July - August 2021

Latest News

Two new Gippsland PHN issues papers - 'Disability' and 'Young People and Mental Health'

Gippsland PHN has released two new issues papers – ‘Disability’ and ‘Young People and Mental Health’.

In Gippsland, 17,142 people or 6.7 per cent of the population have a severe or profound disability compared to the Australian figure of 5.4 per cent, 12,478 people have a psychosocial disability and 8,400 people have an intellectual disability.
In other key Gippsland findings, 47 per cent of adults with disability have experienced violence after the age of 15 years, 27,931 people provided unpaid assistance to a person with a disability and 8.8 per cent of people aged 16-64 years received a Disability Support Pension compared to Victoria with 4.9 per cent.
The Young People and Mental Health issues paper revealed that in Gippsland, the top three issues for young people aged 15 to 24 years, according to the 2020 Mission Australia Youth Survey, were coping with stress (55 per cent), body image (52 per cent) and mental health (44 per cent).
A total of 22 per cent of Gippsland young people report being bullied compared to the Victorian figure of 18 per cent.
To find out more about these topics, go to the Gippsland PHN website.


Save the date! The Gippsland Primary Health Awards will be held on 17 November 2021

The annual Gippsland Primary Health Awards will be held on Wednesday 17 November, 2021.

The awards recognise and honour individuals and teams who work together to bring better health to Gippsland. This year, Gippsland PHN will have six sections for health professionals and organisations to enter with the details to be announced soon.

So SAVE THE DATE and help us acknowledge and celebrate our amazing Gippsland primary health sector.

Opportunity for Gippsland health professionals to upskill in the area of Alcohol and Other Drugs

Gippsland PHN is offering two opportunities for health professionals to upskill in the area of Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD).
The Alcohol and Other Drugs Addiction Medication Online Peer Group Learning Sessions are an eight week online peer group learning opportunity starting on 23 August 2021. They are free for Gippsland health professionals.
Gippsland PHN, together with Gippsland Pharmacotherapy Network and Goulburn Valley Health, is offering the extended skills training in addiction medicine to general practitioners, AOD nurse practitioners and pharmacists.
Participants who complete the eight-week peer group learning will be eligible for 40 CPD points with Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and PDP hours with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM). A maximum of 12 general practitioners can participate.
The sessions will be held on:
Planning Session: 23 August
Session 1: 30 August
Session 2: 6 September
Session 3: 4 October
Session 4: 11 October
Session 5: 19 October 
Session 6 and Review Session: 25 October
Click here and complete the Expression of Interest form. Applications close on 16 August, 2021.

Gippsland AOD GP and Service Provider Networking forums in Inverloch and Traralgon

Gippsland PHN is hosting networking forums which will provide an opportunity for general practitioners, nurse practitioners, Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) service providers, pharmacists and other relevant stakeholders to meet and network. 
Discussion will inform improved outcomes for people with alcohol and drug addiction through increased understanding and networking of services across Gippsland. 
The AOD GP and Service Provider Networking forums will also assist in increasing knowledge and resources to better inform health professionals in the treatment of patients with drug and alcohol addiction. 
CPD approval pending with RACGP and ACRRM.

A forum will be held on Thursday 9 September in Inverloch. Click here for forum details and registration. A second session will be held on Thursday 16 September in Traralgon. Click here for forum details and registration.

Gippsland HealthPathways is inviting allied health professionals to list their services

Are you an allied health professional operating in Gippsland?
Gippsland PHN is expanding its referral pages available on Gippsland HealthPathways and is inviting allied health professionals to list their services.
Gippsland HealthPathways offers clinical and referral pathways and resources for use by healthcare professionals at the point of care. It’s simple and easy to register your services with Gippsland HealthPathways Just complete this online form and your services will be listed on the new referral pages. 
If you would like to know more, please email or register here to login today.


Please help us plan for the future - complete the Gippsland PHN Health Needs Survey or attend an event

There is still time to help Gippsland PHN make better decisions about how we improve health and wellbeing in your community - how we design, fund and coordinate services for health care across Gippsland.

Our Health Needs Survey is still open - you can access it here 

We are also hosting a series of events so that you can be involved in setting our priorities for the future. The first was held today but there are others you can join. Find out when by clicking here for details and to register.

We will share the latest local data during the events and use interactive tools for voting and prioritisation activities.

For all enquiries please contact: Jo Grzelinska by emailing or phone 0418 595 781.

