Edition 1 - 29 July 2020
Welcome to the first edition of our Community News!  We hope that this monthly update gives you an insight into the wonderful and exciting things happening in your local Council and community, and provides you with information that is useful to Bass Coast community groups.
In Brief
- Introducing our new Social and Community Planning Team.
- Lets Stay Connected Funding Opportunity.
- Your feedback from our COVID-19 survey.
- Community supporting community during COVID-19 recovery.
- Office furniture available to community groups.
- Community Grants Information Session (virtual)
- New tennis/netball courts for the community.
- Smiths Beach Town Plan Project.
Introducing our Social and Community Planning Team.

The Social and Community Planning team are here to support our community.  

We have new officers starting soon, who we will introduce in our next Community News edition. 

We would like to introduce (from top left) - Leah Bellairs (team leader community planning), Joey Boothby (team leader social planning), Kathryn Pryor (access and healthy ageing officer) Hayley Edwards (community, recreation and culture administration officer), Kirsty Crooks (community planning officer - island ward), Shirley Egan (community grants and projects officer) and Alisha Gilliland (community wellbeing officer). 

Lets Stay Connected Funding Opportunity
Grant opportunities of up to $200,000 for community organisations and not-for-profit groups are now available.  These Victorian Government grants are available to support community-based initiatives that build connection and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Could your group use this funding to:
-  Adapt the way you deliver your programs or events, including online forums
-  Improve your digital skills, access online communication channels ie facebook page, email, website etc
-  Create new ways for people to continue volunteering (whilst maintaining physical distancing).

Applications are open until 31 August, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible at

If you would like to chat more about these grants please contact Leah t 03 5671 2767 e
Community Groups COVID-19 Survey Feedback
Many thanks to everyone who completed our recent survey regarding the impact that COVID-19 is having on our community groups.  Here are some of the key findings:
95% of you would like updates/opportunities throughout the COVID-19 response and recovery period.

The main impacts that COVID-19 is having on groups are

1.  Social impacts
2.  Operational impacts
3.  Financial impacts

Topics you would like to stay in touch with Council about are
Grants Information 88%
Community Groups Newsletter 71%
Training 57%

Based on your response regarding financial impacts, please see below details on our upcoming Council Community Grants Program and from an operational perspective we have included information on holding AGM Meetings remotely.  

Please visit the DHHS website for the most up to date information about COVID-19 restrictions and advice.
Online AGM Meeting?

Is your AGM coming up?  Thinking about how you can run it in a COVID-19 safe manner?
Here is a flow chart from Not-for Profit Law that quickly and easily explains your options for holding your AGM.
     Flow Chart

Would you like to know more?
Visit the Not-for-Profit Law website
               Got the app?                       Follow Bass Coast Shire Facebook page
Community supporting community during COVID recovery – are you available to assist?
The Victorian Government recently initiated the COVID-19 Community Activation and Social Isolation (CASI) program to help people maintain important connections with family, friends and community. 

CASI is designed to benefit anyone in the community who needs practical, emotional or social support as a result of COVID-19.  The types of support covered by the program may include providing wellbeing checks, assisting with technical support to connect those in need with family/friends or helping to connect to social activities such as book clubs, fitness groups etc.

We know that many of you are already supporting our most vulnerable community members at this time, and with the introduction of CASI, there is a perfect opportunity for us to leverage from the great work that you’re doing to further support community members who may access the CASI program.

Council’s role in CASI is to connect community members seeking psychosocial support with community organisations who can provide it.  Primarily our referrals come from the Australian Red Cross who are offering the initial support for calls through the Victorian COVID Hotline on 1800 675 398.

While we are unsure of the level of demand for support at this stage, our first priority is to identify willing and able community partners who have capacity to assist in the types of support offered by CASI.  We would love to hear from you if you do.

For further information please contact Council’s CASI Community Connector,
Sandra Panagiris, on 0439 744 150 or 

Office furniture available to community groups
Does your Community Group need any office furniture? We have a limited amount of furniture available like desks, desk cupboards, lockable cabinet, white boards or second hand stationery like lever arch folders, plastic in-trays, plastic folders etc.

We have recently made a number of environmental and cost conscious decisions resulting in some spare furniture and office equipment becoming available now for Bass Coast community groups like yours.
If you would like to find out more, please contact Kirsty, community planning officer – Island Ward on tel 03 5671 2164 (Wednesday - Friday)
Bass Coast Shire Council
Community Grants Information Session (virtual)
Does your group have a never ending list of projects? Maybe that kitchen renovation? More storage? Start a completely new project?  Well now is the ideal time to find out more about Council’s Community Grants Program!  Shirley will be running a virtual information session on Monday 3 August at 10.30am via Go To meetings.  All you need is a computer with a webcam and audio.  For further information, and to book your virtual place, please call Shirley on 5671 2412

Smiths Beach Town Plan Project

A big thank you to everyone who submitted their priorities and future vision for Smiths Beach through the Smiths Beach Town Plan project. Bass Coast Shire Council are now considering all feedback as it prepares to create a town plan for Smiths Beach. Watch this space for further updates or visit
Wonthaggi Tennis Courts and Inverloch
Netball Courts/Pavilions

A number of exciting capital works projects have recently been completed at our sporting clubs.  Check out these photos of new tennis courts for Wonthaggi and netball courts and pavilion/change rooms for Inverloch.  Stay tuned for tennis court upgrades coming for Grantville and Corinella.
All Bass Coast Visitor and Information Centres are currently closed to the public however staff are available to assist on t 1300 366 422, use the web chat function on our website or send us an email . We are hoping to reopen to the public in time for the school holidays but this will depend on state government advice.

Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre is closed until further notice. 
Please visit our facebook page for up to date information or our website and subscribe to our newsletter.

Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Facilities are currently open to the community, however reduced hours of operation and capacity means bookings are essential should you wish to utilise the pool or gym. Please visit for more details.
In addition to this, Council has many play spaces, skate parks, trails and recreation reserves that can be utilised for daily exercise which is so important during this time. Please visit  for your nearest open space and recreation facilities.
We hope you have enjoyed our first edition of Community News!  If you have any information you think other Community Groups would like to know about please share with Kirsty via email or call on t (03) 5671 2164 (Wednesday - Friday) so we can include in future newsletters.  Editions will come out monthly.  We are really looking forward to getting out and meeting you all face to face and hope you have found our first Newsletter informative.   

Kind regards,

The Social and Community Planning Team
Bass Coast Shire Council

Phone: 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03 5671 2211) 
National Relay Service 13 37 77 (for people with communication difficulties) |

Copyright © 2020 Bass Coast Shire Council, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:  76 McBride Avenue, Wonthaggi, VIC 3995 | DX 34903 Wonthaggi | PO Box 118, Wonthaggi, VIC 3995

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