ACT Child and Family Centres

A guide to our programs and services 2017

2017 Child and Family Centres ACT - A guide to our programs and services [PDF 3MB]

Frequently asked questions
Early intervention and mental health
Parenting programs, courses and groups
Growing healthy families
Partner organisations programs and services OneLink - Right service, Right time
ParentLink - information, supporting connecting
Useful contacts
Publication information

Find your local Centre

Gungahlin 51 Ernest Cavanagh St, Gungahlin, Phone 6207 0120
Tuggeranong 159 Anketell St, Greenway, Phone 6207 8228
West Belconnen 6 Luke St, Holt, Phone 6205 2904

About us

The early years of a child’s life set the foundation for their future health, development and learning. The Child and Family Centres (the Centres) are a ‘one-stop-shop’ supporting families during this important time.

The Centres are staffed by professionals including social workers and psychologists, and are designed to provide a range of support programs to assist parents and children.

The services and support provided through the Centres focus on children pre-birth to 8 years, however selected services can be offered to children up to 12 years of age.

Drop-in parenting support

Parents are invited to visit their local Child and Family Centre to chat with a trained professional about parenting, ask questions and to get information. This can lead to ongoing, one-to-one support with a child and family worker.

Staff are available to speak with parents and service providers - Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, either in person or by phoning your local Centre - about a range of issues including:

  • general parenting
  • adjusting to being a parent
  • family relationship issues
  • your child’s behaviour.

This service is free of charge and available without an appointment.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Monday to Friday
How Drop-in or call your local Centre
Who For parents and carers of young children

Ongoing support

Child and Family Workers are available to provide ongoing support for children and families. No two families are the same so Child and Family Workers will provide a tailored service to your child and family.

Child and Family Workers work with families in many different ways. For example, workers can:

  • help coordinate services that might be involved with your family
  • help develop strategies to manage your child’s behaviour
  • assist with access to other services including short-term child care assistance for eligible families.

Child and Family Workers can meet with children and families at the Centre, at home, at school or another convenient location.
This service is FREE of charge and available by visiting or phoning your local Centre.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I just drop in to chat with someone?

Yes, professional staff are available to speak with parents and service providers - without an appointment - Monday to Friday 9.00 am - to 5.00 pm, either in person or by phoning:
Gungahlin 6207 0120
Tuggeranong 6207 8228
West Belconnen 6205 2904

What services are provided at the Centres?

Drop-in parenting information
Child Development Service physiotherapy and speech clinics
ACT Health services - immunisations, child health checks, Maternal and Child Health nurses, midwifery, new parents groups, sleep clinics. For detailed listings, see page 5.

Is there a fee?
No, all services provided by the Centres are free to ACT residents.

Can I have my own worker who can help me for a while with some parenting and family issues?
Yes. A Child and Family Worker will meet with you to discuss your situation. This may mean that a worker could work with children and families on an individual basis, it could be a referral to a parenting group, or referral to another service that may be more appropriate. All options are discussed with parents to ensure the right response is provided. If parents feel they would like ongoing support and assistance in their parenting role, a worker may be provided to support them.

Can any ACT resident use the services or do you have to live in Gungahlin, Tuggeranong or West Belconnen?
The Centres primarily support children and families who live in the Gungahlin, Tuggeranong, and West Belconnen communities. ACT parents outside these regions are welcome to contact any Centre.

For more information about programs and services available, phone, drop in or visit: www.communityservices.act.gov.au

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Early intervention and mental health

Children’s Behaviour and Emotional Wellbeing Clinic

Consultation clinics for parents of children under 8 years to provide information on child development, behaviour management strategies and support to address concerns.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who Parents with children under 8 years
How Contact your local Centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

Circle of Security (relationship-based parenting program)

This international and widely researched program provides opportunities to develop and enhance a secure relationship between parents and their children.
Parents will learn how to recognise, understand and meet their children’s emotional needs in order to prevent and manage behavioural and emotional difficulties. This is an 8-week, small group program which uses observation, reflection, practice and discussion.

