THIS WEEK'S COMMUNITY NEWS
Community garden wins pitch
At the Pitch and Vote Night held on 21 April, local residents and businesses pitched their ideas for projects to improve Huonville and make it an even more vibrant, welcoming and exciting place to live.
The Huonville Pitch and Vote project is delivered
by the Huon Valley Council and the Town Team Movement, with the pitch night providing an opportunity for community members to show their support for local projects and help make them happen.
The audience of community members listened to the four pitches and cast their votes on their favourite project idea. The most popular project would receive up to $1,500 to become a reality.
“All presenters delivered good pitches and gained strong interest from the audience,” said Huon Valley Council acting mayor Sally Doyle. “But we are delighted to announce that the winning project was a community garden to be located outside the Huonville Library, pitched by Fiona Ring.”
The project includes two raised garden beds, located at the back of the library, that local people can use to grow vegetables and flowers.
Gardening and social interaction are two activities proven to be good for mental health, and Fiona hopes the project will provide benefits for people of all ages in the local community.
“There was a positive and collaborative atmosphere on the night and everyone had an enjoyable time,” said Cr Doyle.
“You could feel the excitement in the room as people discussed the ideas and possibilities. I think people are really looking forward to the next Pitch and Vote night.
“Thank you to the council’s Community Services team and to Dean from the Town Team Movement for the work you are putting in to bring local people together and support them to make great things happen in the places we live.
“Thank you also to the staff at the Grand Hotel who served up lovely meals for everyone who attended.
“Momentum is building in the Huon Valley as people make connections and – with the optional support of the Town Team Movement – work together to develop plans and make community projects happen.”
All proceeds from ticket sales went to the Town Teams project funds to support future Huonville projects.
The council is excited to bring the Town Team movement to more townships across the Huon Valley in 2021. Stay tuned on the Huon Valley Council website, Facebook, Instagram and eNews.
Huon Valley Council
Upgrade for marine facilities at Dover
The Huon Valley Council is contributing $380,000 under the Australian Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program to improve parking on Station Road and Bay View Road in Dover, and to add a roundabout.
The contribution combines with funding from Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) to complete the Dover Marine Facility Upgrade Project.
The upgraded site will improve offerings for our local marine enthusiasts as well as travellers, including a new jetty and second boat ramp funded by MAST.
It will also provide more space for vehicles to improve traffic flow and remove congestion during busy periods.
Find out more on the Have Your Say page on the council’s website.
Huon Valley Council
Kingborough teen releases sci-fi novel
A 17-year-old Kingborough writer, Madeline Lowe, and her 17-year-old co-author, Layla Ottaway, have written a family-friendly sci-fi novel for readers aged ten and up, which will be featured at the Tassie Indie Author Book Fair this Saturday.
Planet Alterra is a 150-page novel set on a colonised planet full of hybrid creatures, and follows the exciting adventures of Splash, a fish-human hybrid created in an experimental lab, who escapes and tries to make sense of the world she finds herself in. It combines action with humour.
Madeline said writing the novel had been a two-year project and releasing it was a dream come true for her and Layla.
“We worked so hard, learned so much about the writing process, and had a lot of laughs along the way”, she said.
“I hope that young readers of sci-fi will enjoy Planet Alterra and will sense the drama and humour we have put into it.”
The book fair is a free event and is open from 10am to 3pm on Saturday 8 May at Brooke Street Pier, Hobart. The young authors will give a reading from their novel at 1.40pm. The novel is suitable for readers aged 10 and up.
The novel can be ordered for $19 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the young authors on Instagram @planet.alterra.book.official or visit https://planetalterra.carrd.co
‘Feed Your Face’ with free art course
One of the most important things that you use your head and hands for is eating. Come and have some fun as we create food-based, hand and head cartoons!
At this free art course running for six weeks, from 10 May to 15 June, you will learn how to draw heads and hands, starting with stick figures and moving up to detailed sketches.
Sessions will be held at the Huon Valley Hub, 23 Main Street, Huonville, every Monday from 10 May, from 3.30pm to 5pm, with the last session held on Tuesday 15 June.
You can book in any time, before and during the program, but spaces are limited.
To book your spot, call 6264 0300 or email email@example.com.
About your teacher
Robert Jackson has been a professional artist since the 1980s. He has been active in visual arts, music and theatre. He has lived in the Huon Valley for two years and continues to produce paintings and music. He has won several awards for his work – most recently the Outstanding Achievement prize at the Geeveston Art Show.
Huon Valley Council
Bringing up great kids
Save the Children’s new Huon Valley Family Support Worker, Elke Robinson will be offering a free family program called Bringing Up Great Kids. Tanya McQueen who runs Save the Children’s
Cool4School program at Cygnet Primary School will also be facilitating the program with Elke.
