Discover weekly tips on everything from food to fitness, to mental health and keeping your garden happy. Each week we will cover a different topic on positive steps that you can put into place to help you through these difficult times.
Wednesday, 8 July 2020. Thank you for supporting Council’s Wellness Wednesday blogs. Hopefully, they have kept you informed and given you handy tips to navigate your way through COVID-19. Don’t forget to subscribe to our community newsletter here .
Welcome to the fourteenth, and final, blog edition of Council’s Wellness Wednesday. With the restrictions easing every day, it has been determined that Council will continue updating the community with a regular Community newsletter. To subscribe to the community newsletter, please follow the link and subscribe .
Epilepsy Action Australia have a free 1300 hotline for any resident within Australia to ring and obtain epilepsy-related advice. The Epilepsy Nurse line is available from 9am to 5pm seven days a week in all Australian states and territories. Simply call 1300 EPILEPSY (37 45 37) or email email@example.com 
Every call is answered by a Registered Nurse with special training in epilepsy management. The helpline nurses are qualified to answer questions about medications, lifestyle implications of epilepsy such as drinking alcohol, driving, playing sport or pregnancy, planning for the NDIS, employment, first aid, seizure management and more. The nurses can also refer callers on to external services or more specialist Epilepsy Nurses and Consultants, if needed.
Devonport Online Access Centre – Training and Support for Seniors
Devonport Online Access Centre was successful in obtaining a ‘Be Connected Digital Devices’ grant to assist in combating social isolation for Australians aged 50+ during COVID-19 social distancing emergency measures, supporting those who are not currently connected to the internet at home.
With the grant funding, Devonport Online has purchased Samsung tablets and prepaid SIM cards to loan to socially isolated or disadvantaged older Australians. These devices and any training required will be provided free of charge.
The tablets will be loaned out for 2 weeks at a time, with the possibility of extending. Contact 0444 525 434 for bookings/details.
The Blokes Book
The Blokes Book has been revised for 2020. The publication is jam packed with information and resources to support the wellbeing of Tasmanian men and boys. The updated Blokes’ Book features helpful information and current contacts to help men support each other—particularly in cases where they may be struggling with challenging life situations or thoughts of suicide. A total of 10,000 copies of the Blokes’ Book have been distributed since 2017, and now another 7,500 are available throughout the state.
An online version of the Blokes’ Book can be accessed here . Hardcopies are also available through contacting MRT on firstname.lastname@example.org 
Thank you for supporting Council’s Wellness Wednesday blogs. Hopefully, they have kept you informed and given you handy tips to navigate your way through COVID-19. Don’t forget to subscribe to our community newsletter here .
Remember it is important for us to not become complacent. Social distancing rules are still in place. To stop the spread, continue to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent the spread of germs. For up to date and correct information on COVID-19 and any restrictions, please visit https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/facts/important-community-updates 
Welcome to the thirteenth blog edition of Council’s Wellness Wednesday.
With the current outbreak in Victoria, it is important for us to not become complacent. Social distancing rules are still in place. To stop the spread, continue to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent the spread of germs. For a full list of the restrictions which are currently in place please visit https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/families-community/roadmap-to-recovery 
School Holidays are just around the corner with the restrictions being lifted some organisations have put together school holiday programs with social distancing in place, spots are limited so secure your child’s spot now.
Youth, Family and Community Connections has 3 school holiday programs in Devonport. Bookings are essential and you will have to supply your own transport to and from the events. Everyone between 12-20yrs old are welcome to join in. To secure your spot call Georgia on 0457 885 976 or email email@example.com 
- Tuesday 7th July – 3.30pm – Cmax Cinema, Ghost Busters
- Wednesday 15th July – 1.30pm – Laser Tag & Climbing
- Thursday 16th July – 12-2pm – Golf Frisbee
Devonport Library 
The Devonport Library’s school holiday programs are also back. To ensure they comply with all public health requirements, these events will be ticketed and you will have to book a place for your children to attend.
In order to manage this process, tickets are available to book via Eventbrite www.eventbrite.com.au  or call 6478 4230.
- Monday 6th July – 11-12pm – Collage Art Session
- Wednesday 8th July – 11-12pm & 2-3pm – Rebel Revolt Escape Room
- Friday 10th July – 2-3pm – Hidden Poetry
- Monday 13th July – 2-3pm – Collage Art Session
- Wednesday 15th July – 11-12pm & 2-3pm – The Mummy Escape Room
- Thursday 16th July – 11-12pm & 2-3pm – Library Scavenger Hunt
COVID-19 Sport and Recreation Grants Program
The Tasmanian Government acknowledges the impact of COVID-19 and resulting sporting competition postponements and cancellations on revenues for the organisations that support these activities.
