Latrobe Lifeskills reached a significant milestone in October, with all Lifeskills employees having received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccinations.
We are proud to share this news which illustrates all Lifeskills staff members' commitment to the health and well-being of Participants, each other and the broader community.
CEO Update
It is very difficult to write a few notes without mentioning COVID-19, so I won't try.
One could view this year as trying and even depressing, with a very long lockdown - number six just now easing up. Or we could look at how Lifeskills has approached the challenge from first up in the morning with the early arrival of some Participants, learning about their views of the world, who has been vaccinated, and their positive acknowledgement of that milestone.
The staff has focused on different ideas and concepts with most activities for variety, challenges and new ideas.
Every day means additional cleaning, temperature checks, spacing of Participants, getting as much fresh air as possible (now much easier with a glimmer of Spring and warmer weather).
It is heartening that families have expressed their appreciation of Lifeskills remaining open to help Participants and their families to cope with potential mental and physical challenges they were facing.
That in itself is worth the extra effort required to operate a safe service.
As I look back over the past two years, I feel we have all learned to adapt, use new technology, be resilient, value family and friends more than we may have, not take anything for granted, and wonder why toilet paper was the sellout commodity at supermarkets!
After my prediction at the commencement of last year, I make none for the future. Still, I feel Lifeskills is well placed to encourage and challenge Participants in a supportive environment.
The past is behind us as we embrace the future with confidence, an abundance of experience, and pride in our achievements. Let's finish the year with a ‘bang’ (as opposed to another earthquake), and much fun amongst the serious aspects of Participants attendance, with only seven weeks to go until the Christmas break-up Lunch. 

Student Placement and Fostering a Safe Environment

It's a welcome return to Spring with some warmer weather, although a wet beginning.
At Latrobe Lifeskills Bundoora, Participants have been enjoying the opportunity to engage in outdoor activities including Gardening, Bocce, Cricket, Football, and walking around the beautiful campus spotting ducklings, turtles, kangaroos and various birdlife especially bird nests with hatchlings. Participants in Bendigo have been more fortunate recently with the opportunity again to explore and engage in the local community.
As part of the outdoor activities, Participants have also been working on projects for Art with Olivia - a student from Latrobe University Art Therapy Program who has been completing a placement with Latrobe Lifeskills. This has involved collecting various items from the natural environment including, sticks, rocks and leaves to use in artworks.  Olivia has also been running an online Art activity with the Participants in both Bundoora and Bendigo. You can examples of this later on in the newsletter.
We have also been fortunate to have another student, Annabel, completing a placement with us from Health Sciences at Latrobe University. Annabel has been working with us online to develop documents to support goal setting and decision making for new and current Participants. Annabel has enjoyed meeting with participants via Zoom who are on campus in Bendigo and Bundoora and discussing with Participants what their goals are and how staff can support Participants to achieve their goals now and in the future.
As part of providing supports to Participants as an NDIS Registered Provider, Lifeskills has an obligation under the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards to deliver safe, quality, supports and services while managing risks associated with the supports Lifeskills provides to NDIS Participants. These risks include the possible COVID-19 infection of staff, Participants and people we engage with, including families, to deliver supports. As part of our obligation, Lifeskills continues to adhere to regulatory requirements from the NDIS Commission, Worksafe and DFFH.  Lifeskills will continue to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 by promoting a safe environment for Participants, and supporting Participants and families/carers by providing information regularly about vaccinations, hygiene practices, mask wearing, and social distancing.
Regular updates are provided in our newsletters and internal updates about vaccines information Participants and families.  It is a wonderful achievement that all staff at Lifeskills are now 100% double-vaccinated and I congratulate our staff on their continued commitment to work with Participants to deliver safe and quality supports.

Shopping Challenge - Cooking at Lifeskills Bendigo

At Lifeskills Bendigo, we've introduced a 'Shopping Challenge' as part of our weekly Cooking activity. 
Participants receive a list of ingredients required for their recipes and are set the task to find the item and write down the cost against each item.
If Participants can't find an item, they ask a staff member for help - building on their communication, numeracy, and literacy skills.
If Participants need help at any step, they find Lifeskills staff at a designated meeting point where they can talk about their progress and any hurdles they faced during the challenge.
It's been great to see Participants build on their problem-solving skills and grow in confidence.

