profile HERE 
Promoting change
Video - Victoria Alive Western Metro Community Forum
A 3.5 minute video highlighting moments from the passionate and enthusiastic attendees of the Western Metro Community Forum held in Brimbank. These community forums have been held in both regional and metropolitan areas over the last 5 months.  

>> Watch the Western Metro forum video HERE
Podcast - "So..." with John McKenna 
"So…" is hosted by empowerment advocate, blogger, and podcaster John McKenna. John has worked for over 30 years to empower people who experience challenges in their daily lives and society. Camellia Sayed and Marnie Higgs are interviewed here about meaningful and inclusive volunteering, and the Victoria ALIVE project aims and successes.

>> Listen to the podcast HERE
Campaign - The success of saying "Hello" in the Latrobe region
The Hello Campaign is raising mental health awareness by highlighting the importance of social connections in the Latrobe Valley.  The fabulous Hello team based in Morwell strongly believe that social connection is important for improving our mental health and wellbeing, preventing mental illness and helping us to live well.  Read the Hello Times or click the link below to see how this simple yet effective campaign is having such a positive impact in the region  #WeAreLatrobe

>> Read more HERE
Self-Assessment - Australian Network On Disability: Access & Inclusion Index
This quick self-assessment is a 10 question assessment for organisations who want a glimpse into their access and inclusion for people with disability, and to gain an understanding of what the Access and Inclusion Index is about. 

>> Conduct your 10 question assessment HERE
Survey - Victorian Volunteer Strategy, how you can participate
The Victorian Government has committed to develop and implement a Volunteer Strategy to support and enhance volunteerism in Victoria.  Have your say - as community members, volunteers, non-volunteers, leaders and managers of volunteers or community organisations, or supporting organisations.  Surveys are available online to capture your insights to help understand the state of volunteering in Victoria and how to strengthen volunteering into the future.  Information gathered will be used to inform the development of the Volunteer Strategy.  Share your thoughts and help guide the development of this important Volunteer Strategy.

>> Complete the survey HERE
R U OK? Day 
This Australian non-profit suicide prevention organisation advocates people to have conversations with others, and to check in with family and friends to ensure people feel supported and heard and can get additional help where needed.  If you R OK, why not ask a friend or colleague if they R OK?  Work resources are available, as well as assistance to read the signs that may indicate someone is struggling with life.
  • Thursday 12 September
Need tips starting a conversation? Watch this 1 minute video, and use these four steps:
1. Ask R U OK?
2. Listen
3. Encourage action
4. Check in
If you or a friend need help during or after your conversation, find it HERE

>>   Host an event, learn more or get tips on R U OK? Day HERE
Webinar - Supporting Volunteers with Disability
Want to learn more about making your organisation disability inclusive?  In this webinar the Volunteering Victoria Sector Development Manager Sara Sterling talks to Julyne Ainsley and Lana Bedford from Duke Street Neighbourhood House about involving people with disability in volunteering. Julyne and Lana share both of their perspectives about what works for making your volunteer program disability inclusive. 
  • September 12th online live at 2pm
>>   Register HERE
Australian Network on Disability (AND) - Member Roundtable, Melbourne
Member Roundtables are informative and dynamic sessions that cover important topics related to disability, accessibility, recruitment, employment and more. These events allow our network to talk about their progress and challenges in a supportive, engaging and insightful environment. 
  • Thursday 19 September, 10am to 12pm
    Hosted by KPMG, Level 36 Tower Two, Collins Square,
    727 Collins St, Docklands Rooms 13, 14, 15
>> Please register your attendance in Melbourne  by 12 September
Queer & Trans Inclusion Training for Disability Communities
Two queer disabled presenters will talk about being queer, trans, and disabled, language, what inclusive practice looks like, anti-discrimination law, and what you can do individually or as part of a group/organisation to support queer and trans people. Two sessions are available, both will cover the same content.
  • Wednesday 25 September, 1.00pm - 4.00pm
    Saturday 5 October, 5.00pm - 8.00pm
    Ygender: 100 Drummond Street, Carlton
>> Register HERE

2019 Volunteering Victoria State Awards 
Now in its fifth year, the State Awards embrace and showcase the work of volunteer involving organisations, their partnerships and programs.  Make sure you read through the hints and tips on writing a good application prior to nominating an organisation in one of the seven categories available.

Nominations close 30th August

>> Read more and nominate HERE

Brenda Gabe Leadership Award - celebrating Women with Disabilities
Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) is proud to announce the Brenda Gabe Leadership Award is now open.  This biennial award recognises the contribution women with disabilities in Victoria have made which has either directly benefited women with disabilities, or ensured a more inclusive community.

We encourage the nomination of women with diverse backgrounds and/or life experiences.

Nominations close 3 September 

>> Read more and nominate HERE

ILC Grant: Individual Capacity Building Program
Up to $100 million is available to Disabled People’s Organisations, Family Organisations, or “Priority Cohort Led” Organisations for programs and activities that support people with disability to:

  • have the skills and confidence to participate in and contribute to the community and protect their rights
  • feel motivated, confident and empowered to act
  • participate in and benefit from the same community activities as everyone else.

Successful projects are expected to start by February 2020 and be completed within a 3 year period.

Grant applications close: 11pm 30 September

>> View ILC grant details, download guides, and apply HERE

Jetstar Flying Start Grants
Do you have an idea that would benefit your community, or expand on a program your organisation already runs? This grant is for community groups and organisations to fund a project that will enrich the lives of people in their local community.  The grant includes $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel on the Jetstar network.  These grants are available twice a year, with final decisions being made this November. 

Previous grant recipient "Eat Up", an organisation that started in Shepparton utilising volunteer-power to make and deliver lunches to local schools, now deliver over 9,000 sandwiches every week to over 500 schools in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. 

Closing date 30 September 

>> Read more and nominate HERE

Interested in more resources? Click HERE
People in outer regional, remote or very remote areas of Australia face more barriers to accessing health care than people living in major cities, making it harder for them to maintain good mental health (1)

More than eight people die each day in Australia by suicide, with men are at least three times more likely to die by suicide than women (2)

(1) ABS Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2016-17 (2017) 
Suicide is a major public health issue that kills more than 3,000 Australians in a typical year. (3)

Remoteness is a major factor contributing to suicide and the likelihood that someone will die by suicide appears to increase the further away from a city they live. (4)

(3) ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.1
(4) remoteness_graph/deaths-suicides.html
>> Visit the research information available on our website HERE
Read previous newsletters here
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