Check out the Pinarc Parent Support December 2018 Update

Local Parent/Carer Groups

          Ballarat NDIS Kids Parent Group This is a new group for any parents of children under 4 years with an NDIS plan. These sessions are open to all parents and carers of pre-school aged children with NDIS plans.  You do not need to be receiving other Pinarc Services to be eligible.  Children are welcome and play opportunities will be provided to keep them busy. 
Upcoming Sessions: Dec 12th
9.30am – 10.30am at Pinarc, Sturt St Alfredton. 
Please contact Rebecca Paton, on 53291361 or at to register. 

·           Ararat and District Carers Group (for people who care for a young person with additional needs) meets monthly for lunch at various local venues. Next meeting will be the Christmas Party Tuesday 11th December.  Contact Toni Hobson 0419 387 440 to RSVP. 

·           Ballarat Autism Parent Connection group meets at the Robin Hood Hotel on the third Monday of the month, 10am – 12pm, for a social coffee, morning tea and information sharing. Next meeting is the Monday 17th December. This will be a Christmas Celebration and there will be a Kris Kringle for those who wish to participate - bring a $5 wrapped present. 

·         Bacchus Marsh Disability Parent Connection group meet on the fourth Monday of each month, 10.30am - 12.30pm at the Darley Neighbourhood House in Bacchus Marsh, 33 Jonathan Drive, Darley.  Due to Christmas, the meeting will be in February 2019.


·          Ballarat Down Syndrome Parent Connection group meet regularly for support, discussion, information. Next meeting: Thursday 29th November, 9.30am at Ballarat Specialist School FARM. RSVP to Wendy at    

·           SCODA - (Supporting Carers of Disabled Adults), is a Ballarat-based group who meet for lunch first Monday of each month. 

·           Would you like to start a new group? Our parent support coordinator can help. Please contact Rebecca Paton, on 53291361 or


Pinarc Kids Programs

School Holiday Program:

We provide recreational and social activities for children and teenagers during the school holidays. These include a mixture or centre based and community-based activities including swimming, cooking and day trips.  To enquire about the Summer Program, contact Michelle Lugg 5329 1381 or

Youth Group:

Youth Group runs on Saturdays throughout the year.  We currently have groups that meet weekly, fortnightly, or monthly from 10:30am – 3:30pm.  Activities include a mix of centre based and community-based programs.  Some activities will involve a small cost.  Customers are supported by staff based on NDIS ratios. For more information, contact Beth Taylor 5329 1343 or

After School Activities

After School Program runs 3pm – 6pm.  The group will do a mixture of centre and community-based activities.  Some activities will involve a small cost.  Customers are supported by staff based on NDIS ratios.  The program currently runs on Wednesday and Friday nights, but we are happy to discuss your requirements if you would like to access a different day. For more information, contact Beth Taylor 5329 1343 or

Sports Hub

We offer sporting activities for children and teenagers. Programs are run on a Monday night from 4.00-5.00pm during school term. Participants are supported by staff and volunteers to learn skills that enable them to participate in many different sports. For more information, contact Beth Taylor 5329 1343 or


Weekend based recreational/social activities at various locations, contact Michelle Lugg 5329 1381 or .

Other news for families

Local Events and Activities – disability related
International Day of People with Disability celebrations - LAC

Central Highlands Local Area Coordination Service and City of Ballarat are holding free International Day of People with Disability celebrations as follows:


When:  Friday 30th November, 2018, 11am – 2pm

Where:  Barkly Street, Ararat (south side near pedestrian lights)

Information stall, Free sausage sizzle,  Art competition and giveaways, Showbags, NDIS information

Ballarat (Delacombe)

When:  Saturday 1st December 2018, 10am – 2pm

Where:  Delacombe Town Centre, Corner Cherry Flat Road & Glenelg Highway

Showbags, Free Giveaways,  Sensory Tent, Face Painting, Craft, Toy Library

10am Welcome to Country  Live Performance:  Didgeridoo

11am Live Performance:  Sugar Bells

11.45am Live Performance:  Haddon Band

12.30 Live Performance:  Emotion 21

1.30 – 3.30pm Showbiz Cinema Wide Angle Film Festival

Marveloo (Mobile accessible restroom), Central Highlands Water Hydration Station

Stall holders:  City of Ballarat, NDIS, Keeley’s Cause, BADAC, Woolworths, CFA, SES

