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Offices closed due to COVID-19 precaution

Most Intereach offices are closed to the public from today (March 24) as the organisation continues taking proactive steps to help prevent the risk of COVID-19 infection to its staff, participants, volunteers and communities.

The only exception is the Intereach Corowa office, which will be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, offering Centrelink services only.

All Intereach offices are still available via telephone on 1300 488 226 during office hours (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).

Intereach CEO Keryn Fox said the organisation made the decision to close these offices in the best interests of their staff and communities, and in line with advice provided by government and health department officials.

“We will still be available via telephone, we’re simply reducing the amount of face-to-face contact we have with people, which is part of the wider community response to this pandemic.

“At this stage all of our offices except Corowa will be closed to the public until the end of April, however this direction is somewhat fluid and may be adjusted according to the advice we’re receiving.

“We’re encouraging phone meetings be undertaken with our participants/clients whenever possible. Face-to-face meetings can only proceed in circumstances where phone servicing is not an option.”

Ms Fox said Intereach had implemented the following:

  • Offices closed to the public until the end of April (except Corowa office).
  • Staff are encouraged to work from home where possible.
  • Most participant meetings will be conducted over the phone with the NDIS Local Area Coordinator or Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator.
  • Intereach recognises that some programs such as Community Transport, Community Support and Children’s Services have unique needs and considerations. The executive will work closely with these programs to ensure reasonable and appropriate action is being taken.
  • The Intereach strategy is aimed at reducing staff numbers in its 16 offices at any one point in time, but is not an exclusion strategy.

Ms Fox said an action plan for self-isolation has been prepared, however it too is somewhat fluid and will be adjusted according to the advice provided by government and health officials.

Intereach has also advised staff that all non-essential travel must be cancelled.

Ms Fox said Intereach, as a major community service provider, was acutely aware of the need to be proactive during these difficult times.

“We realise this isn’t ideal (closing our offices) but I’d still encourage our clients/participants and communities to stay in contact with us. The doors are shut but the phones are on and we’re still here to help.”

Anyone showing symptoms of Coronavirus – such as coughing, fever, flu-like symptoms – should call the Central Patient COVID-19 Triage Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Anyone with queries about our COVID-19 response, or any other Intereach matter, can phone 1300 488 226.

 

 

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Intereach opens new Gisborne office

The new Gisborne office for community service provider, Intereach, opened on Wednesday, March 18.

It will provide a boost to the services provided across the Macedon Ranges region by Intereach.

The modern, spacious office is located at Office 5, Level 1, Nexus Centre (via Prince St entrance). It has the capacity to house up to 30 staff members and as such will cater to the expansion of Intereach in the region. Staff from the organisation’s former Kyneton office have been relocated to Gisborne.

Intereach CEO Keryn Fox said a vast range of community services will be provided from the new office.

There will be ‘Community Linkers’, who are staff specifically trained to ‘link’ local people to the appropriate services and supports that are available.

From its new Gisborne office Intereach will also offer National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Local Area Coordination and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services.

Participant meetings are being scheduled at the new office from March 18.

Intereach now has 16 office locations, spread across central and northern Victoria, the Mallee and across the Riverina region of NSW.

Ms Fox described the new office opening as “another exciting step in the Intereach journey”.

The organisation started with one employee in Deniliquin and now has a staff of nearly 400 spread across a large footprint.

 “We are proud to be expanding our operations in the Macedon Ranges, where we will have the capacity to build a bigger team to service the region,” Ms Fox said.

Anyone with queries about the new Intereach Gisborne office can call into the office in the Nexus Centre (via Prince St entrance), phone 1300 488 226 or go to www.intereach.com.au

Intereach support and assistance is offered across community services, children and families, older people, people living with disability, mental health and carers.

 

Intereach Gisborne staff members enjoying the view from their new office at the Nexus Centre

 

 

 

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Swan Hill forum ‘the best yet’

A staff development forum held by community service provider Intereach in Swan Hill has been described as “the best yet”.

It was the fifth such forum hosted by the organisation to provide professional development and training for staff across its footprint.

Intereach has nearly 400 team members at 16 office locations across northern and central Victoria, the Mallee and southern NSW.

