July 2021
Welcome to the July edition of our Community News.
Doesn't the new signage welcoming people entering Bass Coast along the Bass Highway (Lang Lang) look great!
In Brief

- Team Member Profile - Emily Harris, Community Planning Officer Western Port Ward
- Community Guide to Local Health Services and Support
- Community Training - coming soon!
- Grants Goss
- Round 1 Kindergarten offers close Sunday, 1 August
- Sustainability Victoria - Community Climate Change and Energy Action Grant Program
- Social Prescribing - what is it?
- Pathways for Carers walks - Rhyll and Wonthaggi
- Step Outside - move your way
- Design for Diversity. Brinnie T Design
- Elder Abuse Lunchtime Learnings
- Gippsland Primary Health Care Network Survey
- Supporting Regional Victorian Events and Festivals Grant
- Funding assistance to help residents with energy bills
- Wonthaggi Table Tennis Social Group
- Youth Innovations Grants open
- Neighbourhood House update

- Inspirational quote for the month
- Useful Links / Information
- Council Facilities Update
Team Member Profile
Emily Harris (and Ellie)
Community Planning Officer Western Port Ward
Where do you live?
Phillip Island

What do you love about your job?
I love meeting all the wonderful people who live and work in western port ward. Community Planning allows me the privilege to get involved in many different aspects of community life and hopefully provide the support or connection that improves community and builds community resilience. I really enjoy advocating for and sharing the voices of community, and making sure everyone has the same opportunities to be involved in Council.

What is your favourite book?
I just finished reading Your own kind of girl, a memoir by Clare Bowditch. It was an incredible read. I love reading everything, and do go back to When the Dogs Don’t Bark by Professor Angela Gallop. Angela was one of the first female forensic scientists, working in the field. Very interesting read for those who love their forensic science and learning what it takes to solve crime.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love spending my time at the beach with my partner, son and rescue Kelpie Ellie. We spend a lot of time playing and surfing at the beach. I also love exploring op-shops and collecting old recipe books. I recently found a first edition Stephanie Alexander, A Cooks Companion. I am now on the lookout for The Encyclopaedia of Food Cookery by Margaret Fulton.
Community Guide to Local Health Services and Support
Welcome to the Community Guide to health services and supports in Bass Coast and South Gippsland. We hope that this guide is able to provide you with a quick reference to localised support services for yourself, family, friends, colleagues or neighbours. To access the booklet click on the front cover below.
Community Training - coming soon!
The Community Planning Team are currently looking into training courses to offer to the community, such as governance, succession planning and grant writing. We hope to offer a combination of face to face training and virtual training sessions.  Keep an eye on social media, and the newspapers in Council's Update section.
Grants Goss
Community Grants
Council's next round of Community Grants close on Friday, 6 August. If you have any questions about Council's Grants Program please call and/or email Council's Community Grants and Projects Officer now on 0435 205 816 or

Thank you to everyone who responded to our recent grant survey.  We received 120 fantastic responses with some great comments and suggestions to help inform us around how to keep the Grants Program relevant to our community,

Are you a fan of podcasts?  Download and listen to Grants Uncovered
Jessie Ballantyne hosts Grants Uncovered a series of podcasts for those looking to get real with grants. Featuring fun interviews with grant seekers and funding providers across Australia, you will learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to grants. Grants Uncovered is aimed at helping you find and win more grants.

Grant Finder
Council have a free online service hosted by Grant Guru that enables individuals, businesses and community organisations to easily identify and access funding opportunities from local, state and federal government and other grant programs. It also includes a quick link to available Coronavirus funding. 

By registering on the website, you can create favourites lists, receive direct email alerts from your chosen areas of interest and keep up to dte with potential funding opportunities and deadlines.

The website also offers advice and top tips for finding and applying for gratns and allows you to filter your search by a specific location, industry or type of project. 
Round 1 Kindergarten offers close
Sunday, 1 August
Sustainability Victoria - Community Climate Change and Energy Action Grant Program - Round 1 closes 20 August 2021
About the funding

This program enables community organisations to apply for grants of up to $50,000 over the next two years, to reduce their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Community organisations will be able to get the energy use of their facility assessed, upgrade the energy efficiency of their facility, or invest in energy storage or renewable energy.

