Check out the Pinarc Parent Support February Update

The Pinarc Parent Support February update includes:

·       Local Parent/Carer Groups

·       Pinarc Kids Programs

·       Events and Activities

·       Research and Survey Participation Opportunities

·       Resources for families of children with disabilities

Local Parent/Carer Groups

·           Ballarat NDIS Kids Parent Group This is a new group for any parents of infants and young children with disability or developmental delay. You do not need to be receiving other Pinarc Services to be eligible.  Children are welcome and play opportunities will be provided to keep them busy. 
Term 1 sessions: February 6, 20,  March 6, 20,    April 3

9.30am – 10.30am at Pinarc, Sturt St Alfredton. 
Please contact Rebecca Paton, on 53291361 or at to register. 

·           Ararat and District Carers Group (for people who care for a young person with additional needs) meets monthly for lunch at various local venues. Next meeting 11.30am Monday 11th February, in the Barkly bar and bistro at the Leopold hotel.  Contact Toni Hobson 0419 387 440 to RSVP. 

·           Ballarat Autism Parent Connection group meets at the Robin Hood Hotel on the third Monday of the month, 10am – 12pm, for a social coffee, morning tea and information sharing. Next meeting is the Monday 18th February and the topic will be Creative Respite Options. 

·         Bacchus Marsh Disability Parent Connection group meet on the fourth Monday of each month, 10.30am - 12.30pm at the Darley Neighbourhood House in Bacchus Marsh, 33 Jonathan Drive, Darley.  The next meeting will be Monday 25th February 2019.


·          Ballarat Down Syndrome Parent Connection group meet regularly for support, discussion, information. Contact Wendy    

·           SCODA - (Supporting Carers of Disabled Adults), is a Ballarat-based group who meet for lunch first Monday of each month. 

Would you like to start a new group? Our parent support coordinator can help. Please contact Rebecca Paton, on 53291361 or

 Download the flyer for group details.

Pinarc Kids Programs

School Holiday Program:

We provide recreational and social activities for children and teenagers during the school holidays. These include a mixture or centre based and community-based activities including swimming, cooking and day trips. 

Youth Group:

Youth Group runs on Saturdays throughout the year.  We currently have groups that meet weekly, fortnightly, or monthly from 10:30am – 3:30pm.  Activities include a mix of centre based and community-based programs.  Some activities will involve a small cost.  Customers are supported by staff based on NDIS ratios. For more information, contact Beth Taylor 5329 1343 or

After School Activities

After School Program runs 3pm – 6pm.  The group will do a mixture of centre and community-based activities.  Some activities will involve a small cost.  Customers are supported by staff based on NDIS ratios.  The program currently runs on Wednesday and Friday nights, but we are happy to discuss your requirements if you would like to access a different day. For more information, contact Beth Taylor 5329 1343 or

Sports Hub

We offer sporting activities for children and teenagers. Programs are run on a Monday night from 4.00-5.00pm during school term. Participants are supported by staff and volunteers to learn skills that enable them to participate in many different sports. For more information, contact Beth Taylor 5329 1343 or


Weekend based recreational/social activities at various locations, contact Michelle Lugg 5329 1381 or .

Other news for families


AAA Sport Master Blasters Cricket

Fridays - 4:15pm- 5:30pm

Begins 08 Feb    Ends: 29 Mar

Location: Eastern Oval (Ballarat)

Cost: $99

Master Blasters is a super fun, social, safe, cricket program for boys and girls aged 7 to 16. The All Abilities program is much shorter than traditional cricket, with a maximum of 90 minutes playing time. All the equipment is supplied and the games take place at the same venue each week, at a local cricket club or community centre. The AAA Sport program is designed to cater make cricket accessible to children with disabilities and special needs

Contact:  Kellie Tait 0416504314



Afterschool care and Vacation Care at Ballarat Specialist School

Lifestyle Solutions is partnering with Ballarat Specialist School to provide a centre-based support service for children and young people.

The service will run between 3pm - 6pm during school term and 8am - 6pm during the school holiday periods.

For more information contact Lifestyle Solutions staff on 1800 634 748 or:


Spectrospective 2019: Work

Every April, Amaze marks World Autism Acceptance Day by sharing your stories in a powerful short film called Spectrospective. This year, Spectrospective is about employment.

We ask the community to send us short videos on the campaign theme, which are then edited together to form Spectrospective. The film is shared with millions of people online and at Village Cinemas across Victoria and Tasmania in April, to share real experiences of autistic people and build community understanding of autism.

Submissions closed on Sunday 3 February 2019

For more information about Spectrospective email



Vicsport Talks Ballarat

Vicsport are proud to present a series of short talks about how successful social and modified sport products are changing the way sport is delivered and opening up new participants to sporting organisations.

In partnership with Sports Central and the City of Ballarat, Vicsport Talks are coming to Ballarat in February.

Join us to hear about innovative sport and active recreation programs in the Central Highlands, with a focus on growing participation.

Female Cricket in Ballarat – Ballarat Cricket Association & Ballarat Women’s Cricket Club

AFL for All Abilities in Ballarat – AAA Sports Ballarat & Ballarat Bulldogs Football Netball Club

Girls Golf in the Central Highlands – Ballarat District Golf Incorporated & Golf Victoria

Date: Monday 11th February
Time: 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Venue: Eureka Centre – 102 Stawell St North, Ballarat

Refreshments will be provided.

To register, click here Download the Vicsport Talks Ballarat flyer.