The Swan Hill forum, held on March 11 and 12, included mandatory training sessions on mental health, ethics and the Intereach People and Culture Framework. There were guest presenters, plus internal workshops led by Intereach staff which covered organisational topics.

In conjunction with the forum Intereach hosted an open day, providing the community an opportunity to learn more about the services it provides. These include National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Local Area Coordination and Early Childhood Early Intervention services, as well as aged care services (including Home Care Packages) and Family Day Care.

There were give-aways for children, and a Lions Club free barbecue.

Intereach CEO Keryn Fox said they were delighted with the attendance of more than 50 people at the open day.

“On behalf of Intereach I would like to thank all the businesses in Swan Hill which made our team so welcome for both the open day and the forum. We were able to provide an economic boost to the community, which I am sure was appreciated. In return we received first class hospitality from everyone we dealt with,” Ms Fox said.

While the Intereach First Forum was designed to build a stronger team that helps the organisation serve its communities, there was also an enjoyable social side to the event, with staff enjoying dinner at Spoons Riverside Restaurant overlooking the Little Murray River.

“We have a large number of team members across an expansive geographic region, so the dinner is an important part of our two-day forum that helps everyone get to know each other a little better,” Ms Fox said.

“We have now had five Intereach First Forums, with a sixth scheduled for Wagga. I received feedback that many staff considered our Swan Hill event the best one they have attended,” she added.

The staff development forums are an initiative of the Intereach leadership team as part of the Learning and Development Framework.

Intereach support and assistance is offered across community services, children and families, older people, people living with disability, mental health and carers.

Anyone in the Swan Hill district with queries about services can visit the local office at 215 Campbell St Swan Hill, phone 1300 488 226 or go to www.intereach.com.au

 

Some of the Swan Hill Intereach team: Kim Cross, Kirsti Angove, Kelly Roberts, Rebecca Poyner, Keona Delmenico & Dianne Wright.

 

 

 

 

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Budding political journalist gets her start at Intereach

A budding ABC political journalist is getting an important start to her working life thanks to the support of Intereach Deniliquin.

Tiarna Condren, a high-performing Deniliquin High School student who graduated last year, has her sights on a career in the broadcast media reporting on politics.

She has been accepted into the renowned journalism school at RMIT Melbourne, but primarily for financial reasons needed to take a ‘gap’ year.

That’s where Intereach came into the picture.

It has employed Tiarna through local training provider Murray Mallee Training Co., and she will complete a Certificate III in Business Administration throughout 2020.

Tiarna will greet customers at the front desk of the Intereach office in Trickett St, and help link them to local services through the Intereach Community Links program.

Community Links has been developed to help anyone accessing Intereach services to find the right assistance for their needs, and the ‘Linkers’ help by discussing what Intereach can do to support each individual’s situation.

Tiarna is excited about her year ahead.

“After graduating from High School I needed a driving force to push me through my gap year and help me out financially. This traineeship is perfect to expand my skillset, communication skills and knowledge. It will help lay the foundations for my tertiary education when I attend RMIT from February next year, studying a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).

Intereach General Manager Operations Sam Hall said as well as providing community service support, it was important the organisation helped develop career pathways for local young people.

“We want to continue our progress as an employer of choice in the Deniliquin region and beyond, and to achieve this we need to provide employment opportunities for our future leaders who are just entering the workforce.

“We also want to continue building our relationship with local education providers such as Deniliquin High School; these partnerships will benefit the school, the graduating students and Intereach,” Mr Hall said.

Tiarna spent her entire secondary education at Deniliquin High School, and before that was in Kindergarten to Year 6 at Deniliquin South School.

Throughout her years of local education she showed a keen interest in debating, public speaking and academic competitions and said she had “always been fascinated with politics and the media”.

This led to her being selected for the Rotary Adventure In Citizenship program in 2018, during which she spent a week getting an ‘inside look’ at Parliament House.

Perhaps Tiarna will be the next Leigh Sales or Laura Tingle? And all thanks to the start she is receiving, firstly at two Deniliquin schools and now at Intereach.

 

General Manager – Operations Sam Hall and Community Linker Jenny Bright with Tiarna Condren

 

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