This program is delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government. It supports the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 stimulus program and Victoria’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

If you are planning on submitting an application in our online portal SmartyGrants, ensure you allow plenty of time to do so ahead of the deadline. All key documentation is now available on the
Sustainability Victoria website.  

We have answered and collated all program related questions received so far in our information bulletin.
You can also listen to a recording of our information session. 

All grant enquiries not covered in our information session materials can be directed to
Social Prescribing - what is it?
Participating GPs in Gippsland will soon be delivering social prescribing alongside their standard care for patients.
Social Prescribing is an approach general practitioners (GPs) and other health professionals use to support their patients to access community based supports or non-medical services. This can help a person make connections with local community groups, activities and programs to increase their connection to community. Participating GPs and other health professionals can soon write a referral or social script for their patients to participate in local community activities, if this is suitable for their patient.
Activities that a GP might refer a patient to are walking groups, community gardens or other local programs and activities that support and build a person’s social connection and wellbeing. When a patient visits a participating GP, together the GP and patient will discuss if the social prescription opportunity is right for the patient. The activities and community groups need to be suitable for the patients interests and abilities.
If your community group or service would like to become involved, follow the link
New Social Prescribing – Community Directory Provider Information form to complete this simple online form.

Your community group information will be made available to GPs and other health professionals to access and refer their patient to, via a platform called Kaleidoscope.

For further information, contact Gippsland PHN Digital Health and Integration Team
Pathways for Carers walks in Bass Coast

July Newsletter
Step outside and explore where you live.  Start by doing what you can, and then look for ways to do more. If you have not moved much for a while, start out slowly. After several weeks or months, build up your activities and try to do them for longer and more frequently.

Grab your friends and family and get moving.  If someone you care about needs to get moving, suggest activities you can do together.  Finding someone to be active with will turn the whole experience into something social and fun. 

For inspiration visit A webpage highlighting over 60 local tracks and trails including those suitable for beginners and more experienced walkers.  The webpage also lists local opportunities for people to join walking groups or other activity groups with over 40 groups listed.

For information about the campaign and to view the new webpage please go to 
Design for Diversity. Brinnie T Design
Jo Viney is an Interior Designer and Colour Consultant whose business Brinnie T Design is located in Cowes alongside her range of gift & homewares.  Jo is ASD herself and refers to autism as her super power as it allows her to think outside of the box in terms of design. She specialises in disability friendly design. For more about Jo’s story and her business, check out the video below.
Elder Abuse Lunchtime Learnings
Register for Sessions 2 or 3 via this link.  The link in the flyer does not work.
Gippsland Primary Health Care  Survey
Gippsland Primary Health Network (Gippsland PHN) works to improve health and wellbeing of people across Gippsland.
We rely on information from people in Gippsland to help us work on what is most needed most.
We will consider all the information in our thinking and will publish summary information here from time to time to let you know what we have learnt and how it’s being used.
Gippsland PHN does not deliver direct services; our job is to make the health system work better, especially for people who find it hard to access the help they need.
Please complete the online survey below.

For more information or to request paper surveys contact Gippsland PHN’s - Population Health Planner
Click on the Tell Gippsland PHN image to access the online survey:
Supporting more regional Victorian events and festivals
A new fund to support regional Victoria’s vibrant and diverse calendar of events and festivals has been launched by the State Government.  

The $1 million Regional Community Events Fund will support regional events that attract up to 1000 people. 

Eligible applicants will include all local regional and rural councils, public event organisers, and direct venue operators. Eligible events could include community festivals, rodeos, art shows and other smaller scale events that strengthen the community and showcase vibrant regions. 

To be eligible, applicants must host smaller scale events while larger festivals that include a series of smaller events over the course of multiple days may also be eligible. 