COOKING WITH CONFIDENCE  -  Catalyst Training and Disability Services

A seasonal cooking course where you will learn to 
This 40-week course includes the accredited certificate SITXFSA001 Use Hygienic Practices for Food Safety (food handling). 
This course is for you if you: 
• Love food and seasonal ingredients 
• Are over 18 years old 
• Want to learn to cook for yourself, your families and friends What funds you need: 
• Funding in your NDIS plan for skill development (6 hours a week for 40 weeks) 
• You will also need to pay a $10 activity fee a week from your own money

Weekly over a 12-month period from February 2019 Starting on Wednesday 27th, 9:30am - 3:30pm 
Ballarat North Bowling Club, 402 Gregory Street, Soldiers Hill

For more information please contact: or ring 03 9858 3014


Interactive Care Workshops - Melton

Experiential expert and leadership trainer Julienne Verhagen has worked as a disability support worker and is sibling to a brother with cerebral palsy, which gives her a unique perspective on how to raise the living standards of people with limited mobility and limited or no speech.

In this Interactive Care introductory course, Julienne outlines the 8 themes which define what Interactive Care is. She also ‘gets real’ about the life of support workers and how to balance our demands with their needs.

If you want to help give your person with disability a better life, this Interactive Care Introductory Course can help you do that: suitable for all family carers, disability support workers and other advocates.

4 sessions – once a week for 4 weeks.  $170p/p (2 people for $297) Choose from a day or evening time, both programs include a copy of the book “The Power of Interactive Care”

20th March | CoWorkme, 245 St Kilda Road, St Kilda 3182 Vic, Australia

“In this 1 day workshop in partnership Holly Bridges, author of "Reframe your thinking around Autism", we'll break down exactly what happens in people on the spectrum from a physiological and psychological perspective.

There isn't much focus on the somatic and physiological side of Asperger's & Autism, and yet we've found it to be the most profound & life changing work. So join us as you gain new insight, learn new tools & come away with a deep knowledge of how to help people on the spectrum thrive.

This workshop is great for professionals, people on the spectrum & family members alike.”


Carers Victoria 2019 Carer Workshops 
Carers Victoria has a range of education workshops to support your needs. A schedule for early 2019 is now available on the 
Carers Victoria website. Register online or reserve your spot via 1800 242 636 or


Understanding the Autism Spectrum

with Dr Richard Eisenmajer Followed by the ‘lived experience’ of Elise Muller

WHEN:  Thursday 21st March 2019

Time: 9:30—12.30

AT: Midlands Golf Club, Heinz Lane, Ballarat North

Cost: $30 per person

Register with Trybooking:

Contact: Kris Phone: 0417 413 994



Source Kids Disability Expo -March

Melbourne on March 29-30, 2019 focused on children, youths and young adults up to the age of 25. This two-day event will bring together the latest disability products, services and technology, along with some incredible speakers all under one roof at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

We will be releasing details of the Source Kids Disability Expo over the coming months, if you would like to keep updated with key event information, the speaker program, activities, exhibitors, sponsors, competitions and more, follow our event page on Facebook AND register your details to keep up-to-date for this exciting new event. The event will be FREE to attend, and we will let you know how to register to attend this event closer to the time!


Local Neighbourhood House Programs

Our local neighbourhood houses provide a great range of courses that may be of interest to people with disabilities or parents and carers.   The topics range from life-skills (eg. cooking, basic maths), computing and arts and crafts to first aid and film making. Here are links to their programs. Well worth a look. 

Ballarat North Neighbourhood House:

Wendouree Neighbourhood Centre:

Ballarat South Community Hub


Haddon Community Learning Centre:


Ballan Community House:


Darley Neighbourhood House:


Ararat Neighbourhood House:

Stawell Neighbourhood House:


Creswick Neighbourhood House:

Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre:

Clunes Neighbourhood House:

Trentham Neighbourhood house:


Research and Survey Participation Opportunities

Call for submissions: Growing Up Disabled in Australia

We are looking for non-fiction pieces that deal with any aspect of growing up chronically ill, deaf, Deaf or disabled. Submissions can be in any manner, tone or style, but should not be academic or scholarly. They should be written in first-person and be honest accounts of lived experience – positive, negative or anything in between. 
Submissions should be between 1000 and 4000 words, and must be received by 5pm on Friday, 31 May 2019. Late entries will not be accepted. 
Please email submissions to . Submissions will be accepted as Word files or audio files.
For more information visit:

Deakin University AllPlay Learn

AllPlay Learn is a research study at Deakin University that is exploring the experiences and resources parents and caregivers have used to support their child to learn in an education setting.  AllPlay Learn is currently recruiting participants for a research study to make education settings more inclusive for children with disabilities. They are seeking parents/guardians of children with disabilities who are either 1) currently attending childcare, kindergarten, long day care, primary or secondary school, or 2) have attended any of these in the past. You can find the survey here:  


Resources for families of children with disabilities

Association for Children with a Disability - Parentline

The ACD office will be closed from 24 December 2018 and will reopen on 2 January 2019.
If you need support during this time, contact:

  • Parentline 13 22 89 (available until midnight, 7 days a week including public holidays)


Family Planning Victoria - Easy English Fact Sheets.

At Family Planning Victoria, we think that everyone should have access to information. There are 12 sheets available and we have more planned, so watch this space.  Please call us if you would like more information or  if you want us to send you one of the Fact Sheets.  You can ring us on 9257 0100.

Training for Kinship and Foster Carers


Access Ability Australia NEW ACCESS KEYS AVAILABLE


VALID newsletter subscription


Association for Children with a Disability

Siblings Australia Parent Consultations


Merlin’s Magic Wand



Everything Carers 

Ask Izzy


Carer Gateway

For support and advice, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Free call: 1800 422 737


For more information about Pinarc programs contact Parent Support Coordinator Rebecca Paton on  5329 1361,