Developed by the Early Childhood Foundation, Bringing Up Great Kids provides parents with an opportunity to reflect on their parenting journey.
The Bringing Up Great Kids group will be kept small, to create a safe and supportive environment where parents can learn about:
• the origins of their own parenting style and how it can be more effective;
• identifying the important messages they want to convey to their children and how to achieve this;
• understanding brain development in children and its influence on their thoughts, feelings and behaviour;
• understanding the meaning behind children’s behaviours, and how to respond;
• exploring new ways of communicating with children;
• discovering ways for parents to take care of themselves and to find support when they need it.
Elke and Tanya run the group in a warm and fun way.
Depending on interest, the course will be held in either Huonville or Cygnet, starting on Monday 24 May from 9.30am to 11.30am for five weeks, with morning tea provided.
If you are interested contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone: 0455 381 106.
Save The Children
Public gallery reopens for council meetings
The Huon Valley Council will again be allowing community members to attend council meetings, starting with its 19 May 2021 meeting onwards.
“When COVID-19 began, our council and eventually all Tasmanian councils needed to close council meetings to the public to comply with Public Health requirements and help keep everyone safe,” said Acting Mayor Sally Doyle.
“Our meetings have since been held via live stream, with councillors connecting remotely at first and later meeting in person at the Council Chambers at 40 Main Street, Huonville, with social
distancing measures in place.”
Public Health currently requires staff and venue attendees to maintain physical distancing
The council has made the decision to allow a limited public gathering of eight people at council meetings.
“The Local Government Association of Tasmania has advised that two-thirds of Tasmanian councils are back to having a public gallery with limited numbers, bearing in mind that most councils have larger spaces for meetings than our chambers.
“A cap of eight attendees will ensure we are meeting current physical distancing requirements and maximum density limits,” said Cr Doyle.
“Community members will be able to book their seat on Eventbrite from noon on the Monday before the meeting. We’ll be sharing the Eventbrite link on our website, social media and e-newsletter.
“People who don’t have internet access can call the council on 6264 0300 while Eventbrite bookings are open and our Customer Service team will be able to process their Eventbrite booking on their behalf.”
Huon Valley Council
Covid check-in app now compulsory
From 1 May 2021, the free Check in TAS app became the only system for providing and collecting contact tracing information in Tasmania as part of efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The free, easy to use Check in TAS app is ready for download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Local residents and visitors will then only need one contact tracing app on their devices that they can use across Tasmania. If a person does not have a smartphone or is unable to use one, others attending the premises with that person can use their own phone to check that person in. Alternatively, an organisation can register a person’s details using that organisation’s device. If there
is no internet access or working device, the organisation can check them in manually on paper.
The data collected through the app goes directly to the Tasmanian Department of Health’s secure AZURE platform and will only be accessed by authorised departmental staff involved in contact tracing, if required.
All contact information collected through Check in TAS is automatically deleted after 28 days.
For business premises, venues, community organisations and events
If you haven’t already registered your business or organisation for Check in TAS, you should register and start monitoring use of the app at your premises or event now.
From 1 May, you must clearly display the Check in TAS QR code (sent to you after you’ve registered) at all entrances of your premises or event. All people aged 16 years and older must be checked in by scanning this code if they spend 15 minutes or more there.
Registration for Check in TAS is a simple online process, with a free package of posters and QR codes mailed out to each applicant. Everyone who enters the premises or event will be required to provide their contact details by scanning the Check in TAS QR code on entry, which leaves business owners and staff free to provide their usual customer service. All the business needs to do is ask: ‘Have you checked in?’
The organisations and businesses that are required to comply with the direction to use Check in TAS to collect contact information about everyone who spends time at their premises are:
• Restaurants, cafes and other retail food businesses and outlets, where food is sold for consumption at those premises.
• Premises where alcohol is sold for consumption at those premises, including pubs, registered and licensed clubs and hotels, other than such part of those premises lawfully operated to provide alcohol for consumption at a location other than the premises.
• A gathering, if a direction made under section 16 of the Act requires an event Covid safety plan, in a form approved by the director of Public Health, to be developed and implemented in respect of the gathering.
• Places of worship, religious gatherings, religious premises, and other similar premises, including premises used to perform a wedding or a funeral.
• Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, gaming or other gambling venues, dance venues, night clubs, strip clubs, brothels and other similar premises.
• Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites and other similar premises.
• Tourist premises, venues and sites, where consideration is paid to enter such a premises, venue and site.
• Tourism activities, and services, that are provided for consideration.
• Concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums and other similar premises.
• Amusement parks, arcades, play centres and other similar premises, regardless of whether the premises are an indoor space or an outdoor space, other than skate parks and playgrounds.
• Auction houses, real estate auctions and houses open for inspection, including
• Hair dressing and hair salons.
• Beauty treatment premises, including body modifications, tattoos, piercing, waxing and nail services.
