Carer Peer Workforce Training Forum

Two successful days of professional development training for the carer peer workforce was held at the Poplar Learning Centre in Parkville over Wednesday and Thursday this week. The training was supported by the Training and Learning Clusters, and the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The keynote presentation from Dr Marianne Wyder of Metro South in Queensland on Family Recovery provided the theme for the forum, which also focused on development of the carer peer workforce, and how, in this time of the expansion of the workforce, they can best work to achieve personal recovery for everyone involved in the system.

Tandem would very much like to acknowledge Anne Finch for co-ordinating a successful and thought provoking program as well as other Tandem team members, Deanna, Emma, Chaaya and Lauren for their assistance over the two days. Congratulations and sincere thanks to our keynote speaker Dr Marianne Wyder, Peter McKenzie from Bouverie, Michelle Swann and her colleagues from NorthWestern, Sue Drummond from Victorian Transcultural Mental Health, and the Mental Health Branch for their time and input, which was very valuable and much appreciated. A particular thanks to Rosemary Charleston and the Western Cluster for their support for this important training event over the years, and their kind provision of the venue, and support arrangements.
Left: Forum participants. Right: Our keynote speaker, Dr Marianne Wyder.

Tandem and Mental Health Week 

NDIS World Café registrations are now open

Tandem is partnering with a number of agencies to deliver World Cafés during Mental Health Week.These sessions will provide information and advice around access and planning for NDIS supports. Registration for Banyule and Nillumbik, Darebin and Yarra sessions are now open.

Banyule, Nillumbik and Yarra. For people living with a disability or mental illness, their families and carers from Chinese (Mandarin), Somali and Vietnamese speaking communities. Monday 10 October, 10am–1pm, Banyule Community Health Service. The Yarra session will be on 3 November at the Richmond Town Hall. Register by calling Carly Donaghey on 5224 5430 or emailing 
Darebin. This session will focus on people living with a psychosocial disability, their families and carers who are from Greek, Italian and Chinese (Mandarin) speaking communities. Wednesday 12 October, 10am–1pm, Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre. Register by calling Emma McGoldrick on 8803 5555 or emailing  

Mental Health Week Official Launch

Mental Health Week aims to activate, educate and engage Victorians about mental health through a week of interactive events across the state, including an official launch, community festivals, art exhibitions, music, theatre and seminars. The Launch will be held on Tuesday 11 October, 5–7.30pm at the Edge Theatre, Federation Square.

Disability support payments for Forensic MH patients

Tandem would like to congratulate the staff and carers associated with Forensicare, and in particular our carer consultant colleague Liz Ward for the success of their tireless efforts over many months to ensure that eligibility of forensic mental health patients to the DSP was not one of the measures included in the Omnibus bill of budget measures that was passed by the Senate last night. Forensicare wrote many letters, and advocated at all levels that this would be both discriminatory and punitive, and would have a devastating impact on forensic patients.  

NEMA Presentations

Presentations from the NEMA NDIS Implementation Group held on 31 August are available for download here.

Information about Mental Health: Carer Respite and Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMS) programs transition into the NDIS

DSS has advised that after block funding ends in September 2016, it will stagger reductions to block funding for current providers over three years, in line with the number of clients expected to transition to becoming NDIS participants.  Clients will need to meet NDIS eligibility requirements in order to transfer, which must be demonstrated with supporting documentation.  Providers will be funded to maintain their services whilst eligibility is determined and an individual support plan is developed.

Review of NDIS My Place Portal

Following significant issues experienced by consumers and services using the NDIS MyPlace Portal, Minister Porter commissioned an independent report reviewing the portal. The report by Price Waterhouse Cooper was released on 2 September. Read more 

DHHS Releases State-wide Data Collection Update 

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently released a document detailing new information on a state-wide data collection project to enable the transition of clients from defined programs to the NDIS and Commonwealth continuity of support arrangements.The department has acknowledged that existing client data previously submitted is insufficient and have introduced this process to provide a more accurate 'snapshot'. More information on the NDIS Transition State-wide Client Data Collection is available for funded organisations through the Funded Agency Channel.

