connectEDspace - support for young people

Young people can face all sorts of pressures – including problems at school, with friends or at home.
connectEDspace is a website by Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV), dedicated to young people to help provide all the information they need to deal with the stuff they go through each day.

Aboriginal Family and Relationship Support

RAV provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and individuals to help strengthen family relationships.

Counselling provides an opportunity to talk with a professionally trained person to discuss couple issues, conflicts with friends, relationship breakdown, parenting, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, grief, sexual problems, childhood sexual abuse, stress and work related tensions and disputes.


Neighbour Day Launches over Morning Tea

Neighbour Day Launches over Morning Tea

3 March 2017

Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) has been selected as the lead agency for a newly announced headspace centre in Bairnsdale in Victoria.
The new centre will provide early intervention mental health services to young people aged 12 to 25 years in East Gippsland. They will have access to free or low cost and confidential mental, general and sexual health services as well as education and employment, and alcohol and other drug support services. The comprehensive suite of services will include therapeutic, financial, and drug and alcohol counselling, psychiatric consultations, vocational guidance, help with job seeking and health and wellbeing services for Aboriginal young people.
With more than 68 years’ experience, RAV provides family and relationship support services to help Victorians to achieve positive, safe and respectful relationships.
RAV Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Bickerdike, said RAV had a strong history of providing mental health services and supporting young people and families with issues affecting their wellbeing and relationships.
“We have established relationships with headspace centres in Hawthorn, Greensborough and Knox, and provide an existing family mental health support service for children and young people in East Gippsland,” Dr Bickerdike said. “We know how important early intervention mental health services are and we welcome the opportunity to continue to support young people in a dedicated way through the headspace centre in Bairnsdale.”
With a focus on meeting the local needs of the rural community, the centre will be supported by contract manager Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) and operated in partnership with a consortium of local services: Latrobe Regional Hospital, within Australia, Australian Community Support Organisation, Latrobe Community Health Service, Gippsland Lakes Community Health, MIND Australia, Gippsland & East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-Operative, and Advanced Personnel Management.
Ms Marianne Shearer, Chief Executive Officer of Gippsland PHN is excited to see the development of headspace in Bairnsdale. Ms Shearer said “it will be of great benefit for the community offering youth focussed mental health services. The East Gippsland community have passionately advocated for a service for their young people and it’s fantastic that we are able to assist it to come to fruition.”
Dr Bickerdike said that a Youth Advisory Group had also been established to enable young people to have direct input into the development of the centre and to ensure that the services are provided to young people in a welcoming, supportive, accessible and inclusive way.
“We’re pleased to have a group of enthusiastic and energetic young people involved in establishing the centre, and we look forward to working closely with these young people, our consortium members and the East Gippsland community in providing the headspace Bairnsdale centre.”
headspace has 95 centres currently operating across Australia and also operates an online and telephone service, eheadspace. More than 270,000 young Australians have come to headspace for support, guidance or help over the past 10 years.

This morning Relationships Australia hosted a morning tea in Bidwill, New South Wales, to launch Neighbour Day 2017. The launch begins the countdown to Neighbour Day, an annual community campaign, which will be celebrated on Sunday 26 March 2017.

The launch was held at Bidwill Community Garden and Nursery, a joint Community Greening project run by the Department of Family and Community Services, Housing New South Wales and Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands.

“The volunteers at Bidwill Community Garden and Nursery are known for their commitment to community and volunteering projects,” Alison Brook, National Executive Officer for Relationships Australia said, “Given Neighbour Day’s strong focus on promoting social connection and reducing loneliness, the community garden is the ideal location for our national launch.”

The launch was attended by Neighbour Day Ambassadors Costa Georgiadis, host of Gardening Australia; Natalie Ahmat, journalist and presenter of National Indigenous Television News; and Andrew Heslop, Neighbour Day Founder. Guests were entertained with live music from Sing Australia, a community choir.

The event largely focused on Neighbour Day’s 2017 theme: The importance of social connection for the elderly. 2016 ‘Tell Us Your Story’ winner, Sandra Pereira, shared her story of the importance of knowing her neighbours at her New South Wales Seniors Housing complex, only a few suburbs away from the community gardens.

Neighbour Day’s theme this year is strongly connected to the day’s beginnings. In 2003, Andrew Heslop founded Neighbour Day after the remains of an elderly woman were found inside her suburban home more than two years after her death. Relationships Australia assumed responsibility for the Neighbour Day campaign in 2014.

In its online survey in January 2017, Relationships Australia found that more than one-third of respondents reported that they often felt isolated, while a further 40% reported that they felt isolated some of the time.

Neighbour Day provides people with the opportunity to break down social barriers and reduce loneliness, isolation and depression in each neighbourhood around the country.

People are encouraged to visit the Neighbour Day website to register their event and access a range of free resources to make celebrating Neighbour Day easier than ever.

Neighbour Day’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts can be used as a platform for sharing photos and stories from Neighbour Day events.

“The community you want starts at your front door.” TM

Media Contact:
Alison Brook
National Executive Officer, Relationships Australia
PH: 02 6162 9300

Download a PDF copy of this media release.