Latest news

Celebrating International Day of People with Disability

When International Day of People with Disability is celebrated this Thursday (December 3), the staff at Intereach will be able to reflect positively on the contribution they are making in their communities.

For example, there’s the story of Tommy (not his real name) who was showing developmental delays in multiple areas. He was referred to Early Childhood Intervention support after his family expressed concerns about Tommy’s development compared to his peers, especially in the areas of social skills and communication.

Tommy’s assessment indicated he met developmental delay criteria, and as a consequence, he was supported by the Murrumbidgee Early Childhood Early Intervention team to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme and develop a funded plan.

The ECEI team worked with Tommy’s family, helping them understand the importance of early childhood intervention. This included identifying the areas where Tommy was doing well, and also those which needed development. The team worked with the family to identify priorities for Tommy, helped them navigate NDIS access and linked the family to appropriate early childhood intervention providers. Throughout the entire process, a family-centred approach was adopted.

Tommy reacted positively to the supports he received. He started school and was able to quickly develop strong friendships – which was important to his family – and was fully participating across his school environments, including having no trouble with communication. In fact, Tommy’s improvement was so significant that his family wanted to transition out of the NDIS as all their goals had been met.

It is this type of success that makes the Intereach team proud of the work they do across a large footprint in southern NSW and northern Victoria.

On International Day of People with Disability, team members will receive a range of resources and content, enabling continuing discussions with peers and networks on the way we think about disability and to see the ability in disability.

Intereach believes every person with a disability deserves to live their life as an equal and valued member of the local community. It works alongside its participants, their family and carers to identify a person’s dreams, goals and hopes, and put practical actions in place to achieve this.

Read more

Intereach expansion, despite challenges

Despite all the challenges over the past year, Intereach has continued to increase services to its country communities, the organisation’s annual general meeting was told this week.

In her annual report, CEO Keryn Fox said bushfires and COVID-19 had delivered “challenges at a new level”.
However, the community service provider continued its significant expansion, to now operate from 17 offices with more than 440 staff and 120 volunteers.

“With the support of our corporate services teams we were able to respond to the exceptional challenges, though this required extensive modifications to the way we delivered services to participants and the community,” Ms Fox told the AGM.

She said changing circumstances presented an opportunity to consider new ways of operating that would not compromise the quality and effectiveness of our supports.

Intereach chair Pat Fogarty, in her annual report, congratulated the entire staff team for their outstanding efforts during a difficult year, and for “taking care of each other”.
She said the team had “lifted Intereach to new heights … the manner in which you have overcome the challenges presented has been exceptional”.

“As I have frequently said, Intereach delivers ‘from the cradle to the grave’,” Mrs Fogarty said, citing the New Parents’ Group and aged care services, adding

“Intereach serves its communities and thrives on diversity”.

This year had also seen strengthening of Intereach’s work with Aboriginal communities through its Indigenous Advancement Strategies.
Mrs Fogarty said a highlight of the year was being recognised with the Deniliquin Business of the Year Award, which was “brilliant recognition of CEO Keryn’s leadership and the team’s work together”.

Other significant achievements which were noted at the annual meeting included:

  • Being awarded the tender as the Partner In The Community (PITC) to deliver the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the Murrumbidgee area for Local Area Coordination through to 2023.
  • Successfully expanding Family Day Care Services into the Wagga region with an additional 20 FDC Educators.
  • Being awarded the tender to deliver the Commonwealth Home Support Program in Campaspe Shire which equated to a 75% expansion of this program, supporting an additional 800 participants.
  • Commencement and implementation of the Aboriginal Drivers project, and employing Aboriginal drivers in both Deniliquin and Griffith to enhance the ability to deliver culturally appropriate services.
  • Opening new offices in Maryborough and Gisborne, and relocating to a new office in Bendigo.
  • Expanded services with a community linker now based in Balranald, to bring more services to this area.

At the meeting an impressive annual report was tabled, with Mrs Fogarty describing it as an exciting format that showcases the outstanding work achieved across the diverse range of programs delivered by Intereach, which are of quality and have value.

The annual meeting re-elected three directors to its Board – Pat Fogarty, Robert Brown and Andrew Johnstone.

 

Click here to read the 2020 Intereach Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more

NAIDOC Week Celebrations

Activities centred around the documentary film ‘In My Blood It Runs’ will be featured as part of NAIDOC Week activities for Intereach volunteers and staff.

The documentary will provide many learnings for staff and assist them to think about Aboriginal youth, people and communities in different ways.

The community and human services provider will screen the movie for staff on Friday November 6 from 2.30pm, and Monday November 9 from 3.30pm. It will be also available for volunteers and Family Day Care Educators to watch at home.

This year’s theme for NAIDOC Week is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, which recognises that Australia’s First Nations People have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.

