Setting the path to post-pandemic recovery

Ceo Message Covid 19 Update April 2020

We’ve been in this together for some time now and while our ability to be physically with you is limited, our commitment to continuing our supports for you and your family have not wavered.

As you will have seen in our social media posts, on our website and in this newsletter, our innovative team keeps coming up with new and flexible ways to meet your needs and keep you working towards your goals.

We now have online therapy being delivered via Zoom, a variety of online recreation programs for adults and cooking classes for adults and teens starting this month. There’s plenty more in development, so stay tuned via the COVID-19 section of our website.

Our support coordinators are offering increased support to many new families across Geelong, Western Melbourne and South West Victoria, while our in-home and individual support has also expanded. Read about how these services are helping participants such as Christina and her family and get in touch via your nearest Gateways office to find out more.

As remote learning continues in Victoria, we are looking at offering small group support from our spacious Thompson Rd site in North Geelong. Our idea at this stage is for two children at a time to receive two hours school work support and two hours recreation to help kids engage with their learning while giving respite to families. Please get in touch with your support coordinator if this is of interest to you.

While the changes we have had to implement across our services have meant changes to familiar routines for you and your loved ones, we are gratified to report there has been no outbreak of COVID-19 in our houses,  in the families that we support or among our staff.

I am deeply indebted to you for supporting us through this and I trust the supports and arrangements we have put in place have helped you in some way.

In addition to our new and altered services, I also wanted to let you know about the steps we are taking towards the “recovery” stage of our pandemic plan.  This would happen in full compliance with the state government rules and remaining very mindful of the very real risk that loss of social distancing could pose to the community.

You can read more about the current State government stay at home and restrictions directions here.

Stage 1

From the first week of May we will expand our offering of 1:1 supports for respite support in.  We will offer activities out of the home in a range of our locations.  We will have things such as trike riding, arts and crafts, videos, walking and cooking.  If you would like to try these, contact your coordinators or email us at

We will also have:

  • Increased therapy slots offering diverse activities,
  • Fun packs, full of ideas and skill development activities informed by our expert therapists,

 Stage 2

(Mid-May to July assuming some lifting of restrictions)

While maintaining all of the above, we will be working hard to resume group activities, but in different formats; smaller sessions using outside or large, safe and meticulously cleaned spaces that we know are safe. 

Other development will include:

  • Face-to-face assessments for individuals where this is safe for all parties, 
  • Working towards getting our new space at Thompson Road, North Geelong, ready for wider use. You can read about our plans here and, if if you have any ideas for what you would like to see provided, drop us an email at

Stage 3 

(July to December)

Hopefully we will be back to the new norm where we can start to respond in a more holistic way to your needs.
At this point we think this will look like:

  • a mix of smaller groups,
  • increased individualised support,
  • greater flexibility using a mix of online and face-to-face supports, and
  • innovative skill development opportunities with a focus on capacity building and fun.  

 Please let us know what you need and would love to see happening. We are committed to being as flexible and responsive as we can.

I do appreciate that this has been hard for everyone, but as a community we should all be really proud that together we have prevented the spread of – and potential deaths from – this virus.  Thank you.


Geelong (Head Office)
03 5221 2984
12-14 Thompson Rd
North Geelong,
Western Melbourne
03 9396 1111
77 Droop St
03 9749 7388
3 Princes Highway
03 5562 8271
171 Lava Street