Measles – what you need to know

The Department of Health and Human Services confirms that there have been 11 confirmed cases of Measles in Melbourne since early September, with 8 of the 11 cases connected through a workplace in Collins Street, Docklands. Two other people affected passed through Melbourne’s international terminal on flights to and from Asia.

Measles is a contagious viral illness that causes a skin rash and fever. Serious and sometimes fatal complications include pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). Worldwide, measles is the fifth highest cause of illness and death in children.

Measles is transmitted by airborne droplets and direct contact with discharges from respiratory mucous membranes of infected persons and less commonly by articles freshly soiled with nose and throat secretions. It persist in the environment for 30min, including hard surfaces like door handles.

Measles is highly infectious through airborne transmission and has an incubation period of up to 18 days, from exposure to onset of rash.

People at risk include children or adults born during or since 1966 who do not have documented evidence of receiving two doses of a measles-containing vaccine, or documented evidence of laboratory-confirmed measles immunity are considered to be susceptible to measles.

People who are immunocompromised are also at risk.

The best way to prevent infection is to ensure that you and your loved ones are up to date you’re your immunisations. Please check you immunisation records and see your GP if you are in doubt.

What to do if you have been exposed to someone with Measles:

If you’ve been in contact with someone with measles and you are not immune to measles (have not been immunised or have not had a measles infection), there are different treatment options. Speak with your doctor about your options.

Depending on your situation, these may include: Contact in the last 72 hours – have a measles immunisation immediately.

Contact in the last three to seven days – immunoglobulin can be given for interim protection. This is known as passive immunisation. Measles vaccination, or active immunisation, should be given later to prevent further risk of infection, but not until five months after you received the immunoglobulin. Normal human immunoglobulin is given as an injection.

For further information on measles signs and symptoms please refer to the Better Health Channel

Source: The Victorian Department of Health and Better Health Channel

A-Z of interacting with people with disability

A-Z of interacting with people with disability helpful hints

How to act toward people with disability sometimes causes confusion, especially when it is unfamiliar

Julie-Anne B from Grampians Community Health gives some tips on how to act toward people with disability.
Many of us may not be aware of the language people with a disability consider appropriate.

The A-Z of interacting with people with disability offers helpful hints to put everyone at ease.
For example, “people with a disability”, or “person with a disability” are preferable to “the disabled”.

The vital reality is that we are all people first.

A-Z of interacting with people with disability

Funding support for men’s behaviour change program

Grampians Community Health is well established in delivering specialist family violence services to the Grampians and Wimmera

Grampians Community Health (GCH) has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Families and Children the Hon. Jenny Mikakos that will enable GCH to continue to deliver Men’s behavioural change programs in the Wimmera and Grampians.

In announcing the funding Minister Mikakos said “We know the devastating impact that men who commit family violence has on their own families, as well as the wider community – this is about stamping out this behaviour.”

Grampians Community Health has been delivering the Men’s behaviour change program since 2006 and has supported many men to address their behaviours towards partners, children and family members.

Mr Greg Little, Chief Executive Officer of Grampians Community Health said that the funding announced by the Victorian Government was welcomed by Grampians Community Health who will continue running the Men’s behaviour change group programs in Horsham and Stawell until at least June 2019.

“Over the past year, Grampians Community Health assessed around 130 men who completed the program, supporting them to address their behaviours towards partners, children and family members. This number has grown over time with a greater awareness by the courts of our men’s behaviour change program” Mr. Little said.

Mr. Little said that the strength of the Men’s behaviour change program was its capacity to enable men to understand that they are accountable for the long term effects and repercussions of their behaviour on their families, and that their behaviour is related to power and control.

The funding supports a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Family Violence that more men’s behavioural change programs be made available to meet the demands of the community and of court orders. The Andrew’s Labor Government is working to end family violence through its $1.9 billion package of measures in the Victorian Budget 2017/18. This record investment includes $49.4 million over four years for the Changing Perpetrator Behaviour initiative.

Funding will also go to establishing 17 support and safety hubs across the state, delivering after-hours crisis support, counselling and therapy for victims of family violence, and developing a 10-year plan.

Grampians Community Health is well established in delivering specialist family violence services to the Grampians and Wimmera. The Homelessness and Family violence team has for many years supported women and children who are affected by family violence and address their individual support needs.

Family violence support workers offer court support, safety planning and case management to ensure women and their children are supported. Grampians Community Health has a specialist family violence counsellor who is available for women to address the trauma experienced by family violence.

