Items filtered by date: February 2012
Monday, 27 February 2012 14:28

Paynesville Men’s Shed gearing up for opening

Paynesville Men’s Shed has been successful in receiving funding of $3,410 that will allow its members to undertake OH&S, First Aid and Appliance Safety training to help strengthen its governance, sustainability and future planning.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the funding was offered through the Victorian Men’s Shed Association’s Capacity Building Fund, which supports activities such as training sessions on occupational health and safety, first aid, governance, and to host networking events with sheds in neighbouring communities.

“Increasing bodies of research show that sheds are uniquely situated to support the social, civic and economic participation of men, with men’s sheds having experienced an upsurge in popularity and growth in recent years.

“They are increasingly recognised as critically valuable to older men’s well-being, particularly their social enjoyment, ongoing learning capacity and ability to contribute to their community,” Mr Bull said.

Kevin and Chris Svenson of the Paynesville Men’s Shed, said this funding will be an enormous help in enabling our members to undertake training and set the standards to ensure we’re around for the long term.

“We are just finishing our beautiful new purpose-built shed at Paynesville (behind the RSL) and after 4 years of local fundraising and hours and hours of work done by our band of volunteer workers we are nearing completion of the project.”

Funding provided by the overall Men’s Sheds Program has supported the construction of new sheds and the upgrade of existing sheds and there is now great variation in the capacity of individual sheds to manage their own governance, training and future planning.

Community Services Minister, Mary Wooldridge, said “volunteers contribute countless hours to supporting their members, and the Coalition Government is pleased to support their efforts,”

VMSA president Paul Sladdin said Men’s Sheds were increasingly being recognised as valuable to older men’s wellbeing, particularly to their social enjoyment, ongoing learning capacity, and ability to contribute to their community.

“Men’s Sheds provide an environment where productivity and being of value to the community contribute to a man’s feeling of self-worth and help to develop a sense of meaning in the years following retirement, loss or other hardship.”

There are about 160 Men’s Sheds in Victoria. The Coalition Government has committed a further $4 million in the 2011-12 Budget to continue to strengthen Men’s Sheds for the next four years.

Published in Media
Friday, 24 February 2012 14:33

Safety retrofits for East Gippsland tankers

CFA fire tankers throughout East Gippsland are being upgraded with radiant heat protective curtains, water-spraying systems and heat-shielding panels under the Coalition’s $23 million Crew Retrofit Program, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said today.

“Our fire-fighters work in dangerous environments with fast-moving and volatile conditions and the delivery of these vital safety features to our local CFA fleets will help reduce the risk of injury or loss of life.”

East Gippsland CFA brigades to benefit from the safety upgrades include: Omeo; Buchan; Swifts Creek; Ensay; Sarsfield; Fernbank; Glenaladale; Mt Taylor; Hillside and Bengworden.

“Emergency volunteers are often putting their own lives at risk when going out to protect the community during bushfire threat and the government is committed to providing modern facilities and equipment, so they are better protected when performing those duties,” Mr Bull said.

Minister for Emergency Services, Peter Ryan, said the $23 million upgrade of CFA trucks is giving Victoria's fire-fighters the best chance of surviving burn-overs.

The program would upgrade all CFA trucks built prior to 2006 with a capacity of a 1,000 litres of water or more. All vehicles produced after 2006 were already fitted with crew protection systems.

"The addition of these important and effective protective features on all CFA trucks built prior to 2006 will better equip our dedicated crews fighting fires across the state."

Published in Media
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 14:33

Burn-over retrofit for CFA tankers

Maffra, Dargo, Boisdale, Newry and Munro CFA brigades have been earmarked for vital vehicle safety upgrades that will give fire-fighters a better chance of surviving burn-overs.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said fire-fighters play such an important role in protecting our communities, in many cases putting their lives before others at times of high risk and bushfire threat.

“This program is delivering vital safety upgrades to Victoria's fire-fighting fleet to reduce the risk of injury to fire-fighters if they get trapped in a burn-over situation.

“Upgraded features include radiant heat protective curtains, water-spraying systems, heat-shielding panels and intercom communications,” Mr Bull said.

Minister for Emergency Services, Peter Ryan, said the program would upgrade all CFA trucks built prior to 2006 with a capacity of a 1,000 litres of water or more. All vehicles produced after 2006 were already fitted with crew protection systems.

"The addition of these important and effective protective features on all CFA trucks built prior to 2006 will better equip our dedicated crews when fighting fires across the state."

"The Coalition Government is a proud supporter of Victoria's 90,000 emergency services volunteers and we are committed to providing modern facilities and equipment to continue the important work they do," Mr Ryan said.

Published in Media
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 14:34

Supporting vulnerable Aboriginal children

Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative (GEGAC) and Ramahyuck and District Aboriginal Corporation will share $873,071 in Coalition government funding to provide vulnerable Aboriginal children and their families with additional care and support services.

“The funding allocation of more than $8.8 million over four years, will be shared by 17 Aboriginal community-controlled organisations (ACCOs) that are already providing family services, out-of-home care and placement prevention programs, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said today.

“This funding will enable both organisations to provide for the first time, therapeutic out-of-home care for Aboriginal children who have been abused and/or neglected and to support young Aboriginal people transitioning from state care to independent living.”

Chief executive officer of GEGAC, Jason King, said “it is very pleasing to see the current government investing in Aboriginal out-of-home care.  We provide out-of-home care for Aboriginal children throughout the whole of Gippsland.

