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


☀TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE☀ for Interchange Outer East’s RISE Conference 2019.

With a fantastic line up of quality speakers RISE Conference is a fully catered, accessible and affordable event for the whole community. Everyone is welcome.

Speakers will engage the audience with stories of lived experience in disability to inspire, build resilience, educate and promote strategies for self care in even the most challenging circumstances.

When: Tuesday 15 October 2019 – 8.45am to 5pm
Where: 1330 Conference Centre & Cafe, Scoresby
Cost: $50 includes morning & afternoon tea and lunch plus a host of amazing speakers (free for IOE staff and volunteers)

☀Important note: RISE Conference is FREE for Interchange Outer East staff (permanent & casual) and volunteers. To get your free ticket, contact Erin on 9758 5522 or

If you are an IOE volunteer or staff member, please DO NOT book via the link above as you will be asked to pay the full ticket price.

Check out the speaker bios and conference updates at

*Unfortunately Moana Hope will no longer be presenting at our conference.

Please share this post with family, friends, professional networks and anyone else who may be interested!  All welcome.


The WINTER 2019 edition of Vnews, the newsletter for IOE volunteers, is now available. Lots of news on what is happening around IOE, volunteer insights and upcoming program activity dates for you to add to your calendars.




Fred Brumhead is a name known by everyone who is a part of Interchange Outer East (and beyond).

If you’ve ever been on family camp, attended any IOE family days, sports events, special events, rec programs, had anything to do with adult, children’s or family services you would know Fred. He is certainly not your average CEO and can always be found surrounded by children and adults and in the thick of the fun.

Well, this May, Fred celebrated 30 years at IOE , or rather the IOE community did, as Fred just hates the idea of being acknowledged.

Fred took on the job of Coordinator of Interchange Outer East in 1989, leaving Yooralla where he was running recreation programs for children. Prior to that he had been a weekend cottage parent for children with disabilities.

When Fred took on the job at Interchange there was only one program – the volunteer host program – on which the whole Interchange concept was built. Fred was the sole employee, apart from an admin assistant, and he was supported by a small Board of Management and a couple of professional advisors. His first few months were spent getting to know the 100 or so families who were registered, finding out what they hoped for from Interchange. Armed with this knowledge he set about building services . Family days came first, then holiday programs then family camps. This focus on family has continued to be an integral part of all IOE programs to this day. Fred, and all at IOE, believe that supported families are strong families and strong families make strong communities.

As Program Coordinator, Executive Officer and now CEO Fred has always been approachable and open to suggestions for increasing services to meet needs. He is a visionary who believes all things are possible and over the years has magically found ways to open many new opportunities and experiences for people with disabilities and their families. If the need was there the service would follow! He is passionate about respect, human rights, equal rights for all people and true community inclusion – values which have directed his decision making and therefore the direction IOE has taken over these last 30 years.

With Fred at the helm of the IOE team, the organisation has continued to grow and embrace the many changes and challenges within the disability field. The transition to NDIS has been particularly challenging. It has meant a complete reshaping of IOE’s structure and service provision, which Fred and the IOE team have met head on.

From two employees and a single program in 1989, IOE now has approximately 1000 families registered, 300 + employees, 300+ volunteers and a huge and ever increasing number of respite, recreational and social support programs and services for children, teens, adults and families.

While managing the increasing regulations and legislation and endless paperwork of the disability sector, Fred has managed to still be involved at a grass roots level – getting amongst it all with the kids, involving himself in activities, encouraging and having fun.

From all the families, staff and volunteers who make up our big IOE family ‘thank you for 30 years’ and for the difference IOE’s support has made to so many lives.

And he says he was originally only planning to stay for about 3 years!!

Check out our facebook page to view the video put together by Faye Lougheed for Fred’s 30 celebration.


We have had such positive responses to our communication guru’s holiday planner calendar template that Bec has put together another one for the winter break.

Families have overwhelmingly told us that they have found the template a real bonus when organising school holiday periods. The lack of routine and the unpredictability associated with the break can be unsettling for some children and confusing for their hassled parents. The calendar gives a visual cue as to who is where and what is happening. It has been created in Powerpoint, which is readily available on the majority of computers and devices.

These templates are not just for use during the holidays but, with a few simple modifications, can be a valuable asset for use during the whole of the year. If you need help with this, contact Bec Casey.

