Disability Information Helpline for people with disability
Do you have a question about coronavirus (COVID-19)? Do you need help because things have changed?
You can contact the Disability Information Helpline to talk about your concerns in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19), for example if:
your support worker has not turned up
your provider has stopped services
it’s hard for you to get food, groceries, medications or other essential items
someone close to you has symptoms of coronavirus
you are feeling really upset
anything else is worrying you.
To contact the Disability Information Helpline, please call 1800 643 787.
The Helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST). It is not available on national public holidays.
If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can call the National Relay Service on 133 677.
If you require support in another language you can use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) free of charge by:
calling the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787 and asking for an interpreter. The counsellor will make the arrangements, or
calling TIS on 131 450 and asking to be connected to the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.
The Disability Information Helpline is free, private and fact-checked.
The Disability Information Helpline is funded by the Australian Government.
For more information about the Disability Information Helpline, including Easy Read and Auslan resources about coronavirus, visit www.dss.gov.au/disabilityhelp.
George Gray Centre Update 10th September 2020
I am very happy to advise that GGC will be reopening for reduced services as planned on Monday September 14th 2020.
The Victorian Government has clarified that GGC can operate under the current restrictions, and we are confident that our planning and preparation has enabled us to provide a CovidSafe environment for both our participants and our staff.
We have prepared a CovidSafe plan, ordered extra PPE and have facilities that meet the regulated density requirements.
In line with government regulations, our staff will be required to wear both a disposable surgical mask and eye protection.
We will continue with the regular temperature checks of both participants and staff and with the twice daily cleaning we had implemented prior to our most recent closure.
Our reception will remain closed and people other than staff and participants will not be permitted to enter GGC sites without prior appointment.
At this time GGC is still unable to provide transport or 1:1 support.
Due to the current density rules will not be able to operate our Café.
However, we are now able to re-introduce a reduced number of supported employees in the gardening service.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming participants back next week.
Take Care, Stay Safe
George Gray Centre Update 7th September 2020
We all waited with bated breath for the Premier to update us yesterday and to get a gauge on how we, in regional Victoria, would be affected by any changes.
None of the information given was clear.
We will be seeking further clarification on what that means for George Gray over the coming days, and we will keep you updated.
For now, we will be continuing to plan for an opening and we are hoping that is still the 14th September 2020.
Rest assured we will contact you as soon as we are clear on what we can/can’t do.
Thank you for your patience, understanding and support. We know this is a difficult time. We feel it too.
Take Care, Stay Safe
George Gray Centre Inc.
George Gray Centre Update 19th August 2020
Today marks two week since George Gray Centre closed for the second time in 2020 due to stage three restrictions being enforced in our region.
We have another 4 weeks to go of the planned 6-week shutdown, and if no other restrictions are enforced George Gray Centre has planned a re-opening date of September 14th 2020.
We are watching the situation very closely and will endeavour to keep our community updated as much as we can.
Whilst we are closed to participants and staff, some of our business services team have been working hard in the background on required audits.
As a registered NDIS provider, George Gray Centre Inc. is required to undergo an audit against the NDIS Practice Standards. We have engaged BSI Group Pty. Ltd as an approved quality auditor to assess George Gray against the components of the NDIS Practice Standards.
BSI Group Pty Ltd. will check that GGC is meeting all the requirements for disability service provision under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and that we comply with our NDIS registration responsibilities. The audit process will also identify ways in which we can further improve our business services and the provision of supports to our service users.
We are also about to commence our yearly Financial Audit.
George Gray Centre continues to monitor the Covid-19 situation very closely and is taking into account all new Federal, State and Local Government announcements. The health and safety of the people we support and our team is front of mind.
We know this is an extremely difficult time for our participants, their families and our staff and we want to thank you for your patience and understanding.
Take Care, Stay Safe
George Gray Centre Update 3rd August 2020
Following the announcement by the Victorian Premier regarding a move to stage 3 restrictions and a proposed six-week lockdown of regional Victoria, sadly we have no choice but to close George Gray Centre once more effective from 4pm Wednesday 5th August 2020.
These are difficult and stressful times.
This decision is not taken lightly nor with a lack of understanding of the profound impact that it may have on our participants and families. Nevertheless, we must do everything possible to maintain the health and safety of our participants and staff.
We share in your disappointment as we believe that as a community we were working our way through this crisis. In saying that, we see this as a pause. One that is out of our control, but one that we can restart when the time is right. This is not where we expected to be at this point, but we have managed over recent weeks to provide programs to our participants in a safe environment and we will do this again, very soon.
Rest assured that we will monitor the situation and ease these restrictions as soon as we believe it is safe to do so.
We thank you very much for your patience, understanding and support through this challenging time.
Take Care, Stay Safe
George Gray Centre Update 31st July 2020
Yesterday the Victorian Government mandated the wearing of masks in public as of midnight on Sunday 2nd August.
Residents of the entire state of Victoria will be required to wear a face mask or cover when they leave their homes.
The Government direction also extends to all Victorian workplaces.
As such, all George Gray Centre staff will wear a face mask whilst at work, with effect from midnight Sunday 2nd August. (*some exemptions may apply)
It is preferable that participants do wear a mask when they attend GGC, but they may choose not to do this if they feel more comfortable.
The best face covering for people with a disability is either a reusable cloth mask or a single use surgical mask.
Participants will need to provide their own masks.
