Lets Talk: Antimicrobial Awareness

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) runs every year from the 18th to the 24th of November. It is a global campaign to raise awareness around the risks of the overuse of antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance or Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when germs, such as bacteria, viruses or fungus that can cause infections begin to resist the medicines used to treat them. These resistant bacteria can then spread and potentially infect people or animals which can be difficult to treat.

Antimicrobials are medicines that kill or slow the growth of germs (bacteria, virus, fungus) that cause diseases. Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial; their main use is to help the body’s natural immune system fight bacterial infections.

Antibiotic resistance can occur naturally in bacteria, it often gets worse when people are taking antibiotics. The bacteria adapt, become resistant to antibiotics, and begin to multiply instead of dying. There is a common myth that people become resistant to antibiotics, but this is not true – it is the bacteria becoming more resistant, not the person or animal.

These bacteria that have gained a resistance to antibiotics can easily spread and infect more people or animals, making it harder to treat common infections in both. Some bacteria are now so resistant that there are no antibiotics that can be used to help treat certain infections, and there are very few new antibiotics available to replace them.

Simply put, the more antibiotics we use, the faster and more serious resistance develops in bacteria. We can’t just rely on new antibiotics to fight these resistant infections, we need to reduce the risk of bacteria developing resistance by:

  • Preventing infections by regularly washing your hands and keeping up to date with vaccinations.
  • Prevent food-borne infections by washing fruits and vegetables and cooking food properly.
  • Understand that antibiotics only work against bacteria. They do not work for colds and flus which are caused by viruses.
  • Don’t pressure your health professional for antibiotics if they say you don’t need them, ask about other ways to relieve your symptoms.
  • Only take antibiotics when they are prescribed for you, don’t use or share leftover antibiotics.
  • Follow your health professional’s instructions when you are prescribed antibiotics.

Antibiotics are a medicine and, like all medicines, they can cause side effects. When you take antibiotics when they are not needed, you are taking unnecessary risk. As always, check with your medical professional regarding any use of medications.

Lets Talk: Carers in our community

Nationally there are 2.65 million carers around the country who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol, or drug issue, or who are frail aged.

Anyone can be a carer, but there are many out there who don’t identify as one. Caring may include help and support with a range of daily activities including:

· Dressing

· Showering

· Arranging doctors’ appointments

· Helping with shopping

· Managing medications

· Helping around the house.

The list can go on and on, but the main thing is that carers form an important part of Australia’s health system and are the foundation for our aged, disability, palliative and community care systems.

If you are a carer, there is support from the government in the form of online information, over the phone consultations and some groups even do information seminars and various support workshops. There is also a Queensland specific carers support program run by Carers QLD Australia, they also have advice about the NDIS and can help you with any queries you may have.

National Carers Week is an opportunity to recognise, celebrate and raise awareness for those carers in our community. The week runs from the 15th to the 21st of October, so please join us in showing our appreciation of those community members that do provide such an invaluable service.

Lets Talk: Asthma Awareness

Asthma is a common condition that affects the airways in your lungs, causing these airways to become more sensitive and leads to inflammation when exposed to certain triggers. Once these airways are inflamed, symptoms like coughing, wheezing and breathlessness begin.

Asthma generally affects 1 in 9 adults and 1 in 5 children, however anyone can develop asthma – even if you didn’t have it as a child. Experts aren’t sure why some people have asthma and others don’t, but genetics do play a part – you are more likely to have asthma if an immediate family member has asthma, hay fever, allergies, or eczema.

Asthma triggers cause the airways to narrow and lead to asthma symptoms. The triggers can vary from person to person, but knowing what the triggers are, and managing them can lead to better controlled asthma.

Some common triggers of asthma are:

  • Allergens such as pollen, dust, food items and mould.
  • Smoke from cigarettes, bushfires, and traffic pollution.
  • Irritants such as cleaning products, aerosol products and chemicals.
  • Physical activity.
  • Infection from viruses.