The film ‘In My Blood It Runs’ features 10 year-old Dujuan, a Arrernte Garrwa boy, who is a healer, Elder, a good hunter and speaks three languages. As he shares his wisdom of history and the complex world around him, viewers see his spark and intelligence. Yet Dujuan is ‘failing’ in school and facing increasing scrutiny from welfare and the police. As he travels perilously close to incarceration, his family fight to give him a strong Arrernte education alongside his western education before he becomes another statistic. He grapples with these pressures, shares his truths and somewhere in between finds space to dream, imagine and hope for his future self.

After the Intereach screenings of this film, staff will be invited to participate in a 45 minute virtual office event when a video will be screened featuring members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reference group discussing what identity, family, culture and connection to Country means to them. This session will include a Welcome to Country by Deniliquin local, Danica Reeves.

The NAIDOC Week recognition and celebration at Intereach is part of a commitment to walk alongside local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People in its journey towards Reconciliation as outlined in its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2016-2020.

Read more

Belinda a Shaw winner in Family Day Care awards

Belinda Shaw loves looking after young people so much, that caring for her own four children is not enough.
She also operates a Family Day Care service in Moama, providing high-quality early education and care for many local families.

Belinda’s dedication and quality care has been rewarded, being announced as the ACT/NSW Regional Winner (Albury, Wodonga, and Murray) in the 2020 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards.

Celebrating their ninth year, the awards highlight the incredible work of family day care educators and the invaluable contributions they make to the lives of children, families, and communities.

Belinda has been operating a Family Day Care service since 2014, and remarkably she won the same award for the Shepparton / Goulburn Valley region back in 2015.

“During this time I have provided early education and care to many local families who experience a great sense of comfort knowing their little ones are spending their time in a warm, nurturing, and safe small group environment which fosters their learning,” Belinda said.

“Starting my own Family Day Care has been a wonderful professional journey, and on a personal level I love being a mum to my four children –Matthew, Jasmine, Jordan, and Ryan,” she added.

The Family Day Care awards are based on professional practice, relationships, flexibility, autonomy and diversity, and social support.

“I have a relaxed, home-like environment where the children can explore and discover. I believe that play is the basis for children’s learning and gives the best opportunities to learn and discover,” Belinda said.

“I am honoured that the work I love has been recognised with this award and would like to thank the team at Intereach for all the support they provide.

Intereach Family Day Care offers nurturing home-based childcare for small groups of children with flexible and extended hours. Care is available in the homes of qualified, registered FDC educators on weekdays, school holidays, overnight, weekends as well as before and after school. It is available for babies and children under the age of 13 in Deniliquin, Finley, Jerilderie, Berrigan, Tocumwal, Nanneella, Tennyson, Echuca, Moama, Rochester, Swan Hill, Kerang and the Wagga City region.

Read more

Intereach honoured with Business of the Year

A  commitment to the local community was rewarded for Intereach when it was announced as the Deniliquin Business of the Year on Friday night.

The human and community services provider received the major award at a  virtual ceremony hosted by Deniliquin Business Chamber.

Intereach CEO Keryn Fox was ecstatic at the win in the town she described as the “heart” of the organisation, which from humble local beginnings has grown to operate 17 offices throughout southern NSW and central/northern Victoria.

It now employs more than 400 staff across this footprint, with the administrative headquarters remaining in Deniliquin.

At the awards ceremony Intereach was described as a well-known organisation within the Deniliquin community that provides a broad range of services that support many members of our community.

“With a clear strategic vision for the organisation, 2020 has seen them deliver a range of initiatives including their highly commended Community Links program. Embracing the challenges of the year they adapted their service to ensure that their quality of service did not suffer. With  focus on sustainability across the organisation and a commitment to delivering on their objectives, Intereach is a worthy recipient of the 2020 Deniliquin Business of the Year Award,” the virtual ceremony was told.

Ms Fox said it was a great honour to receive Business of the Year in Intereach’s home town and described it as “fitting recognition for the entire Intereach team”.

“Deniliquin is our hub … it’s the centre of what we do and the programs we deliver at our head office are used as a model for elsewhere. I believe this award recognises the efforts of our team to build the organisation from our Deniliquin base.

“I was shocked, but extremely pleased, to be named Business of the Year because there was an awesome field of very worthy winners. This has been a difficult year for everyone and it is humbling for our team to get recognition at this level,” Ms Fox said.

The award came precisely at Ms Fox’s third anniversary at the helm of Intereach, which has been a period of constant growth across the organisation.

“I love it here in Deniliquin. The town is special to me, and this award is also special. I commend the Business Chamber for all its work and its efforts to ensure our achievers are recognised with the Business Awards, even when we cannot have a gala night together.