Consistent with the Government’s intention to keep Tasmanians in work, where possible, and to ensure these sports can continue once the public health advice enables this to occur, the Government announced $2 million in grants for the sport sector to be administered through the Communities, Sport and Recreation (CSR) Division of Communities Tasmania.
Tranche 2 of this funding will provide sport and active recreation clubs and associations with grants of up to $3 000 to assist with hygiene and equipment purchases to comply with the relevant Return to Play plan.
The program guidelines and application form can be found: https://www.communities.tas.gov.au/csr/Grants/covid-19-sport-and-recreation-grants-program 
Applications will close on Monday, 31 August 2020 at 5.00 pm or when program funds are exhausted. For further information please contact Department of Communities, Sport and Recreation Tasmania on 1800 252 476
Not alone – Beyond Blue
When it comes to mental health, we all have our own unique stories to tell. But no matter what we are going through, there are other people experiencing it too.
Beyond Blue, have created a podcast called ‘Not Alone’, a podcast where everyday Australians talk about their mental health journey to help you with yours. The episodes cover many topics from overcoming trauma to helping with work stress. The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. For Further information check out https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ 
Welcome to the twelfth blog edition of Council’s Wellness Wednesday.
Last week we saw more restrictions lifted to allow larger groups to gather inside and outdoors. Even with the lifting of restrictions, it is important for us to not become complacent. Social distancing rules are still in place. To stop the spread, continue to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent the spread of germs. For a full list of the restrictions which are currently in place please visit https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/families-community/roadmap-to-recovery 
The Devonport Library and Online Access Centre have both re-opened to their regular pre covid hours. We are now able to browse, borrow and return our items as well as have access to public computers and internet access. Libraries Tasmania will continue with their Click & Collect catalogue of times to borrow. For any further information visit https://www.libraries.tas.gov.au/ 
Safe from Violence
Last week, the Premier launched ‘Safe from Violence’, Tasmania’s new online central point of information for family and sexual violence.
Safe from Violence provides clear and targeted information, resources and links about family and sexual violence for victim-survivors, perpetrators, family and friends of victims-survivors and perpetrators, service providers (specialist, mainstream and universal) and the community. It also aims to increase community awareness about family and sexual violence and its underlying drivers; provides family and sexual violence service contact information; and pathways to seeking support.
The launch of the website was pushed forward to meet the additional family violence measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A series of posters, fact sheets and postcards are available in the Resources Hub, promoting the key messages that COVID-19 does not cause, justify or excuse family violence and that support services are open and available during the pandemic to support those impacted by family and sexual violence.
Visit Safe from Violence at www.safefromviolence.tas.gov.au , to learn more about family and sexual violence in Tasmania and spread awareness of the website through your networks.
Rapid Relief Boxes
Families hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will now be able to access free emergency food supplies.
The non-perishable food boxes contain meal starters, beverage sachets and snacks and were assembled by Plymouth Brethren Christian Church charity, Rapid Relief Team.
A total of 320 boxes are available for access on the North West Coast of Tasmania. If you would like register or know some one who is in need, please contact the Devonport City Council on 6424 0511 to register your interest in receiving a relief food box.
Welcome to the eleventh blog edition of Council’s Wellness Wednesday.
This week as at noon Wednesday 17 June, we have seen more restrictions lifted to allow larger groups to gather inside and outdoors. For a full list of the restrictions which are currently in place please visit https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/families-community/roadmap-to-recovery  for the most up to date and accurate information.
Childcare fees are set to return in July, as we work together to return to the routines we had before COVID-19, here are the important things to know and do right now:
- A return to fees
Free childcare provided by the government ends on Sunday 12 July 2020. Families should plan for a return to paying fees from 13 July 2020. Chat with your childcare service about what that means for your family.
- Confirm your income
By confirming your 2018-19 income with Centrelink by 30 June, you’ll continue to receive Child Care Subsidy and Family Tax Benefit – and avoid being overpaid.
- Talk to your Childcare provider
This is so important! Your childcare provider is in this with you, and best placed to help you through the changes. Talk to them about whether you need to change your work hours, ensure all your details are up to date, including direct debit details, financial hardship options – there may be some fee assistance available – Talk to your childcare provider about this or contact Centrelink.
- Check your entitlements
Make sure you know how many hours of childcare you are entitled to. The rules may have changed. You can check this out with Centrelink.
- Immunisation Check
Now is the time to check your child’s immunisations are up to date.
- How to Contact Centerlink
Via My GOV app, Phone 136 150, in person at 167 William Street Devonport.
Life after COVID-19
As the Tasmanian Government is making cautious moves towards lifting COVID-19 restrictions, it’s time to start thinking about life beyond lockdown. Below are some tips on how to ease back into life after lockdown:
- Take it slowly – Simple things like doing the grocery shopping, driving a car or spending time with friends might feel strange as you move back into your post-lockdown life. Take note of how you feel and consider speaking to your GP if feelings of anxiety persist or worsen.
