Carers Week 2020

A Little Something For A Big Thank You

Warwick Friendly Society Carer’s and Carer’s of our Members deserve a little thank-you this Carer’s Week.

A way we thought we could give back is to provide a $5 voucher to the carers of Warwick.

The Warwick Friendly Society Members Carer’s Week promotion is open to current Warwick Friendly Society members who self-identify as carers or are carers for members

While we are committed to helping the carer’s of Warwick, there are resources available online along with a support network that is always available.

Find more support here:

Terms & Conditions

  • Promotion runs from 9th October until the 31st October.
  • Vouchers available until 31st or all distributed.
  • Members must be a current financial member.
  • Members must provide their member number or a valid email address.
  • Members Carers must supply a valid email or contact information.
  • Vouchers will be presented in the name of the carer.


Any personal information will be used in a manner that is compliant with the Australian Privacy Principles. You can review our privacy policy here.

Community Focus- QCWA Warwick

An organisation over 100 years old, the Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) works to improve lives through advocacy and by providing opportunities for women around education, health and community throughout every phase of a woman’s life.

Here in Warwick they run the very popular QCWA Condamine Valley Tea Rooms – right next door to the coach terminal on Grafton Street.

WFS General Manager, Ahmad, popped round to pick up a tasty toasty and welcome back the QCWA Volunteers to the Tea Rooms. He also spoke to QCWA Condamine Valley Branch Member, Joyce Seaby.

Joyce said the QCWA Volunteers are all very pleased to be back. Currently they are unable to provide a dine-in option as they do not have a commercial dishwasher. The team have submitted a grant and currently awaiting approval.

They hope to be able to offer a dine in service again, soon.

In the meantime, they would love it if people could call them to place orders for lunches over the phone, to save waiting time in the tea rooms.

“The volunteers do miss all the lovely people that used to come in with their carers and enjoy a morning tea”, Joyce said.

She also recommended picking up a copy of Judy Bilbrough’s wonderful Recipe book when you pop in.

The QCWA Tea Rooms are now opening four days a week, Tuesday to Friday. They would like to be able to open on Mondays but do not have enough volunteers. If you are able to help out please get in touch.

The QCWA Tea Rooms can be contacted on 4661 2966.

R U OK? Day 2020

Got a feeling that someone you know or care about it isn’t behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts? More agitated or withdrawn? Or they’re just not themselves. Trust that gut instinct and act on it. Learn more about the signs and when it’s time to ask R U OK?

By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that family member, friend or workmate open up. If they say they are not ok, you can follow our conversation steps to show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load. If they are ok, that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.

Am I Ready?

Am I in a good headspace? Am I willing to genuinely listen? Can I give as much time as needed?

Am I Prepared?

Do I understand that if I ask how someone’s going, the answer could be: “No, I’m not”? Do I understand that you can’t ‘fix’ someone’s problems? Do I accept that they might not be ready to talk? Or they might not want to talk to me?

Picked My Moment?

Have I chosen somewhere relatively private and comfy? Have I figured out a time that will be good for them to chat? Have I made sure I have enough time to chat properly?

1. Ask R U OK?

  • Be relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach. 
  • Help them open up by asking questions like “How are you going?” or “What’s been happening?”  
  • Mention specific things that have made you concerned for them, like “You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?” 


  • If they don’t want to talk, don’t criticise them. 
  • Tell them you’re still concerned about changes in their behaviour and you care about them. 
  • Avoid a confrontation. 
  • You could say: “Please call me if you ever want to chat” or “Is there someone else you’d rather talk to?” 

2. Listen with an open mind

  • Take what they say seriously and don’t interrupt or rush the conversation.
  • Don’t judge their experiences or reactions but acknowledge that things seem tough for them.
  • If they need time to think, sit patiently with the silence.
  • Encourage them to explain: “How are you feeling about that?” or “How long have you felt that way?”
  • Show that you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard (in your own words) and ask if you have understood them properly. 

