Welcome to Open Place
Here you will find information about the services we provide and how Forgotten Australians can access these services.
We are committed to continuing and expanding our outreach capacity in order to better serve isolated Forgotten Australians and isolated communities.
Open Place Update: Re-Opening the Drop In Centre and Resuming Face-to-Face Services
23 March 2021
It has now been 12 months since COVID-19 impacted us all with the cessation of Social Support Groups and activities, closure of the Drop In Centre and face-to-face services moving to be provided online only.
We are pleased to announce that Social Support groups have resumed this year and the following activities in the Drop In have now resumed:
- Second Monday in the month: Quilting 10am – 12pm
- Third Tuesday of the month: Leather Group 10am – 12pm
- Third Thursday of the month: Art Group 1pm – 4pm
- Last Tuesday of the month: Men’s Walking Group 1pm – 2.30pm
Counselling and Redress support face-to face-appointments are gradually resuming and we will also be re-opening the Drop In Centre with reduced hours.
Starting from Thursday 8 April, the Drop In Centre will be open from:
- 10am – 4pm on Mondays and Thursdays
- 10am – 12pm on Fridays for Oz Harvest Food collection
- 10am – 3pm on the first Friday of the month for Cook Up
Information sessions may be offered between 10am and 12pm on the last Thursday of each month. Please check the Open Place website for updates or call or email us to confirm whether information sessions are going ahead.
On other days of the month, staff will be able to meet with service users at the Drop In Centre by appointment, if you have any queries or support requests that cannot be addressed over the phone. Face-to-face appointments are also available for counselling and Redress support.
‘COVID normal’ and staying safe
As Victoria moves to a new state of ‘COVID normal’, we continue to experience some challenges, including regular Social Support Groups venues either being closed completely or being open but not allowing food sharing. We are doing our best to work around this, but at times, may experience some limited options for both venue and food. COVID-19 will also impact the Drop In Centre with the need to maintain social distancing and not share food. We are looking at different ways to ensure the availability of food at the Drop In Centre in a way that meets COVID safe requirements.
Please be patient with us as we work this through. As always, we welcome any suggestions you have about ways we can provide the service in this changed environment.
Please note: If you are visiting the Drop In Centre or coming in for a face-to-face appointment or activity, you will need to sign in, and maintain 1.5m of social distancing. If it is not possible to maintain social distancing, then masks will need to be worn (unless a medical exemption is provided).
Open Place Health Brokerage Funding Guidelines are now available to download.
Please find the 2020/21 Health Brokerage Funding Guidelines below.
The only changes to the previous guidelines are that the limit has been changed from $1500 to $1000 and the total spend for glasses is $400 which includes frames and lenses.
Download the guidelines Open Place Health Brokerage Funding Guidelines 20 21.
Update: Coronavirus shutdown in Victoria
17 February 2021
We are committed to maintaining our connection with you as we all work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
This decision followed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ request that the community stay home except ‘essential’ travel, as one of the key strategies to reducing harm to a large number of people.
We are continuing to provide telephone and email-based support, with Open Place staff working remotely from home. Counselling, redress support, health brokerage, records and co-ordinated support services are all operating.
We have been working towards a new ‘COVID normal’ and resuming activities in 2021. Progress towards this remains dependent on the advice of the government in relation to COVID-19 restrictions.
We had started to resume Social Support Groups, but will be pausing them again as a result of the current lockdown announced on Friday 12 February 2021. Prior to this, we had also been experiencing some issues with some of our regular group meeting spaces not yet reopening to allow for our attendance numbers and food sharing requirements.
Whilst we remain committed to resuming our face-to-face activities fully as soon as possible, we must also manage the COVID-19 environment according to government directions and COVIDSafe practices, especially given the understanding of the health vulnerabilities that many of you face.
Please check the website for updates and not hesitate to phone us on 1800 779 379 or email email@example.com
Stay safe and we look forward to all services resuming as soon as possible.
Find out more about our response to COVID-19.
Relationships Australia Victoria the New Provider of Open Place
We’re pleased to acknowledge this important event with a video that welcomes all Open Place staff, service users and stakeholders to RAV.
1 July 2020
Welcoming Open Place to Relationships Australia Victoria
Today, Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) officially commenced as the new provider of Open Place.
The following 3 letters have been posted to all Forgotten Australians registered with Open Place. These letters were posted on 16 June 2020
Changes to health and special circumstances funding until 30 June 2020 / Planned temporary closure of Open Place
Please find the link to the above letter OPtransitionletter9June
Consent to transfer service user data between Berry Street and Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) (as the providers of Open Place)
Please find the link to the above letter Open Place – Transfer of information to RAV opt-out for June 2020
Introduction and update from RAV
Please find the link to the above letter RAV – Open Place letter 11062020
Open Place offers support for people apply for, or thinking of applying for, redress through the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.
The National Redress Scheme has been established to support people who were sexually abused as children while in the care of an institution. The establishment of a National Redress Scheme was recommended by the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. The Scheme commenced on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.
The Redress Scheme can provide three things:
- access to psychological counselling
- a direct personal response – such as an apology from the responsible institution for people who want it
- a monetary payment
A person can choose to apply to the National Redress Scheme if they:
- experienced institutional child sexual abuse before 1 July 2018 and
- are aged over 18 or will turn 18 before 30 June 2028, and
- are applying for redress from an institution that has joined the National Redress Scheme, and
- apply between 1 July and 30 June 2027
If you are interested in finding out any more about this, we have a specialist Redress Scheme support team who will be able to answer your questions and give you accurate, up to date information about the redress process.
Additional information can be found at:
The purpose of this publication launched in November 2016 at the anniversary of the National Apology is to say that Forgotten Australians matter. Their lives and their stories matter. In this publication it is the Forgotten Australians themselves speaking; of hope, recognition and justice, which many still seek as a result of childhood experiences and the struggles in adult life as a consequence of these experiences.
Treasure Trove is a collection of small creative writing pieces that were produced by Forgotten Australians with the support of Open Place.
With just a few well-chosen words – brought alive with the soulful power of visual imagery – these six-word stories, three-line poems, unsent letters, single sentences and other creative writing gems open up a treasure trove of stories and experiences. Some of the pieces of writing sparkle with wisdom, some are filled with humour, and still others intrigue with the uniqueness of their vision. Many provide a glimpse of lives unimaginably altered by traumatic childhood experiences. All demonstrate an astonishing depth of resilience and courage.
We Believe You Booklet
We Believe you is a compilation of the feedback given during the INSIDE Exhibition.
This booklet celebrates the fifth anniversary of the National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants that was provided by the Honourable Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister, and supported by the Honourable Malcolm Turnbull, former Opposition Leader, on 16 November 2009.
We Remember You Booklet
We Remember You is a booklet published by Open Place, for Forgotten Australians to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the unveiling of the Memorial to Forgotten Australians on Southbank. The stories contained in this booklet are part of the history of Forgotten Australians; a history that must never be forgotten. These stories tell us about suffering, endurance and resilience. Despite continuing struggles with their past experiences each, in their own way, has made a life with meaning and purpose. If you are a registered service user of Open Place and would like a copy of the booklet, please contact us on 1800 779 379 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange a copy to be forwarded to you.
The we Remember You Booklet is currently being updated and will be available to download at a later date.