Well what a year it has been so far. I don’t think any of us imagined that our lives would be affected by a global pandemic during 2020.

Though what I can say is how very impressed I have been to see everyone’s consideration for safety and supporting each other during such changing and uncertain times.

I wanted to distribute another newsletter out before the end of the year to provide some local updates and information.

It was very sad to say farewell to Craig Agnew and Mark Andrews as part of the IS team. Thanks Mark and Craig for the years of support you have offered to clients and we wish you all the very best on your next chosen career paths.

As we say goodbye, we welcome Nicole Thomas to the IS team as the Senior Organiser and Casey Bignell as the Administration Officer. The ladies have just started and are settling in very well. Please join me in welcoming them into the genU team.

Nicole comes to genU with a Bachelor of Psychology and 2 years’ experience working with vulnerable people in Child Youth and Families.

Nicole also tells me;
“My favourite thing to do on the weekend is anything outdoors, and/or buy a new indoor plant to add to my collection. I like to keep fit and healthy, I play netball during the winter. My least favourite food is custard and I hate scary movies!”

Casey comes to genU with direct experience in aged care services with qualifications in Business Administration, Leadership and Management and completed her Certificate 3 in Individual Support.

Casey tells me;
“My all time favourite movie is Forrest Gump. My favourite food is my mums Chicken curry pie. I was bitten by a snake in central NSW when I was 17 and hospitalised for 2 weeks.”

New team members Nicole Thomas, left, and Casey Bignall.

The IS team remain ready and able to support you with any roster/support questions or supports you have.

Below is the current the IS structure for your information:










As we continue to operate in unique times and await any further advice on the easing of restrictions, little has changed in relation the safety standards set out for Disability Services by DHHS that we must uphold day to day.

As a reminder, they are:

  • Maintain hand hygiene/sanitising
  • Maintain high infection control standards around your home, high touch points – keep wipes with you when you are out and about
  • Maintain social distancing (where possible)
  • If you are unwell tell your support workers

COVIDsafe practices are developed with the aim to keep everyone safe.

Support workers must wear a disposable mask and protective eyewear whenever they are supporting you and regardless of whether you are; in your home, in the community, in a vehicle, at an appointment.

Support workers are permitted to remove their mask for the purpose of communication, to eat/drink and to have a break (when they can be socially distant).

Support workers must ask you how you are feeling prior to commencing their shift to check you are well and do not have any signs or symptoms similar to COVID-19.

Support workers are not to come to work if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms similar to COVID-19 and must get tested.

Each year, genU reviews their plans to respond to emergencies during the upcoming summer season for Code Red warnings, bushfires, heatwaves and other emergency situations.

When genU receives information concerning a weather or condition warning that may affect your planned supports, we will contact you via phone, email or SMS text (depending on your preferred communication method). We will therefore rely on the details that are recorded with this office to be up to date. Given this, if your contact information changes, please be sure to let us know by calling 5564 9200.

If an event occurs where we are unable to contact you due to telecommunications failure, this office will be in operation until business returns to usual. You will have the option of physically attending the genU office if you have been unable to communicate via another method.

genU offices:
158 Liebig Street, Warrnambool
101 Queen Street, Colac

genU encourages everyone to be safe during the summer season by:

  • Having access to the Fire Ready app downloaded
  • https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/vicemergency-app/ on your mobile phones and computers.
  • Having access to a radio to listen to 774K in an emergency situation for updates and advice
  • If living in a Bushfire Area have a current Personal Bushfire Survival Plan and notify genU of the circumstances under which Personal Bushfire Survival Plan will require change to or additional supports/service

In case of fire, make every effort to ensure you are not in danger. Ensure you always have an adequate supply of water to maintain personal hydration at all times.

Any changes to regular and planned community based supports will be made known to clients, their families and employees.

Code Red Days and heat wave warnings present serious risks that may result in changes of plans for any supports usually provided outdoors.

During a heat wave or extreme weather conditions genU continues to deliver support and services. genU reminds people to take additional care and to support others to ensure they are aware to:

  • Remain indoors as much as possible and consider the need to participate in outdoor activities and the options for changing non-essential community supports or physical activities to indoor activities
  • Have family or friends check in to offer support if needed


Please remember that the NDIS allows for staff travel to and from shifts to be a part of the rostered shifts with clients. The NDIS allows up to 30 minutes of a shift to be allocated to the staff member travelling from one shift to another.

This means that a staff member may be up to 15 minutes late in getting to your shift and/or may leave up to 15 minutes early from their shift.

The NDIA have undertaken to recognise this in NDIS plans so that shifts can be extended if necessary. The extra time required for travel may be either included within your existing shifts time (as has been the practice), or added to your service time.

For clients in remote, regional and rural areas, the time allowed by the NDIS is up to 60 minutes. In these cases, it is very important that your shifts are long enough to include the services that you need and the travel time.

For shifts where this needs to be implemented, genU will discuss this with you and included it in your Service Agreement and Schedule of Supports.

Further information about travel time can be obtained from the NDIS price guide.

The TTP is an additional cost allowed by the NDIA as providers continue to transition to the NDIS. This charge is on top of the base rate for your supports. The extra charge has been factored by the NDIS into plans in place prior to 01 July 2019.

For clients with plans started after 01 July 2019, the NDIA is actively monitoring plans to ensure that you have enough funds for your supports. The extra charge for 2019/20 for any shift is set by the NDIA at 7.5% of the support cost for the shifts.

If you are concerned about your funds, you can discuss this with either the Local Area Coordinator or your Support Coordinator.

Late cancellations have reverted to pre-COVID cancellation definitions.
Where a provider has a Short Notice Cancellation (or no show) they are able to claim 100% of the agreed fee associated with the activity from the participant’s plan, subject to this Price Guide and the terms of the service agreement with the participant.

A cancellation is a short notice cancellation if the participant:

  • Does not show up for a scheduled support within a reasonable time, or is not present at the agreed place and within a reasonable time when the provider is travelling to deliver the support; or
  • Has given less than two (2) clear business days’ notice for a support that meets both of the following conditions:
  • The support is less than 8hrs and
  • The agreed total price for the support is less that $1000 or
  • The support is less than 8 hours continuous duration; AND
  • The agreed total price for the support is less than $1000; or
  • Has given less than five (5) clear business days’ notice for any other support.

The NDIA allows agencies to charge clients for support provided which is not directly face to face with clients.

This includes specific administration required to assist genU to provide supports. This could include, preparing support plans, responding or following up on incidents or helping to resolve problems that fall outside the day to day organising of your supports are all included as ‘non face to face support’. It does not include general administration such as rostering or staff support.

genU does not provide supports on public holidays unless they are specifically funded for this in client funding plans. If you need the shift(s) changed to another day, please contact the rostering team to let them know.

The following days are recognised as public holidays for 2020:

23 October Grand Final Day
3 November Melbourne Cup (in lieu May Races)
25 December Christmas Day
28 December Boxing Day
1 January 2021 New Year’s Day

The office is closed during all public holidays. On these days any roster changes are to be managed by the genU After Hours Support Service 1300142083.

There are only two phone numbers for genU ISS that you need to know:

(03) 5564 9200

(Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm) or

1300 142 083
(Outside of office hours, weekends and
public holidays)

Toni Doherty
Operations Manager ISS

Nicole Thomas
Senior Organiser

Sandra Dayman

Makalya Baxter (6 month secondment)

Casey Bignell (6 month position)
Administration Officer

Tanya Knolwes
Workforce Organiser

Many Thanks,

genU Colac South West ISS Team

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