Sometimes asthma can flare up and the symptoms are worse than usual – this is when it becomes an asthma attack. An asthma attack may feel like you are not getting enough air and has been compared to breathing through a straw.

During a severe asthma attack, there can be more serious symptoms like:

  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Blue lips.
  • Reliever puffers not helping.
  • Exhaustion from trying to breathe.
  • Deep sucking motions at the throat or chest while trying to breathe.

If you are living with asthma, having an asthma action plan is recommended. This is a set of instructions you and your doctor put together just for you – it generally includes:

  • A list of your usual asthma medicines along with doses.
  • How to recognise symptoms of an attack.
  • Advice on what to do in an asthma emergency.
  • The doctors contact details should they be required.

Poorly controlled asthma can have a significant negative impact on your life, ranging from fatigue and poor sleep, being unable to be physically active due to reduced lung function, and poor mental health.

Taking your medicines exactly as prescribed is important, if you feel that your asthma is affecting your quality of life or finding that you are using your reliever more than you used to, it may be time for a chat with your doctor or pharmacist about your medicines.

Lets Talk: Wound Awareness

Every day, nearly half a million Australians suffer from a chronic wound with the cost of managing this close to $3billion annually. Despite this, wounds remain a silent epidemic. Wounds can affect people at any stage of life, however the most concerning are wounds that don’t heal, and go on to ulcerate.

However, these wounds are completely treatable with the right care.

A wound is any damage or break in the surface of the skin.

  • Accidental: Burns, abrasions, paper cuts & skin tears.
  • Surgical: Incisions.
  • Disease related: Diabetic and Vascular ulcers.
  • Skin conditions may also develop into a wound: Eczema or Psoriasis.

Wounds generally fall into two categories:

  • Acute
  • Chronic

Acute wounds occur suddenly and progress through the stages of healing as expected.

Chronic wounds are acute wounds that have not progressed through the stages of healing normally. They may heal at a much slower rate, heal only partially, or recur after partial or complete healing. These chronic wounds are almost always associated with underlying chronic diseases that affect either blood supply or how the cells function at the wound site.

Chronic wounds typically fall into three categories: Pressure Injuries, Diabetic Ulcers and Leg Ulcers.

Pressure Injuries: Also known as bed sores, pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, these wounds are caused by pressure and/or shearing force to the skin. This generally happens to people with limited mobility or frailty who are unable to regularly move a part or all of their body to a different position.

Diabetic Ulcers: These ulcers usually begin on the feet and are a result of the nerves and circulation in the body caused by diabetes. There are three main types – Neuropathic (Due to a lack of feeling), Ischaemic (Due to poor blood supply or circulation), and Neuro-ischaemic (Combination of both). If left untreated these can lead to amputation in the worst-case scenarios.

Leg Ulcers: A leg ulcer is a wound between the knee and ankle joint that is slow to heal due to circulation problems. There are two types of leg ulcers – Arterial (Usually occur on the lower part of the leg, can be small and sometimes deep and often painful), and Venous (Usually occur around the ankle, are shallow and can be painful).

If you have a wound that is not healing like it should – be sure to consult your local medical professional.

Community Focus – headspace Warwick

headspace Warwick is part of a government funded organization with over 150 across Australia service that provides free support to young people aged 12-25 across the areas of mental health, physical and sexual health, alcohol and other drugs, and work and study. headspace Warwick is funded to provide support to young people with low to moderate needs through one-on-one counselling, engagement activities and groups. We have supported young people through school stress, issues with relationships, grief and loss, and managing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

 We aim to provide the most appropriate support to meet the needs of the young people utilizing the wide variety of skills and knowledge that our multidisciplinary team possesses. If our service is unable to meet the needs of the young person, we will refer to the most appropriate service available through our No Wrong Door policy. headspace National offers online counselling support through eheadspace, and online Work and Study support.

We also aim to increase the mental health literacy of the Southern Downs community through presentations at schools and local businesses, and community events and activities.

Our centre is located at 58 Palmerin Street Warwick, with easy access from Rose City Shopping World and the main street. We are open Mon-Fri with early appointments available on Tuesdays and late appointments available on Thursday.

