Southern Mallee PCP E-Bulletin

Special Edition - March 2020

‘Social distancing’ or what we prefer to call ‘physical distancing’ or 'spatial distancing' is imperative as we follow the guidance of health care professionals and authorities locally and across the world and limit our physical contact with others. Staying at home and staying safe is not only good for you but for others more vulnerable across our community. We are in this together!

We acknowledge the amazing work of healthcare professionals and other essentials services during this time. We are acutely aware our Southern Mallee member agencies; hospitals, community health, local government and not profit organisations are working hard to prepare for the COVID-19 situation across the Southern Mallee.

Through times of uncertainty and crisis across the Southern Mallee we have always banded together as a community. It is refreshing to see people offering support to their neighbours and friends, and those older in our community. Let’s try and remain connected via the phone, email and other online platforms as much as possible over these trying times. I encourage you all to get in touch with people and check on how they are doing, a simple ‘how are you today?’ can mean the world to someone.

Finally, being kind is so much easier than the opposite. Let’s use this time to reflect on the important people and things you do together in life. There is a whole lot of joy and happiness in our lives, sometimes crisis and hardships force us to remember these simple things.

Be kind,

Bronwyn Hogan, Executive Officer

The rate of changing information, media influence and differing levels of community knowledge about causes and prevention of our current COVID-19 or Corona virus pandemic exacerbates individualistic behaviours as members of the community become increasingly concerned about the impact of COVID-19.  We see this play out with examples such as panic buying.

We urge for the message to be in remaining compassionate, sensible, evidence driven and to behave for the benefit of our collective community.

We want to ensure that infectious and communicable diseases remain a critical concern for Australian health promotion action, ensuring that policy is evidence informed, advocating for resources to reduce health inequities for those most vulnerable who may be affected by the impacts of COVID-19 (whether it be because of age, ethnicity, health status, relationship, location or housing or other factors), raise community awareness about transmission and prevention, and support efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination in the community.

“Social Distancing”

We have dropped the word ‘social’ in favour of ‘spatial’ or even‘physical’.  The last thing we want to do is isolate ourselves socially. There are lots of ways to do this while maintaining appropriate physical or spatial separation to reduce the risk of transition. Let’s remain socially connected while keeping safe and well.

From this week the SMPCP Team will be working remotely, after the success of our Gender Equity Forum online, all of our skills have been rapidly enhanced!  Please contact us via email or mobile, or set up a time to zoom with us. We anticipate connecting in with each other and our larger community via zoom, we've included some basic etiquette in this e-bulletin.


Mayor Carolyn Stewart's message

Statement from Buloke Shire Council 23 March 2020


Changes to Gannawarra Shire Council Services

Working together to stop the spread 

Kerang District Health, have recently established a Facebook page, give them a like to keep up to date with information.

Effective as of the 20th of March 2020, a consistent approach for visiting numbers and hours across the inpatient/resident areas of Kerang District Health.

New visiting hours will be restricted to:
9.30 am to 11.30 am & 2 pm to 4 pm
Patients will be allowed 2 visitors only per day
Strict Hand Hygiene is to be adhered to at ALL TIMES
- Visitors are required to report to the nurse’s station on arrival where a COVID-19 screening tool will be conducted
- Visitors are then to proceed straight to the patient’s room and avoid all contact with other patients and staff where avoidable

Thank you for your cooperation in following our visitor’s guidelines which we have put in place to prevent to COVID -19. Our patients are vulnerable and these measures have been put in place to protect their health and well-being.

Swan Hill

The Swan Hill Community have set up a local Share & Care Facebook page where community members can share goods for free or offer to swap items of similar value – anything that might help someone else and help establish community connections.  This is a great concept, just be mindful to be aware of hygiene and spatial distancing and create safe ways of picking up goods, such as making payment online and dropping goods at front door, minimising person to person contact and exchange of cash.

