After a bit of a break our support program for Grandparent Carers is up and running again.

Being a grandparent and caring for someone with a disability is a demanding double role and comes with unique challenges. IOE’s Grandparent Carer Program’s offers support by providing opportunities for older carers to socialise, network and share experiences with others in a similar care situation.

So … come along for a chat, a cuppa and a game of lawn bowls at the Yarra Junction Bowling Club on Wednesday 14 November from 10am – 12 noon. For $5 you’ll get a game of bowls plus a delicious morning tea.

Then, dig out those Christmas earrings and get ready to ho ho ho at the fabulous Zonzo Estate winery in the beautiful Yarra Valley on Wednesday 5 December from 12.30pm-2.30pm. Eat wood fired pizza, slow roasted lamb, potatoes and salad while taking in the stunning surrounds of the estate. All for just $25. What better way to celebrate Christmas and the end of the year!

Planning is already underway for next year and, starting in February, a re-vitalised program will bring even more interesting and relaxing outings to give our grandparent carers a welcome break and some time for themselves.

Take a look at the flyers for the remainder of the year’s activities, share them with others and don’t forget to rsvp to IOE 9758 5522 or  Anyone who is a grandparent and caring for someone with a disability can join in the fun.


The past year has presented plenty of challenges and surprises. Overall, with most families now transitioned to the NDIS, we are satisfied with the way in which we, as a community, have responded and adjusted to the new and still developing systems and requirements. Whilst this has been a far from smooth process, the ability and capacity of the to adapt and develop new processes has been the silver lining.

We invite all members of the IOE community to join us at the agency’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) where we will discuss the year’s challenges and successes, hand down the 2017-18 Annual Report and elect the Board of Management for the coming year.

When: Tuesday 30 October from 7pm onwards
Where: IOE Keith Thornton Room  5-7 Yose Street Ferntree Gully
RSVP: to IOE 97585522  or email
Supper provided so please advise any dietary requirements.

The AGM is an opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the agency, to meet the Board of Management and to be further involved in what is a wonderfully supportive and welcoming community.

All welcome! 

Fred Brumhead   CEO Interchange Outer East


It’s happening again! Planning is underway for the annual Family Fun Day at Box Hill Miniature Steam Railway.

Save the date: Sunday 25 November from 11am – 4pm.

Expect all the favourite attractions and activities: train rides of course!; animal farm; jumping castle; magic show; facepainting; plus  food, drinks and showbags and much much more.

This is an annual event organised and run in partnership between IOE and the Rotary Club of Balwyn, with the support of a host of local individuals, businesses and community organisations.

Everyone is welcome to come along and join in the fun.

Register your interest at



Following IOE’s recent inaugural Parent and Carers retreat, we received many messages of thanks from those who attended. Thank you to the Mezzalira family for sharing their thoughts.

‘We would like to thank Interchange Outer East, the management, sponsors and organisers for allowing us to attend the recent Carer’s Education Retreat at RACV Resort at Inverloch.

This was the first time my husband Roger and I have been away for more than one night from our son in 15 years!

It truly was a fantastic experience and a great opportunity for us to recharge our batteries. We had a wonderful time, we watched the eclipse of the moon at 5am, went for a scenic drive along the coast, had amazing breakfasts, relaxed in the lounge and went for a couple of scenic walks. We also met some really nice people, had wonderful food and had some hilarious fun at the Theatre Sports night. A fun night for sure.

Such a lovely venue, so suitable for this type of event. Loved the pillow menu too. Such a great experience and time away for all involved. We can’t wait for the next one, hopefully we can go again.

A truly rewarding experience for any Carer, so very much appreciated. Thank you again to all involved.’

Sue & Roger Mezzalira


…and a few more of the many comments received from parents and carers:

‘I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful Carers retreat! The activities offered were fantastic, the location was wonderful and the laughs had were all soothing for the soul. I met some new carers, had the opportunity to chat with carers I have crossed paths with before but never had long enough time because of our caring roles and enjoyed quality time with Shane. I appreciate all your hard work going in to organising such an event and also the time over the weekend you spent giving yourselves to others.’ Hannah L

Thank you SOOOO much IOE for a fabulous weekend! We had such a relaxing time & not only had some much needed couple time but also had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with an amazing group of people. Feeling very grateful & blessed’ Megan B

‘Thank you so much IOE for a great weekend. I sooo needed some time to just stop and relax. I got to spend some time with great friends, in a beautiful location and with lots of laughs’ Heather R

‘We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who may the retreat possible!!! My husband and I had the first break together without the kids in 18 years!!! Having two special needs children and my husband with complex needs, makes life hard. But like all other families, we just keep swimming. Having time to reconnect with my husband and meeting others who find themselves in a position similar to ours, made for a brilliant weekend!!! Thank you’ Kerryn L

Inverloch Carers retreat boxing session


IOE held its inaugural Parent and Carers Education retreat on the last weekend of July and the feedback we received has been overwhelming!