Mr. Little said the implementation of the safety hubs is being piloted in other areas and how the hubs will look in the Wimmera is unsure at this stage. Our communities can be assured however that when they need support the specialist family violence services provided by Grampians Community Health will provide services that aim for safety and social inclusion for all people.

People can access the Homelessness and Family violence programs at Grampians Community Health by calling 03 5358 7400 or calling into the GCH building at 24 David Street Horsham or the Stawell Health and Community Centre.


 Read more here: Funding support for Grampians Community Health men’s behaviour change program– The Wimmera Mail Times 24th August

Vale Fiona Richardson MP

Grampians Community Health is saddened after learning of the death yesterday of the Hon. Fiona Richardson MP.

Fiona Richardson was the Minister for Women and Family Violence in the current Victorian Labor Government and was a strong advocate of the services that Grampians Community Health (GCH) provided to people in our community.

Grampians Community Health Manager of Direct Care Programs Ms Kath Heading said that GCH were privileged to have hosted Fiona Richardson when she visited Grampians Community Health in August 2016 to tour our community health services in Stawell and to meet with the Homelessness and Family Violence Team.

“Her compassion and her commitment to addressing family violence and gender inequality across the Wimmera and Grampians regions was strongly evident. Grampians Community Health offers our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and colleagues” said Ms Heading.

Grampians Community Health supports total equality for the LGBTIQ community

Grampians Community Health is proud to be an accredited Rainbow tick organisation since 2012

We support and recognise the importance of safe and inclusive service delivery for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people in our community.

“As a leading health organisation in the region, we take very seriously our duty to support equality for all and provide support to some of the most marginalised groups in our community. “Said Gemma Beavis, chair of the Rainbow committee at GCH.

“We also understand that people in the GLBTIQ community are more likely to experience and be diagnosed with a mental health disorder and be susceptible to discrimination and exclusion in their community” Gemma went on to say.

Grampians Community Health has an established team of Rainbow Committee members who have knowledge of the issues faced by LGBTIQ Australians and are available to speak with for consultations at any time. Grampians Community Health prides itself on the support available for LGBTIQ Australians and provides access to social support groups across the district for young people under the age of 25.

To access any of the free and safe services offered by Grampians Community Health or to hear more about what is available in your area please contact the dedicated intake workers on 53587400 or call into our offices in Stawell, Ararat and Horsham.

The Equal Heart artwork was made by:

“Josh, Emily, Sarah, Norm and Georgia”

The artwork was made by weaving fabric through chicken wire creating a tapestry representing the LGBTI+ community.

The partnership between Grampians Community Health, Central Grampians Llen & Juno Vesta facilitated the project  in July 2017.

New Location for GCH Horsham

 We are excited about this move!

Grampians Community Health is one of 5 community health facilities in rural Victoria to receive funding for facility upgrades.  The grant will cover the cost of relocation of the Horsham site to a refurbished, pleasant and safe environment in a more accessible location. 

“It is a great place to go, we are really excited about this move” , “It helps achieve the long-held ideal of Horsham based health and community services providing a service hub at each end of the city.” Jill Miller CEO


 Read more here: Grampians Community Health relocation to create Horsham hub – The Wimmera Mail Times 7th July

Drug Drive Program

Grampians Community Health now offers a local Drug Drive Program.  People who have lost their licence due to drug driving offences are now able to complete a one day program in Horsham or Stawell.

The course aims to provide people with a better understanding of different drugs and their effects, and how to develop strategies to reduce the risks associated with drug use.  Participants will learn about the legalities of drug driving, and gain an understanding of the risks associated with drug impaired driving.  Course facilitators are experienced in adult learning principles, where participants are treated with respect and positive reinforcement used to encourage participation.

Grampians Community Health has provided Alcohol & Other Drug Services for over 28 years, and delivered the Drink Drive program for 22 years.  In 2014 we applied for accreditation with the Victorian Accredited Driver Education Programs to deliver the Drug Drive Program and assessments to residents across the Wimmera and Grampians regions.  Having this accreditation means improved access to the course for people in our local community.

The first Drug Drive program will be offered in Horsham next Wednesday the 18th March.

For more information about the program please contact Thea or David at Grampians Community Health (03) 5362 1200

Autumn Forum

The Green Initiative of GCH forum featured in May

  • Fruit tree pruning with Al
  • Bruce Hordern from ‘Sustainable Regional Australia’ discussed energy efficiency
  • Vegie seedlings were swapped

The next forum is on August 22nd (3-5pm).