• Spas and massage parlours and other similar premises.
• Swimming pools, gymnasiums, health clubs, fitness centres, wellness centres (including yoga and barre premises) and other similar premises or venues, whether indoors or outdoors.
• Venues used for sport or fitness, saunas, bath houses and other similar premises or venues, whether indoors or outdoors.
• Premises used for personal training and other pre-arranged sporting activities.
• Zoos, wildlife centres, animal parks, petting zoos, aquariums, marine parks or similar premises.
For more information visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au/check-in-tas.
Book now: Huonville Vaccine Clinic
If you are 50 years or over and live in the Huon Valley you are now able to get a free COVID-19 vaccination.
A Tasmanian Government community vaccination clinic will be operating on Fridays in Huonville over the next few weeks.
If you have not already arranged an appointment with your local GP, please make a booking at www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/community-clinic or call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.
More details about the Tasmanian COVID-19 vaccine rollout can be found at: www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/rollout
Huon Valley Council
Joeys go digital
Scouting groups of all ages in the Kingborough Council region have an opportunity to experiment with robots and coding with the team from Kingborough Robotics.
The Blackmans Bay Joeys (aged 6-8), led by Lee Cowen, took the program one step further, and have used the robotics activities for a Skills Badge requirement. The Joeys had two sessions at the Kingston Library with a floor robot called Bee-Bot. The Joeys learned how to program Bee-Bot with directions and using mapping coordinates.
Lee commented, “The program provided the Joeys with an opportunity to explore the world of robotics. It was well organised and aptly suited to the children’s level of understanding and abilities. The children were totally engaged in the activities and satisfied some of the requirements of a badge they are working towards”.
Robots are a fantastic tool to engage children in activities that require step by step instructions, which are the building blocks for learning to code.
The Kingborough Robotics Team have been running a variety of workshops throughout the year, based at the Kingston Library and also visiting many centres in the community, including early learning, community houses and outside school hours care.
The team is made up of teachers and library staff with a keen interest in digital technology. They aim to provide a fun, educational experience ensuring that each child succeeds.
After overwhelming interest from families in coding and robotics, the Kingston Library was successful in applying for a Tasmania Community Fund grant to establish Kingborough Robotics. While the outreach program will conclude on 30 June, a Robotics Library has been developed for community groups. This will provide access to the equipment on a loan basis giving children more opportunities to stay up-to-date with new technology.
If you are a leader of a community group, please contact us at email@example.com and find out how the Robotics Library can work for you! You can also contact Sonya Moon at Kingston Library on 6165 6210.
Kingston Beach Fun Run is back
Billed as the fastest 5km fun run in Tassie, the “all downhill” 18th Kingston Beach Fun Run and Walk will be held on Sunday 23 May, commencing at the Kingborough Sports Complex area at 9am. The fun run finishes on idyllic Kingston Beach.
The Rotary Club of Kingston’s annual event has been held continuously since 2003, except for last year when it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
The community event especially encourages family groups to participate. It is common for members of the family to test each other for “bragging rights” by crossing the finish line first, with that last 100 metre “sprint” all important.
This year, the Rotary Club of Kingston challenges business groups to include the event as part of their wellbeing program.
Once again there are many great prizes on offer, including $70, for the more serious runners, and heaps of spot prizes which includes a gift voucher from Pennicott Cruises and two bikes for the kids.
All finishers will receive a medallion and certificate to mark their achievement.
Registrations must be made online at www.kingstonbeachfunrun.com and the entry fees are $15 for children under 16; $40 for an adult and $95 for a family of more than three members.
All proceeds from the fun run are used to assist local community youth projects such as the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) and the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA).
As numbers are limited for the fun run, it is suggested that participants get in early to register.
Enquiries can be addressed to Else Phillips on 0408 416 375 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rotary Club of Kingston
Youth arts showcase
To celebrate National Youth Week (30 April to 9 May), Kingborough Council is showcasing the wide ranging talents of our young people in an inspiring one day event – Youth Arts Showcase, on Saturday 8 May, from 12pm to 4pm at Kingborough Community Hub.
The day will include an art exhibition of stencil art created by young Kingborough residents and students who took part in our ‘Stormwater to Sea’ project, a youth market, buskers, street art and free popcorn and badge making with YAK (Youth Action Kingborough).
This is a free event and all are welcome to attend.
Tasmania’s youth suicide rates devastating families
CEO of Rural Health Tasmania Robert Waterman is deeply saddened and horrified by the current number of young people completing suicide in Tasmania.
Mr Waterman said that the number of people who have completed suicide in Tasmania has increased by approximately 50% from 78 in 2018 to 108 in 2019 (https://www.aihw.gov.au/suicide-self-harm-monitoring/data/deaths-by-suicide-in-australia/suicide-deaths-by-state-territories). There also seems to be a focus on reporting the age standardised rates which consistently reports on 45-49 year olds and people aged over 85 as those most at risk but there is a serious issue that is being almost completely overlooked and, in some circumstances, obscured within other data and that is the number of young people completing suicide.