- Rebuild your relationships – It’s been a while since you’ve physically seen your friends and family members – and remember, they’ve changed as much as you have. Spend some time together processing the experience, rebuilding bonds and supporting one another as you move into the next phase of your relationship.
- Look for opportunities - The Federal Government is offering heavily subsidised undergraduate and postgraduate certificate courses  for people who have been financially displaced by COVID-19. If you’re looking to enhance your current skillset or to retrain in a new field, a new qualification could help you move forward.
- Seek help early– Everyone reacts differently to change. Feelings of anxiety, difficult sleeping, changes to your appetite, irritability and bouts of crying are all signs you may need some extra support. Speak to your GP or check out  beyond blue , black dog institute online for mental health advice and resources.
- Reflect on your experience– Rather than focusing on going ‘back’ to your old life, take some time to think about whether the lockdown experience could help you make positive changes going forward. Have you realised you want to work less, exercise more, make more effort to spend time with friends and family? Make a list of new habits you’d like to embrace and start implementing them one by one.
- Remember the advice– Wash your hands regularly, keep a safe distance from others and keep up with the rules as they change so you know what you can and cannot do. Remember these rules have been very effective at keeping the infection rate low.
Welcome to the tenth blog edition of Council’s Wellness Wednesday.
This week we see high school students returning to school. For a full list of the restrictions which are currently in place please visit the Tasmanian Governments Roadmap to Recovery website page. 
Breast Screen Bus – Devonport
Breast Screen Tasmania has commenced a gradual return to services. The Breast Screen Bus will be in Devonport from 25 May – 18 September 2020 at the Devonport Recreation Centre. Breast Screen is a free service but appointments are essential. Call 13 20 50 to secure your appointment.
National Mental Health Helpline
The National Mental Health Helpline is a free and confidential service providing information, support, referral and professional counselling to individuals families, friends, and carers as well as professionals, students and the general public. Call 1300 643 287. The line is available 7 days a week 9am-11pm. For further information please visit Mental Health Foundation Australia .
Men’s Health Week
This year Men’s Health week will look a bit different. Men Care Too has initiated a grass roots initiative on the North West Coast which highlights stories of men unpaid, informal, caring roles along with sharing information, resources and strategies that encourage all men to pay attention to their physical, social and mental health. Get connected with Men Care Too, Friday 19th June 10-11am, online via zoom, meeting ID 72231128614 password MCT2020, RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org 
Red Cross Blood Drive
In 2020, Haemochromatosis Australia has joined in the Health Services Blood Drive. The Drive runs between 1 May and 31 July with further information available here .
Anyone can join a Lifeblood Team and unite to save lives by making an appointment at a Lifeblood Donor Centre in Burnie, Devonport, Hobart or Launceston.
This is a great opportunity for friends and family of therapeutic donors to join the Haemochromatosis Australia TAS Lifeblood Team and make their own donation whilst therapeutic donors continue to donate. Availability of appointments will vary according to the centre and we would encourage friends and family to make a plasma donation during the drive. Find out more about donating plasma here .
Welcome to the ninth blog edition of Council’s Wellness Wednesday.
This week we see the lifting of restrictions onto stage two early from 3pm Friday 5 June. This comes after there have been no new cases recorded in Tasmanian for 18 days. With the lifting of restrictions, it is still important that we are all responsible and sensible and still observe the social distancing rules. For a full list of the restrictions lifted from 3pm Friday please visit the State Government website: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/families-community/roadmap-to-recovery 
Cradle Coast Regional Restart Hub
Businesses in our region are going to need all the help they can get, as they seek to recover from COVID-19, and Regional Restart Hub is intended to be a one-stop shop for assistance. The Cradle Coast Regional Hub has tips, tricks and checklists, free mentoring & a funding finder to make it easier for all business owners on the North West Coast to find everything they need in the one stop. For more information check out https://www.cradlecoast.com/regional-restart-hub/ 
Rapid Response Skills Matching Service
To help move workers into new jobs as quickly as possible, the Rapid Response Skills Matching Service has been established to help match and prepare a job ready worker with industries and businesses. The service will focus on sectors where there is increasing job demand now, including in health and related services, transport and logistics and retail, but can be accessed by any business needing staff.
All persons who hold a visa that allows them to work in Tasmania are eligible for this service.
For more information, go to https://www.searsonbuck.com.au/page/contact-us/rapidresponse/ 
The Devonport Sport and Recreation team are usually hosting Active Stronger, Active Longer  and Tai Chi for Health  programs from the Devonport Recreation Centre  and the East Devonport Recreation and Function Centre .
They recognise the importance of keeping participants engaged and moving whilst in isolation and have filmed a few sessions for participants to do at home.