3. Encourage action

  • Ask: “What have you done in the past to manage similar situations?”
  • Ask: “How would you like me to support you?”
  • Ask: “What’s something you can do for yourself right now? Something that’s enjoyable or relaxing?”
  • You could say: “When I was going through a difficult time, I tried this… You might find it useful too.”
  • If they’ve been feeling really down for more than 2 weeks, encourage them to see a health professional. You could say, “It might be useful to link in with someone who can support you. I’m happy to assist you to find the right person to talk to.”
  • Be positive about the role of professionals in getting through tough times. 

4. Check in

  • Pop a reminder in your diary to call them in a couple of weeks. If they’re really struggling, follow up with them sooner.
  • You could say: “I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to know how you’ve been going since we last chatted.”
  • Ask if they’ve found a better way to manage the situation. If they haven’t done anything, don’t judge them. They might just need someone to listen to them for the moment.
  • Stay in touch and be there for them. Genuine care and concern can make a real difference. 

Asking isn’t always easy, but it could change a life. To help people better prepare for a conversation the R U OK? website has a whole suite of resources available.

20 Years of the Warwick Friendly Society Health Centre

On Wednesday 19th August, the Warwick Friendly Society celebrated 20 years since the official opening of the Friendly Society Health Centre in Wood Street, Warwick.

Many Warwick-ites will remember the opening of the first centre which initially included the Condamine Medical Centre (CMC), Sullivan & Nicolaides Pathology, Southern Downs Dental and Warwick Physioworks.

The opening of this centre was the fulfilment of a vision by the 1990’s Board of Directors who endeavoured to bring Warwick’s medical services together in one easy to access location.

Initial meetings were held with six of Warwick’s general practitioners and several allied health professionals. After discussion it was agreed that this “umbrella” facility would be of great benefit to the Warwick community, so the Friendly Society purchased land on Wood Street and began the planning and building of the Warwick Friendly Society Health Centre.

The first tenant was the Condamine Medical Centre which was created from the amalgamation of three practices, Guy Street family Practice, Dr Ackermann’s practice and the Warwick Central Clinic.

The building was very well received and was awarded a Queensland Master Builders Award in 2001, the Condamine Medical Centre also won the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Queensland Practice of the Year Award in 2005.

The new location was very successful for the Condamine Medical Centre, and after a few years, the Friendly Society’s neighbouring property allowed Southern Downs Dental and Physioworks to move to larger premises and CMC to expand. X-ray was also added to the list of services now provided in this precinct. 

Initially the centre did not include a pharmacy, as PBS legislation did not allow it, but a new Friendly Society pharmacy opened after extensions were completed in February 2008.

The Warwick Friendly Society is a member owned, community not for profit organisation which operates two Guardian pharmacies, the Warwick Friendly Society Health Centre and other healthcare infrastructure to support the health of its members and the Warwick community. The organisation was formed in 1908.


Community Focus- Warwick U3A

U3A is the University of the Third Age, which is the age of active retirement, coming after the age of youth and work and home making. University is a loose term – there are no academic requirements for membership and no exams. U3A Warwick is a part of the worldwide self-help organisation promoting learning for personal enjoyment and well-being, keeping the brain active, doing interesting things and activities.

At U3A, members learn together in a culture of like-minded peers who share a common goal of learning for pleasure. Naturally, this forges friendships and networks which reach out to other contacts in our age group and which address many of the risks to general health we all face as we age. These can include loss of social contact, lack of intellectual stimulation, and a decreasing sense of self worth. In a society with a growing population over 55, a society with new retirees who can be highly educated, widely traveled and who have a longer life expectancy than ever before, we provide not only new and varied challenges, but strive to extend present ideas and make the most of the “third age” stage of our lives (Active Retirement). Our classes reflect the interests and enthusiasms of current members, and we continue to listen to their needs and aspirations so as to provide even greater enjoyment and satisfaction.


We have over 200 local members and offer more than 20 courses each term. Our courses are normally run at the complex on the corner of Tooth St. and Wood Streets (Cunningham Highway).

For more information on what courses are available or if you have further questions head on over to the Warwick U3A page.

Member Newsletter Lucky Draw

Terms and Conditions

Who Can Enter?

The Warwick Friendly Society Member Newsletter Lucky Draw promotion is open to Warwick Friendly Society members who have provided an email address and are subscribed to our newsletter.


