Domestic Assistance now available

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Domestic Assistance Service

As we get older things like health or physical challenges can make everyday tasks difficult. When you’re looking to stay in your own home, asking for help does not mean that you need to move or lose your independence.

At Gymea Community Aid and Information Service (GCAIS), we are funded to facilitate services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). What this means to you if you’re over 65 is we can support you with basic domestic services around the house such as:

  • vacuuming
  • mopping
  • dusting
  • cleaning the bathroom
  • washing the dishes
  • general tidying up
  • doing the laundry
  • making the bed
  • unaccompanied food shopping

Do You Qualify?
Eligibility for this program is based on your support needs and age.
To be eligible for this program, you must be aged:

  • 65 years or older (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people), or
  • 50 years or older (45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) and on a low income, homeless, or at risk of being homeless.

A face-to-face assessment will determine eligibility and ensure that the right services are made available to those that need them

The Costs
Once eligible, as you receive the services you are asked for a small contribution.

How Does It Work
GCAIS have a caring and enthusiastic team of Program Coordinators and Support Workers ready to deliver these services to you. Once you register with My Aged Care, you will receive an assessment by the RAS team (Regional Assessment Service). Once approved, you then choose your provider.
GCAIS also have workers to help with Chinese, Greek, Italian and Arabic speaking clients

Getting Started
Contact us on 9524 9559 or for support throughout the process of registering with My Aged Care or for any support you need to acquire these services.

National Volunteer Week 2020

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Volunteering provides opportunities for people, particularly those often excluded, to concretely impact their own lives and play a constructive role in their communities by volunteering their time. Through volunteerism, communities around the world often experience strengthened solidarity and inclusion. Here at GCAIS we couldn’t do any of our great work without our 100 plus volunteers. This week we salute you!

Help Guard Against Older Person Abuse

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A group of community and in-home aged care providers in the Shire are encouraging older people to be careful with their personal information during the COVID-19 lockdown and seek help if they are being harmed in their own homes.

The Collaborative Against the Abuse of Older People in Sutherland Shire has produced a flyer [attached], which is being distributed through GPs and chemists, as well as community services that provide services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and Home Care Packages.  The information campaign is the latest in an ongoing series of projects since the Collaborative formed in 2016 to support aged care in the community.

“Our staff and volunteers in the field work very hard to identify and respond to signs of abuse and neglect in our clients, but we’re not seeing many of them at the moment because our social activities are closed, and frankly we are concerned”, according to Collaborative Chair, Melinda Paterson, who is also the Manager of Engadine Community Services.

“All the risk factors that make older people vulnerable to physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse and neglect have been present and growing for the past six weeks.  Older people are isolated, families are stressed and many younger people are financially stretched, so we’re worried that trusting relationships could break down or advantages be taken.”

“It’s important for older people to be vigilant about their personal safety and call on formal Community Services to get the right support during the pandemic.  We’re all here to help.”

The Collaborative is part of a network of similar groups assisted by the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission, which also has an abuse helpline 1800 628 221.


Looking for Visa and Immigration Advice?

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Our weekly service for providing Visa and Immigration Advice is still operating throughout the COVID 19 restrictions. Our agent will connect with clients utilising either ZOOM or SKYPE technology. Meetings are conducted on Wednesday mornings.

To find out more and to make an appointment, contact us at or, leave a message on 02 9524 9559 and we’ll respond within 2 hours.


GCAIS Office Closure

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Our office and Centre have been closed from 25th March 2020 due to the COVID 19 crisis. This does not mean our business is closed and we continue to offer our advertised services  to over 65s for:
– Individual Social Support
– Assisted Shopping
– Pet Owner’s Network

Leave us a voicemail on 02 95249559 or send an email to and we’ll respond to you during normal working hours of Mon-Fri 9:30am to 4:00pm

Hear from our General Manager, Joanne Cracknell



What We’re Doing to Stop The Spread

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Well, things are moving very fast in regards to the COVID – 19 situation. It is fair to say, we are all learning as we go and are staying close to information and instructions as shared by the Department of Health and other trusted resources. The care of our workers, clients and community members are top of mind and I wanted to share with you what we are doing here at GCAIS to help stop the spread:

  • We have suspended all groups and activities until 17th April with the exception of Shopping Assistance and existing clients included in the Pet Owner’s Network. We have removed the shopping fee ($20) to 17th April 2020 for those utilising the service.
  • We have reduced the number of workers present in our Centre whilst still keeping the doors open for our normal business hours being 9:30am to 4:00pm.
  • We are well prepared with our systems for workers to work offsite or from home so staff can work on their projects and tasks and continue to be paid
  • Our workers are all briefed on increased hygiene standards being hand sanitiser and soaps throughout the centre including toilets and offices; each office has anti bacterial surface spray which is used at regular intervals throughout the day and numbers in the centre at any one time are monitored
  • Policies have been created to list expectations of those in the workplace including the need to attend a testing unit if symptoms appear

We understand this situation will impact on those feeling isolated and lonely. If you would like to receive our updates, please subscribe to our newsletter by sending an email to and/or liking us on Facebook

Resources to understand COVID 19
Sutherland Shire Support Services


We are Open!!!