Every week a new Fit Friday video will be posted, we hope you join in and stay active (and safe) whilst in isolation! These videos are suitable for all ages. To check out the videos head to our website https://www.devonport.tas.gov.au/live/your-community/community-services/fit-fridays/ 
Welcome to the seventh blog edition of Council’s Wellness Wednesday.
This week we see some students returning back to the classroom. We can now start to carefully plan to return to normal and rebuild our strong community. For the staged lifting of restrictions to work, we still need everyone to do their bit and follow the recommended guidelines. To find out all the up to date information on lifting of the restrictions go to: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au 
This week the Devonport Library has started a staged reopening. Members will be able to browse the online Click & Collect catalogue, place holds and collect items from the library on weekdays, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
The returns chute will be open inside the paranaple building for you to return items.
If you are currently not a member of the library, you can sign up at www.libraries.tas.gov.au 
To help Australians respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, nbn is providing up to $50 million to assist phone and internet providers to support low-income family households with school-aged children who do not currently have an active nbn connection at home.
This funding will help phone and internet providers create more affordable offers to connect eligible families during term two of school.
More than 20 phone and internet providers have agreed to participate in this program. For all the details on this funding visit https://www.nbnco.com.au/campaigns/covid-19/education-assistance-package 
With the lifting of restrictions for restaurants and cafes to now be able to cater for up to 10 people indoors, to boost the economy and help out our small business through this tough time, it is important to support your local café, restaurant, and retail stores. Council has an up to date list of all businesses and how they are operating at the moment. To view the list, go to: https://www.devonport.tas.gov.au/covid-19-update-supporting-local/ 
Grants and Funding
With the ever constantly changing environment there is a lot of grants, funding and support that service providers are now providing. If you have any questions about any services which could help you in your time of need please email email@example.com  (phone 6424 0549) or firstname.lastname@example.org  (6424 0559) and we can point you in the right direction to what suits your needs. Don’t forget we are all in this together and here to support one another. 
Welcome to the seventh blog edition of Wellness Wednesday. It is Council’s intention to release a blog post each Wednesday with tips and tricks to help keep the community well during this time. Each week we will cover different topics on positive steps that you can put in place to help you through these difficult times.
This week’s edition is about giving you some information on how important laughter is, Volunteers Week and National Families Week.
This week we saw stage one of restrictions starting to be lifted. We can now start carefully to return back to normal and rebuild our strong community. For the staged lifting of restrictions to work, we still need everyone to do their bit and follow the recommended guidelines. To find out all the up to date information on lifting of the restrictions go to: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au 
It’s true: laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts your mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humour lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.
Here are some of the many reasons laughter is good for you:
- Laughter relaxes the whole body.A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system.Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins.the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
- Laughter burns calories.OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories
- Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
- Laughter may even help you to live longer.A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humour outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.
This week call or write to a friend/family member and tell them a joke or write them a funny poem. Even if you just put on your favourite movie and dance around the house hopefully it puts a big smile on your face.
Volunteer Week looks a little different this year. We know that you are all still out there, some of you still actively volunteering in slightly different ways, and some of you staying safe at home.
We thank you. You change our community and you change lives within our community.
When the world settles into its new way of being, please do not stop volunteering (as long as it is safe for you to do so).
If you still wish to volunteer in responding to the pandemic Volunteering Tasmania is looking for Emergency Volunteering (EV Crew) Support. They will be taking every precaution they can to ensure their volunteers are provided with a safe working environment. You can sign up at https://register.emergencyvolunteering.com.au 
National Families Week 2020 – Two, four, six, eight Dig in Don’t Wait
Don’t forget to get involved with Families Week and submit your recipes in for your chance to win some amazing prizes.
Recipes can be submitted to email@example.com . Please specify when submitting your recipe if you do not wish it to be included in the community recipe book. We would love a photo of your family cooking up a storm to use with your permission of course.
If you don’t have access to the internet, recipes can also be dropped off at the ground floor paranaple centre, East Devonport Child & Family Centre and the Devonport Community House.
Winners will be announced 27 May.
Welcome to the sixth blog edition of Wellness Wednesdays. It is Council’s intention to release a blog post each Wednesday with tips and tricks to help keep the community well during this time. Each week we will cover different topics on positive steps that you can put in place to help you through these difficult times.
This week’s edition is about giving you some information on how to not be complacent, availability of free courses through TasTAFE and UTAS as well as Council’s National Families Week online activity.
Changes Tasmanians have made to their lives have made a difference and helped save lives.
Now a staged approach of lifting of restrictions has been planned to guide us back in a way that will continue to reduce the risk to the community of COVID-19.
The changes are gradual, with careful monitoring of each stage to ensure our safeguards are working in reducing the risk of outbreaks and enabling health authorities to respond if needed.