“At Intereach we believe it is important to ensure the Deniliquin community has the same choices and services as our urban cousins. What we are able to offer now – after coming from such small beginnings – is testament to the dedication of our staff and the support we receive from our community,” Ms Fox said.

Read more

Intereach support for National Carers Week

The Intereach Carer’s Reference Group is supporting the organisation’s activities during National Carers Week, which is from October 11 to 17.

It is contributing to a video which outlines the carer experience, and also creating a series of questions which will be used to facilitate discussion with Intereach staff about the carer experience.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year there will be virtual celebrations of Carers Week at Intereach, which provides human and community services across southern NSW and northern/central Victoria.

During the discussion session, staff will be asked to consider definitions of a ‘carer’ and be presented with a range of situations from a carer’s perspective. This will include how carers respond to activities which may put their love ones at some degree of risk. This is commonly referred to as ‘the dignity of risk’ and is about ensuring loved ones can participate in activities which enrich and sustain their quality of life.

National Carers Week recognises about 2.65 million Australians who identify as being a carer, providing care and support to a family member, loved one or friend with disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or drug issue or who are frail aged.

They do this in an unpaid capacity, generally without considering how this will affect their own lives.

Carer responsibilities are often quite complex and performed over a sustained period of time. There are also many people who accept a transitional carer role which can be limited in time, but still has complex demands.

When stepping into a carer’s role, people form a new and different relationship with their loved one.

At Intereach, more than a quarter of its staff identify as being a carer.

National Carers Week has been celebrated since 1992 and is about recognising carers and providing the opportunity to pause and say “thank you”.

Intereach provides support for children and families, older people, people living with disability, mental health and carers. If you, or someone you know, needs support you can contact the team at Intereach on the toll free number 1300 488 226 or go to www.intereach.com.au

Read more

Intereach’s National Children’s Week Artwork Competition 24 Oct – 1 November, 2020

Intereach is celebrating National Children’s Week by running an artwork competition across its service area.

The Children’s Week National Theme for 2020 is UNCRC Article 15:

Children have the right to meet together and join groups and organisations as long as it does not stop other people from enjoying their rights. In exercising their rights, children have the responsibility to respect the rights, freedom and reputations of others.

– Article 15: The Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nations

 

During COVID19 many children have not been able to potentially exercise their rights to become involved in group play or outdoors activities and to express their freedoms in ways they have freely chosen to do so. The artwork competition is asking children to become involved in activities to express themselves through art.

Do you have a creative streak? Do you like creating art or colouring-in? Simply create a piece of art from nature or do a colour-in from the two selected drawings available to download below, take a photo of it and submit it through to community@intereach.com.au to be in the running for some great prizes.

The colour-in pictures are based on two books used by the Intereach Reach Out And Relax (ROAR) team who work with young people and their families who are showing early signs of, or are at risk of developing mental health issues.

Unlike lots of competitions there will be no winners or losers – selected unique artworks will be rewarded with some great prizes. Competition is open to all pre and school-aged children. Remember to submit your name, age, postcode and a contact number with each submission. All submissions must be received by Oct 30 to be eligible for great prizes.

The competition has commenced. All artwork submitted will be displayed in the windows at select Intereach Offices.

Read more

Community Transport resumes to Echuca, Shepparton

Intereach Community Transport in the Edward River Council area has resumed trips to Shepparton and Echuca following the extension of the ‘border bubble’ boundary as part of the state government’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions locally.

The valuable service had been transporting participants only within NSW in recent months, due to the risk of COVID-19 transmission and the challenges associated with the border restrictions. Intereach CEO Keryn Fox thanked service users for their patience and understanding during what is still a challenging time.

“Our clients and their families / carers have been and continue to be very understanding, and very respectful of the situation we’re all facing with COVID-19. Most people were able to move medical appointments to Albury or somewhere else in New South Wales, or postpone them if they weren’t time-critical. I’d like to acknowledge the hospitals and clinics where a large number of our service users attend – they’ve been fantastic in coming up with alternative options, working in with our Community Transport team to get the best outcome for the participant while ensuring COVID precaution. Our local health services have also been fantastic and very understanding.

 “I’d also like to acknowledge our Community Transport staff, including our drivers, who went above and beyond, working with the participant to get the best outcome possible in challenging circumstances. At this stage we’re still not offering the service to Melbourne or Bendigo but we’re hopeful that will change soon with the drop in COVID numbers in these areas.”

 Intereach Community Transport can help older people, people living with a disability, including children and their carers, people who are transport disadvantaged, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs support recipients, to stay independent and connected to the local community. Transport can be provided for such tasks as shopping, medical appointments, social outings and more. In Deniliquin, concessional ‘around town trips’ cost $2.20 and non-concessional $4.50. Round trips for participants (concession) to Echuca or Finley are $32 and to Shepparton or Albury $53. Non-concessional out-of-town trips are $1 per kilometre plus a $30 administration fee.

