Healthiest people|Healthiest community

Bendigo Community Health supports Bendigo Walk Against Violence

white ribbonBendigo Community Health Services staff will take to the streets today for the annual White Ribbon Day Bendigo Walk Against Violence.

More than 500 people are expected to take part in the march through the central business district.

Soldiers will lead the march this year.

The Bendigo Walk Against Violence starts with guest speakers Victoria Police assistant commissioner Tess Walsh and former AFL footballer Luke Ablett addressing the crowd at the Bendigo Town Hall from noon.

The walk will then move through the streets of Bendigo to raise awareness of violence against women before concluding with a barbecue and entertainment in the Bendigo Library gardens.

Bendigo Community Health Services has taken a lead role in raising awareness against family violence, putting its entire workforce through specialised Take A Stand training. To read more click here

StandBy Response Service funding a must: Chesters

StandBy web
BRIEFING: StandBy Response Service board member Greg Livingstone, Bendigo co-ordinator Chris Kyle-Link, Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters and national co-ordinator Jill Fisher in Bendigo.



Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters has used her speech time in Federal Parliament to call on the government to secure funding for the National StandBy Response Service.

Bendigo Community Health Services provides StandBy for the Loddon Mallee region.


Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters has called on the Federal Government to guarantee the future of the National StandBy Response Service.

StandBy provides 24-hour support to people affected by a suicide death.

Bendigo Community Health Services provides StandBy for the Loddon Mallee region.

Ms Chesters attended the Bendigo StandBy steering committee’s November meeting to learn more about the program at local level and on a wider scale from national co-ordinator Jill Fisher and board member Greg Livingstone.

The need for government funding to secure the future of StandBy was a clear message.

Ms Chesters said the experience of a work colleague whose child had tried to take their own life had given her a first-hand experience of the value of services such as StandBy.

“What that taught us was how important it is to support the families,” Ms Chesters said.

“Yes, we need to support people to ensure they don’t take their own life but what happens when a tragedy occurs? We must make sure that we’ve got funding and support there – that early intervention to help families who are grieving.

“There is a lot of shock in the beginning, a lot of doubt and regret and questioning why and it’s so critical that we have the counselling and support for people who find themselves in the most heartbreaking of circumstances.”

Ms Chesters said StandBy funding should just be automatically rolled over.

“It is quite possibly the most important support services that government can provide. It’s about respect, it’s about compassion and it’s about ensuring people can basically rebuild their lives after such a heartbreaking tragedy of losing someone that you love.”

StandBy Response Service supports people and communities after someone has taken their own life.

That support can be immediately or years after a death.

Bendigo StandBy co-ordinator Chris Kyle-Link said the free 24-hour services was offered across the Loddon Mallee area including Bendigo, Mildura, Swan Hill, Castlemaine and Echuca.

“Suicide is a time of immense crisis and the tragedy of suicide loss can create trauma deeply affecting individuals, families, friends and entire communities .Those bereaved by suicide do not know where to turn for help or how to find support that may already exist,’’ she said.

More than 250,000 Australians are impacted by suicide each year.

Research shows the risk of suicide faced by those affected by such a death is up to eight times higher than the general population.

Bendigo was the first regional Victorian city to have access to the National StandBy Response Service.

Contact StandBy Loddon Mallee on 5430 0500 or 24-hour mobile on 0439 173 310.

Free community barbecue for World AIDS Day


BENDIGO will recognise World AIDS Day with a free community barbecue on December 1.

World AIDS Day raises community awareness about issues surrounding HIV and AIDS.

The day gives people the opportunity to show support for those living with HIV and commemorate those who have died.

The Getting To Zero event will be hosted by the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative with support from Bendigo Community Health Services, Bendigo Health and the Country Awareness Network.

The barbecue from 11.30am at 13-15 Forest Street, Bendigo, will feature a guest speaker from Living Positive Victoria.

With reported HIV cases on the rise, particularly among hetrosexual couples, the theme of World AIDS Day in Australia is ‘Getting to Zero’.

“That means zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths,” said CAN spokesperson Paula McCluskey.

“It’s important for communities to remain vigilant about HIV and that includes understanding how the virus is transmitted and how to protect against it.

“Early treatment is important in getting the best health results.

“World AIDS Day is also a time to reinforce that people living with HIV should be able to live in any community without discrimination and free of any stigma.”

Continue reading “Free community barbecue for World AIDS Day”

Bendigo Community Health Services welcomes new directors to board

New board members

Bendigo Community Health Services has welcomed two new board directors.

Beck Legal director Geoff Bowyer and St Luke’s financial counsellor Mark Gibson were elected at the BCHS annual general meeting.

Mr Bowyer nominated because of his belief BCHS was a crucial player in Bendigo’s development through the wide-ranging provision of health and community services.

He has spent many years advocating, developing and leading organisations in generational change in the local government, political and sporting fields.

Mr Bowyer has played a leading role with the Kangaroo Flat Community Enterprise in developing the new Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic Leisure and Well-being Centre.

“Bendigo’s future will rely heavily on promoting and supporting well-being and healthy lifestyle choices across all ages and elements of our community and I want to assist BCHS continue to grow its enviable record in delivery of these services,” Mr Bowyer said.

Mr Gibson’s board nomination was motivated by a long-standing interest in public health administration and appropriate health services delivery to communities.

Continue reading “Bendigo Community Health Services welcomes new directors to board”

Bendigo refugees group supports One Million Stars campaign to end all violence


KAREN and Afghan refugees attending a Bendigo Community Health Services women’s group are weaving stars in support of a special campaign seeking an end to all violence.

