Welcome to the Summer Edition of our
Haven; Home, Safe Tenant Newsletter


When thinking of Christmas, food, family, presents are a few things that come to mind.

For children, it means toys from Santa. Toys provide fun and enjoyment and they play an important role in helping children to learn and develop, however they can also pose an injury risk.

A high proportion of toys in Australia are sold during the lead up to Christmas. Since 2009 Consumer Affairs Vic has seized over 30,000 unsafe toys as they contained a range of potential hazards including choking, strangulation, lead exposure to name a few. Majority of injuries happen in and around the home.

Children aged 3 years are most at risk accounting for 22% of injuries. Following are the 2-year-old age group (20%) and 4-year-old (19%).

Things to consider when buying toys

  1. Take notice of the age recommendation
  2. Read the label and instructions
  3. Inspect the toys
  • Small part; anything smaller than a ping pong ball is a choking hazard
  • Sharp edges or points
  • Noisy toys: they can damage hearing
  • Long strings or ribbons: should be no more than 30 cm long to minimise the risk of strangulation
  • Weak construction; seams that come apart, or loose pieces such as eyes and buttons are a choking hazard
  • Moving parts: these can trap or pinch small fingers
  • return faulty toys to retailers

Using toys safely

  • Always read the instructions carefully and dispose of packaging carefully
  • arrange safe places to play. Children and adults falling over scattered toys is the most common form of injury associated with toys,
  • keep toys for older children away from the younger children.
  • Toys that are safe for one group may be dangerous and unsafe for another.
  • store toys down low so that children can reach them easily without climbing
  • check the condition of toys, repair and throw out any that are no longer safe


Quick Updates


With a focus on creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive community, TRG members have worked collaboratively with HHS to develop a welcome pack that will be provided to all new tenants moving into the Boronia site. The welcome pack includes a range of resources including local services, free bread that is available at the site, newsletters and details about the TRG and its purpose.


Tenants currently relocating into their newly built properties in Wattlewood, came together in November to celebrate their friendships, share the Christmas spirit, pop bons bons, chat and laugh over a luncheon at the Sands Hotel, Carrum Downs..


Grassfires near cities and towns

If you live or work on the outskirts of a city or town, you might be next to grassland, parks, paddocks or bush. For your safety, you need to understand your risk and plan ahead. Know what to do on hot, dry, windy days and plan for all situations.

Grassfires can start anywhere and spread quickly.

If you live next to grassland and a grassfire starts, walk at least two streets back from the fire.

If you live two or three streets away from grassland and a grassfire starts, stay where you are; Grassfires are unlikely to spread into built-up areas.

Never drive if you can see smoke or fire. Thick smoke will make it hard to see and traffic jams and accidents are likely. 

Keep roads clear for emergency services


Plan to leave early

Know your trigger to leave

The Fire Danger Rating is your trigger to act. The higher the rating, the more dangerous the situation if a fire starts.

On a Code Red day, leaving high-risk bushfire areas the night before or early in the morning is the safest option. Don’t rely on an official warning to leave. Bushfires can start quickly and threaten lives and homes within minutes.

Organise where to go
•    Family or friends in a low fire risk area
•    A place or relative safety, such as a shopping complex or central business district of a large regional or urban centre
•    Other community buildings, such as libraries in low-risk areas.
Don’t forget to call family, friends and neighbours to let them know where you have relocated. List all the phone numbers you need in your mobile phone. Keep a back-up list written down in case you don’t have your phone with you on the day.

Pack a relocation kit as part of your preparations.
Plan your route. Make preparations and it will be easier to leave early.

You will need to know what route to take and have an alternative if that route is blocked or congested. Your normal route may take much longer than expected.

If you do not have your own car you will need to think about options, such as public transport or a neighbour. Practise packing the car so it is quick and everything fits – including your pets! It will take a lot longer than you think.

Make sure you have enough petrol or fuel so you don’t need to stop to fill up.

What to do before you leave 
•    Close all doors and windows
•    Move doormats and outdoor furniture away from the house
•    Block the downpipes and partially fill the gutters with water
•    Move stock or large animals to large paddocks with short grass
•    Turn off gas supply. See Energy Safe Victoria for gas safety tips
•    Leave the front gate open

These actions may minimise damage to your home from bushfire.

Know when it’s safe to return home
Check with police, fire authorities and your local emergency services before trying to go home. Even if the fire has been controlled, there may be other safety issues that you are unaware of that may affect your ability to return home. These include:
•    fallen trees
•    disruptions to essential services
•    potential crime scenes

Have a backup plan if you can’t leave

Fires are unpredictable and plans can fail.
Having a backup plan can save your life if you are caught in a fire. If you cannot leave the area, consider shelter options close by. These may include:
•    a well-prepared home (yours or a neighbour) that you can actively defend
•    a private bunker (that meets current regulations)
•    a designated community shelter or refuge

Make sure your plan is flexible

You may need to account for different situations such as:
•    weekends
•    school holidays
•    a work day
•    when you are away from home

Help people who need extra support – Do you know family or friends who may need help leaving early on Code Red, Extreme or Severe fire danger days?


Through our recent tenant survey, 64% of tenants feedback that they are not aware of HHS top 10 instructional videos for basic maintenance on YouTube. Visit our Haven Home Safe Youtube Channel where you will find handy do it yourself tips and tricks


Ziilch is a free community driven website that encourages social responsibility and supports environmental sustainability by keeping good stuff out of landfill. Ziilch allows people a way to give away items they no longer want to other people who may need them. It’s free to list items on Ziilch and it’s free to take them.