There are two gift packs per store to be given away. Hampers are to the approximate value of $50 and include a $25 Store Gift Voucher.

Entry into the competition means you (the entrant) accepts these terms and conditions.

How Can You Enter?

· Members who receive our member newsletter or who sign up to receive the newsletter prior to 31 August 2020 are eligible.

· You can do this by providing an email address online, becoming a member or renewing your membership.

· The winner will be chosen by a random generated draw from current members with eligible email addresses.

What Are the Important Dates?

Our Member Newsletter Lucky Draw promotion:

· starts on Friday 17 July at 10am.

· First Draw entries close approx. 4th August (approx.) when the mailing list is drawn. Second Draw entries close approx. 4th Sept.

· First Draw winner will be announced on Friday 7 August 3pm. Second Draw winner will be announced on Friday 4 September 3pm.

Privacy Any personal information will be used in a manner that is compliant with the Australian Privacy Principles. You can review our privacy policy on our website.


Winners will be notified by phone or email if they are successful.

The name of the winner will be published in our member newsletter in August and Sept.

Prize Requirements

The prize will be held in store for pick-up by the winner or for home delivery by arrangement.

The prize is not redeemable for cash

Men’s Health Week

This Men’s Health Week, being held from 15-21 June this year, aims to provoke thought and discussion about what needs to be done to improve male health.

Suicide prevention is one focus of the week. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says that 1.5 million Australian men aged 18 and over had a self-reported mental or behavioural condition in 2014-15. The statistics are staggering, with 1 in 8 men experiencing depression, and 6 out of every 8 suicides being men.

Other men’s health facts include:

  •          Men are at significantly higher risk of dying from liver disease.
  •          Men are more likely to die of heart disease at an earlier age.
  •         80% of spinal cord injuries occur in young men.
  •          Men on average live 4.4 years less than women.
  •          Top 3 reasons for reduced lifespan in men are cardiovascular disease, suicide, and motor accidents.

So, what can we all do about this I hear you ask? SUPPORT each other.

Headspace Warwick is a wonderful confidential service helping young people in the community aged 12-25 with their mental health and wellbeing. They will focus your care around individual needs and work with their in-house team to offer you tailored support. Please feel free to call them on 07 4661 1999

Beyond Blue’s Support Service (1300 22 4636) which is a 24/7 service, can be a great starting point if you are worried about your mate and think he might need a bit of extra support. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people around the world, both physically and mentally. Beyond Blue is a great haven to seek support.

The Warwick Men’s Shed not only passes on real life skills, but it’s a way of talking over problems with a few mates while doing something constructive.

Be sure to speak to your local GP about your concerns – they are a vital support for both your mental health and physical well being.

From all of us at the Friendlies, please support each other and spread awareness during Men’s Health week.

Community Focus- Warwick Men’s Shed

Warwick Men’s Shed are looking forward to getting back in operation this weekend after having been shut down for the past 9 weeks.

Many Warwick Men’s Shed members are in the most vulnerable age group so it was not hard to get them to see the importance of the lockdown during Covid-19.

Some were able to continue a limited amount of community projects at home and we look forward to getting back into full production in the coming weeks.

Very soon we will have the new purpose-built sheds a 29-31 Activity St.  Southern Downs Regional Council have done a wonderful job to provide this great new facility for the Warwick Men’s Shed and the Warwick Woodcrafters.

We will widen the scope of work we are able to do with some fine new equipment that we have purchased through grants available over the past couple of years.   

Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive, contributing to your community, connecting with friends and maintaining an active body and mind.

If you look inside our shed you might see a number of men making furniture, perhaps restoring bicycles, making Mynah bird traps, fixing lawn mowers or making a cubby house for one of the community groups or schools in the area or working in our garden.  The men are keen to get into the new shed where there will be a fully equipped welding shop for them to learn new skills.

You will see a comfortable area where men can sit and talk and enjoy a cup of tea.  Also, in our new shed you will see an area where men can learn to cook for themselves or learn how to contact their families by computer.

Becoming a member of any of the Men’s Sheds in the district provides a safe and busy environment where men can find many of these things in an atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship.