Support After Suicide for Gippsland - services and resources available

Support After Suicide for Gippsland is provided by Jesuit Social Services and assists children, young people and adults bereaved by suicide by providing counselling, facilitated support groups and online resources.
One-on-One Counselling

By speaking with experienced counsellors who have expertise and knowledge around suicide and grief, participants learn how to manage the intense and complex experience of losing a loved one to suicide. Counselling is provided in Gippsland by phone or Skype.
Support groups

Support After Suicide runs several support groups each year for those recently bereaved.
It also provides specific activities for children, young people, parents, partners, siblings, adult children, men and people who are longer-term bereaved. When there is a need, they conduct a parent support program for people who find themselves bringing up children following a suicide.
Resources to help people better understand their situation

Support After Suicide has a comprehensive range of resources to assist individuals and families bereaved by suicide, including: books; fact sheets about grief, responding to trauma and supporting a person bereaved by suicide and a recommended reading list.
There is a dedicated Support After Suicide website, which offers immediate practical information, material to help people understand grief and suicide, descriptions of support services, and stories by others bereaved by suicide and a secure and private online community, where people bereaved by suicide can share stories, ask advice and support others who have lost someone to suicide.
How can I refer people to Support After Suicide?
Please contact program staff directly by mail, phone or email:
Phone: (03) 9421 7640 | Email:


If you or someone you know needs help contact:

Lifeline – 13 11 14
beyondblue Support Service – 1300 224 365
Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
MensLine – 1300 789 987
Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
Qlife – 1800 184 527

To access professional mental health support in Gippsland, speak to your local doctor.

You can also call HeadtoHelp on 1800 595 212 or visit visit

WorkSafe Victoria Clinical Hotline to support general practitioners, psychologists and physiotherapists

The WorkSafe Victoria Clinical Hotline aims to support general practitioners, psychologists and physiotherapists who treat Workcover patients.
The objective of the service is to better support health professionals who treat Workcover patients with a prevention led focus which ultimately can have more positive impact on the injured worker’s outcomes.
The hotline (03) 4243 6950 is available five days a week and is manned by a panel of clinicians who specialize in a range of medical and allied health subject matters.


Gippsland PHN grant supports children's book about East Gippsland bushfires

A children's book, supported with a One Good Community Grant from Gippsland PHN, will benefit children and families in fire-affected regions of East Gippsland.

Heroes of Black Summer was written by Kylie Miller and Craig Sheather to help children process the trauma they experienced during the fires. It was illustrated by Karen Erasmus and published by Australian Geographic.

The authors hope Heroes of Black Summer will promote resilience in children, while strengthening the connection between children and adults as they read and heal together.

Read more about the book here.

Reshape Our Future! Join this youth forum and youth sector conference 

Today’s generation of young people are facing uncertainty, inequity and unprecedented challenges. That’s why YACVic and young people, workers, policy-makers and decision-makers to connect, build capacity and inspire action to Reshape Our Future.
“Reshape Our Future” is a one-day youth forum and two-day youth sector conference, happening jointly across five in-person locations (Melbourne, Mildura, Lakes Entrance, Warrnambool and Wangaratta) plus online, presented by Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) from 11 to 13 August 2021.
  • The Youth Sector Conference (11 and 12 August) brings together workers who support young people, policymakers and thought leaders from multiple sectors, including young people, to discuss and address key challenges, build connections, and showcase the cutting-edge of youth work practice.
  • The Youth Forum (13 August) is entirely youth-led and youth-designed. Connect with diverse young people (aged 12 to 25) across Victoria and be at the forefront of the movement of young people leading and advocating for change. 
Reshape Our Future will bring together people across Victoria to re-shape young people’s future the way young people see fit.

Find out more at or see the flyers below.

One day youth forum
Two day youth conference


Online launch of Pride in Prevention Messaging Guide

An online launch of the Pride in Prevention Messaging Guide: A guide to support communications and engagement in primary prevention of family violence experienced by LGBTIQ communities will be held on 10 August 2021.

This guide builds on Pride in Prevention: a guide to primary prevention of family violence experienced by LGBTIQ communities, which draws together existing research and policy frameworks and puts forward a new conceptual model for understanding LGBTIQ experiences of family violence, along with priority actions for primary prevention.

It provides additional support to organisations and practitioners in developing effective and appropriate family violence prevention messaging, and delivering this through public campaigns, social media communications and policy work. It also aims to support community engagement in developing and delivering prevention messaging, and specifically engaging with LGBTIQ communities.
This guide aims to build the expertise and capacity of both LGBTIQ and mainstream organisations and practitioners in the design and delivery of primary prevention of family violence experienced by LGBTIQ communities.

This includes those experienced in working to advance LGBTIQ rights, health and wellbeing, and those experienced in the primary prevention of violence against women and broader efforts to promote gender equity.

The guide also draws on established best-practice principles and approaches to LGBTIQ inclusion outlined in the Rainbow Tick LGBTIQ-inclusive practice framework.

