Interchange Outer East is proud to announce its newest initiative in support – the IOE Mentoring Program.

Mentoring programs have played an important role in community groups and services for many years. Mentoring traditionally aims to support people to build skills and improve wellbeing through the support, input and assistance of another person, who has a range of skills, knowledge and experience. Essentially, it is the ability and capacity to match one person with another, creating a positive relationship that brings value to both sides of the match.

As a registered NDIS provider with over 35 years experience in supporting children and young adults with disability and their families, IOE is well placed to extend its support into the area of mentoring. The mentoring of a young person with a disability by an older person creates the potential to build a relationship with another adult who is not a family member, and who can support the younger person to build skills, build relationships, have new experiences and discuss daily life. IOE’s Mentoring program is goal focused and outcome based.

For young people, relationships are everything. They need to feel liked, to receive attention and to live within limits and boundaries. But above all, young people need to feel valued and respected. A mentor relationship has the capacity and ability to provide this support.

IOE has had many years experience in engaging with community and recruiting community members for our programs and services supporting children and young people with disabilities. Programs such as the host program, specialised care, flexible care and recreation volunteers have been integral parts of this history.
The skills and aptitude IOE has developed in recruitment, matching, supporting and developing people from the community to work effectively with people with disabilities and their families will be readily transferable to this mentoring initiative.

The Mentoring Program can be funded using the mentee’s NDIS plan – for more information  see examples of mentoring arrangements and funding in the Mentoring Program flyer.


• Careful 1:1 matching of a young person with a disability (mentee) to a young person from their community (mentor).
• A commitment of 8 to 20 hours per month over a one year period is made by both the family, the mentee and the chosen mentor.
• A set of goals is identified for the match which is progressed through the year. Goals will be discussed with input from the mentee’s family and allied health professionals.
• The purpose of this program is to build on individualised goals for mentees and to provide a service that can build on previously identified goals by mental health professionals.
• Periodic review of each mentoring relationship undertaken by the program coordinator with input from all parties; the mentee, their family, the mentor and other support staff.


To kickstart the matching process, complete the online form:
For more information, contact Michaela or Daniel on 9758 5522 or


Take a read of the summer edition of the quarterly eNews for IOE Support Workers with information, news, ideas and handy hints for the holiday period.


IOE’s Family Support program received a boost recently when Allan Tierney and Brian Mandergeddes  from Fern Tree Gully Rotary  presented IOE with a cheque for $2000. The donation is a welcome support and will be put directly into providing opportunities for families on our family camps.

Family camps have always been an integral part of IOE’s Family Support Program and the demand for the ‘family camp experience’ has increased greatly since the introduction of NDIS and the subsequent influx of new families. With no secure or ongoing funding for our family support programs, IOE relies on donations such as this to maintain the programs.

IOE is now running four family camps a year to meet this increasing demand. The first for 2020, our annual stay at Coonawarra  Resort, will be over the March long weekend. Phillip Island is again the venue for our April camp. We will be taking expressions of interest for these camps early in 2020 .

June, who attended her first family camp with her son Samar in March 2019 at Coonawarra, says this about her experience.

‘Our first IOE experience was Family Camp at Coonawarra and I am so glad we came as it changed everything for Samar and myself. I am a very outdoorsy person so I thought it would be perfect for us; and I was right! I kept asking myself how all the people I was meeting could be so nice and so patient. They answered all my questions and always had time to spend with us. Family Camp was the first time since Samar was born that I have been able to take time for myself. I went on a bush walk and sat under the beautiful blue sky and thought about how lucky I was to be there. It was such a good chance to get to know myself again and meet other people who go through the same challenges that Samar and I go through. After we got back from a night walk with Fred, the CEO at Interchange Outer East, Ashleigh held Samar and walked up and down the hallway with him for half an hour until he was asleep. I haven’t had support like this anywhere else on earth!’

Thank you Fern Tree Gully Rotary. You will be helping more families like June’s to experience the support and friendship that are such a part of this valued program.


The IOE Siblings Program is financially secured for the year to come thanks once again to the generosity and support of Freemasonry.

IOE welcomed a gathering of members from the Freemasons Foundation and local Monash Gully lodge at a morning tea this morning (Thursday 14 November) at which Jenna Tatterson, Siblings Program Coordinator, opened proceedings by speaking about the increase in numbers of siblings accessing the program. As the program’s reputation spreads it is attracting siblings from areas outside our historic catchment regions. A video featuring comments from Sibling Program participants and activity snippets  followed.

Lionel May, District Coordinator for Monash Gully then spoke on their ongoing commitment  to support IOE’s Sibs and thanked The Freemason Foundation members present – Neil Cripps, EO, and Myles King Chairperson – for their work in ensuring this support continues. Each year there are innumerable community organisations and charities who are the beneficiaries of The Freemasons Foundation grants program and IOE has been very fortunate to have received this support for the past ten years. Lionel noted that during the past year the Monash Gully lodge was responsible for donating over $110,000 to the community.