For more information please refer to the DHHS website https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/disability-services-sector-coronavirus-covid-19 and the document under the heading “Disability support workers – face masks at work”.
Thanks again for your patience and understanding in this difficult time.
Take care, stay safe
George Gray Centre Update 30th July 2020
The Victorian COVID experience has taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks and our state continues to grapple with the regrettable results of people not taking the threat seriously. We are monitoring the current situation in Metro Melbourne very closely, and thankfully, to date, we have no reported cases in the Wellington Shire. As we have seen, this can, and does, change very quickly if there happens to be a local outbreak.
At George Gray Centre, we have always taken the issue seriously. We have strategically put in place measures to reduce the risk to our clients and staff whilst endeavouring to continue to offer support of the highest standard.
The George Gray Centre has been operating at a reduced capacity in Maffra for over a month now and it’s been great to see our participants and our families each day. We have been working towards opening our Sale facility to allow more places for our participants and early indications are that we will be able to do that in some capacity. There is significant planning and assessment that needs to be undertaken, but we are still confident that we will be opening the Sale facility in the week beginning the 24th August 2020.
We are still unable to offer 1:1 support, transport, or Supported Employment at this time.
George Gray Centre publishes a list of dates each year which state our closing dates and holidays. During this pandemic, these dates are not applicable.
As such George Gray Centre WILL NOT BE CLOSED on the planned closure dates of 6th, 8th and 10th August and 21st-24th September 2020.
These are difficult and stressful times and we would like to thank our community for their understanding and support.
Take care, stay safe
George Gray Centre Update 14th July 2020
The George Gray Centre, like all day service providers and indeed all people in Victoria, has been, and will continue to, work through the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.
The current COVID situation in Victoria is quite volatile and we are hoping that regional Victoria can still continue on as we are. However, the Premier has flagged that there could be a move to ‘stage 4’ restrictions for the entire state if daily numbers do not subside.
This uncertainty presents difficulties for GGC and families and participants, and makes it difficult to give all parties clear direction.
All we can do is plan for service delivery under the current regulations and make changes as they come.
We know that for some families this prolonged period of suspension has caused significant challenges and we want to thank all of our community for your patience and understanding during this uncertain and unprecedented time.
The approach George Gray has taken is slow and steady and safety first. We have measured the capacity of each room and have secured the necessary signage, hand sanitiser etc. We have implemented cleaning twice a day and temperature checks upon entry and once again during the day.
We have been running a trial of modified programs for the past few weeks out of our Maffra facility with a cap of 25 participants per day and limited programs in order to comply with all government regulations. This has been a great success with both staff and participants happy to get back to GGC.
Our leadership team will be working over the next few weeks to plan and prepare to offer a further 20 places per day at our Sale facility from Monday 24th August. There are many protocols we have to meet in order to open a facility, and our team are working hard to get this done. We will be in contact with individuals closer to that date.
At this time we will not be offering 1:1 support.
The WCC site at Foster and Pearson Sts Sale has been placed on the market. The decision to sell was made by the Board of Management and GGC Management prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic and is in no way related to the current ‘hibernation’ of the organisation.
Whilst it is an amazing set of heritage listed buildings, the ongoing maintenance costs and the significant investment required to ensure they remain ‘fit for purpose’ for delivering disability specific day programs is not viable for the organisation in the long term.
We are currently exploring alternate venue options within Sale and will keep you updated once we have made a decision, but at this stage when we re-open in Sale it will be at the existing WCC site.
Supported Employment and Transport
With the current density restrictions, we are unable to have any participants in GGC vehicles. This includes the mowing services. These restrictions also mean we will not be able to open the café at this time.
The GGC office in Maffra will remain closed, and we have restricted visitors to only those that are essential. We invite you to call our main office number on 03 51 47 2221 where you will be directed to the correct person or leave a message. The messages are checked regularly throughout the day and someone will get back to you. You can also email
We have done a soft launch of our new GGC website. Some parts of the site are still in construction phase, but the majority of information for service delivery under ‘usual’ circumstances is there. You can find it at www.georgegray.org.au .
We will be using the website as an additional tool of communication so please check there regularly for updates as well as updates by email. We will also be posting updates on our Facebook page.
Thank you once again for your support and your patience as we continue to endevour to steer our way through this COVID challenge. We are starting ever so slowly to return to life, though it certainly will not be as we have come to know it…for a while at least. We are taking ‘baby steps’ and we are doing this deliberately as the circumstances are constantly changing.
www.health.gov.au or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
George Gray Centre Update 3rd April 2020
A message from our CEO
Dear GGC Community Members
I am writing to inform you that due to the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, George Gray Centre Inc. have made a decision to cease operations of our Foster Place Café and Day Service activities from 4:06pm, Friday the 3rd of April 2020 until further notice.
This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, but due to the current restrictions and measures put in place to try and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus so as to protect the health and safety of the general population, combined with a dramatic reduction in income due to non-attendance, we are left with no choice.
For those families/carers that require support to manage during this time, we suggest that you contact your Support Coordinators and Plan Managers to see if you are able to access other organisations that provide in home support.
Failing that, we advise that you contact the NDIS/LAC directly to see what other options are available to you during this period.
On behalf of all GGC staff and the Committee of Management, I would like to thank you for your understanding regarding this decision and hope that everyone remains well over the coming months.
Chief Executive Officer
George Gray Centre Inc.