And, importantly, there is no pressure. Men can just come and have a yarn and a cuppa if that is all they’re looking for.

Warwick Men’s Shed is an active member of the Australian Men’s Shed Association “Spanner in the Works” Men’s Health Program and in association with Local Doctors and Warwick Friendly Society regularly conducts informative discussions around Men’s Health.

For more about the Warwick Men’s Shed call 0490 170 569 or go to their webpage or facebook.

How can I help?

How Can I Help?

There is no doubt COVID-19 is causing great upheaval in our society. Social distancing restrictions
necessary to prevent the virus spreading are causing considerable financial and social stress to many sectors and groups within our communities. If you, however, find yourself with a bit of time on your hands, wondering how you can make a difference, here are some top tips…

Give Blood

Australia needs 29,000 blood donations every week to maintain supply for a variety of uses. Lives
depend on donated blood, it helps people recover from surgery, accidents and even cancer. Regular blood donors may be self-isolating if they are in vulnerable groups so it’s up to the rest of us to bridge the gap. If you are generally well and healthy check out how to donate here

Support food banks and charities

As more people face financial hardship and food insecurity, these organisations will be relied upon more than ever to support people in need. Usual fundraising activities have been curtailed reducing their ability to maintain their community service delivery. (See our story on The Lighthouse.)

Support local businesses

The best way to keep people employed is for the public to keep buying products/services. Local cafes and other discretionary goods providers are going to be hardest hit by the pandemic as people stop spending. Consider buying takeaway from local cafes or gift vouchers you can spend later.

Reach out – make a call, write a note or a letter

Connect with a neighbour, friend or older relative during this time. A card, letter or phone call could make a big difference in someone’s day. You may also like to check if they need any help. Consider helping with shopping, dropping off scripts or a regular call. (Don’t forget to observe social distancing!) Let them know Warwick Friendly Society can help with home delivery of medications and pharmacy items. If you don’t know your neighbours, you can use a Queensland Health Kindness Card to break the ice.


Some volunteers are reducing their usual involvement, especially if they are in a particularly
vulnerable group or have to provide increased support for family and friends. Whilst some not-forprofit activity is on hold, other volunteer roles are now in higher demand such as community transport, community visitor schemes, food banks and other community delivery services such as Meals on Wheels. There may also be opportunities for volunteering online. Or consider joining the Care Army.

Check out your local Community Radio station – Rose City FM

Rose City FM has their finger on the pulse of our community and brings a mix of culture and
entertainment that you may find refreshing in these trying times. Rose City FM depends heavily on volunteers and support from local businesses who are also doing it tough and may have to withdraw or downsize their financial contributions. By engaging with these community groups we are demonstrating our solidarity in supporting services that mean a lot to listeners who are doing it tough. So tune in!

Adapted from Volunteering North Queensland –

Community Focus- The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Community Centre is an emergency relief organisation operated to help Warwick’s most vulnerable community members.

Each year the Lighthouse supports around 500 at risk people in the Warwick area. They offer food distribution, emergency hampers, blankets, and domestic violence services. Their Op Shop provides inexpensive clothing as well as funding their charitable activities.


While they recently have had to curtail some of their services due to Covid-19, The Lighthouse is still providing food for pickup from their location at 37 Guy St.

Food for distribution is donated to The Lighthouse from Aldi, Woolworths, Subway and Donut King each day. Depending on the season this may also be supplemented by food purchased with their own funds if required.

The Lighthouse is able to help with emergency food supplies to those having financial difficulties during Covid-19. Current service Manager, Daphne Porter, says she is most concerned for those community members who have been unable to work or access Centrelink services and those who may have been underprepared entering self-isolation. She asks that if Friendly Society Members know of people who are struggling to let The Lighthouse know so they can help.

Recently Daphne took a call from a person who was interstate and was concerned about his Warwick friend in need who was self-isolating but had run out of supplies. Fortunately, The Lighthouse was able to provide a food hamper to assist.

The Lighthouse is an independent welfare organisation based in Warwick, near the Warwick Uniting Church. The organisation was established by Pastor Judith Kunkel as a central, one-stop-shop for people in need within the community.

For more information or to provide financial assistance: 4661 8211.