You need to become a member to request FREE stuff or give away second hand stuff you don’t want anymore!


Step One: Snap a photo with your smartphone and write a description.

Step Two: Pick someone to give it to.

Step Three: Pop it on your porch ready for collection.

Do you have a neighbour who is caring, invites you in for a cuppa, puts out your bins, or looks after your home when you are away? Then why not nominate them for a Good Neighbour Award.

All nominees will receive a certificate with five winners awarded a $500 Good Guys shopping vouchers. Nominations close on Friday 23 February and the winners announced on March 25.

For further information contact Vicki, the Community Engagement Coordinator at +6139479 0729.

This is the perfect Kris Kringle gift!

The HHS cup of kindness keep cup is a great idea with the availability of 2 colours and can be found in a range of cafes in Bendigo on from our website for $15.00.

Every cup of kindness keep cup purchased helps us to support people who are homeless or in a housing crisis.

  1. Set temperatures on the air conditioner between 24 and 25 degrees. Setting an air conditioner just one degree warmer than you normally can cut cooling costs by 10%.
  2. Get in early on a hot day and close windows, lower blinds and close off rooms not in use to reduce heating inside.
  3. Keep drapes, curtains and outside window shades closed to reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain a consistent temperature inside.
  4. Open windows both sides of the house to allow cool breeze to flow through
  5. Use fans to cool down. Fans are cheap to run, evaporating moisture from the skin and creating a cooling effect
  6. Ensure air conditioners are in good shape by regularly cleaning the filter, keeping outdoor equipment for the system free of dirt, leaves and other debris.
  7. Turn off your cooling overnight and when you’re not home.


Are you an artist? Do you want to be professionally recognised and rewarded for your creativity? Open Canvas assists homeless and other socio-economically disadvantaged artists to market and sell their art and earn an income through re-occurring sales of art.



If you find yourself surrounded by a large pile of wrapping paper, Christmas cards and Christmas trees that are needing to be disposed of, head to:


Here are the many ways that you can recycle and to ensure that none goes to landfill.

Events Coming Up

Human Rights Day – Sun 10 December, head to www.un.org

For more, check out www.ourcommunity.com.au/calendar for upcoming community events.


Carols & Cake

Saturday 16 December
7.30PM – 9.30PM
Lawns of Mildura SDA Church, Cnr Deakin Avenue and 14th Street, Mildura

Prue Piez – 0409 544 674

Enjoy a free family evening of Christmas Carols. Hear the story of the birth of Christ in song by talented local artists and enjoy free refreshments (and not just cake!) with free glow sticks and face painting for kids. This is an alcohol-free event, bring blankets and/or chairs and have a great night.


Carols by Candlelight

Sunday 17 December
6.30pm -10.00 pm

Rosalind Park, Pall Mall, Bendigo

Cost: Gold coin donation

Rotary Club of Bendigo
Contact: 0401 978 607

For a fun family night filled with Christmas cheer come along and enjoy a night of singing your favourite Christmas carols and a visit from Santa at Rosalind Park. BYO chairs and rugs (an alcohol-free community event).

Geelong Carols by Candlelight

Sunday 24 December
8:00 – 10:00PM

GMHBA Stadium
Kardinia Park, Geelong
Noel Hooper

The 53rd Geelong Carols by Candlelight will feature a host of talented local performers including the Mik Maks, Shandelle Cooke and many more.

A traditional carols programme with some of Geelong’s best artists and choirs, plus our concert band, childre͛s activities and lots of carol singing!

Public Holidays

Christmas Day – Mon 25 December

Boxing Day – Tues 26 December

New Years Day – Mon 1 January

Australia Day – Fri 26 January


Santa’s House

25 November – 24 December
10am to 12pm & 1pm to 3pm, 
4pm to 7pm Fridays
Federation Square

The jolly man in red is taking up residence in the city. You’ll find Santa underneath the giant Christmas tree in Fed Square. Take a free photo with Santa, and tell him what you’re hoping to find in your stocking this year.  And every night from 9 pm an incredible light show will be displayed the new tree. Travelling through Melbourne CBD is free within the free tram zone so hop on and hop off as you need and for an extra festive fun catch the Christmas Tram travelling around the City Circle.


Santa Tram

8-24 December – One hour round trip
Bendigo Tramways Depot & workshop, 1 Tramways Avenue, Bendigo VIC 3550

Baby (under 1): Excluding Santa gift – FREE
Baby (under 1): Including Santa gift – $10.00
Child (1-15): Including Santa gift – $20.00
Adults: $10.00

Full payment must be received to confirm booking! (NOT Central Deborah Gold Mine)
Please phone 5443 8255 for Sensitive Santa sessions (For children with sensory needs)

Muppets Christmas Carol

Friday 22 December, approx  7 PM
Steampacket Gardens, Eastern Road, Geelong

Cost: Free
Carol Cameron  5272 4114

A FREE showing of the Christmas movie, Muppets Christmas Carol will be screened at Steampacket Gardens with lots of children’s activities prior. Children’s activities and face painting start at 5.30pm.

Pre-movie entertainment from 6.00pm including the Mik Maks.
And while you are at the Waterfront, don’t forget to watch the floating Christmas tree light show!

On behalf of all at HHS we wish you all a joyous festive season and happy holidays!