Applications will be open later this month and stay open until the funding is fully allocated. More information
Assistance to help residents with energy bills
The Victorian Government is providing a one-off $250 payment, the Power Saving Bonus, to eligible households to help people manage the cost of their energy bills from spending more time at home during coronavirus.

Consumer Policy Research Centre and experts from its
Energy Info Hub are partnering with the Victorian Government to help households to access the payment. The Energy Info Hub team is available to run free outreach events to ensure households do not miss out on the payment. These events can also provide broader energy affordability support to ensure households are accessing their energy concessions, debt relief and other assistance, where required.

To be eligible for the $250 payment, households must receive one of the following payments:
  • Pension Concession
  • JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Abstudy or Austudy
  • Veterans Affairs Pension (or hold a Veterans Affairs Concession Card)
The Energy Info Hub team uses a dedicated portal that streamlines the application process, households just need to bring:
  • Their concession card
  • A copy of a recent electricity bill (this needs to be a bill and not a reminder notice)
  • Bank account details (if the household does not wish to receive a cheque)
For more information or to schedule outreach, please contact Karl Barratt: or (03) 9607 7102.
Looking for something to do after lockdown?  Join the Wonthaggi Table Tennis social group
Wednesdays from 12.00 mid-day - All ages welcome – a social  program for adults.  No experience necessary.  Stay fit and enjoy the exercise at your own pace.   Never too old!!!   All equipment provided. 

Thursdays from 6.00 pm - Juniors social night.  Ages from 8 years old.  Some coaching available.  Now including mums and dads and any persons with a challenging ability who are keen to join in to enjoy the fun and exercise.  All equipment provided.  

These programs and club competition nights are all subject to COVID-19 restrictions for indoor sporting clubs.    Please contact Trish on 5672 3421 0407 502 441 or Nancy on 5674 4628 for further information.
Youth Innovation Grants now open!
Applications are now open for the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants! Community organisations are invited to apply for a share in $175,000 in grants, to bring one of these five youth-developed ideas to life. These inspiring ideas were created at this year's first ever Youth Ideas Lab held in Broken Hill, NSW and can be adapted to suit the needs of your community. Grants of up to $10,000 are available. Applications close August 19, 2021.
Neighbourhood House update
What is happening in your local Neighbourhood House?  Follow the links for more information and to view current programs. And don't forget to check out Bass Coast Adult Learning located at 239 White Road, Wonthaggi tel: 5672 3115 
Inspirational quote for the month

A day without laughter is a day wasted
Charlie Chaplin
Useful Links / Information
             Got the app?                                 Follow Council's Facebook page
Council Facilities Update
Please note: at the time of compiling this newsletter we are just heading out of lockdown.  We recommend you contact each facility first to determine what level of restrictions they may have in place.
The Wonthaggi Civic Centre and Cowes Customer Service Centre are now open Monday to Friday from 10.00am - 3.00pm for any queries.

Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Facility in Wonthaggi has re-opened to the community in a restricted manner. Online bookings are essential for use of the pool, gym facilities and group fitness classes, with reduced capacity in accordance with State Government guidelines. Please visit for up to date operating hours and availability for use.
The Phillip Island Leisure Centre in Cowes has also re-opened in a reduced capacity for use of the gym and group fitness classes. Please visit for up to date information.

Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre is open, screening a selection of new films with something for everyone. Tickets are $15 adult, $10 children / concession. Live shows are back! Please visit our Facebook page or website for up to date event times and to subscribe to our newsletter.

The Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre in Newhaven is open 7 days per week from 10.00am – 3.00pm. If you have any queries, please contact by phone on 1300 366 422, online at or by emailing

The Inverloch Visitor Information Centre is open 7 days per week from 10.00am – 3.00pm. If you have any queries, please contact by phone on 1300 762 433, online at or by emailng
Look out for our next Community Newsletter in September

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We hope you have enjoyed this month's edition of Community News! If you have any information you think other Community Groups would like to know about please share with Shirley, via email we can include in future newsletters. We are really excited to be getting out and about, and meeting you all again face to face. Take care of yourselves.

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) |

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