Bec has provided a few of the most commonly used icons/pictures at the side of the calendar. Simply drag or copy and paste these across to the calendar days to create your own schedule. You can customise your calendar by adding extra pictures of people or places of your own eg. Grandpa’s house can be changed to a picture of someone else, whether it’s grandparents, aunts, uncles or a support person, whoever the child will be staying with for the day, overnight or extended period of time. Just drag or copy and paste your images onto the calendar, resize and reposition them to the correct days. When you’ve finished print the finished pages, stick them on your fridge or wall and your schedule is clearly there for all to see!

The calendar has been designed to be printed A3, but it also prints well as A4, if an A3 printer is not available.

The first couple of pages of the template are an example of how the calendar can be used. Please note the school term dates are not necessarily correct as these will depend on the school attended. A blank calendar (June and July) follows, ready for you to create you own version. Voila! An organised, easy to follow, hassle free look at what is happening over the holiday break , keeping everyone happy.

The images Bec has used are from Boardmaker. If you would like more like these, or require a bit of help with how to use or modify the calendar, please contact her on 97585522 or



We dug into the IOE archives and came up with our CEO Fred Brumhead’s first ever report for the 1989 Annual General Meeting. IOE was a very different service back then. Interchange had been built around sharing the care of children with disabilities and in 1989 the Volunteer Host program was the sole program area. Already Fred’s vision of  growing services to meet families’ changing needs, is evident in this first report. As is the importance he places on supporting families.  30 years on the change in scope of services provided by IOE is immense but the values and vision remain unchanged.

Interchange Outer East Annual General Meeting 21 September 1989 – Coordinator’s Report

The Interchange program has undergone many changes over the past twelve months. The Program numbers have ranged from 45 matches to 25 and seem to be settling at about 35 matches. There are 115 registered families involved in the Interchange program, a drop of 8 from last year. Yet while everything seems to be dropping (except for the waiting list) I feel strongly that the program is in a sound position to gain and develop to meet the needs of families and children with special needs.

From 1 October 1989 the funding for the Interchange program will be transferred to the Home and Community Care Program (HACC). The outcomes of this change are still being negotiated, however it is anticipated that the changes will be positive and supportive of the program.

In the 4 months I have been with Interchange I have come to appreciate the benefits and frustrations of such a program. The fun part is meeting the families and, although this has meant overdosing on caffeine and biscuits, it has been most rewarding. When I began this position, all I could see were names floating on a sea of paper. Now, having met most of the families I can appreciate why the program can be of such benefit to both Host and Natural families.

The major priority for Interchange is to consolidate. To get the program into a position where the matches are running well, and suitable structures of support and communication between families and myself are clear. Other matters requiring attention are: the recruiting of new host families, the recruiting of new Committee members, seeking supplementary funding for the program and the development of new programs to meet new and changing needs of families.

The support I have received since beginning this job has been fantastic. From Margaret Curtis in the office to Hanna (first child I matched), everyone has been encouraging and helpful.

So to the Committee, Margaret C, Cheryl (OIDS), Sandra (KSS) and all the families, Thank You


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



My son Dylan, a 1:1 support worker and myself (husband was unable to make it) arrived at CYC Cowes on Friday evening ready to take part in our first IOE Family Camp.

On arrival we were greeted with a warm welcome and shown our accommodation. Our cabin was so much better than I expected, with one double bed and a few sets of bunks. It even had its own ensuite with separate shower and toilet.

In the morning all the families arrived for breakfast, which had been set up in the rec hall. After breakfast we were given an itinerary for the weekend ahead which was full of different activities to choose from.

My son chose to participate in crate climbing, for which he had to wear a safety harness. All the kids had so much fun! This was followed by a lot of smaller activities. My son particularly loved the massive swing that looked out over the ocean. In the afternoon there was archery and a family game of soccer.

There were a lot of activities happening during the day, some that my son didn’t participate in, but that was okay and we never felt pressured into doing something we didn’t want to do.

That evening we had tea and all special diets were catered for, so there was something for everyone.
Later that night Fred took us all on a beach tour in the dark (Fred’s night adventures are apparently legendary and an IOE tradition). My son especially loved that.

When the kids were all settled for the night I got to meet and have a talk with Fred (CEO) and Belinda, who is the IOE General Manager. They were both lovely down to earth people who made me feel very welcome.

The next morning after breakfast Fred had arranged a huge Easter egg hunt for the kids. They all LOVED it … more so the chocolate!

After that families started to pack up and leave at their own pace. We left at around 11am.

My overall thoughts and experiences of the weekend were really positive. It was so nice to be around other families who face our daily battles. We never once felt out of place or that we were being a nuisance or bothering anyone. It was a very comfortable atmosphere and we would definitely love to go on another IOE Family Camp.

Rebecca Halls – parent