The Safe Community Forum has signed Bendigo up to become a WEAVE 100 community with the aim of creating 10,000 stars between November 25 and International Women’s Day on March 8 next year for the One Million Stars To End Violence project.

One Million Stars To End Violence is the idea of Brunswick artist Maryann Talia Pau who was inspired by a message in a sea of flowers after the rape and murder of Jill Meagher in her community.

The Doctor Martin Luther King Junior quote read: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“These profound words by this incredible human being had a huge impact on me and they are the heart of this epic project. I ran up to my studio, grabbed some ribbon and I started weaving stars at the table where I was helping to collect written messages for Jill’s family,” Maryann said on her website.

Continue reading “Bendigo refugees group supports One Million Stars campaign to end all violence”

Memorial scholarship honours ‘much loved’ Bendigo doctor

HONOUR: Cameron Cail was the inaugural winner of the Dr Barbara Brooking Memorial Scholarship.
HONOUR: Cameron Cail was the inaugural winner of the Dr Barbara Brooking Memorial Scholarship.

Bendigo Community Health Services nurse practitioner Cameron Cail is the inaugural winner of the Doctor Barbara Brooking ‘Care Beyond Measure’ Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship was introduced at the request of an anonymous donor to honour a much-loved former BCHS staff member in Doctor Barbara Brooking.

The award recognises Mr Cail’s dedication and passion for his work with the alcohol and other drugs services and programs at BCHS.

BCHS director Karen Riley presented the scholarship during the organisation’s annual general meeting on behalf of members of the Brooking family who attended as special guests.

Ms Riley said the scholarship recognised a unique and special person in Dr Brooking.

“How Barbara made people feel… that was the essence of her life,” she said.

Ms Riley said Dr Brooking was loved by her patients and many doctors across Bendigo were indebted to her for inspiring and mentoring them.

Mr Cail told the audience he was extremely humbled to receive the scholarship named in honour of such an inspiring person.

MUCH LOVED: The late Doctor Barbara Brooking.
MUCH LOVED: The late Doctor Barbara Brooking.

Students to ‘chill out’ at exciting new youth event in Bendigo



The Pens Down 2015 ‘chill out’ session between 3pm and 6pm for regional students in the Bendigo Library Gardens on November 20 is gaining business and community support.

Champions SUPA IGA in Long Gully has given the event a $500 voucher to cover expenses.

The Bendigo Rapid Relief Team has also given its support to the event by volunteering to not only cook the barbecue for students but supply the food as well.

Bendigo Community Health Services, headspace Bendigo, 91.9 Star FM and the City of Greater Bendigo thank Champions SUPA IGA Long Gully and the Bendigo Rapid Relief Team for their wonderful support.


Regional school students can wind down from a busy exam period with an exciting new youth event called Pens Down 2015 in the Bendigo Library Gardens.

headspace Bendigo, 91.9 Star FM and the City of Greater Bendigo have teamed up to host the afternoon of live entertainment and activities on November 20.

Pens Down 2015 is designed to celebrate the end of exams and raise awareness of mental health and youth issues.

The alcohol and drug-free event will give students the chance to ‘chill out’ between 3pm and 6pm with live music, free food and fun activities such as a giant piñata and jenga game.

Can your business or organisation support Pens Down 2015? Call headspace Bendigo on 5434 5345 or email

Continue reading “Students to ‘chill out’ at exciting new youth event in Bendigo”

BCHS sites closed on Wednesday for AGM, development day

Bendigo Community Health Services sites in the Bendigo CBD, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat will be closed on Wednesday (November 11) for the organisation’s annual general meeting and staff development day.
If you are in need of a doctor or nurse on Wednesday please contact Bendigo Primary Care Clinic at 123 Arnold Street, Bendigo, on 5441 8622.
For all emergencies please call 000.
All sites will re-open as normal on Thursday, November 12.
The Elmore practice will be open as usual on Wednesday, November 11.

Sugar message carries weight at Bendigo Fit Weekend

MESSAGE: Bendigo Community Health Services Health Promotion team member Heather Hinton hosts the organisation's stand at Bendigo Fit Weekend.
MESSAGE: Bendigo Community Health Services Health Promotion team member Heather Hinton hosts the organisation’s stand at Bendigo Fit Weekend.

Bendigo Community Health Services delivered a strong sugar message to patrons attending the Bendigo Fit Weekend at Tom Flood Sports Centre on Saturday and Sunday.

The BCHS Health Promtion team hosted a stand showing how much sugar was contained in items such as sports drinks, cereal, Coke, take away food and confectionary.

The stand generated plenty of interest with event patrons, particularly around the sugar content of popular sports drinks.

The Bendigo Fit Weekend brought together a host of activities including Bendigo’s biggest dance fitness event, Australia’s Strongest Man competition, Bendigo Bank Fun Run, Bendigo Tram Pull, highland games and KidStrong.

Dedicated volunteer honoured for 24 years of service

Elaine Ingram
Elaine Ingram

DEDICATED Elmore Planned Activity Group volunteer Elaine Ingram has been honoured for 24 years of service.
Elaine was guest of honour at a barbecue and function in Elmore on Friday.
PAG co-ordinator Judy Ryan presented Elaine with an inscribed vase to mark her service.
Bendigo Community Health Services director of media and communications Rod Case and Organisational Development manager Natalia Smith presented Elaine with a certificate and flowers as recognition from the organisation for her service.
“Elaine has shown long term commitment and achievement to the group in Elmore and was an intricate part of our volunteer team that allowed our group to continue to operate in a small rural area,” Judy told the gathering.

Continue reading “Dedicated volunteer honoured for 24 years of service”

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