First Aid in attendance, Accessible car parking available, Auslan interpreters in attendance

Bacchus Marsh

When:  Wednesday 5th December, 2018, 9.30 – 12.30

Where:  Andy Arnold Centre, 10 Bennett Street, Bacchus Marsh

This is a collaboration between Moorabool Shire and NDIS Latrobe Community Health Service

Meet the NDIS Latrobe Community Health Service Team

10am Inspirational Speaker:  Emma Gee

11.15am Launch of Moorabool Shire Marveloo (Mobile accessible restroom)

Launch of Moorabool Shire Access & Inclusion Plan

Live Performance:  Mambourin Hip Hop Troupe and Choir

Art show, Free sausage sizzle, Free coffee van, Stall holders, Fun activities, Showbags, NDIS information

RSVP 1 December to Manda on 5366 1219 or

register at


International Day of People with Disability celebrations - VALiD

The Shane Everard  & Matt Mattson Awards


WHERE:  Wendouree Parade & Zoo Drive

TIME:  11.30am  - 2.00pm

Feel free to come along and bring your friends

Guest Speaker -  Ashley Heenan, Policy Officer, Strategic Engagement Office for Disability



Myer Ballarat Sensory Santa

Getting a photo with Santa and telling him what’s on your wish list is a wonderful experience for every child at Christmas. Sensory Santaland provides a quieter environment away from the crowds for families with children who have special needs, so they too can enjoy a visit with Santa.
At Sensory Santaland, there’s no background music, bright lights or long queues. We have understanding team members and there’ll be a chair next to Santa so your child can join him for a photo to cherish.
Monday 3 December 5:30–7:30pm
Tuesday 4 December 5:30–7:30pm
Thursday 6th December 5:30–7:30pm
To book a session, please call 53206237 or email 

(Don’t wait – many of the early sessions have been booked) 

Stockland Wendouree Sensitive Santa

Tuesday 4 December 2018

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Sensitive Santa was created for families with Children who have special needs that could not have a photo with Santa because of sensory barriers.

Sensitive Santa offers:  - No lines/no queues     - Chair next to Santa

- An understanding Santa and Photographer

Bookings can be made through Customer Care on 5339 5131 or visit the Customer Care Centre at Stockland Wendouree.


Mental Health Carers Circle Ballarat -  Cuppa catchup

For Carers of people with mental health concerns

With guest speaker who will share lived experience with mental illness.

Date: Thursday 6th of December 2018

Time: 6:30pm–8:00pm

Venue: When you contact us, we will send you details of the location in Ballarat

RSVP: by Saturday 1st December 2018  to  Email:


Keeley’s Cause Christmas Party for Children with Disabilities

Saturday 8th December, 10am – 3pm

Ballan Racecourse, Racecourse Road Ballan

Cost: Gold coin donation per person on entry

*children with disabilities receive wristband, free BBQ lunch and more * conditions apply

  • Rides
  • Kids Karaoke
  • Food vendors
  • Market stalls
  • Entertainment including Bethany Fisher and her Dancers

More information to come. See:  


Ballarat Specialist School Early Learning Centre Playgroup

The BSS ECL Playgroup is offered in the warm and welcoming environment of the Early Learning Centre with staff available to provide assistance and advice.  Each session there will be a range of activities for you to explore with your child, providing opportunities to try new experiences and practise new skills. 

For more information or to arrange a visit please contact:  Alisha Shearer Tel: 5334 1302 

The dates and times for playgroup in 2018 are: MONDAYS from 1 pm – 2.15 pm

December 10 – end of year playgroup visit to BSS farm.


Source Kids Disability Expo (next year – put it in your calendar)

Melbourne on March 29-30, 2019 focused on children, youths and young adults up to the age of 25. This two-day event will bring together the latest disability products, services and technology, along with some incredible speakers all under one roof at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

We will be releasing details of the Source Kids Disability Expo over the coming months, if you would like to keep updated with key event information, the speaker program, activities, exhibitors, sponsors, competitions and more, follow our event page on Facebook AND register your details to keep up-to-date for this exciting new event. The event will be FREE to attend, and we will let you know how to register to attend this event closer to the time!