We also operate an outreach to Stanthorpe three days a fortnight on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. It is important to note that we do not operate a Stanthorpe office, and all enquiries are taken through our Warwick centre.

This year, Headspace Warwick is celebrating 15 years of supporting young people across the Southern Downs and surrounds. Since 2008 we have provided support to more than 4,000 young people over 30,000 occasions of service.

Headspace centres are led by young people through the Youth Reference Group. The YRG assist with all aspects of the centre’s operation from décor, events, and activities, through to recruitment of new staff. We are continually looking for young people to join this group and if you or anyone else is interested please contact us via phone or email or drop into the centre.

Assisting with governance is our Consortium of local services and organizations, including the Warwick Friendly Society. This support is greatly appreciated and highlights that the work we do does not exist in bubble and effective support for young people is built on services working together.

If you have any questions about our service, please contact us on 07 4661 1999 or drop into our centre at 58 Palmerin Street. A referral from a GP is not required, young people and their family/friends can self-refer.

Lets Talk: Diabetes Week 2023

National Diabetes Week runs from the 9th to 15th of July this year, with our focus being the mental and emotional health of people living with diabetes. Raising awareness will shine a light on diabetes stigma and mental health.

According to Diabetes Australia:

  • More than 4 in 5 people with diabetes have experienced diabetes stigma. 
  • Almost 700,000 people living with diabetes experience a mental or emotional health challenge every year.

Stigma is experienced in different ways, be it being blamed for having diabetes, injecting insulin in public, or when experiencing the effects and complications of diabetes such as low blood sugar.

This National Diabetes Week let’s rethink how we think about diabetes.  

  • Let’s reduce the burden with more compassion.
  • Let’s reduce the blame with more understanding.
  • Let’s reduce the barriers and help people get support.
  • Let’s rethink

Diabetics can face additional challenges, which is why we recommend you are prepared by:

  • Having a sick day management plan.
  • Managing your blood sugar levels with the use of a blood glucose monitor.
  • Having a discussion with your doctor about your diabetes.

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of severe complications from the flu and are more likely to develop serious respiratory conditions. Hence, we at the friendlies recommend you get the yearly flu vaccine to stay protected.

We also understand that some people may be struggling with their mental health during these challenging times. If you need support, the NDSS National Helpline is more than happy to help (1800 637 700) or come and see us at our 2 handy pharmacy locations and we can point you in the right direction.

Help us raise awareness about diabetes by spreading the word. 


Lets Talk – Probiotics



Probiotics are a type of “good” bacteria found in some foods and supplements. While we usually think of bacteria as something that can cause diseases or other problems, probiotics can help maintain a healthy gut.

Probiotics can help to lower the number of “bad” bacteria that may be present in your gut – especially the ones that cause illness or inflammation, they can also replace those problem germs with good or helpful bacteria.

Research has shown when and how probiotics might be helpful for certain health conditions such as:

  • Diarrhoea: Especially when used with certain antibiotics. Probiotics may also help with infectious diarrhoea – particularly with children.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: This includes Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Some probiotics might help keep Ulcerative Colitis in remission (A state of little to no disease activity), while preventing Crohn’s disease from relapsing or getting worse.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Probiotics can sometimes help ease symptoms, including stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

While there are good bacteria already in the body and they are considered safe for most people, there are always things to consider. There is the possibility that taking additional probiotics can trigger an allergic reaction – causing mild stomach problems, especially in the first few days as your body adjusts to the increase in good bacteria. You could experience stomach upset, gas, diarrhoea or bloating – these symptoms will usually clear as your body gets used to them.

If you have immune system problems or another serious health condition, you may have a greater chance of issues or side effects while taking probiotics. Be sure to check with your doctor or Pharmacist before taking any probiotics to ensure that you are getting the correct one for yourself.

Always check with a GP or pediatrician when giving probiotic supplements to a child. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should talk to your before trying any supplements.