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We would like to confirm that whilst the COVID – 19 virus situation is evolving by the minute, our Centre remains open until further notice. The following precautions are in practice:

  • Hand sanitisers, soap and paper towels are available throughout the Centre. Gloves are also available at our front desk
  • Social distancing is practiced
  • Groups and activities have been suspended from 18th March – 1st April due to low participation numbers and minimal available volunteers and workers
  • Clients and workers displaying any symptoms as related to the virus are asked not to enter the premises and to seek medical advise

We are currently following the advice of Department of Health and governing bodies and will keep our clients and community updated if and as the situation changes. We understand this situation is challenging and impacts those feeling socially isolated and lonely. We ask that individuals take responsibility for their own health and well being and stay isolated if displaying any signs of the virus.

Alternatively, those clear of infection are welcome to come and visit us, grab a book from the Street Library and join us for a cuppa!

For more information, contact us on 02 95249559 or email

Shopping Assistance Available to Over 65’s

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GCAIS are pleased to advise we are able to extend our shopping assistance. Here’s how it works:

  • The service is available to clients registered with MyAgedCare or who are 65 years and over
  • Given the COVID 19 virus and the need for social distancing, your shopping list will be taken by the support worker to complete the order and drop it back you.
  • 2 hours is allocated per client per fortnight
  • Costs and fees related to this service are suspended indefinitely
  • All workers and volunteers have completed a police check

We ask that Clients take responsibility for their health and avoid contact with our workers if feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms related to the virus. In this situation, we will work with you to keep personal contact minimal.

For more information and to reserve a date and time, contact Rita or Rowena on 95249559 or email

Update on GCAIS Groups and Activities

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With the well-being of our Clients and Workers in mind, the following changes have been implemented affecting GCAIS Groups and Activities. These changes are based on:

  • Client concerns
  • Low participant  numbers
  • Minimal staffing numbers
  • Challenges regarding “social distancing”,

All groups and activities will cease from 18th March 2020 – 1st April 2020. Only shopping assistance and the operation of the Gymea Community Centre are exempt. Group leaders will be in contact in regards to next steps for each of the groups.
At this stage, we have NOT been instructed by the authorities to completely shutdown. Our reasons are based on what we have listed above. Further communications will be shared as advise and direction are provided to us.
We are conscious this situation will have an impact on those feeling isolated and vulnerable. As such, we have extended our assisted shopping service and doing all possible to keep our Centre open during it’s normal hours of Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4:00pm.

We ask that each visitor to the Centre take responsibility for their health and avoid entering the Centre if feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms related to the virus.

See information on our Assisted Shopping

For further information contact us on 02 95249559 or email

Latest Notices on Group Cancellations

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Due to client concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, the following group outings have been cancelled. Alternatively, we have increased our shopping assistance service to clients who are registered with MyAgedCare. Shopping assistance is a cost of $20 for 2 hours and we can assist you in doing your shopping with a carer and/or, give us your list and we’ll get it done for you!

Contact us on 95249559 or, to book a time slot.

Cancelled social groups are:
– Monday Social Group: 23rd March 2020
– Multicultural Women’s Group: 17th March 2020
– Wednesday Social Group: 18th March 2020
– Tuesday Indian Social Group: 24th March 2020



Walking Groups

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Our walking groups are set up and awaiting your registration. In conjunction with Heart Foundation Walking, we have formed 5 groups to meet the needs of all ages and fitness levels. What’s even better, we have placed as much attention on the “after walk” social for those with the time to stay with the group just that little bit longer. Think cafes, smoothies, great conversation. Today it’s Gymea/Cronulla-tomorrow, Kokoda!!!

    To learn more, go to Heart Foundation Walking. By entering 2227 into the postcode field, the Gymea Easy Pacers; Gymea Afternoon Pacers, Gymea Summer Walkers, Gymea Nature Walk and Gymea Finally Friday will appear. Follow the prompts and enrol directly through the site. Or, download the registration form HERE.
    If you’d like to get more information from our walk coordinators, contact Rowena Condon, or Lou Mitchell,
  • COST
    It’s Free to join the walk!!!! Additional costs to purchase the GCAIS walking t-shirt, water bottle and “after walk” activity.
    Our groups leave from a variety of locations. Go to What’s On for a full list of our groups
  • DAYS and TIMES
    The What’s On will list all details. In summary:
    – Tuesdays     9:30am from Zimzalas
    – Thursdays   4:00pm from the Gymea Community Centre or 6:00pm from Zimzalas
    – Fridays        9:00am from the Gymea Community Centre or 9:00am from the Sutherland Tennis Courts, 112 The Grande Parade Sutherland .
    So, if you’ve been thinking about getting active and joining a group that focuses on health, well-being and socialisation, contact us today. Email either Rowena or Lou, visit our Centre at 39 Gymea Bay Rd Gymea or call us 0295249559To find out more about Go to Heart Foundation Walking for full details of this initiative.

Watch Now: CommUNITY2019

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CommUNITY 2019:  Awareness:Advocacy:Action

Led and inspired by young people CommUNITY 2019 raises awareness of the challenges faced by migrants and refugees. Youth leaders bought together young people within the Sutherland Shire, Illawarra and St George communities, and through a program of interactive activities motivated them to act to reduce social exclusion, bullying, harassment and racism.


Australia’s Bush Fire Crisis

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We understand that many of our workers and clients have been affected by the recent bush fire crisis. Many of you are engaged in fighting the fires and participating in  community activities positioned to provide help and support to the victims. At the very least, many of us continue to feel the affects of the poor air quality which is expected to continue for some time.
We will continue to share any resources or information we receive. Alternatively, if there is any information you would like us to share through our network then send through to us.
Stay safe, look out for each other, and please reach out if we can help in any way.

GO HERE to find out how you can help