Recently released reports

Developing the Workforce: Community Managed Mental Health Sector NDIS Workforce Development Scoping Paper Project. One of three NDIS Capacity Building Project Papers, released by Mental Health Australia which were funded through the NDIS Sector Development Fund as part of a capacity building project being delivered by Mental Health Australia. Download

Service Provider Workshops

NDS (National Disability Services)
NDIS and HACC in NEMA. More information and to register. Link
CALD Participant Readiness for Providers. More information and to register. Link
NDIS transition for NEMA accommodation providers. More information and to register. Link
Upcoming NDIA workshops and events. Link

VMIAC Awards 

To mark the 20th anniversary of the beginnings of the consumer workforce, VMIAC, as the peak body for consumers, will sponsor an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of consumers and consumer workers. The inaugural VMIAC Consumer Awards will consist of six awards for consumers who have made a significant contribution to consumer work, either paid or voluntary, that raises the voice of consumers and contributes to improvement of consumers experiences in Victoria. Please see the nomination form for more details.
The inaugural awards night will be held at the Northcote Town Hall, on Friday 14 October at 6.00pm. Register for this free event here.

Volunteers needed for Psychosis Research Project

Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre (MNC) is undertaking leading clinical research in psychiatric illness. Their goal is to understand the biological basis of disorders that emerge in childhood and adolescence, including psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. For more information please click here.
Throughout September SANE Australia is hosting a series of live webcasts exploring topics including trauma, stigma, mindfulness and more. These live online video events will feature special guests, experts and, most importantly, peers who’ve ‘been there’. Registration is free. Join the SANE forums here.

Carer forums in September

Healing Trauma 20 September 7pm – 8pm
Everyday Mindfulness 22 September 7pm – 8pm
Smashing the Stigma 27 September 7pm – 8pm

The SANE blog also has some great information. Click here for the latest post.

Anglicare Victoria

Breaking the Cycle. An eight-week therapeutic program for mothers, fathers, stepparents and carers whose adolescents are abusive or violent in the home. Commencing 6 October. More information here.

Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria

OCD Cognitive Strategies and Recovery Workshop. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based treatment for anxiety and is the basis of the program. This group program consists of 6 x 1.5 hour workshops. Next program starts Saturday 24 September. Other dates are 1, 8, 15 & 29 October, 5 November, 11.00am–12.30pm.

Bookings essential. For further information or to register, visit or call the ARCVic office on 9830 0566.

Carers Victoria

Carer Support Group Facilitator Training. 26 October. A one-day comprehensive program suitable for new facilitators or for those wanting to start up a carer support group. 
Dementia Program. A four week program for caring families who are supporting a person living with dementia is a practical, interactive and offers clear take home strategies for carers. Monday 7, 14, 21 & 28 November.

Click here to see all Carer's Victoria courses and events for 2016.


Caring for People with Psychosis and Schizophrenia. Explore the key issues related to caring for a relative with psychosis or schizophrenia, with this free online course that will also provide opportunities to share your views and experiences with carers from around the world. More information here.


Mental Health First Aid Training

Maroondah City Council is offering Mental Health First Aid Training to 25 community members on 17–18 October. The training will be fully funded, but participants need to commit to the full two day program. Register here.

Mental Health Foundation of Australia 

The MHFA has many great events scheduled during Mental Health Week, 9–15 October. Click here for more details.

MIND Australia – Carer Education Workshops

Challenging Behaviours. Saturday 17 September. Setting and maintaining limits and clearly defining personal boundaries, and enhancing communication skills.
Recovery and Hope. Saturday 24 September. This workshop utilises personal experience and building skills to help carers maintain hope.  

See the full calendar of workshops here.


Psychlopaedia™ is an online publication devoted to psychology. It aims to make this immense field – the discoveries, the disorders, treatments, as well as insights into the human mind and behaviour – accessible to all.


