Clinic Central to open on Tuesday at La Trobe University Bendigo

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Bendigo Community Health Services men’s health male nurse practitioner Peter Strange and sexual health nurse Mary-Anne Richardson will work at Clinic Central. 


Bendigo Community Health Services will launch Clinic Central at La Trobe University Bendigo on Tuesday.

Clinic Central will offer a complete sexual health service for students.

A sexual health nurse will be available at Clinic Central each Tuesday afternoon.

Our men’s health male nurse practitioner will be at the clinic every second Wednesday.

The clinic is confidential and appointments are protected under Victorian privacy laws.

The clinic will offer sexual health services such as:

  • Sexual transmissible infection testing.
  • Blood borne virus testing.
  • Contraception advice.
  • Pregnancy testing and advice.
  • Unplanned pregnancy support.
  • Pap tests
  • Any other sexual health concerns

Appointments will be conducted in a relaxed atmosphere.

Come and see us if you have any questions or worries … we are here to help you.

To make a booking call 5448 1600 or email



Futsal tournament goes to KBDDF A Bendigo team



Bendigo team Karen Buddhist Dhamma Dhutta Foundation A has won the 2016 Bendigo Community Health Services Multicultural Youth Futsal Tournament.

KBDDF A defeated another Bendigo team in  Freedom by 8 goals to 3 in the grand final.

More than 100 people turned out for the event which attracted nine teams this year.

Western District Employment Access business development officer Ivan Crisp presented the Fustal Cup to the winning team, the runner’s up trophy and individual player of the tournament awards.

BCHS has already started planning the 2017 Multicultural Youth Futsal Tournament. If you would like more information on playing or supporting the event, call Zahir or Nay Chee from the Settlement Services team on 03 5448 1600.

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Western District Employment Access business development officer Ivan Crisp and Bendigo Community Health Services case worker Zahir Azimi hold the Multicultural Youth Futsal Tournament cup while BCHS settlement services community guide Win Naing and case worker Nay Chee Aung show off the runner’s up trophy.


Bendigo Community Health Services will host the third annual Multicultural Youth Futsal Tournament in Bendigo on Saturday (September 17).

Futsal is a modified version of traditional soccer and embraced around the world.

The popularity of the sport with Karen and Afghan communities in Bendigo motivated BCHS to start an annual Multicultural Youth Futsal Tournament in 2014.

BCHS Settlement Services manager Martine Street said the tournament had become known for great participation and fierce competition.

“Traditionally, 10 teams compete and approximately 100 participants. Lots of women and children come and cheer on competitors,” Martine said.

Martine said BCHS was delighted to welcome a new sponsor for the tournament this year.

“We are delighted Western District Employment Access (WDEA) is supporting the tournament, providing information on their services and generally joining in,” she said.

Martine said organising events such as the Futsal tournament was an important part of the Settlement Services work at BCHS.

“Participation in organised activities, social connection and physical activity are priority areas for the work done by our staff – it’s great to see that effort rewarded with events such as this and our annual Multicultural Soccer Tournament.”

WDEA business development officer Ivan Crisp said the organisation had a strong belief in supporting the local community.

“The Bendigo Multicultural Youth Futsal Tournament provided a great opportunity for us to back an event that brings people together in a fun and inspiring way,” he said.

“Many of the people participating have come from some very difficult backgrounds and by supporting the tournament it is our hope that we can bring some happiness and fun to everyone involved.

“Everyone should come along and pick a team to support … you never know how much fun you can have and the friends you could make.

“I look forward to the day and being a part of such a special event is inspiring and humbling.”

The Multicultural Youth Futsal Tournament will run from 10am to 3.30pm at the Flora Hill Indoor Sports Stadium in Ellis Street with spectators welcome.

The tournament is supported by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship under the Refugee Action Program.

To inquire about playing in the 2017 tournament call Nay Chee Aung or Zahir Azimi from the BCHS Settlement Services team on 5448 1600.

BLOG – Discovering BCHS: Paula devotes 37 years to helping ‘at-risk’ families in Bendigo


PAULA May is Bendigo Community Health Services’ longest-serving employee, devoting the past 37 years to helping local at-risk families reach their full potential.

At the age of 74, the family support worker has contemplated retirement in the past and once even started going through the early stages of the process.

“But I came out the other end and thought, no, I have still got something to offer. I love my job, I love the workers and our team and I feel good about staying at work.”

Paula grew up in a single-parent family and, through her own experiences, understands many of the daily challenges faced by the mums, dads and children she comes in contact with.

Having worked as a factory sewing machinist in her early life – including at Hanro Knitting Mills in the very building that houses BCHS’s central office today – she believes she was destined to work in the family services field.

“I am sure that most of the lessons I have had to learn in life have led me to this,” says the mother of four, grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of one.

“It feels like this is what I was meant to do.”

Paula joined BCHS on June 15, 1979. She had returned to her home town of Bendigo after a stint in Melbourne and was working part-time in a grocery store when she saw a newspaper ad for a family support worker and felt compelled to apply.

She didn’t get the job. But soon after she received a phone call to say a second position had opened up if she was still interested, and she has been supporting local families ever since.

Continue reading “BLOG – Discovering BCHS: Paula devotes 37 years to helping ‘at-risk’ families in Bendigo”

Dementia study delivers valuable learnings for BCHS Community Connections project

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Bendigo Community Health Services has spent 18 months studying dementia through a new Community Connections project.

The project engaged people with dementia, partners, families and carers to learn how the disease impacts on lives and community.

“We developed strong, trusting relationships with a number of our community members. The community opened their homes to us, showed us their photo albums of memories and even introduced us to their family,” a BCHS Community Connections project team member said.

BCHS staff will present the dementia project findings during a free public information session at the La Trobe Visual Arts Centre at 121 View Street in Bendigo from 10am on September 29.

