Are you feeling lonely or socially disconnected?
You are not alone. For many Victorians, physical distancing and social or work-related restrictions have led to feelings of loneliness and disconnection. All of us need social connection to feel happy and well.
That’s why in conjunction with the Victorian Governments Community Activation and Social Isolation initiative, Council has launched our FREE ‘DindiLink’ service.
What is the DindiLink service and am I eligible?
DindiLink is aimed at helping connect people in our community to the services they may need during these unprecedented times. It is a service available for anyone who would benefit from being connected into their local community and linked into practical, emotional or social support.
What help can I get from the DindiLink service?
Our local DindiLink team member will call you to help organise the support available in your area. The support services may include
- Emotional support such as connecting you with a local counselling service
- Practical help from helping you organise home delivered groceries to using video chat platforms to stay connect to friends and family. You may need help linking up to my Aged care or you may just need some reusable/disposable masks delivered
- Linking you into community groups and social activities within the Shire, or helping you to re-connect with the members of your existing community group
What number do I call?
If you need help with connecting to local support services or know someone who does, our DindiLink team can support you to get the help you need - safely and locally.
As well as being connected through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398, residents of the Murrindindi Shire can also call Council's DindiLink team on (03) 5772 0333. Our team look forward to connecting with you.
If you are receiving services from Nexus Primary Health or Menzies Support Services, please ring them first. They may be able to change your services to meet your needs. You can contact Nexus Primary Health on 1300 773 352 or Menzies Support Services on (03) 5772 1888.
There is a range of services and information available to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Council's DindiLink team has compiled the Murrindindi Shire Services Guide to help connect you to the right organisations to help with your needs.
Click here(PDF, 174KB) to download a copy.
What is Be Connected? Be Connected is an Australia wide FREE initiative empowering all Australians to thrive in a digital world. They have online learning resources as well as a Network of community partners - the Be Connected Network - who offer support so you can develop your digital skills and confidence.
Look out for the postcards in your local community or download it (PDF, 16MB)here.(PDF, 16MB)
You can build your online skills with one of these free courses
- The absolute basics: New to computers? This is the perfect place to start. Learn the essentials of how to use a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone and find out how you can access the internet
- Getting to know your device: This topic will teach you the basic functions of a keyboard, mouse and computer, including how to change settings and manage your files
- Getting started online: Navigating the online world can be a little tricky at first, but this course will teach you some essential skills to getting started online
- Safety first: Protect your personal information and money with hints and tips to help you stay safer online. More online skills: Develop your online skills by learning how to shop online, watch catch-up TV online, and connect with others using Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook
- Connecting to others: Need a helping hand with video calls? Find out how to get set up from your phone, tablet or computer. Wi-Fi and mobile networks: How do you set up a Wi-Fi network to use the internet at home? Is it safe to connect to public Wi-Fi? We answer these questions and more in these courses
- Online hobbies: Time for a bit of fun. Learn how you can build your family tree, travel to places far and wide without leaving your chair, and how to create your very own blog to share your experiences and knowledge
To learn more, visit the website www.beconnected.esafety.gov.au and to Be Connected today.
The Federal Government has relaxed the entry requirements for services accessed through 'My Aged Care'. If you are aged or have a disability you may be eligible to access immediate in home support like shopping assistance. You need to register for My Aged Care by calling 1800 200 422, if you are eligible you can access services for up to six weeks prior to an assessment allowing services to be put in place quickly. My Aged Care will work with our local aged and disability support providers, Nexus Primary Health and Menzies Support Services to make sure you get support.
Are you planning to visit a friend or loved one in hospital or at an aged care facility but not sure if you can? Facilities may have visitor restrictions to protect the community and their patients.
Click here for more information.
If you are under 65 and living with a disability in the Murrindindi Shire there is support available.
- For services in the west of the Shire please call Nexus Primary Health on 1300 773 352 or visit their website, nexusprimaryhealth.org.au
- For services in the East of the Shire please call Menzies Support Services on (03) 5772 1888 or visit their website, menziessupport.org.au
Both Nexus Health and Menzies Support Services offer:
- Meals on wheels program
- Personal care assistance
- Support to participate in the community
- Social and recreation activities
- Supported outings
- Assistance to attend appointments
- Building skills to enhance independent living
- Meal planning and cooking
- Shopping and budgeting
- Support to complete household tasks
- Support to attend courses and work
Please note: If you are already receiving services from Nexus Primary Health or Menzies Support Services and you are experiencing additional or new needs, please ring them first. They may be able to change your services to meet your needs.
Do you, or someone you know need a little extra support right now? This is a challenging time for many people in our community. Council have put together a list of mental health support services that are available.
Click here for more information.
The Victorian Government, in partnership with Red Cross and Foodbank Victoria have care packages available for people who have
- COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19; and
- been mandated to isolate themselves; and
- no family, friends or neighbours to assist them
If you think you are eligible, call the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 675 398 to discuss your needs. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Council's DindiLink team is also available to help. We are able to help connect you with local support services including emotional support, practical help and social activities. Please call our DindiLink team on (03) 5772 0333 to discuss your needs. We're available from 9 am - 5 pm, Monday to Friday.
There are a range of businesses in Murrindindi Shire - including essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies - that offer delivery services. We do however, strongly encourage you to call ahead or visit the website of your favourite supermarket to double check their hours of operation and any changes to services due to this ever changing environment.