“When you look at the financial commitment, it is nearly 10% of the total for Gippsland and that is a significant investment into our local services and to the wider Gippsland community.

“This is the next phase of care for our most vulnerable children in care.  It will also provide leaving care assistance, out-of-home care and also therapeutic residential care too,” Mr King said.

Dr Ali Khan, chief executive officer of the Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation said, “the funding initiative for Aboriginal Family and Children Services demonstrates the commitment of the Baillieu Government for the welfare and betterment of Aboriginal Communities across Victoria.”  

“The funding will go a long way in strengthening the foundations of the Family and Children Services programs in Central Gippsland and the Wellington region.” 

Dr Khan said, “a project plan will be developed with input from the grassroots community members to improve delivery of services for family preservation, family restoration programs, capacity building and up-skilling staff, including Aboriginal therapeutic home based care.” 

Community Services Minister, Mary Wooldridge said, previously young Kooris who needed this type of support could only access them via mainstream services. This new approach provides greater choice for Aboriginal young people in times of great need.

“Funding will also go towards capacity building and strengthening of the ACCOs and their workforces to enable them to effectively deliver culturally responsive, high quality services to Aboriginal children and their families.

“This will support improved outcomes for the Aboriginal community and is consistent with the Victorian Government’s commitment to closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

Ms Wooldridge said that Aboriginal children and young people are consistently and significantly over-represented in the Victorian child protection system.

“High quality, responsive and culturally appropriate care and support can make a significant difference in young lives and help break the inter-generational cycle of disadvantage,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“By providing direct, specific funding and capacity building support to ACCOs, we recognise that strong and vibrant Aboriginal service providers are a crucial part of our system and help us to best meet the needs of young people who have experienced abuse and neglect.”

 
 
Published in Media
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 14:44

Funding for Bairnsdale’s 'Changing Lanes'

Bairnsdale Secondary College has received a grant of $104,325 for its ‘Changing Lanes Re-engagement Program’ under the Coalition Government’s $5 million ‘Local Solutions Year 12 Retention Fund’ Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said today.

“The Changing Lanes program aims to re-engage young people and equip them with the skills, confidence and desire to build a future within their community by providing new and life-long skills.

“Building self- esteem is incredibly important to improving a students’ outlook on life and there is clear evidence that those students who acquire a trade, or go on to graduate, become more active members of the community and contribute to society.

"The school and wider community are well aware of the benefits and positive outcomes achieved by the Changing Lanes Program and I am sure this allocation will be welcomed,” Mr Bull said.

Acting principal, Bairnsdale Secondary College, Ian Hall said “the school is very pleased to receive the funding which will help us maintain the Changing Lanes Re-engagement program which benefits all students, but particularly those with specific needs.”

Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, said while the number of metropolitan students finishing school was going up, the government was committed to ensuring the same opportunities were available to rural and regional students.

“We know when a student completes school, the likelihood of them going on to achieve, succeed and become a skilled and valued contributor to society dramatically increases,” Mr Dixon said.

“Almost nine out of 10 metropolitan students are finishing school, but nearly a third of country students are leaving school early, and these new grants are a step toward addressing this issue.”

The ‘Local Solutions Year 12 Retention Fund’ was created upon advice from the Rural Education Reference Group; a cross-sectoral group established by Minister Dixon to advise the government on initiatives specifically designed to support rural and regional schools.

“I am really keen to see the success of these retention programs as they are rolled out across Victoria,” Mr Dixon said.

Published in Media
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 14:43

Regional schools share in $2.5 million injection

Orbost Secondary College will receive $100,000 under the Victorian Coalition Government’s ‘Local Solutions Year 12 Retention Fund’ for their 'Linking Schools through Technology' program, State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull announced today.

"The program, developed in partnership with Lakes Entrance, Cann River, Mallacoota, Swifts Creek and Bairnsdale Secondary Colleges, explores a range of video-conferencing enhancement programs that will optimise ways of improving retention and curriculum options for Years 9 to 12.

“Students who attend school longer increase their life choices greatly.  By acquiring a trade, skill, or going on to higher education, they dramatically increase their work choices and opportunities and contribute to our society,” Mr Bull said.

Heather Macalister, principal, Orbost Secondary College said, “this is exciting news for the schools involved in the project, with the potential to truly allow students in our schools to see themselves as global citizens.” 

“We are really pleased that our commitment has been recognised and that we will be better placed to work together to ensure that students in East Gippsland get the greatest opportunities through schools optimising resources available to them.

“This initiative follows on from the work that the partner schools have been doing around pilot projects to support the learning of our students.  These range from delivering Science enrichment to year 9 students, linked video conference in real time with divers on the Great Barrier Reef and VCE Physics from one school to another,” Ms Macalister said.

Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, in making the announcement said “while the number of metropolitan students finishing school is going up, the Government wants to ensure the same opportunities are available to rural and regional students.”

“Almost nine out of 10 metropolitan students are finishing school, but nearly a third of country students are leaving school early, and these new grants are a step toward addressing this issue.”

“I am really keen to see the success of these retention programs as they are rolled out across Victoria,” Mr Dixon said.

“It is this government’s belief that schools are the ones best placed to determine what measures will be most effective for their students and I think the community will agree as graduating students become active members of the community and valuable contributors to the local economy.”

Published in Media