Swan Hill Rural City Council update to council services and events

Swan Hill District Health

Please be advised that strict restrictions on visiting hours applies across SHDH
In-patient Services (Medical, Maternity, Subacute & Aged Care
  • Visiting hours have been set between 3 and 4 PM  each day for the medical ward, subacute ward, Aged care and maternity ward. Limited to a maximum of 2 visitors per patient.
  • All visitors to SHDH will be screened for COVID-19 prior to entry with visitors turned away and referred to the ARAC (Fever) Clinic should they not meed the screening requirements for entry. The main entry to SHDH will be closed at all other times.
  • An employee will be stationed at the main entry for this period over the weekend and fulltime during the week.
  • The High St entry path to Subacute Care will be closed with all visitors referred to enter via the main entry.
  • Family of Palliative Care patients will be asked to phone ahead if urgent access is required.
  • Visitors to Logan Lodge and Jacaranda Lodge will be screened at the entry to each of these facilities.
Day stay patients
  • Chemotherapy & Dialysis will be closed to visitors
  • DPU & Theatre will be restricted to one visitor per vulnerable or paediatric patient.
  • All patients presenting for outpatient appointments i.e. Radiology, Allied Health, Community Health must present to the main entry for screening prior to entry to SHDH.
Patients / Clients presenting to SHDH for all other services must be screened prior to treatment.


Relocation of Service
Acute Respiratory (fever) Assessment Clinic
28 High Street, Swan Hill
Monday – Friday
8am – 10 am & 4pm - 6pm
No appointment necessary
Dedicated COVID-19 information line SHDH
03 5033 9970
Mon – Fri
8am – 4:30pm
After hours calls will be transferred to Emergency Department.   Telephone record to be kept and will be provided to the Emergency Department at the end of each day.
Further enquires to Quality, Experience & Safety Department ext 39317
After hours contact the Department of Health and Human Services dedicated Coronavirus hotline
1800 675 398
Open 24 hours, 7 days
Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only

Follow Swan Hill District Health on Facebook for up to date information.
With more of us having to work remotely from home, linking in online is becoming far more common and frequent.  It shouldn't be treated as scrolling on your phone or web browser however!  Our team have put together some basic etiquette for when linking in online for meetings whether one on one or larger groups. 

Southern Mallee PCP Zoom Guide - March 2020
Self Assessment for Risk of Corona Virus (COVID-19)
with additional information for healthcare workers and residential care workers –
Easy English resources for COVID-19 
by Enliven

What you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
a great resource created by Enliven with easy to read graphics and pictures.

World Health Organisation has some great informational videos both on how to protect yourself and the specifics of the corona virus: 
How to protect yourself against COVID-19

Self Isolation and Coronavirus

If you did contract COVID-19 – some facts


Victorians in mandatory self-isolation running short on food and unable to have any dropped-off by friends are now eligible for a "food and personal care package", with a two-weeks supply of items like long-life milk, pasta, canned fruit, cereal and sugar, as well as some personal care items. People wishing to request a pack should call Victoria’s dedicated Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398

Support with the stress and changes COVID-19 brings
Some great tips to consider for our mental health and well being – such as making sure you’re informed with the right information,  getting organized, shutting down noise such as social media and sensationalist news, having a healthy routine, staying engaged with others, doing things that you enjoy and looking forward to the future. A concise article to help you gain some balance, control and perspective, in a time of uncertainty.

How to talk to your children about coronavirus.
Tips to help comfort and protect children.

Staying connected with our children
A simple sheet to refer to to help alleviate anxiety and worry for our children.
Things to Consider as we shut schools
Victorian Council of Social Service has prepared an article for thought and possible consequences with the closure of Victorian schools.

Strategies and Ideas to help manage our self isolation:

Some great ideas here from Outer East Primary Care Partnership: 

Keeping Active at Home

School Holidays with the kids

Working from Home 

Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws  
Information on Self Isolation - Entitlements - Fair Work

Department of Health and Human Services Restructure
  • Health & Wellbeing Division
  • Executive Structure
  • Policy Group
  • Commissioning Group
COVID-19 Onlne Training from Department of Health

An imperative resource for care workers across all sectors including health, aged care and disability with the new online Infection Control Training Module "How to protect yourself and the people you are caring for from infection with COVID-19".