Families and local communities are being devastated by the number of young people currently attempting and completing suicide in Tasmania. Mr Waterman said 17 per 100,000 males aged 15-19 years old and 7.2 per 100,000 females aged 15-19 years old were completing suicide according to the National AIHW data. That’s 24.2 per 100,000 15-19 year olds. Mr Waterman said that the age standardised rate for people who completed suicide in 2018 was 14.5 per 100,000 compared to 19.5 per 100,000 in 2019 in Tasmania. Mr Waterman said that 15-19 year old females were more likely to be hospitalised for attempted self-harm than any other age group. In 2018/19 4032 15-19 year old girls were hospitalised for attempted self-harm nationally and Tasmania had the highest number of hospitalisations per population for intentional self-harm of any state, second only to the Northern Territory.
Mr Waterman said that for every 10 people aged 45-49 years old that complete suicide, approximately six 15-19 year old males complete suicide. It is even worse for young females with 15-19 year old girls now being more likely to complete suicide than 20-34 year old females and they are equally as likely to complete suicide as 35-39 year old females, according to the national AIHW data.
Mr Waterman said he understands and empathises that this may be very upsetting for some people to read but we must do more. When Tasmania has an increase of around 50% in rates of suicide within a year and now has the highest rate of suicide per population of any state second only to the Northern Territory, there is something very, very wrong with our suicide prevention strategies. Mr Waterman said he feels it is appropriate and now is the time for an independent inquiry into the efficacy of our suicide prevention strategies, particularly for young people, and when you consider that about half of all individuals who complete suicide did not have contact with a mental health service in the preceding 12 months. This tells me that we need to do a lot more to destigmatise mental illness and it is absolutely essential that we don’t just wait for people to access mental health services. We must find better ways to reach out into the community and to those individuals who are suffering with a mental illness that are not accessing mental health services and are at risk of suicide. Mr Waterman said he feels it is neglectful to our young people and adults and ignorant to think that just because state and commonwealth governments provide funding for mental health services, that people at risk of suicide will access them. As human beings we have an obligation and duty of care to each other, even more so for our young people. We can no longer accept an outdated ideology that if people need help, we can wait for them to come to us. We must do better, Mr Waterman said. Suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15-24 (AIHW) and bullying is one of the leading causes of suicidal ideation in young people. That being said, I fully support an independent inquiry into our state’s mental health services particularly availability of services and suicide prevention strategies. Suicide is preventable and we are losing far too many young lives, Mr Waterman said.
Rural Health Tasmania
End-of-life crisis for those without advance care planning
A new national study has found that 70% of Australians aged over 65 are sidestepping the opportunity to control their end-of-life care, with men less likely to plan than women.
For the 30% of older Australians with some form of advance care planning (ACP) document in place, the majority of them are either incomplete, invalid or not legally binding.
This highlights a looming minefield of family conflict and confusion as a generation of baby boomers enter their twilight years and dementia now being the leading cause of death for Australians aged over 85.
Around a third of people will be unable to make their own end-of-life decisions. ACP offers people the opportunity to clarify their medical treatment preferences in advance, preparing themselves and loved ones for a time when they can no longer communicate.
The government-funded study, led by Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA), revealed that among the 30% of older Australians with ACP documents, only 14% of these were legally-binding advance care directives (ACDs) – considered to be the gold standard of ACP documents, which can only be completed by a person with decision-making capacity.
The majority of ACP documents that were found among older Australians were ‘advance care plans’, where preferences are reported by either family or healthcare professionals. These documents can be used to guide care but are not legally binding.
The study audited the health records of more than 4,000 older people in hospitals, GP clinics and aged care facilities across Australia. The study also found that women were more likely to have an ACD, raising questions about what can be done to increase uptake among older Australian men, who are largely leaving their future care to chance or for others to decide for them.
“While ACP is by no means mandatory, we’re concerned for older people who expect to remain in control of their medical decisions as they age. If choice and control is important to you, advance care planning should be on your radar,” said Linda Nolte, Program Director of ACPA.
“An important part of healthy ageing is making informed healthcare choices. We urge people to take active steps to control their future care and create a legally-binding ACD, while they still have decision-making capacity. It means you’re more likely to get the care you want and avoid treatment you don’t want. It also relieves loved ones of the burden of making life-and-death decisions by guesswork.
“We also encourage people to ensure their ACD is coherent and properly dated, signed and witnessed. It may be the difference between whether your doctor follows your directive or not,” said Ms Nolte.
Advance Care Planning Australia offers free information and advice to the Australian public and health professionals. Call 1300 208 582, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (AEST).
Advance Care Planning Australia
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