Lets Talk – Pholcodine Recall

Following a safety investigation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), 55 products containing Pholcodine are being cancelled from the Australian Register and recalled from pharmacy shelves.

The reason for the recall is that the investigation discovered a link between pholcodine containing medicines leading to an increased risk of anaphylactic reactions (a sudden, and severe life-threatening allergic reaction) when used with certain medicines that are used as muscle relaxants during general anaesthesia.

Pholcodine is used in a wide range of over-the-counter pharmacy medicines to treat a dry cough – particularly in syrups and lozenges. It is also used in combination medicines to treat symptoms of cold and flu.

Consumers are being encouraged to check their medicine cupboards.  If you have any cold and flu preparations containing pholcodine, do not use it and, if you wish to dispose of any unused product, you can return it to the pharmacy for safe disposal.  If you have taken the medicine, make sure you let your health care professionals know before any scheduled surgeries.

With cold and flu season fast approaching, it is important to know that we have alternatives to pholcodine.  Self-care measures can be used to help relieve symptoms such as:

  • Ensuring adequate hydration 
  • Resting to help aid recovery
  • Adding moisture into the air
  • Staying home from work or school to avoid spreading the virus


Coughs often clear up by themselves in 3 to 4 weeks and in the meantime the use of lozenges or other cough medicines can help relieve symptoms.   Other measures, such as pain relief or cold and flu tablets may be appropriate.  As always, it is best to speak to one of our friendly pharmacists for advice regarding over-the-counter medicines.  Annual influenza vaccination is an important measure in preventing the spread of influenza and complications that can arise.  Queensland Health recommends the annual influenza vaccine for everyone 6 months and over.

Lets Talk – Hearing Loss

What is hearing loss?

Hearing loss makes it difficult or impossible to hear speech and other sounds. There are different types of hearing loss, and they can range from mild, moderate, severe, or profound. Some types of hearing loss are temporary, and some are permanent.

Around 1 in 6 Australians experience hearing loss.

What causes hearing loss?

Hearing loss can be caused by a problem in any part of your hearing pathway. This can be from your outer and middle ear through to your inner ear and the nerve to your brain.

Some people are born with low hearing. Other people develop hearing loss later because of a health condition. The most common causes are ageing and being exposed to loud noise.

People who work in loud environments are at higher risk. This includes construction workers, musicians, farmers, miners and military personnel. Listening to loud music with headphones or at clubs or gyms also puts you at risk.

Most people find their hearing gets worse as they get older. Hearing loss can also be genetic.

What are the symptoms of hearing loss?

The first signs of hearing loss can be hard to notice because they usually come on gradually. They might include:

  • having trouble hearing in noisy places
  • having trouble hearing people on the phone or if they’re not facing you
  • often asking people to repeat themselves
  • hearing sounds as muffled, as though people are mumbling
  • needing to have the TV up louder than other people
  • often missing your phone or the doorbell ringing
  • hearing buzzing or ringing in your ears
  • avoiding situations because you have trouble hearing

Your child might have hearing loss if:

  • they don’t startle at a loud noise or turn their head towards a sound
  • they start speaking later than other children their age
  • their speech is unclear, compared with other children their age
  • they want the TV volume up high
  • they don’t understand and follow instructions as well as other children their age
  • they need people to repeat themselves
  • they’re struggling at school

Christmas Giving 2022

The votes have been tallied and the results are in!
We would like to thank all our members who helped us decide how to allocate the funds to these wonderful organisations – Warwick BUSHkids, Warwick Safehaven & Dolly’s Dream.

Warwick Friendly Society is pleased to announce this year’s Christmas Giving Programme, which encourages members to choose how the Society’s yearly Christmas Donation is distributed.

The Warwick Friendly Society was founded in 1908 to support members of the Warwick district.  

It is fitting therefore that the charities our staff have nominated for the Society Christmas Giving Programme have a focus on the community as a whole in these trying times.

Warwick BUSHkids, Warwick Safe Haven, and Dolly’s Dream are the three organisations & charities that Warwick Friendly Society will highlight during the shopping period up to Christmas.