The group is appropriate for parents of children aged 0-8 years.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who Parents with children under 8 years of age
How Call your local Centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

Cool Kids

A group for primary school children aged 8-12 years, focusing on teaching them better ways to manage anxiety.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who Children aged 8-12 years
How Contact your local Centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres at Gungahlin and West Belconnen, Bungee at Tuggeranong

Cool Little Kids

A group for parents of children aged 3-8 years, helping them learn strategies to assist their anxious child.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who Parents of children aged 3-8 years
How Contact your local Centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

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Parenting programs, courses and groups

General programs, courses, groups

GET UP (Group Engaging The Under 25 Parents)

A group for young parents under 25 years where parents can meet new friends, tap into creative skills, play with their child/children, connect with support and find out useful parenting tips.
Where West Belconnen
When Friday mornings during weeks 2-9 of school term
Who Young parents under 25 years
How Contact the Centre
Facilitated by West Belconnen Child and Family Centre and partners

Learn, Giggle and Grow

Parents and children have the opportunity to interact and play in a safe and supported environment. The emphasis is on encouraging parents to engage with their children in play, enrich the parent-child relationship and help parents build confidence. Groups run from weeks 2-9 of each school term.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who Parents and children birth to 5 years
How Contact your local Centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres and partners

Parents as Teachers

A monthly home visit program to help parents recognise everyday learning opportunities in their child’s lives. During visits, trained parent educators provide parents with practical information and guidance to help their child develop skills essential for later learning.

Emphasis is placed on developing children’s thinking and curiosity, language, motor and social skills. Support can start later in the prenatal period and may continue until a child reaches 3 years of age.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When By appointment
Who Families with a child under 2½ years of age
How Contact your local Centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

POPPY (Parents Opportunity to Participate in Play with their Young)

A supported group for mums and dads with mental health issues where parents can meet other parents and share experiences while having fun playing with their children.
Where Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When Tuesday mornings during weeks 2-9 of school term
Who Parents with mental health issues with children birth to 5 years
How Contact your local Centre
Facilitated by ACT Mental Health, Richmond Fellowship and Child and Family Centres

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Multicultural parenting programs, courses, groups

Atfaal Family Playgroup

A group for Muslim families with children under 5 years living in Gungahlin. The group aims to build links with the community and provide access to parenting information and services.
Where Gungahlin
When Tuesday mornings during weeks 2-9 of school term
Who Muslim parents and children under 5 years
How Contact the Centre
Facilitated by Gungahlin Child and Family Centre

Multicultural Group

A playgroup to assist multicultural families with children from birth to 5 years to settle into the community by providing them with a variety of support services. The playgroup also supports families by nurturing their child’s development through play.
Where Tuggeranong
When Thursday mornings during weeks 2-9 of school term
Who Parents with children birth to 5 years who are from
a culturally and linguistically diverse background
How Contact the Centre
Facilitated by The Smith Family and Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre

South Sudanese Group

A group for South Sudanese families with children from birth to 5 years. The group aims to build links with the community and improve access to parenting information and services.
Where West Belconnen
When Wednesday mornings during weeks 2-9 of school term
Who South Sudanese families with children from birth to 5 years
How Contact the Centre
Facilitated by The Smith Family and West Belconnen Child and Family Centre
Visit www.communityservices.act.gov.au for details about community run groups at your local centre.

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Growing Healthy Families

Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities

Each Child and Family Centre offers a range services to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities.
These include:

  • case management
  • early years engagement
  • group programs
  • community activities and events
  • links to other services and community
  • advocacy
  • school-based programs.

Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
How Contact your local Centre for current programs or more information
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

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Partner organisations programs and services

ACT Child Development Service

The Child Development Service provides assessment, referral, information and linkages for children 0-6 years where there are concerns relating to their development. This may include concerns about a child developing skills slower than others of the same age in areas such as their speech and language, movement, hand skills, self-care, and social development. The service also provides autism assessment for children aged up to 12 years.

Drop-in Clinics

Drop-in Clinics are an opportunity for ACT parents to talk to:

  • a speech pathologist about issues with their child’s communication skills
  • a physiotherapist about concerns they have about their child’s gross motor development and posture, movement and walking.

The clinics include informal discussion and screening of skills but are not a formal assessment. No appointment is necessary, however, an approximate timeslot will be provided upon arrival at the speech pathology clinics.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong, West Belconnen and Holder
When For timetables and more information visit
www.communityservices.act.gov.au/childdevelopmentservice/drop-in-clinics
Who Physiotherapy from birth to 6 years of age
Speech Therapyfrom birth to 6 years of age. For concerns about older children,
please contact the Intake Line 6205 1246.