Resources for families of children with disabilities

Access Ability Australia NEW ACCESS KEYS AVAILABLE

VALID newsletter subscription

Association for Children with a Disability

Siblings Australia Parent Consultations

Merlin’s Magic Wand

Everything Carers 
Ask Izzy


Christmas events

The Ballarat Combined Charities Christmas Card Shop

For the months leading up to Christmas, volunteers will be working to support the Ballarat Soup Bus, Cancer Victoria the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Guide Dogs Victoria and Glaucoma Australia, by selling Christmas cards.

All sorts of cards both commercially printed, and handmade, will be on display and available for purchase, ranging from as little as 25c to $1.20. 96 per cent of all proceeds from the shop will go towards charity, with the remaining four per cent being used to run the business itself.

Be sure to stop in at 1A Eyre Street and grab a Christmas card to support the business, and help make someone in needs Christmas a little bit better.


Christmas Shopping Night at Sovereign Hill

What     Sovereign Hill’s Annual Christmas Shopping Night
When    Friday, 30 November 2018
      6.00 pm - 8.30 pm
Where   Sovereign Hill, Bradshaw Street, Ballarat
Cost      Entry is free

Bring your family and friends to our annual Christmas extravaganza. Enjoy the festivities, browse for special gifts and meet St Nicholas!


Christmas Fest by the Lake
Pleasant Street Primary School

Friday 7th December 5pm – 9pm
You can expect a lot of the regular activities like Santa’s Cave, show-bags and rides. The HUGE market is the perfect way for you to get your Christmas shopping done in one hit!


Bridge Mall Children's Christmas Festival

Saturday, 8 December 2018 from 10am -3pm

The Bridge Mall invites local families to enjoy our Children's Christmas Festival! 
Santa Meet & Greets - 10:30am to 3pm
Jumping Castles - until 3pm
Giant Slide - until 3pm
Rides on mini Fire Truck - until 3pm
Photo Booth 10am - 2pm
Face Painting 10am - 2pm
Children's Craft Activities, Biscuit Decorating, Children's Activities 
Live Music


Ararat Carols by Candlelight

8 December, from 6 pm ALEXANDRA GARDENS


Buninyong Community Carols

8 December, from 6 pm, De Soza Park


Bacchus Marsh Christmas Festival 2018

Saturday, 15 December, 2018 -  3pm to 9.30pm

Place: Village Green, 197 Main St Bacchus Marsh


Ballarat Carols

Sunday December 16th 7.30 pm Mars Stadium




School Holiday Programs and events

Camp Australia School Holiday Programs
Camp Australia runs school holiday programs at Pleasant St Primary School and Ballarat Grammar.


Kelly Sports School Holiday Program

Full-day sports orientated holiday program for primary school aged children with an emphasis on fun, enjoyment and maximum participation. Run at Eastwood Leisure Centre Ballarat from 8am to 5pm

Pre-Christmas Holiday Program  Kinder - Grade 6

10 Dec 2018 to 21 Dec 2018 
Phone: 0418 597 493

January 2018 Holiday Program 5 – 12 years 
7 Jan 2019 to 25 Jan 2019 Phone: 0418 597 493


Implexa School Holiday Program
Implexa will be running a holiday program again this January in Ballarat and Maryborough
Ballarat information:

Maryborough Information:

For more information contact: or call 0498 121 618


Ballarat Libraries School Holiday Program
The theme for the Summer Reading Club this year is CURIOUS CREATURES - from real creatures to the imagined. Explore this amazing world with us these holidays. Parents or carers are required to stay with their children. 
Ages 5–12.  Mask-making, Stop-motion Movie-making and many more activities available.


Ballarat Art Gallery School Holiday Program

Ages: Young adult (15+)

16 & 17 January 2019, 10 am – 4 pm

This two-day art and design discovery workshop will help you to find sources of inspiration and to experiment with materials and techniques. Explore the Gallery collection to develop an understanding of how artists and designers find inspiration for their work. Pick up skills, advice and guidance from practising artists and designers at Federation University in intensive art-making sessions.

Cost: Free but bookings essential.

For more information about parent/carer groups, individual parent support, or the Strengthening Parent Support Program in general, please Rebecca Paton on 53291361 or at