A gentle reminder as we hopefully keep moving forward. As restrictions are eased, please make the right decisions so that we don’t have to go back into shutdown:
- There are still rules around social distancing
- Sanitising hands
- Please be sensible in how you deal with the relaxed restrictions
- We still have responsibilities and cannot become complacent
- Its each and everyone’s responsibility individually to keep doing the right thing.
Each of us can beat this …but each of us has to continue to do the right thing.
Both TasTAFE and UTAS know that some people are doing it though during this period and both have pulled together free short online courses which allow you to quickly upskill, reskill or gain new skills ready to enter into employment for the first time, or prepare yourself to change careers once the economy starts to recover.
TasTAFE program SKILL UP with offer a range of industries including health, Community Services, Business, and Hospitality and Tourism as well as a number of foundation and vocational preparation skills sets.
Most of the skills you’ll learn from the SKILL UP program will be transferable across industries, and you will also have the opportunity to gain credit for the units you complete if you wish to continue into a full qualification at the start of 2021. For further information call TasTAFE on 1300 655 307.
University of Tasmania has put together a short course the Wellbeing Kit which is a course to support a more confident and resilient community.
This course will offer a suite of distinctive modules, from which you can choose four. These will cover a range of topics such as mental health and resilience, financial planning and budgeting, design, healthy eating, sustainable living, gardening and creativity.
The course will be offered fully online, with flexible study options to suit your lifestyle and commitments. All Tasmanians are eligible to enrol, without costs or tuition fees.
For further information visit https://www.utas.edu.au/short-courses/wellbeing-toolkit 
National Families Week 2020 – Two four six eight Dig in Don’t Wait
Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the importance of physical distancing for ongoing community wellbeing, Devonport Council is celebrating National Families Week in a different way this year.
This pandemic highlights the importance of the theme of National Families Week – ‘Stronger Families, Stronger Communities‘ and the role families play by working together to support each other and provide care for those in the broader community.
Devonport Council wants you to get creative with your family and submit to us your favourite family recipe. It could be one that has been handed down through the generations… or it could be a scrumptious concoction you as a family have created in isolation.
All recipes submitted during Family Week will be included in a downloadable “Devonport Community Recipe book”, which will be available to download on Council’s website for the whole community to enjoy.
Devonport Mayor, Cr Annette Rockliff will judge all recipes that are submitted, and great prizes will be given to those chosen as first, second and third best recipes.
So pull the family together and get cooking in the kitchen!!
Recipes can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please specify when submitting your recipe if you do not wish it to be included in the community recipe book. We would love a photo of your family cooking up a storm to use with your permission of course.
If you don’t have access to the internet, recipes can also be dropped off at the ground floor paranaple centre, East Devonport Child & Family Centre and the Devonport Community House.
Winners will be announced 27 May.
Welcome to the fifth blog edition of Wellness Wednesdays. It is Council’s intention to release a blog post each Wednesday with tips and tricks to help keep the community well during this time. Each week we will cover different topics on positive steps that you can put in place to help you through these difficult times.
This week edition is about giving you some information on how to not be complacent, MyAusCovid-19 & 1800RESPECT.
With four consecutive days with no new cases of COVID, things are starting to look positive in Tasmania with some of the North West Coast’s tighter restrictions being lifted. It is more important than ever that we continue to do the right thing. Restrictions on businesses and public gatherings are still in place across Tasmania. It is vitally important that you continue to do the following:
- Stay at home unless you need to leave for essential supplies, work, study, medical needs, caring for someone or exercise.
- If you must go out, stay 1.5 metres away from others.
- Practice good hygiene. Cover your cough or sneeze and dispose of a tissue safely.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, including after coughing or sneezing
- Get tested if you feel like you have a runny nose, fever, cough, sore/itchy throat or shortness of breath, call your GP or the Public Health Referral hotline on 1800 671 738 for a referral.
These simple things will help to continue to keep you, your family and the community safe from catching COVID-19.
A respiratory clinic has opened up in Devonport at 144 William Street. If you have an upper respiratory tract infection, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose OR have traveled overseas, been in close contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or require COVID-19 diagnosis you will need to be seen in the respiratory clinic and can call (03) 6724 3050 . Patients with any of the above symptoms should attend the Respiratory Clinic. Patients will need to book an appointment as walk up appointments will not be accepted.
Migration Council Australia (MCA) has developed a Government sponsored multilingual resource for Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities about COVID-19, its impact and available support.
With the MyAusCovid-19 app you can:
- Browse articles to find out more about COVID-19, tips for prevention, caring for individuals and community, information on government response, and access to health care, financial assistance and support
- Search for topics or points of interest
- View short animations with helpful summaries of specific topics
- Find useful tips and contacts to help you adjust during COVID-19
The following languages are now available in the app:
English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean, Punjabi, Japanese, Italian, Greek, French & Spanish.
The following community languages are being progressively added to the app:
Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Indonesian, Karen, Khmer, Persian, Russian, Somali, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Turkish & Urdu
MyAusCovid-19 app  is available to download now at Apple Store or Google Play.