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ACT Community Services Directorate: Women’s Information

ACT Women’s Return to Work Grants Program

Grants of up to $1000 are available to women who have been absent from the workforce for more than 12 months due to caring responsibilities, and who meet the program criteria.
How To find out more email women@act.gov.au, call 6205 2885 or visit www.women.act.gov.au

Women’s Information Officer

A Women’s Information Officer can put you in touch with services and providers who offer assistance and advice across a diverse range of subject matters including domestic violence and sexual assault, child care, social interaction, further education, multicultural networks, and mental health support networks.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen or Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre
L2, North Building, London Cct
Who Women
How To book an appointment call a Women’s Information Officer on 6205 1075 or 6205 1076 or
email wi@act.gov.au For more information visit www.act.gov.au/women

Women’s Legal Centre—DV Outreach Program

A free initial appointment with a solicitor for women who are or have experienced family or domestic violence. Solicitors provide information, advice and, if eligible, ongoing representation and help with family law issues.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who Women with experience of family or domestic violence
How Contact Intake to make an appointment

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ACT Health Directorate: Hospitals

Maternity

Midwives offer outreach services for antenatal check-ups, information and advice for parents scheduled to give birth at Calvary Hospital and the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.
Where Gungahlin—Calvary Hospital Antenatal Clinic, and the Centenary Hospital for
Women and Children
Tuggeranong—Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, and antenatal
breasfeeding sessions
West Belconnen—Calvary Hospital Antenatal Clinic, and the Centenary Hospital for Women
and Children

Bookings phone numbers:

Calvary Hospital

Antenatal Clinic

6201 6359

 

The Birthing Centre

6264 7062

Centenary Hospital for
Women and Children

Birth Centre
(Canberra Midwifery Program)


6174 7341

 

Birthing Suite

6174 7444

CatCH

(Continuity at Centenary Hospital)

6174 5800

 

Antenatal Clinic
(bookings including breastfeeding sessions)


6174 7625

ACT Health Directorate: Women, Youth and Children Community Health Program

Maternal and Child Health (MACH) Nursing Service

To book MACH Nursing Services call Community Health Intake6207 9977,8 am - 5 pm Monday to Friday (excluding public hols).

Child Health Clinics (babies and young children to 4 years)

Health checks, immunisations, information and advice on parenting issues, including development, lactation, feeding, sleeping and settling for babies and young children to 4 years.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen

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Drop-in Clinics (brief consultation)

Best suited for quick questions and updates, not comprehensive health checks. Self-weigh facilities available to weigh your baby. No appointment necessary, 15-20 minutes allocated for each child.
Where Tuggeranong and West Belconnen

Early Days (babies up to 3 months)

Group sessions to assist parents with babies up to 3 months, with early issues with feeding and settling their baby.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen

Fussy Eaters group (children 1 to 5 years)

A free session for parents and carers of fussy eaters. A dietician is available to answer questions and offer advice to help make mealtimes easier. Sessions go for 1½ hours from 12pm.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When Contact your Centre for details

New Parents Groups (first-time parents of babies up to 4 months)

MACH nurses offer support, information and advice over 4 weekly sessions.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When Contact your Centre for details

Orthoptist (from birth to 6 years)

A secondary screening clinic for children, birth to 6 years. Referrals through MACH and kindergarten screen.
Where Tuggeranong

Physio information group

Monthly group to provide information on the first year post natally for mothers and babies.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When Contact your Centre for details

Sleep and Settling Groups (3 months to 3 years)

MACH nurses run groups to help address sleep and settling issues. The three age specific sessions are: 3-8 months; 9-18 months; 19-36 months
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When Contact your Centre for details

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Nutrition

Free service for children, young people and their families. Dietitians can provide advice on a range of nutrition topics including fussy eating, introducing solids, weight management, food allergy and intolerance, disordered eating and healthy eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Where West Belconnen
When Contact your Centre for details

Community Paediatric & Child Health Service

Specialised services for families with concerns about their child’s development. Referrals accepted from GPs, maternal and child health nurses, allied health professionals, teachers and school counsellors.
Where Gungahlin
How Book through Community Health Intake 6207 9977
8 am-5 pm Monday to Friday (excluding public hols)