 Ms Fox encouraged anyone interested in utilising the service to call Intereach on 1300488226 and speak to the Community Transport team, or call into the Intereach office on the corner of Napier and Trickett streets in Deni.

“Our team can go through what’s the best available option for you, so give them a call. Often it’s a very affordable option with concessions or group bookings. We want to make this as affordable as possible for our community – it’s such a valuable and essential service and we want to see more local people use it. It provides a flexible service that is door to door pick-up and drop-off.”

Ms Fox said the organisation would welcome back its invaluable volunteer drivers this week after a break due to COVID-19.

“Obviously our service stopped altogether at the height of the travel restrictions, and now we’re welcoming back our volunteers who are pivotal to delivering this service,” she said. 

“A number of volunteers completed COVID-safe training last week and those who were interested will start back doing round town trips and trips within a 100 kilometre radius of Deniliquin at this stage. We needed to go over the COVID-safe practices such as the use of hand sanitiser and wiping down and sanitising the vehicle after use before we could get them back behind the wheel.”

For more information on Community Transport in the Deniliquin region, or any other Intereach service, call 1300488226 or go to www.intereach.com.au.

 

 

Caption: Community Transport driver Jaimarlee.

 

Read more

Exciting office upgrade for Intereach in Hay

A project being undertaken by human and community services provider, Intereach, has the potential to boost the services it is able to provide to the Hay and surrounding communities.

Intereach is about to start the construction fit-out of a new Hay office, which will be located at 173-177 Lachlan Street.

Intereach CEO Keryn Fox said the new office facilities – which are planned to be complete before Christmas – were recognition of the organisation’s commitment to the Hay region.

“It’s important that we have an office space which allows our team members to effectively engage with participants and community members. We believe this will be achieved when the new office is complete,” Ms Fox said.

She said Intereach will be using local tradespersons to complete the work, as it recognises the importance of contributing to the local economy.

“We are excited with this new office and look forward to having a bright new space ready for occupancy in the near future,” Ms Fox said.

The current Intereach office at 78 Lachlan St will be vacated by September 30, and staff will be relocated to a temporary office in Moore St.

In the meantime, Ms Fox encouraged participants and community members who may need support to seek out the ‘Community Linkers’ – the team members who link people to the supports they need – at the temporary Moore Street location.

Intereach is a provider of human and community services which started in a small office in End Street, Deniliquin as the Council for Social Development, and in its early years was run by a Community Development Officer and her part-time administration assistant. It now employs more than 400 staff to provide a vast range of services across its broad geographic footprint that includes the Murray and Riverina regions of NSW, plus northern and central Victoria and the Mallee.

Read more

Mental Health Framework supports Intereach staff

Human and community services provider Intereach today (Thursday September 10) launched its Mental Health Framework.

The occasion was a significant milestone for Intereach, as it provides a framework that supports its staff and highlights the organisation’s ongoing commitment to their wellbeing. The Framework was developed by a specialist company through significant consultation with staff via a whole of staff survey, focus groups, and opportunities for feedback to be provided prior to endorsement of the Framework.

“At Intereach our staff are our greatest strength,” said CEO Keryn Fox.

“The dedication and commitment of our staff, who often live in the communities they serve, is what allows Intereach to make a real difference in our regions.

“The Intereach Mental Health Framework is a commitment from the Intereach Board and Executive to provide, to the best of our ability, a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. This framework was developed from feedback from our staff and acknowledges the mental stresses we can all face in our day-to-day duties at Intereach.

“Some of these duties include working with and supporting our communities, and quite often some of the most vulnerable people within those communities. We want all of our staff to feel mentally healthy, regardless of their role here, and this framework provides the foundation to work toward this goal,” Ms Fox said.

She said the framework was “not the beginning nor the end of our journey toward a mentally healthier staff and workplace – it simply offers a set of objectives and outcomes which we can check and reflect upon”.

Intereach encourages employees at all levels to engage in self-care, look after each other, develop their resilience and support their psychological health at work. This can be achieved by following the four objectives of the framework which are:

  1. Demonstrate supportive leadership for our people and our communities.
  2. Promote and support growth, wellbeing, resilience and self-awareness.
  3. Intervene early, support, and keep staff at work.
  4. Support employee return to work after injury and illness.

“We all have a part to play on this journey because all of us deserve a healthy mind, at home and at work,” Ms Fox said.

Intereach has a staff of more than 400, operating from 17 offices across the NSW Murray and Riverina, northern and central Victoria and the Mallee. It supports children and families, people living with disability, mental health, and older people. If you, or someone you know, needs support you can contact the team at Intereach on the toll-free number 1300 488 226 or go to www.intereach.com.au

 

Read more
1 2 3 17
Skip to content