For some people, home is not the safest place. Self isolation and increased stress during COVID-19 will likely see an increase in domestic violence incidents. Research has found that there is often a spike in violence during disasters, which have similar features to the current COVID crisis.
During self isolation, people may find themselves at home with an abusive partner, and without access to their usual support systems they have in place.
There are a number of things you can do to try and keep safe. It is also important for people to keep in touch with their friends or family members who may be in an unsafe position.
1800RESPECT has highly trained and qualified counsellors available 24 hours 7 days a week via phone 1800 737 732 or via webchat www.1800respect.org.au .
Welcome to the fourth blog edition of Wellness Wednesdays. It is Council’s intention to release a blog post each Wednesday with tips and tricks to help keep the community well during this time. Each week we will cover different topics on positive steps that you can put in place to help you through these difficult times.
This week’s edition is about giving you some information on the new National COVID hotline, how to keep your pets emotionally healthy and how to combat working from home fatigue.
The new National COVID Older Persons Information hotline will help older Australians get the critical information they need to stay healthy and safe during the pandemic. The hotline provides an access one-stop source for:
- Personal support
- Up-to-date guidelines
Older people, carers, people living with dementia and their families are encouraged to call the hotline to speak to friendly, specially trained staff from a senior’s advocacy organisation.
National COVID Older Persons Information Line: 1800 171 866
Right now, our pets are loving all the attention that life in lock down provides, but what happens when we go back to work? Below is a list on how to equip the most emotionally needy member of the family with the skills to cope.
The key is to not create an unrealistic life. You must start preparing them for the reality of the post-pandemic period now.
While morning and/or evening exercise are achievable and therefore can remain, it is the access to your undivided attention that may be a problem. As hard as it sounds, try to create a system that allows them to be comfortable with time by themselves.
What does this mean? Well, instead of having interaction on tap, let them know it is ok to have the Dog or Cat equivalent of ‘me-time’. Something as simple as for 2 hours a day (let us say between 10am and midday), no matter how much they bark, meow or rest their chin on your knee don’t yield. The tough love here means you ignore them completely. Even get up and walk out of the room if you have to. Or go for a walk around the block. It sounds harsh but it’s actually equipping them with the life skills they need to get through the future. Closer to the end of lockdown, you can extend this by post-pandemic planning to another 1 hour period in the afternoon.
Just remember. It doesn’t mean you love them any less. Instead, it’ll ensure you don’t flatten their spirits when we completely flatten the curve and head back to the office.
Working from home fatigue
With more and more of us are working in our homes with only laptop, notebook, and phone screens to keep us connected to our social support networks and to keep us engaged in our professional duties or academic responsibilities, we are likely to be spending more time in front of a screen. At this stage, we are not sure how long we will be encouraged to work from home so below are some tips on how to not get to fatigued with screen time:
- Use your phone, not your computer, to call into some of your meetings. It can be less stressful when you “show up” in voice only. When we’re not chained into posing as a “living headshot,” we can move around and step onto our porch or sit outside in the sunshine. How many of us tend to doodle at meetings? Stare out the window? Make mental to-do lists or grocery lists? When we’re a face on a screen, it’s hard to get away with a little inattention. Cut yourself some slack and “phone it in” next time. Your overstrained eyes and the muscles you use for that “attentive meeting participant face” will thank you.
- Don’t schedule back-to-back meetings. Give your brain a chance to switch gears between meetings.
- Take a break away from the screen between meetings and get fresh air, a glass of water, or do some jumping jacks or a quick 10-minute brisk walk—inside or marching in place.
- When you’re tuning in to a business meeting, use your phone and focus on listening and taking paper-and-pen notes rather than doing “double screen duty,” when you can. Taking notes by hand has been shown to increase retention in the classroom, so take a lesson from this and focus on what is being said. Multiple video conferences in one day tend to blur into one another, just as the days do. By focusing on what is happening and writing legible notes as you go, you’ll be able to stay focused and retain what is being shared.
- Make sure that your “home office” feels different from your “living area,” even if it’s the same space. Change the lighting when you go “off-the-clock” and change the playlist and ditch the coffee mug from your desk. When you feel you’re working 24/7 and are unable to leave the office to see friends, having tricks to help you feel that there’s a boundary between work and play can be important.
Welcome to the third blog edition of Wellness Wednesday. It is Council’s intention to release a blog post each Wednesday with tips and tricks to help keep the community well during this time. Each week we will cover different topics on positive steps that you can put in place to help you through these difficult times.
This week’s edition is about making sure we are still looking after ourselves and checking in with our mates.
We have been staying at home with our partners, family, housemates etc for a few weeks now. Its super important to remember there are people within our community, in our friendship circles or even in our own family, who live alone and may not have anyone near them.