Sandy Newman

Participant Support Worker

Artwork Aplenty

One of the things we've all discovered over the past couple of years is just how adaptable and diverse art and craft activities can be.
Bundoora participant, Fiona, recently used magazine cuttings to create colourful bugs, you can see the wonderful results below.
Lifeskills has also been hosting Art Therapy student, Olivia, for her practical placement. Olivia has delivered some brilliant online art classes with Bundoora and Bendigo that Participants have thoroughly enjoyed. The latest was a step-by-step guide to drawing a cactus. Check out some of the great interpretations below!

Disability Liaison Officers

You can get help from a Disability Liaison Officer.

The Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) help people with a disability access health services, including vaccinations.
DLOs can:
  - help book a COVID-19 vaccination
  - help organise group bookings for service providers or groups of people with disability
    provide advice to vaccine and testing sites on how to improve access for people with      a    disability
  - help you get a vaccination if you’re not able to attend a vaccination centre.

Contact a DLO by either:
  - completing this online form Request for Disability Liaison Officer support
  - emailing
Getting Ready to Check-In

Many Participants have now mastered the QR code check-in process which is great to see!
As we prepare to venture back out into the community, Participants will need to ensure they have their COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate linked to their Service Victoria app to ensure entry into recreational venues. 
Click here
 to get instructions on how to link your certificate.
If you can't access your certificate online, you can lodge a request to have your immunisation record posted to you, simply head here:
Immunisation Certificate
Artwork by Malak

Since joining Lifeskills earlier this year, Malak has set herself the task of drawing staff and Participants at Lifeskills Bundoora. 
Using her unique style, Malak captures each unique individual and has completed well over 15 portraits so far. 
Malak is pictured to the right with her portrait of Lifeskills Participant, Belinda.
Key Dates

It's already nearing the end of another year! 
The last day of activities for Bendigo and Bundoora is Thursday 23 December 2021. Lifeskills Bendigo will finish at 1:00 pm and Lifeskills Bundoora will finish at 12:30 pm

Lifeskills will resume at both sites on Monday 10 January 2022.
Travel Training at Lifeskills Bendigo

Participants at Lifeskills Bendigo recently visited Rosalind Park and took in the stunning flowers and gardens. Let's hope we see more sunny days like these again soon!

Working with Resin

The new Resin Craft activity offers participants the opportunity to create their own pieces of art while learning new skills such as motor skills, maths is used often with measuring amounts, patience, soft use of items and hands and development of creativity and forward planning. The process involves designing, preparing, casting and finishing the pieces. 
The participants have shown great interest and have been making some incredible pieces. When working with resin, the key is planning and patience. This is something the participants have been doing incredibly well. 
With multiple smaller projects on the go each week, we are also doing a large mould where we have been casting some items from the garden like flowers, leaves and gum nuts.
I am really looking forward to the pieces that will be created in the next few weeks.

Oliver Morton-Rodaro
Participant Support Worker



Getting your COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Shot

The NDIS is working with The Pharmacy Guild of Australia to make it easier for NDIS participants to book and access COVID-19 vaccinations through local community pharmacies.

More than 3,500 community pharmacies are participating across the country and more than one million doses of Moderna will be available through pharmacies in October in addition to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

NDIS participants aged 12 and over are eligible for Moderna vaccine.

NDIS participants aged 18 and over can choose to book an appointment to receive AstraZeneca following an assessment from a health provider.
You can use the below link to access the online booking system where you can select a local pharmacy, choose which vaccine (Moderna or AstraZeneca) you would like to receive and make a booking.
Book an appointment at a local pharmacy
COVID-19 booster doses are now available to anyone aged 18 and over who had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago.

People with a disability or special requirements (including people who use Auslan, and people who have autism) may visit any 
Victorian vaccination centre to get vaccinated, without needing to book an appointment. Victorian vaccination centres will ensure Auslan interpreters will be available. View Victorian Government Auslan resources and vaccine information for people with a disability or special requirements.

Head here for more information.
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Copyright © 2021 Latrobe Lifeskills, All rights reserved.

Contact Details:

Head Office and Lifeskills Bundoora: 1A Union Drive, La Trobe University Bundoora VIC 3083
Lifeskills Bendigo: Edwards Road, La Trobe University Bendigo VIC 3552
Postal Address: PO Box 113, La Trobe University Bundoora VIC 3086

NDIS Registered /  RTO TOID 20791

Phone: 03 9479 1474
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