Monthly Archives: December 2015

Silent Morning Tea in Wangaratta

It seemed like an ordinary day in October 2015.  Except that today was the annual Younger Street Silent Morning Tea.

The sound of silence came over Younger St, as thirteen staff members from Williams Rd and Younger St all desperately tried not to speak.  All were trying to introduce themselves to each other through other methods of communication.

Even before the event commenced Moz introduced Ms D Tape (Duct Tape) to all staff with gentle threats that she would be used if spoken words were heard.  No one needed a second reminder!

There were a variety of games that the staff participated in.

The first game was Communication Whispers

ben-drawing-his-chosen-word martina-using-alphabet-board
Ben drawing his chosen word Martina using the alphabet board to show Juliana what she thought Ben’s word was…


richard and kelvin meredith-another-word
…well, Juliana and Martina didn’t get it, Richard thought he knew the answer and called Kelvin to help him out! Here is Meredith giving the group another word to guess.

Celebrity Heads


Paul, Kelvin and Richard trying to guess who they are.



Tracey acting out the phrase “barking up the wrong tree” which we all were for a while!

Staff used many different methods of communication to get their message across including:

  • Drawing – a very artistic group of staff (even Leonardo Da Vinci would be proud of their artwork)
  • Acting/role playing – “And the Oscar goes to the whole team that made it possible”. Mind you, some of the facial expressions and body language/gestures were hard to put into words – you had to be there to see it. Definitely plenty of laughter.
  • Gestures – actually pointing to the object (cake, coffee etc.) to communicate what they wanted.

As well as working incredibly hard at finding alternative ways of communicating, all participants were treated to a delicious morning tea of cakes and slices. Most of us had no difficulty in letting our hosts know what we would like to eat and drink!

A lot of different emotions and excitement came over Younger Street on that particular morning, but laughter, enjoyment and a sense of pride in the successes that a diverse group of people had achieved were the main ones.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of Younger Street, Williams Road staff and Meredith Lane (East Hume Regional Communication Service Speech Therapist from Gateway Health) who made Silent Morning Tea October 2015 possible and another success.

Again, thanks to all who made this possible.

by Moz Cabai,
Acting House Manager, Younger Street,  Wangaratta

Pocket ‘Think Safe Act Safe’ Card

The Outer South Peninsula Integrated Family Violence Partnership is a group of organisations that work together to address family violence in the region.

When men receive a Family Violence Safety Notice or Intervention Order from the courts they are often angry and refuse to accept information on what to do or who to go to for help.  The Partnership wanted to develop a resource that men would be happy to put in their pocket or wallet and access when needed.  They were also mindful that the information needed to be easy for men to read and use.

think-safe-act-safeThe Partnership approached the Peninsula & SE Regional Communication Service to work with them in developing the resource.  Over a number of meetings the information was reduced to the key messages using easy to read language.  The information consisted of:

  • where to get help
  • what to do when you start to feel frustrated and
  • tips from other men on what to do to make sure you don’t break the rules of the Safety Notice or Intervention Order.

The resource was trialled with men from a men’s behaviour change group who gave feedback on the content and wording.

The pocket cards were printed and made available to the Dandenong and Frankston Magistrates Courts.  When the men receive the Safety Notice or Intervention Order they are also given the pocket Think Safe Act Safe card.  It has also been reported that the Court Officer has found it useful to use the pocket card format as a way of explaining to men what they need to do.

An informal survey of men attending a local men’s behaviour change group indicated that many of the men had retained the pocket card.  They also reported that the information on who to contact had been the most useful.

The City of Greater Dandenong has a large multicultural population with over 40 different languages being spoken.  An Easy English version of the pocket card information was developed to support men who have low literacy, are non-English speaking or have English as a second language.  While this resource is not pocket size, it makes the information accessible to a broader group of men.

Both the pocket card and the Easy English version can be downloaded and printed from

By Zita Canning
Peninsular & South East Regional Communication Service