We are all stronger when we build and maintain connections within our local communities. This week lets get creative about building our networks and keep connecting with everyone in our community.
This week we challenge everyone to reach out to someone. It may be a friend you haven’t spoke to for a while, someone from your local sporting club or even your own family members. The impact this interaction will have on the person you decide to call will brighten their day.
Most of us now are probably at the stage where the virus is getting a little wearing on us. The most important thing to remember in this time (apart from social distancing and wash your hands!) is to be a kind person. This virus has affected us all in different ways, but we must continue to keep looking out for each other and be the best person you can be. The virus is not racist. Neither are we. Diversity is our strength; Let’s bring out the BEST in humanity during this time.
Whilst it’s not Springtime yet, a lot of us are cleaning the house with the extra time we are spending at home. Below are some tips to clean for your immune system, mental health and making your house a safer place.
How to clean for immune health
- While you should aim to clean regularly to avoid immune system triggers, spring-cleaning can be an opportunity for a deep clean. Safely dust the legs of furniture, tops of frames and mirrors, tops of lamps and lights, floor baseboards, railings, and window sills that may be more out of reach.
- Vacuum all rugs, floors, carpets, ceiling cobwebs, and curtains well to eliminate dust and keep the air cleaner.
- Wash all bedding and blankets. Put pillows into the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any dust mites.
- Take off your shoes at the door to avoid carrying in dirt and dust from the outdoors throughout your home.
How to declutter for mental health
- Don’t just stack your magazines into piles or hide unworn clothes under your bed. Sort through clothing, toiletries, and paperwork. Get rid of things that no longer serve you to make room for things that bring pleasure and joy. Pack them away and give them to charity once it is safe to do so again.
- To promote good sleep and relaxation, keep only essentials on your bedside table.
- Embrace cleaning itself as a way to de-stress. Cleaning can provide an opportunity to practice being mindful of the tasks you’re doing, promote a positive attitude and clear mindset. Put on your favourite music or podcast whilst cleaning.
How to clean for a safe home
- Prioritize cleaning clutter from pathways, hallways, and staircases.
- Secure rugs and repair any other tripping hazards, like loose floorboards.
- Cords are a major tripping hazard — even for the most spritely of us. Tack cords to baseboards, or re-route them along the wall to eliminate the risk of tripping on one.
Now the weather is turning into true Tassie winter weather, it is very important to find indoor hobbies/activities to help with your mental health and mind stimulation. Here are a few suggested indoor activities you can do:
- Make a vision board – use this time to set some goals for the next 6, 12, 18 months or as long as you want to. Grab a stack of old magazines, a pair of scissors, glue, and a piece of cardboard or poster board, then get to work manifesting the life you want.
- Listen to podcasts – If you’re looking to catch a break from the depressing news alerts that pop up on your phone, check out some light podcasts . You can learn about what you missed while daydreaming in history class ; fall in love with love ; or celebrate the messiness of being human . Toss a podcast on while you’re getting dressed or tidying your kitchen, whether you’re chipping away at your own list or embarking on something new.
- The world’s most famous museums are offering people virtual access  to roam their halls from the couch. You can experience the Musée d’Orsay  of Paris and the National History Museum  of London on the same day without the pricey plane ticket. The Bass Strait Maritime Centre  and the Devonport Regional Gallery  are also offering virtual access to their current exhibitions. With these features, you can curl up in a comfy spot and study some of history’s most stunning artworks and incredible advancements with your laptop or phone. Virtual Exhibition walk through: Cats & Dogs: ALL AT SEA : https://www.devonport.tas.gov.au/events/virtual-exhibition-walk-through-cats-dogs-all-at-sea/?occurrence=2020-03-27 
Virtual Exhibition – North West Art Circle: https://www.devonport.tas.gov.au/events/virtual-exhibition-north-west-art-circle/?occurrence=2020-04-01 
Virtual Exhibition Opening – This is Us: https://www.devonport.tas.gov.au/events/virtual-exhibition-opening-this-is-us/?occurrence=2020-04-01 
- Crochet or knitting – There are so many crochet and knitting patterns now available online.
- Write a letter – Show your family and friends just how much you’re missing them right now. Since you can’t swing by and see them, take some time to write heartfelt letters to brighten up their day. As a bonus, it’ll make you feel less lonely too.
To finish off today’s article we just want to reiterate the fact to check on a mate.. make the call.. leave a note.. take care of each other, we are all in this together.
Welcome to the second blog edition of Wellness Wednesday. It is Council’s intention to release a blog post each Wednesday with tips and tricks to help keep the community well during this time. Each week we will cover different topics on positive steps that you can put in place to help you through these difficult times.
This week’s edition is about giving you some tips on how to add some colour to your days at home.