Women’s Health Service

Nursing and counselling services to support women’s health and wellbeing. Counsellor services only at Tuggeranong and Gungahlin. Nurse and counsellor services at West Belconnen.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who Women experiencing significant barriers to
health service access
How Phone 6205 1078

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ACT Playgroups

Playing Together (early intervention playgroups)

A playgroup providing a fun time and an opportunity to meet with other parents who have a child with additional needs. Guest speakers discuss topics relevant to attendees. Siblings under 5 years welcome.
Where Gungahlin on Thursday mornings Tuggeranong on Friday mornings
Who Parents and children birth to 5 years who have a disability,
developmental delay or chronic illness. Siblings welcome.
How Phone ACT Playgroups 1800 171 882 or contact your local Centre
Facilitated by ACT Playgroups and MYTIME Playgroups

Australian Breastfeeding Association

Support and advice to breastfeeding women

Counsellor-led meetings to provide support and advice to breastfeeding women.
Where Gungahlin and Tuggeranong
When Monthly group meetings
Who Breastfeeding women
How Email tuggeranongaba@hotmail.com or Facebook
Australian Breastfeeding Association-Tuggeranong Group

DVCS

Domestic Violence Crisis Service

Outreach and programs available for those affected by domestic or family violence.
Where Gungahlin and Tuggeranong
How Contact Intake and speak with a Child and Family Worker or
phone the DVCS 24-hour Crisis Line and Client Assistance
on 6280 0900

Legal Aid

Outreach Legal Advocacy

Legal advice for community members.
Where Gungahlin and Tuggeranong
How Contact Intake to make an appointment

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Mandarin for Fun

Community Playgroup

This is a mixed age and cultural background playgroup. Members are from both Chinese and non-Chinese backgrounds with children aged from birth to 5 years.
Where West Belconnen
Who Parents and children birth to 5 years
How Email mandarinforfun@gmail.com or phone 0410 981 788

Marymead

KAYAKS (Kids And Youth Are Kool post Separation) Program

KAYAKS is a program for children aged 4-12 years and young people aged 13-18 years whose parents and caregivers are separated or divorced.
Where Gungahlin and West Belconnen
When Contact Intake
Who Children and young people aged 4-18 years of separated or divorced families
How Enquiries and referrals from parents, caregivers, other service providers, the Family Court
and legal practitioners. Phone 6162 5829 or email kayaks@marymead.org.au

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Migrant and Refugee Settlement Service (MARSS)

Outreach

A free outreach service that provides casework, including referrals and advocacy for clients.

Clients may be assisted with completing forms for Centrelink or migration documentation. Please note MARSS are not migration agents.

Referrals to services such as financial, legal, education, employment and counselling services, including writing support letters for clients for organisations, such as Housing ACT.

Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When Contact Intake for information
Who Refugees and humanitarian visa holders, some family stream and other permanent visa holders are eligible to access Settlement Grants Program services.
How Drop in during MARSS outreach session or call MARSS reception and make an appointment in advance. Phone MARSS 6248 8577 or email marss@marss.org.au
We use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) if required.

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Paint & Play

Outdoor playgroups

Join us for some fun in the park! It’s free!
Paint and Play is a fun time for kids to paint, do puzzles, meet other kids and play games.

Don’t forget to bring your hats, sunscreen and a snack.

Where Various Canberra locations during school terms.
When For contact information and to find out when the next event will be held in your area visit
www.act.gov.au/paintandplay
Who Kids (birth to 5 years) with mums, dads or carers.

Red Cross Advocacy Service

Family support

A support service for birth families where a child has recently moved into or is ‘at risk’ of entering Out of Home Care.
Where Gungahlin and Tuggeranong
How Via Intake

Relationships Australia

Relationship Counselling

Counselling on relationship-based issues.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When Fortnightly
Who Families using the Child and Family Centres
How Referrals through your local Centre

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Street Law

Outreach Legal Service

Street Law is a free service for clients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It is generalist legal service that can talk to clients about most areas of law. They can also provide clients with a referral to other services.
Where West Belconnen
When When required
How Contact the Centre for appointments

The Smith Family

Learning for Life

The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program is a student support program set up to assist financially disadvantaged young Australians to make the most of their education.
Where Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
How Phone The Smith Family 6283 7600
Who School aged children.

