Gippsland not-for-profit health insurer Latrobe Health Services will donate $1M to support families across the region who are dealing with violence and mental health crises.

Latrobe, acknowledging the increased pressures being placed on families as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, will donate $300,000 to family service organisation Berry Street and $350,000 each to Quantum Support Services and Anglicare to bolster their efforts in Gippsland.

The donation will be used to provide additional youth mental health services, deliver food and care packages, provide resources for responding to and preventing family violence and employ staff to support children and young people.

Latrobe chief executive officer Ian Whitehead said the $1M community support package reflected his organisation’s commitment to supporting the community through hardship.

“We’re a not-for-profit health insurer that’s always given back when the community needs us,” Mr Whitehead said.
“And right now, families and young people within our community are in desperate need.”

The $1M community support package is in addition to an $8M support package for Latrobe Health’s 84,000 members, announced in April. This support includes premium increase delays, increased COVID-19-related hospital coverage and telehealth extras coverage.

“We stand with our members and the community throughout the Coronavirus crisis and recognise the far-reaching impacts this is having,” Mr Whitehead said.

Details of Latrobe’s community support package include:

  • $300,000 for Berry Street to deliver additional support for youth mental health. Berry Street is one of Australia’s largest independent family service organisations providing a diverse range of programs to over 40,000 children, young people and families in Victoria each year;
  • $350,000 for Quantum to provide early intervention and family violence prevention, and bolster the provision of food and care packages to vulnerable families impacted by COVID19, job losses and food insecurity. Quantum provides homelessness, child and youth, and family violence services;
  • $350,000 for Anglicare Victoria to support families impacted by family violence, young

people facing social isolation, and parents with children who are violent or abusive at home.

Anglicare Victoria has been caring for children, young people and families in Gippsland for generations.

Berry Street’s Gippsland Director Faorligh Hunter said the donation would make a real difference to young people recovering from trauma and isolation.

“Latrobe’s generous donation will support young people who are at risk of homelessness, including many who have suffered abuse and neglect Ms Hunter said.

“The funding will allow Berry Street to deliver a program designed to assist young people with a

significant background of disadvantage to become independent and live successfully in the


Quantum Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Pearson said the donation would assist Gippsland families at a time of great need.

“We’re anticipating a 30% increase in demand on family violence services as a result of the

pandemic,” Ms Pearson said.

“Individuals and families accessing food support is at an all time high.”

“We’ll use the funding to both support families and to prevent family violence with an early

intervention program targeting men who for the first time may need counselling and support.”

Quantum chair Roland Davies said the donation couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s the biggest donation we have ever received. We thank Latrobe for its generosity to Quantum, a not-for-profit Gippsland organisation.”

Anglicare Victoria’s Regional Director of Gippsland Tim Pedlow said Latrobe’s donation would enable his organisation to provide additional support to Gippsland families who have been doing it tough.

“We are delighted and incredibly grateful to accept this donation on behalf of all Gippsland families dealing with the tragedy that is family violence,” Mr Pedlow said.

“This donation will be used to promote and support youth mental health through a buddy system designed to keep young people in school.

“We’ll also be using it for resources to support children and young people affected by family violence.”

Mr Whitehead said Latrobe’s support for the community would continue well beyond the crisis stage of this emergency.

“We’ll deliver additional community investment and support in the form of activities, tools and sponsorships as our community emerges from this crisis and begins its recovery,” Mr Whitehead said.

More information

Latrobe Health Services members can contact us on 1300 362 144 for more information about our community and member support packages.
If you need emergency help, please call 000.