With everyone being asked to stay at home, there’s never been a better time to start your own veggie patch! This is something you can do solo if fit and healthy or with your partner and kids. Not only do you get to produce and harvest your own veggies, you’ll get the extra fitness and mental health benefits that gardening provides and remember this is a project you can work on a bit every day. Your soil should be easier to dig with the recent rain we have had also. To get some great tips on starting a veggie patch from scratch go online or phone a friend. Once you are ready for planting here’s a list of veggies that can go in now:
Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chives, Coriander, Garlic, Kale, Kohl Rabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustards, Onions, Pak Choi, Peas, Radish, Rocket, Shallots, Silver beet, Spinach, Swede & Turnip.
The Devonport Community Garden, which is situated next door to the Devonport Community House (10 Morris Avenue, Devonport) is still open Monday-Friday 9.00am-5.00pm. Check out this wonderful oasis of calm and serenity while getting your daily walk in and getting inspired to revamp your own back yard into your own oasis.
What’s in your kitchen pantry?
With school holidays and self-isolation, the days can be long trying to keep the kids entertained. We have found a few craft activities which can be made with the simple things that are already in your kitchen pantry.
For the littlies, Butterfly Art
Grab a sponge and a hair tie. Simply tie the hair tie in the middle of the sponge and getting painting to create beautiful butterflies.
Make your own Play Dough
2 cups of Flour, 1 cup of Salt & 1 cup of water, mix all together then you have play dough! If you have some food dye in the cupboard add that in for different colours.
Let’s colour up social media feeds around town, whilst people stay safe at home.
Share your photos of:
- Rainbows in the sky over Devonport and Surrounds
- Rainbow art on paper/material/ rocks
- Rainbow art outside on footpaths or driveways
- Rainbow lorikeets – photos or artwork
- Rainbow dress ups/ makeup/ costumes/ pet costumes
- Rainbows in house windows
Want to share your images, but not comfortable posting on Facebook? Send them to email@example.com  and a Council Officer will post on your behalf (let us know if you would like an initial or symbol added to represent your artwork).
This is aimed to be an uplifting social media event viewed by all ages. See more here: www.facebook.com/events/541236536796811/ 
To continue the positivity, send us through photos of your gardens or of any school holiday art work you have created with things from your kitchen pantries. If you would like to stay anonymous please feel free to send your tips through to firstname.lastname@example.org  and we can post on your behalf.
Welcome to the first blog edition of Wellness Wednesday. It is Council’s intention to release a blog post each Wednesday with tips and tricks to help keep the community well during this time. Each week we will cover different topics on positive steps that you can put in place to help you through these difficult times.
This week our first edition is about giving you some tips on how to keep your mental health well and keep your anxiety down.
The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted people in varying ways on an international scale. It is understandable that during difficult and unpredictable times like this, people may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus.
Whilst it is important to stay informed, the following are some mental health and wellbeing tips and strategies to continue looking after ourselves and each other during these difficult times:
- Channel your anxiety into action: get informed, plan, and prepare. We often feel anxious when events feel out of our control, and when we think we don’t have the capacity, skills or ability to cope. Anxiety tricks us into thinking about the worst-case scenarios and frightening detail. Instead of worrying, (make a list of what you have under control) try your best to focus on what is under your control. Equip yourself with the facts about COVID-19 from trusted sources. Follow government advice and make a plan about what you and your family will do if you need to be in isolation, or in quarantine.
- Limit or avoid unhelpful media and misinformation. Being exposed to constant, alarming, anxiety-inducing stories convinces us that there is something to panic about. The more we read and hear about it, the more frightening it becomes, and the less chance we have to distract ourselves and do things that can take our minds off it. Although it might be tempting to keep informed, or difficult to escape, limiting your exposure to media, news, and social media about coronavirus will help. For reliable and accurate health-related information, go to:
- Look after your body: get enough sleep, exercise, eat well, avoid smoking, excessive alcohol and drugs, mow your lawns, mow your neighbour’s lawns, do some gardening. These will help protect your mental health and immune system.
- Stay connected with others, so you’re not socially isolated or lonely. It can make a huge difference when we share our worries with others, and connect with other people who are supportive. Stay positive and upbeat as much as you can, especially with friends and colleagues who may be doing it tough.
- Help other people, be kind, and compassionate: when we help others, it helps us feel better.
- If you’re feeling like you’re not coping, get professional advice, it’s ok to ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, seek professional support. Psychological therapies can be done online, or remotely via phone or videoconferencing, and are an excellent option.
- Be aware of negative thoughts and don’t give them too much power. Thoughts are thoughts, not necessarily facts.
- Stay focused on the here and now, taking each day step by step.
- You can also access a range of online or telephone  resources through the supports listed below
To end on a positive let us know what steps you have put into your life to help with social distancing. If you would like to stay anonymous please feel free to send your tips through to email@example.com  and we can post on your behalf.
Brought to you by the Devonport City Council Community Services Department.