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OneLink is the central information, intake and referral service for human services in the ACT and can connect you to the right services at the right time to ensure you get the support you need.
OneLink is the central access point for homelessness, child, youth and family services and all other support services and can provide information or make a referral dependent upon your needs.

How to contact OneLink

Call 1800 176 468 (8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday)
(Telephone Interpreter Service 131 450)
Email info@onelink.org.au
Visit www.onelink.org.au (online chat available)
Drop-inChat to OneLink staff members at Housing ACT Central Access Point, Nature Conservation House, Cnr Emu Bank & Benjamin Way, Belconnen (9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday).

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Outreach

Drop-in and talk to OneLink staff at the following locations:

  • Red Cross Roadhouse, Mondays from 3.30pm to 5.00pm
  • Early Morning Centre, Tuesday from 9.00am to noon
  • West Belconnen CFC, Wednesdays from 9.00am to noon
  • Tuggeranong CFC, Thursdays from 9.00am to noon
  • Gungahlin CFC, Fridays from 9.00am to noon

ParentLink is a FREE service of the ACT Government Community Services Directorate.

ParentLink aims to increase the confidence and skills of parents by supporting and linking them to information, ideas and community services.
ParentLink guides are full of practical information and tips to manage parenting challenges, including sibling rivalry, sleeping, blended families and grandparenting.
Whatever your child’s age, you will find lots of good ideas.
T: 13 34 27
E
parentlink@act.gov.au
W: http://www.parentlink.act.gov.au/

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Useful contacts

Contact details for a range of emergency, health, social and support services.

24-hour services

 

Ambulance, Fire, Police (life-threatening or time-critical emergency)

000

ACT Police Assistance

13 14 44

Alcohol and Drug Helpline

6207 9977

Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Calvary John James Hospital

6281 8100

Canberra Hospital

6244 2222

Canberra Rape Crisis Centre

6247 2525

Domestic Violence Crisis Service

6280 0900

HealthDirect

1800 022 222

Lifeline

13 11 14

Mental Health ACT Triage

1800 629 354

Mental Health Service (Queanbeyan)

1800 677 114

Poisons Information

13 11 26

Child protection (reporting)

 

Child and Youth Protection Services General public
(where the child is in the ACT) Mandated reporters

1300 556 729
1300 556 728

Child Abuse Prevention Service Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm

1800 688 009

NSW Department of Community Services 24hrs
(where the child is in NSW)

13 21 11

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Parenting

  

Australian Breastfeeding Association

 

1800 686 268

Child and Family Centres ACT
(Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm)

Gungahlin
Tuggeranong
West Belconnen

6207 0120
6207 8228
6205 2904

Childcare Access Hotline (Mon-Fri: 8am-9pm)

 

1800 670 305

Children’s Services Program

 

6207 1103

Community Health Intake (Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm)

 

6207 9977

Karitane Careline (24hrs)

 

1300 227 464

Maternal and Child Health Nurse (Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm)

6207 9977

OneLink

 

1800 176 468

PANDSI (Post and Antenatal Depression Support and Information)

6288 1936

Parentline ACT

 

6287 3833

Queen Elizabeth II Family Centre (Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm)

6207 9977

Tresillian Parent Help Line

 

1300 272 736

Women, Youth & Children (Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm)

6207 9977

Access Canberra

Access Canberra provides a single point of contact to make it easier for the community to do business with the ACT Government.
Contact Access Canberra for information on all ACT Government Services, transactions and payments.
Call 13 22 81 or visit www.act.gov.au/accessCBRExternal Link

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Publication information

© Australian Capital Territory, Canberra 2017
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the Territory Records Office, ACT Government.
ACT Publication No. 17/0094
Enquiries about this publication should be directed to:
Child and Family Centres ACT
Community Services Directorate
GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone 13 34 27 (Access Canberra)
Email childandfamilycentres@act.gov.au
Web www.act.gov.au/childandfamilycentres

Accessibility

ACT Government is committed to making information, services, events and venues, accessible to as many people as possible.

If you have difficulty reading a standard printed documentand would like to receive this publication in an alternative format (such as large printor audio)please telephone 6205 0619.
If English is not your first language and you require the translating and interpreting service, please telephone 13 14 50.

If you are deaf or hearing impaired and require the TTY typewriter service, please telephone 6205 0888.

ACT Interpreter Service for the deaf and blind, please telephone 6287 4391.

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