The MARAM Collaborative Practice training is designed to complement other modules within the suite of MARAM modules. Please be advised that the Centre For Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (CFECFW) will be delivering sector specific training sessions for the ‘Screening and identification’ module and the ‘Brief and intermediate’ modules in Mildura across April, May and June 2020. Whilst it is possible to complete the ‘Collaborative practice’ module prior to completing the other modules, Family Safety Victoria has advised that it is likely that participants learning will be enhanced when the other modules are completed before the ‘Collaborative practice’ module.
For this reason the MARAM Collaborative Practice sessions originally scheduled for the 15th April 2020 and the 20th May 2020 have been cancelled, with alternate sessions now being made available on the 9th July 2020 and the 30th July 2020.
in total 6 MARAM Collaborative Practice sessions will be delivered across the Mallee. Please follow the links below or see the flyers attached for further details:  
To find out about the ‘Screening and identification’ and ‘Brief and intermediate’ modules being delivered in Mildura by the CFECFW please follow this link.

For further information relating to any of the suite of 6 MARAM face-to-face training options (including Leading Alignment, Comprehensive Risk Assessment, Brief and intermediate, etc.) please follow this link.
Free Online Training to meet the Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices Guidelines
Healthy Eating Advisory Service are providing free online training gives staff the essential knowledge and skills to make and sell healthier food and drinks.
Variety Children’s Charity Grant
Variety Victoria promotes inclusivity for all Aussie kids! Schools and Organisations are invited to apply for a grant which will go towards the purchase of equipment that will promote all access and inclusivity in the community for children aged 0-17 years from financial disadvantage, geographic isolation and/or living with a disability or chronic illness.
  • School or Organisation must be based and operating in Victoria
  • School or Organisation must directly service children aged 0-17 years in one or more of the following areas
    • Financial disadvantage
    • Geographic isolation
    • Disabilities
    • Chronic Illness
Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Workshops to be held online

VMIAC workshops regarding the recent Interim Report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The Royal Commission has funded VMIAC to collect consumer responses to both commissions. These responses will form VMIAC’s mid-year report to the Royal Commission. 
The VMIAC Royal Commission workshops previously scheduled will now take place online via Zoom video conference.

For consumers to give feedback on the recommendations workshops are available on the following dates:

1st April 2020
2nd April 2020
15th April 2020
Private consultations via Zoom for those who cannot attend or would prefer one-on-one conversation and support are available. Contact to arrange times/dates for these sessions. 
A submission form for people who are unable to attend these online workshops is currently being developed and we will circulate as soon as available.
Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
Private consultations

Are available via Zoom for those with psycho-social disability/lived experience of mental health challenges.  Those wishing to make submissions, please contact or phone on 0451 035 057 Monday-Thursday.
Online forums will be available, where consumers can post about the Royal Commissions anonymously. These forums will serve as a safe space for consumers to connect with the lived experience community during this time of increasing social isolation, anxiety and uncertainty. Details will be circulated as they come to hand.
With the entire world changing, and our current way of life in a state of flex and change, we've provided a number of articles for contemplation.

Please take care of yourself, your loved ones, extend a hand to those most vulnerable where you can, and take care of our collective community by being responsible with your own behaviour.

COVID-19: Vulnerability and the power of privilege in a pandemic

Why collaboration is essential if we are to successfully  tackle COVID-19

What is Intersectionality? All of who I am?

The Coronavirus is a Disaster for Feminism -Pandemics affect men and women differently
Contact Us

Bronwyn Hogan | Executive Officer | 03 5033 9984 | 0427 554 409

Eden Templeton | Health Promotion Project Officer | 03 5033 9981 | 0419 590 291

Toni Poltrock | Communication Officer | 03 5033 9980

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