With the RACV resort at Inverloch as the destination it was an easy and leisurely drive for most people to arrive in time to greet and meet everyone on the Friday night.

A total of 95 people attended, a good indication of how needed this retreat weekend  was for parents and carers.

The mood of the camp for the whole weekend was sociable, upbeat, relaxed and happy. For many it was their first experience of a weekend away from their ‘carer’ role. With mental health a major issue for many carers and parents, one of the retreat’s aims was to provide an environment that motivated people to get active and involved rather than just sit and relax – though there was plenty of time for that too.

A boxing session proved very popular with old and young, fit and unfit donning the gloves – it certainly helped to have a local, very fit young man leading the session! Yoga was also on the activity menu – all that stretching, positioning, breathing and focusing resulted in some very ‘spaced out’ but relaxed participants. CEO Fred of course led the beach walk – probably a little easier physically than his usual family camp mountain goat hikes. An afternoon session of dancing on the tennis courts saw a group learning some salsa moves plus having fun with the old favourites, Macarena and Nutbush. It was all about getting active, both physically and mentally.

Post Saturday night dinner (delicious) – entertainment was Theatre Sports, definitely the highlight of the weekend. Sarah and Tom from Misfit Theatre group facilitated the activities and had even the most reticent challenging their comfort zones as teams play-acted, mimed and performed, taking on the fun and challenges of the activities.

The following comment, just one of the many received, sums up the overall feeling of the weekend:

‘Thank you Fred, Frances & Kimberley for an outstanding weekend – you are the best! As we return home to our families, we have an extra skip in our step! An extra ounce of energy to tackle the week ahead! Many memories of wonderful new Carer experiences!’  – Joanne B, parent and carer

With the NDIS solely focusing on the person with a disability it is crucial that those responsible for their care, the parents, families and carers, are given as much support as possible so they can maintain their physical and mental well being. IOE will continue to provide this support.


Want to know more about how the Victorian Police Force is working to support the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community?

Interchange Outer East and Different Journeys invite you to come along to an informative and educational evening, including dinner, to hear how Victoria Police are working with the community to create a safer place for people with autism.

Hear from two serving Victoria Police officers about their involvement in supporting teenagers and adults with autism and their families.

Learn about measures in place in the Victorian community to engage with the ASD community.

Have your questions answered and concerns addressed.


Date: Tuesday 21 August
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Where: Club Kilsyth 15 Canterbury Rd, Kilsyth
Cost: $15 incl. dinner
For all enquiries: please contact 9758 5522 or email


Presented by Interchange Outer East in celebration of Victorian Youth Week (13–22 April), Your Mind Matters is a free event, for youth by youth, promoting mental health and wellbeing among our young people!

Get along to Bayswater Football Club on Friday 13 April from 10am to 2pm for a fun and informative day.  There will be a range of guest speakers, mindful and engaging activities, an all-in group picnic (BYO) and cold drinks available for purchase.

It’s a great opportunity to get together with your mates and invest some time in your (and their) mental health … because YOUR MIND MATTERS!

All family members are welcome too. This is a drug and alcohol free event

RSVP on 9758 5522 or email

This event is made possible by the Victorian State Government Youth Central and we are grateful to have their support!

View the flyer. Share it with your friends!

VYW Save The Date!

Friday 13 to Sunday 22 April 2018 is Victorian Youth Week (previously known as National Youth Week). It’s a time to celebrate youth and acknowledge their contribution and achievements.

For the past number of years IOE has been successful in obtaining a grant to assist with the running of an event to celebrate National Youth Week.  The week is all about youth, so who better to be our event organisers than our own volunteers! This year, once again, the focus of our event will be on raising awareness of youth mental health and wellbeing – a huge issue faced by so many of our young people.

Our event is planned for Friday 13 April from 10am ’til 2pm and will be held at the Bayswater Senior Footbball Club and grounds.

As well as having speakers and available information, there will be plenty of opportunity to get active or just chill out and socialise.

Bring your friends and family too!

Lock in the date and keep a watch on our website and facebook  for more details.