NOTE: Please note venue change from Capital Theatre to La Trobe Visual Arts Centre. All other details remain the same.

The session will include a presentation on what BCHS has learned from the study, videos from heartfelt interviews with families, information on how organisations can become dementia friendly and free help brochures.

BCHS staff will also showcase a dementia staff training system built through the learnings of the Community Connections project and experiences of people with dementia and their carers.

Alzheimer’s Australia will also deliver a presentation during the session.

Event details

When: Thursday, September 29.

Where: La Trobe Visual Arts Centre, 121 View Street, Bendigo.

Time: 10am to 11.30am.

Cost: Free.

RSVP: Please click here to register by close of business on Monday, September 26.




John Forbes spreads bowel cancer awareness message across footy finals

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE: John Forbes with Bendigo Community Health Services staff member and Bowel Screen Project Worker Sarah Tarquinio. 


Bendigo sporting legend John Forbes has thrown his support behind raising awareness of bowel cancer during the footy finals series.

Bendigo Community Health Services and its partners in the Bowel Cancer Awareness Project will use AFL Vic resources to promote the important health message through all finals played in local leagues.

Central to the message will be a personal story from John Forbes.

Mr Forbes wrote:

“Bowel cancer is an insidious disease whose whole aim to destroy the person who is carrying it.

“There is no question that early detection saves lives, but the basic problem we face is that the sufferers of bowel cancer do not take their queries to their general practitioner soon enough.

Continue reading “John Forbes spreads bowel cancer awareness message across footy finals”

Fun day at Lansell Square puts women’s health in the picture


We put women’s health in the picture with a fun day of information, prizes, health assessments and photographs at Lansell Square on Wednesday.

The event was in support of Jean Hailes Women’s Health Week and raised awareness about important issues such as regular check ups, blood pressure and diabetes.

The day was attended by women of all ages.

Importantly, our staff carried out more than 50 health checks on the day, referring four people to their GP for high blood pressure and 15 to our Life! Program after a risk assessment for Type 2 diabetes.

Huge thanks to nursing students from La Trobe University, Victoria University and Monash University who helped with the event as part of their placement with BCHS.

Oh, we even had the pleasure of meeting Moose from Seeing Eye Dog Australia.

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Our staff have a strong commitment to caring for women in Bendigo.

Our Women’s Health Clinic, medical practices and wide range of support programs are committed to allowing you to live life well!

The Women’s Health Clinic is staffed by a female general practitioner and nurses and has a focus on:

  • understanding puberty
  • common issues with periods
  • contraception options
  • fertility information
  • pregnancy tests
  • early pregnancy care and referral to maternity hospitals
  • unplanned pregnancy counselling and support
  • sexually transmissible infection risk assessment, testing and treatment
  • cervical cancer screening – pap tests
  • breast health and breast checks
  • bowel cancer screening
  • emotional and physical issues of menopause; assessment and testing and support
  • menopause
  • managing life as an older woman
  • women’s health education sessions

The clinic caters for all ages and you do not need a referral.

Continue reading “Fun day at Lansell Square puts women’s health in the picture”

BLOG Discovering BCHS: Nicole humbled by sharing of personal thoughts, feelings and stories

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Bendigo Community Health Services is home to more than 50 services and 250 staff. Take a journey through our organisation to learn more about our services and programs by meeting some of our wonderful staff through our blog Discovering BCHS…

EVEN after a decade as a counsellor, Nicole Trench is still humbled by the privilege of having clients confide in her, sharing their most personal thoughts, feelings and stories.

“The intimacy of trusting and sharing and bearing witness to someone’s journey can be so amazing,” says the softly spoken confidante from Bendigo Community Health Services’ alcohol and other drugs team.

“Sometimes it can be as simple as something clicking with a client that causes a shift – a shift in thinking, a shift in behaviour, or a shift in their own belief system.

“And to witness that is quite powerful.”

Nicole works three days a week at BCHS in Eaglehawk, managing a case load of about 24 clients all trying to overcome issues related to substance abuse.

And while drugs or alcohol may be at the centre of their problems, they are often just one of many intertwining factors in the complex web of their lives.

Continue reading “BLOG Discovering BCHS: Nicole humbled by sharing of personal thoughts, feelings and stories”

Plenty of super hero efforts at Run For Dad

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The Clarke family.


The annual Run For Dad at Bendigo Racecourse attracted more than 280 entrants on Sunday.

The Father’s Day event was run by Athletics Bendigo with support from Bendigo Community Health Services as part of the organisation’s first ever Men’s Health Marathon.

The Marathon included 11 days of activities designed to get men out, active and thinking seriously about their health.

It carried the theme: Make men’s health your business … before it’s too late.

The Run For Dad has a super hero theme for the first time this year with many entrants getting into the spirit and dressing up in costume.

Moira Mac’s sponsored the Run For Dad this year with proceeds going to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Bendigo Community Health Services will announce winners of its Run For Dad Super Hero Competition on our website on Tuesday.


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The Asbury family.


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The Holland family.


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The Horan family.


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Batman made an appearance!


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Bendigo Community Health Services was onsite for the Run For Dad.

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Can you make a difference by joining the Bendigo Community Health Services board?


Bendigo Community Health Services is seeking interested people to nominate for our board of directors.

Do you have community at heart?

Is making a difference important to you?

Do you have experience in governance?

Directors must be eligible to become a company member and nominations close on Friday, September 16, 2016, prior to an election to fill vacant positions on the board.

For more information on joining the board of directors, call company secretary Kim Sykes on 5448 1611.

Are you interested?
Click on the links below to get your nomination form for the board of directors.

Board of Directors nomination pack – updated 2016

BCHS constitution 2014.11.26

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