Click here(PDF, 188KB) to download our information sheet for Pharmacy, Essential Food & Home Delivery Services.
Local restaurants and cafes
Many of our local restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets remain open for takeaway and/or delivery, so check with your favourite outlet directly to see if they remain operational.
You can find restaurants and cafes as well as a range of other local businesses listed on our Dindi Directory here.
Community members who are self-isolating or struggling due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), with no access to food or essential supplies can call the DindiLink team directly on (03) 5772 0333.
If you are feeling unwell and have any symptoms of Coronavirus (COVI-19), please contact your local health centre or testing site for further information. COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Fever, chills or sweats
- Cough or sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
For more information on Coronavirus, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website. If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease you can call the Victorian Governments dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. The hotline is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.
Alexandra District Health
Alexandra District Health is encouraging any patients with symptoms of, or suspected exposure to Coronavirus to telephone the Urgent Care Nurse prior to presentation to Urgent Care at Alexandra District Health. This will provide our experienced staff the opportunity to have the necessary precautions in place prior to you entering the hospital. The safety and wellbeing of all members of the community and our staff is our top priority. Please visit their website or call the Urgent Care Nurse on 0418 589 131 for up to date information.
*Please note that this clinic is a symptomatic clinic and will ONLY treat patients who are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Nexus Primary Health - Kinglake Ranges Health Centre
Nexus Primary Health are running a free COVID-19 clinic from Tuesday and Thursday from 10.00 - 11.00 am and 2.30 - 3.30 pm at the Kinglake Ranges Health Centre. Testing is only available for those people displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Appointments are essential and can be made by calling Nexus Primary Health on 1300 773 352.
Before you attend your appointment, you must fill out a Screening Consultation Form(PDF, 188KB). You can either download and print a copy of the form here(PDF, 188KB) or give us a call on (03) 5772 0333 and we'll get a copy of the form to you.
If you are facing homelessness, at risk of losing your private rental or need an affordable place to live during this challenging time - SalvoCare or Beyond Housing may be able to help.
SalvoCare - Northern Victoria
SalvoCare provide support to families and individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness and immediate crisis. Call SalvoCare on (03) 5735 2000 or 0429 513 002, or visit the website.
Beyond Housing provides assistance to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The service includes financial assistance, transitional housing, advocacy and assistance with both public and private housing applications. The service is free and available to all residents of Murrindindi Shire.
In response to COVID-19, Beyond Housing has changed how they are providing services. You can contact them on 1800 825 955 or find out more information here. You can also email them at email@example.com or send a message via Facebook. Beyond Housing offices are closed during this time.
safe steps Family Violence Response Centre
safe steps Family Violence Response Centre is Victoria’s state-wide first response service for women, young people and children experiencing family violence. The safe steps 24/7 response phone line connects callers with specialist support workers who can help them explore their options, develop a safety plan, access to support services and provide emergency accommodation.
safe steps operate 24/7, 365 days a year. If you need support, contact them by phoning 1800 015 188, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting their website.
Nexus Primary Health
Nexus Primary Health support women, children and men experiencing family violence in the Mitchell and Murrindindi Shires. Appointments are available within the shire, including outreach. This is a free service.
Get in touch with Nexus Primary Health by calling 1300 77 33 52, emailing email@example.com or visiting their website. For after hours support, call Safe Steps on 1800 015 188.
If you have been threatened or you are fearful for yourself, a child or family members, please call 000 Emergency or Police.
For immediate emergency food and material aid relief please call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 or our own DindiLink team on (03) 5772 0333.
We have a number of local emergency food relief services within the Murrindindi Shire. These local agencies are providing a mix of food vouchers and food boxes.
SalvoCare- Northern Victoria
SalvoCare provide food and petrol vouchers by appointment. For more information, please phone Sue on (03) 5799 2583 or 0429 513 002.
As part of a community leadership project, members from the Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership program have created a website Food4U.org.au with all the details of what’s available to people who can’t afford food.
If you know someone who might be doing it ‘tough’, encourage them to call or drop in to any of the centres, or if you are interested in donating any food, please check out the website to see various options, and call up the Community House to find out what are in need of.
For Community House contact details and further information please see the list below:
Alexandra Community Hub
38A Downey Street, Alexandra
(03) 5772 1238
Alexandra Community Hub, while not a dedicated office, is your local Services Australia (Centrelink, Medicare, Child support) agency.
Community Hub at Taggerty (CHAT)
19 Taggerty-Thornton Road, Taggerty
0466 868 842 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Fresh food from the Community Garden or home grown food donated by local residents, during Spring to Autumn.
Flowerdale Community House
36 Silver Creek Road, Flowerdale
(03) 5780 2664 / email@example.com
Food relief packs can be organised by the Flowerdale Community House
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House
6 McMahons Rd, Kinglake
(03) 5786 1301 / firstname.lastname@example.org / kinglakeranges.com.au
Open 9.00 am – 5.00 pm from Monday to Thursday during School Terms
Kinglake West Food Share
1050 Whittlesea-Kinglake Road, Kinglake West
(03) 5786 5661
Located opposite the Primary School
Yea Community House
The Semi-Circle, Yea
(03) 5797 3070 / email@example.com / yeahouse.org.au / Facebook
Food Table – food for free /donation /swap, Little Free Library – books for free/swap, Food Relief, Firewood