Register for the event at Pride in Prevention Messaging Guide Launch Tickets, Tue 10/08/2021 at 2:00 pm | Eventbrite


View the program for the HIV&AIDS Conferences

The joint Australasian Sexual Health and HIV&AIDS Conferences will be held virtually from 6 to 9 September. 
Some of the topics in this year’s program include:
  • Molecular approaches to the development of vaccines, diagnostic tests and translations for STI prevention and control
  • HIV, Migration and Mobility: Legal Barriers and Support Needs
  • Point of Care Tests
  • Clinical care of people with HIV: focus on sub-populations and co-morbid conditions
  • ARV Guidelines Session
  • Novel interventions/health economics - Using new interventions, techniques, and epidemiological methods for STI prevention and control
  • Holistic and Integrated models of HIV and SRH nursing care
Start planning your attendance at the conference - view the 2021 Conference Program

Register here.

Welcome to the Research Hub

Gippsland Primary Health Network’s vision is a measurably healthier Gippsland.

This section of our LINK newsletter provides articles on research being undertaken by Gippsland PHN and in collaboration with other organisations that are contributing to this vision. It will also feature research and studies from outside our region which may be of interest to our stakeholders.

For all things ‘research’ related, please email

Mission Australia’s Youth Survey COVID Report 2020 

Mission Australia has released its Young Voices of the Pandemic – Youth Survey COVID Report 2020

This report draws on data from Mission Australia’s annual Youth Survey of young people aged 15 to 19 years to provide unique insights from responses to the open-text question:  
  • “In the past year, what is the biggest issue that you have been dealing with? What do you think needs to be done about it?” 
Over 18,400 young people responded to this question with a range of concerns. One of the top three concerns was COVID-19, with many writing about the impacts on their education, being and feeling isolated and mental health. Amplifying young people’s own words, this report provides insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them and what can be done to help.  

 Many young people noted restrictions negatively impacted on their ability to participate in sports, community activities or events. 

This report has timely information that we hope will inform policy development at Federal and State and Territory levels.  

The sub report is available for download here.   


Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer assessment in primary care: a qualitative study of GP views

Emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to an increase in avoidable cancer deaths as patient’s pathways to diagnosis and treatment have been affected.

This qualitative study interviewed general practitioners to understand their views on how COVID-19 is impacting the clinical assessment of possible cancer in primary care.
Three main themes were identified, including:

1) how changes in patient help-seeking behaviour might impact symptoms at presentation;
2) how remote consultations impact the management of patients with possible cancer symptoms; and
3) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on triaging and referring patients with possible cancer.

Overall, the results of this study indicate urgent action is needed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and ensure appropriate symptomatic assessment of patients with possible cancer now, and in the future.

Read full text 


Symposium to address how reforming the ageing and aged care sectors could be achieved

The 7th Annual MARC Symposium held by the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration (MARC) will address how reforming the ageing and aged care sectors could be achieved by presenting success stories, experiences and ideas from a range of care settings and backgrounds.

The symposium will feature leading national and international experts in four domains:
  • Hearing and Engaging Consumers
  • Learning from International Leaders in Dementia Care
  • Health Care Interfaces between Hospital, Community and Aged Care
  • Clinical Interventions
 Due to ongoing uncertainties and risks regarding face-to-face events due to COVID-19, the MARC Annual Symposium will remain an online event for this year and will be held across two independent -hour sessions on two separate days.
This event is free for MARC members - there is a small fee for non-members. To register, click here.

Carers invited to take part in university survey

A research project at Southern Cross University’s Faculty of Health is seeking participants aged 18 and older who are carers of older adults to take part in a survey.

The carers can be employed in a residential aged care facility or community services or informally caring for their spouse, family member, or friend at home. he project is interested in these carers' preparedness for their roles and the meaning they find within their roles.

A short online survey to gather this information should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.
See the attached flyer for details.

Snapshot of articles from the International Journal of Integrated Care

The International Journal of Integrated Care (IJIC) is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes original articles in the field of integrated care on a continuous basis.

A snapshot of some of the most recent articles include:

The Fourth Dimension of the Quadruple Aim: Empowering the Workforce to Become Partners in Health and Care
By K. V. Stein ,V. E. Amelung, R. Miller,N. Goodwin
Collective Impact Approaches to Promoting Community Health and Wellbeing in a Regional Township: Learnings for Integrated Care
By Alan Hayes, Margaret Freestone, Jamin Day, Hazel Dalton, David Perkins
Barriers to Integration of Primary Care into Emergency Care: Experiences in Germany
By Andrew Dickinson , Stefanie Joos
To view the latest issue, click here.

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