Drug Drive and Drive Drives will be faced with tough penalties

Drink Drug Drive program

Grampians Community Health are preparing now for an expected increase in drug and drink drive offences following changes by the Victorian Government to bring in tougher Drink and Drug Drive enforcement.

In April, stronger penalties for drink drive in Victoria from 30th April 2018 were announced by the Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads and Road Safety. The changes announced will impact all drink drivers, drug drivers, including first-time offenders. If a driver records a blood alcohol reading of 0.05 and over they will lose the driver license for at least three months, the interlock will be mandatory for a minimum of six months, and there is a requirement to participate in the behaviours change program.

Grampians Community Health has been delivering many Alcohol and Drug Counselling support services for 30 years making positive changes in our community. The Grampians Community Health Drink Drive Drug Drive program has been under review since October 2017 in anticipation of the changes and the new requirements for accreditation by VicRoads.

 “An average of 70 people contacted Grampians Community Health for support drug drive related in the past two years” said Caleb Lourensz Manager of the Alcohol and Drugs Support Services.

Mr Greg Little, Chief Executive Officer of Grampians Community Health, said that GCH employees are undertaking further training as established by VicRoads, to ensure we are ready to deliver the Drink Drug Drive Behaviour Change programs under the new framework, which will be held in Stawell and Horsham.

To coincide with the new legislation requirements, Grampians Community Health will be re-launching the revised Drink/Drug Drive program In June. It will be a 6 hours program for Victorian drink drivers and a 10-hour intensive drink/drug driver program. The 6-hour program will be conducted over two separate sessions and for first-time will for drink drivers with a blood alcohol reading below 0.15. The session will comprise of cognitive behavioural and motivational techniques, education, motivations for drink driving consequences, risk-taking, impulsivity and decision-making.

The 10-hour program will be conducted over four separate sessions (3×3 hour sessions one week apart). It will be for repeat drink drivers, drug drivers, combined drink/drug, refusal of test, first-time drink drivers blood alcohol reading 0.15 and above, and these participants will also be required to attend Alcohol and Drug counselling.

 “Unfortunately, there are still people who risk lives on the roads through drink and drug driving” Mr. Little said.

 “Until the message is headed in the community that drink or drug driving is not acceptable, the tougher penalties and requirements mean that for now it is expected that there will be even more people undertaking drink and drug drive behavior change courses” added Mr Little.

 Anyone wishing to access any of the Grampians Community Health services can easily do so by calling 5358 7400.

Thank you to all volunteers in our community


During Volunteers Week in May Grampians Community Health are recognising the 60 volunteers who contribute over 5000 hours every year to our community, and who enable the community health service to function.

CEO of Grampians Community Health Greg Little said “to celebrate and thank all volunteers in our community GCH we  partnered with other volunteer agencies during the volunteer celebration for National Volunteers week on the 24th of May 2018 at the Stawell Powerhouse”

“This has been a great chance for Grampians Community Health to thank all our valued volunteers who have assisted us in supporting people in the community over the last 33 years. You have helped many people and given those people a variety of opportunities to feel better and be part of our community. Some volunteers have been with GCH for as long as 20 years”, said Mr Little.

Geraldine Monaghan, a Volunteer Coordinator at GCH, said, “The last training I ran was exciting. I trained 15 volunteers in Horsham to work with the youth groups at our youth centre ‘Nexus’ to assist with Freeza events and other exciting youth fun”.

“This expansion of volunteers to support youth is a great opportunity to be connected with young people”, she went on saying.

Volunteers at Grampians Community Health, helps the community in so many ways. They drive people to appointments via our ‘Community Car’, they run the weekly exercise ‘Active for Life’ programs, they visit isolated older people through our friendly visiting service ‘DO Care’, and people with a NDIS plan who are socially isolated. They also assist aged and disability clients to access community through our ‘Talk Listen and Care’, they support and participate in youth events. The volunteers also help young people from LGBTI community, and provide help to our community in times of emergencies via our “Social Support and Recovery” services.

Gemma Beavis, Rainbow Committee chair at Grampians Community Health said that some of the volunteers offered to be part of our Juno Vesta group and will assist the Coordinator with transport needs, mentoring and activities such as arts & crafts, music, discussions on relevant topics, assist with planning community events and involvements in advocacy projects.

“The Juno Vesta group was established to help young LGBTI+ people in the Grampians feel included, supported in their community and provide the opportunity to make new friends. It is so important to have members of the community involved in these committees, we are grateful to have volunteers helping us,” said Ms Beavis.

Mr Little said that during times of emergencies or natural disaster, the volunteers of GCH and other agencies play a critical role in supporting our community.

“The Grampians Community Health trained network of volunteers assist with staffing relief centres that support people who have been affected by emergencies such as flooding and bushfires.” Said Mr Little

Grampians Community Health is always on the lookout to recruit and welcome additional volunteers into its ongoing program. Grampians Community Health provides ongoing training and support you and several opportunities that suit your skills and interests across Ararat, Stawell and Horsham.

Find more information about volunteering with GCH. Anyone wishing to volunteer at Grampians Community Health can easily do so by calling 5358 7400 and we will provide all information you need to start.