Voices Vic

Using your Story in Peer Work & Other Consumer Roles. 26 & 27 September, 9.30am–4.30pm
The Hearing Voices Approach. 23 & 24 November, 9.30am–4.30pm
Voice Profiling. 6 October, 9.30am–4.30pm

More information and other courses can be found here.


Mental Health & NDIS Forum. 19 October, 9.30am–4.00pm at the Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). 20–21 October (2 days), 9.30am–4.30pm at the Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare.

The full VICSERV Training Calendar May 2016 to February 2017 is available here.



Snapshot is an education program designed to assist family members and carers to maintain their own wellness and support the recovery of their family member or friend with a mental illness. Saturday 24 September. More information contact Suzi Tsopanas on 8873 2509 or Catherine Vine on 8873 2510. Wellways' full schedule for July to December is available here.

Women Reclaiming their Lives

An 8 week group for women who have experienced or are experiencing violence in the home. Monday 10 October 1–3pm. More information is available here.
Giving Tree Group (GTG) is aimed at helping people with mild disability to become valued and contributing members of the community. They seek alternative low-cost pathways towards better quality of life that our society can't provide elsewhere. Click here for more information.

Span Community House. Take time to be creative – free creative classes for carers. More information can be found here.

Mildura Family Connections – Free BPD Carers Support Program commences Thursday 22 September 6.30–8.30pm for 12 consecutive weeks at Mallee Family Care. The Family Connections Program is a free evidence- based program that provides education, resources, skills training and support for those with a loved one who experiences Borderline Personality Disorder. To register complete the online form or email

The Pathway for Carers project offers carers of people with a disability or a mental health issue, an opportunity to share walks in Manningham, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges with other carers and to learn more about news, services, supports available to carers. Further information can be found here.
11 October, Brunswick
Different Elephants, Same Room – Family Violence & Mental Health. This mini-conference explores the especially challenging territory involving the intersection between family violence and mental health. Details and bookings can be made on the The Bouverie Centre's Training and Professional Development page.

13 October, Lakeside Community Centre, Benalla
The Hume FaPMI Conference, Supported Families – Resilient Kids. Practical evidence-based approaches to working with vulnerable families. Register here.

17 October, High Street Centre, Frankston
Peninsula Carer Council Annual General Meeting. The guest speaker, Dr. Peter Mc Kenzie from the Bouverie Clinic Brunswick, will be outlining the basic principles of a relatively new approach to treatment of people with a mental illness – the Open Dialogue Approach – which started in Finland in the 1980s, and gradually spread across Scandinavia, Europe, UK and USA. For more information can be found here.

24–26 October, Brisbane 
12th Biennial Asia Pacific International Mental Health Conference (AsPac).The Conference Program highlights a focus on early intervention, suicide, cross cultural learnings and innovative service developments. Visit for more information.

25–27 October, Adelaide
42nd International Mental Health Nursing Conference: Nurses Striving to Tackle Disparity in Health Care.This conference will look at how disparity in health care impacts on mental health consumers, carers and their families. The conference will offer opportunities for collaboration and partnership within the mental health and nursing sectors. Register here.
This issue of Tandem eNews is filled with information for mental health carers and the carer peer workforce, for carer workers and mental health staff, and those with an interest in this area. If you are not already subscribed, you can do so here.

Tandem is the peak body for mental health carers in Victoria. Tandem advocates on behalf of mental health carers for the Involvement in planning and care, the participation in system change, and support for families and carers.

To do this, we need your voice. There is strength in numbers and your story, your experience and your recommendations count. You can join Tandem now by downloading the membership form for organisations or individuals. For more information and to lodge your form, please call our office during business hours on 8803 5555.
Tandem Inc. acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional owners of the lands and waters of Australia. Tandem is committed to working in partnership to support the principles of self-determination and ensure the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health carers are heard and considered.
Disclaimer. Tandem endeavours to provide a broad range of mental health carer-related information and other opportunities in this publication. This does not imply endorsement, recommendation or a direct reflection of Tandem's values and aims. Tandem attempts to ensure that information published is up-to-date and correct at publication.
Copyright © 2016 Tandem Inc., All rights reserved.

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