BUSHkids is a not-for-profit community organisation that has been supporting Queensland families for over 80 years.   

 BUSHkids specialises in providing free preventative and early intervention allied health care for children and families.

 Our multi-disciplinary team in Warwick comprise of:

  •  Occupational Therapist
  • Psychologist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Family Health Support Worker

 BUSHkids specifically aims to help disadvantaged children who are at risk of poor health, educational or social outcomes, reach their full potential.

 We provide expert advice and education for families, and individual and group therapy for children to overcome issues such as communication difficulties, behavioural problems, and anxiety.

 In addition to individual therapy sessions, a child coming to the Warwick centre may also be offered to participate in groups targeting some of their skills in a fun and social environment. 

 Groups offered are:-


  • Social skills groups
  • Gross and fine motor skills groups
  • Sensory processing and self-regulation
  • Literacy and handwriting groups


  • Positive parenting programs
  • Parent information groups
  • Emotional-Regulation parent education group
  • Toileting parent education sessions and workshops

 BUSHkids is very excited to announce in early 2023 construction will commence on a nature play area at the Warwick centre. 

 The area will provide children and families visiting the centre for support with an outdoor setting for therapy, and where they can engage in unstructured play activities involving nature.

 The area will include vegetable and herb gardens, mud pits, a dry creek bed, meandering deco pathways, and a yarning circle.

Warwick Safe Haven Inc consists of a volunteer incorporated committee – with a wider
community membership – who at present meet once per month in Warwick. Our service is
to support domestic violence recovery and prevention throughout the whole of the
Southern Downs. We are totally community funded.
To this point in time, our strategies have included:
❖ DV emergency support cards, updated annually and distributed widely through
networks including professional, medical, community businesses/ organizations,
personal service and others.
❖ Formally supporting two service providers in our region financially for practical
needs as specified for Domestic Violence clients and their families on the Southern
-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACTION CENTRE: For practical safety needs at home and at
times for travel vouchers, assistance with removal costs etc.
-LIGHTHOUSE COMMUNITY CENTRE: For emergency short term motel accomodation
costs, other occasional expenses for urgent requirements by DV clients
❖ Hosting workshops for service providers and community on various aspects of
domestic and family violence education/awareness
❖ Hosting community events ( eg annual Candle Lighting Ceremony, breakfasts) to
raise awareness and encourage personal empowerment.
❖ Keeping an active presence in local interagency networks
❖ Supporting local professional agencies by hosting targeted network meetings
❖ Keeping a profile in local media publications and social media ( Facebook)
❖ N.B. while Warwick Safe Haven Inc was originally convened to establish and manage
locally a short term leased ‘safe house’ for women and children escaping domestic
violence, this service ceased a few years ago

Dolly’s Dream is committed to changing the culture of bullying by addressing the impact of bullying, anxiety, depression and youth suicide through education and direct support to young people and families.

Through our work at Dolly’s Dream we currently:

  • support schools with our eSmart framework, workshops and kindness activities
  • speak directly to parents through our newsletters, advice columns and Parent Hub portal
  • provide online products to families, helping with those really important conversations
  • assist young people via our workshops, digital products and through our advocacy efforts
  • commit to supporting the wider community, particularly those in rural and regional areas, by providing a free counselling service.

More information can be found here: https://dollysdream.org.au/what-we-do/

How it will work

  • With each transaction in-store (no minimum spends and can be from any department), members will receive a token (must be a current member)
  • Choose which charity you would like to support from the on-counter display
  • Pop your token in the appropriate box


$3000 will be distributed between the three charities according to the proportion of tokens in the boxes.  These funds will be distributed during January 2023.


*For every transaction made in-store, each member will receive one promotional token (limit of 1 token per transaction). Place the token in the entry box on the counter, selecting the individual charity that you wish to support. Warwick Friendly Society will make a charitable donation to each of the three charities at the end of the promotion, based on the proportion of tokens contributed to each charity. The total donation will be AUD$3,000. Christmas Giving Programme Promotion runs from 28/11/22–19/12/22.