A cheque for $60,000 was then presented and gratefully accepted by Jenna on behalf of the Siblings Program.

Myles King thanked all the members present and their lodges for working so hard to bring the fundraising and funding process together so that so many people were able to benefit. In appreciation of their efforts and in recognition of the value of the contribution to families made by IOE, he announced a further $10,000 be added to the cheque, taking this year’s financial support to a massive $70,000!

Interchange Outer East CEO, Fred Brumhead, thanked Freemasons for their generosity. He spoke about IOE’s focus on all family members and how, as the family support programs are not funded under NDIS, programs such as Siblings would be unable to continue without financial support such as had just been given. He further assured Freemason members that the funds would be used for camps and activities for the direct benefit of the siblings.

IOE is extremely proud of its Sibling Program, according to Siblings Australia it is 1 of only 5 operating throughout Australia! This latest funding support will mean an even bigger Siblings Program for the coming year bringing friendship, fun and support to an ever increasing number of siblings.

Thank you Freemasons!


Keep up-to-date. Read the latest news from IOE with the November edition of our monthly enewsletter.




This year we ventured out in rural Victoria for a taste of the goldfields. We stayed at the RACV resort which is situated just out the peripherals of Creswick, a sleepy Victorian town between Ballarat and Daylesford. There was lots to enjoy about the accommodation; the greeting of a complimentary drink on arrival, the amenities; swimming pool, spa, gym and the beautiful views across the golf course fairway. Early mornings greeted us with mobs of kangaroos tussling in the distance.

We were fortunate to have an additional five new dads gracing us with their presence. Great to see some new faces amongst us. On reflection I’m loving the slow change in culture and the inclusivity in this space with Dads feeling and acknowledging the notion; its good to have time out, its good to have relationships. The drawing of people together who seemingly have some similarities in their lives or who may face similar challenges. This year has seen more uptake on these activities and attendance. Great work guys its been a pleasure getting to know you and we welcome you on board.

This year we quad biked, golfed, enjoyed spas, wandered around Daylesford, went on a bike ride, dined, played Fussball, played table tennis and came together as group.

Highlights; quad biking through the Creswick Regional Park and the range of environments, the hailstorm that pummelled the second group of bikers, mornings overlooking the park with a coffee starter, mountain biking at speeds downhill, watching Jamie missing a tee off, and enjoying the spa with Michael and Bryan.

Thanks for the memories guys, see you next year.

Mark Taylor  Dads Support Coordinator



You are invited to attend Interchange Outer East’s 2019 Annual General Meeting.


When: Tuesday 29 October from 7.00pm

Where: IOE Keith Thornton Training Room  5 – 7 Yose St Ferntree Gully

Reply: to

Come along to hear what has been happening at IOE during 2018-2019 and our direction and plans for the coming year.




IOE is going green!  It started with our Eco Action Recreation Activities group, grew to involve programs run by our adult day services and now some of our staff have recently formed an Eco Action Working Group.

The Working Group, which plans to meet monthly, will focus on identifying the less sustainable areas in IOE’s collective practice and implement actions to improve on these. We want to increase environmental awareness at Interchange Outer East and encourage everyone to be involved – IOE staff, participants, and families alike. We want these green initiatives to become a part of IOE’s culture, rather than sitting with isolated programs.  One of the ways in which we plan to do so is to acknowledge our commitment, within IOE’s strategic plan, to work towards the U.N.’s Strategic Development Goals  (see image below).  Over the next two months we will be focusing on Strategic Development Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production which is about ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns are developed within the workplace.

Our plan is to set Green Goals each month and distribute advice on how to achieve these goals to our IOE community through our social media outlets, newsletter and staff bulletins Specific individuals in our workplace will be designated to champion these goals.

For the next couple of months our Green Goals will be:

To become more conscious of single use products.
This involves reducing the use of plastic bags, single use cutlery and take away coffee cups in the workplace. An easy first step that all staff can take that involves gently reminding each other to reduce our use of unnecessary single use items and to encourage alternatives like keep cups and reusable containers.

To facilitate Redcycling by offering designated places to collect soft plastics.
We’ve distributed RedCycling boxes throughout the IOE work space. These are for recycling soft plastics – any plastic (excluding glad wrap) that you can scrunch but not recycle in a conventional recycle bin – packaging, wrappers, plastic bags etc. This initiative aims to reduce the large amount of waste that goes to landfill on IOE’s behalf. Please see (and share!) this poster for more information:

There is also a green bag beside the Redcycle box to encourage use when buying lunches etc, instead of using single use plastic bags.

To make the change to recycled toilet paper.
We are in the process of negotiating this goal and we will most likely move to Who Gives a Crap, a socially responsible company which only uses recycled materials in its products and donates half of its profits to build toilets for those in need.

Once we have these goals in place, we are hoping to develop a working compost system at each site as our next step in reducing our landfill waste.

These initiatives will take place at the all our office and hub sites.

Small steps but with everyone’s help, we are on our way to becoming a more sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible organisation.