Updates & Resources2020-03-22T12:30:15+11:00

We’ve put together this page in response to the many questions we’ve been receiving via email and online social media. Our aim is to provide VicBears members, extended tribes and further LGBTI communities in Victoria with regular updates on our events during the next few months. We’re also creating and regularly updating our list of some of the best resources we can find online to support our community.

It is during these times of anxiety, social distancing and uncertainty when it is most important that we strengthen our sense of community by connecting with and supporting each other wherever possible. Remind ourselves that we can manage this much better together and that COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate – it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, nationality or ethnicity.

It is up to ALL OF US to play our part in protecting ourselves and the more vulnerable members of our community by actively following Government and Health Department recommended precautions and suggestions. For more up to date and factual information about COVID-19, check out the Australian Department of Health website.

Remember to be kind to yourself and to each other whenever possible AND WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY!

2203, 2020

Sunday 22nd of March, 2020

March 22nd, 2020|

Sunday 22nd of March, 2020 VICBEAR COMMITTEE UPDATE After careful consideration among the VicBears committee members, we have decided to postpone all VicBears events for the foreseeable future. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation through Government and Health Department resources available to us. As [...]

1703, 2020

Tuesday 17th of March, 2020

March 17th, 2020|

Tuesday 17th of March, 2020 In line with the official notification from Bendigo Pride Festival, VicBears will also be postponing the Beartopia Lunch that we were organising as part of the festivities this year. We want to thank everyone from the Festival Committee who reached out [...]

Health Resources

  • Australian Department of Health – The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. Find out how the Australian Department of Health are monitoring and responding to the outbreak, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and what to do if you have symptoms.
  • Google COVID-19 Website – Google will start providing more enhanced information cards for people who search for terms related to the coronavirus. There will be information tabs for symptoms, prevention, global statics, and locally relevant information
  • Dr George Forgan Smith YouTube – Short, easy to understand videos that help you to to know your options and make informed decisions. Dr George Forgan-Smith is a gay male doctor based in Melbourne’s CBD. He has a strong interest in men’s health, gay men’s health and HIV and HIV Prevention. Dr George is a PrEP provider and happy to offer full and comprehensive health reviews and services.
  • Health Direct – A government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice.
  • “Update on COVID-19 for PLHIV”  – Thorne Harbour Health, Living Positive Victoria, and Positive Women Victoria are encouraging people living with HIV (PLHIV) to take additional precautions in the face of the changing landscape around 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Support Resources

  • LifeLine Resources – “Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak – While it is important to stay informed, the following are some mental health and wellbeing tips and strategies to continue looking after ourselves and each other during these difficult times.”
    The LifeLine Support Service also offers short term counselling by phone on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days a week) and webchat (3pm to 12am AEST)
  • BeyondBlue Resources – “Beyond Blue recognises and understands the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and offers wellbeing advice to assist us.
    The Beyond Blue Support Service also offers short term counselling and referrals by phone on 1300 22 4636 (24 hours / 7 days a week) and webchat (3pm to 12am AEST)
  • Australian Psychological Society – This information sheet outlines some useful strategies which can help both adults and children cope with the stress or anxiety experienced as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Community Resources

  • Chatter Pack Boredom-Busting Resources – A HUGE list of FREE online resources including Virtual Tours from around the world, Online Learning opportunities, Geography & Nature videos, Music, Arts & Culture links, Literature online, Entertainment and Anciety/Mental Health resources.
  • Animal House Livestreams – “We’ve set up a few live stream cameras from Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo, so you can enjoy the zoo from anywhere.”
  • Livestreaming Schedule from The Guardian – “As the coronavirus crisis roils on, creatives and cultural organisations are moving their work online. Here’s what’s coming to a monitor near you”.
  • Melbourne Rainbow Community Coronavirus Resource Exchange and Outreach Facebook Group – “This group is for our own little niche of our community. Be it Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Bi, Trans, Bear or Kink. We have a lot of crossover and this group exists to make sure everyone is comfortable to get or give help as they are without having to feel the need to hide”.
  • LGBTI COVID-19 Response Facebook Group – “Connecting our community to information from trusted epidemiologic and medical professionals dealing with this virus”.
  • “Quarantini” – YouTube or Instagram – Inspired by comparisons between the AIDS crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, noted gay historian Dr. Eric Cervini has launched an online LGBTQ+ book and film club for the quarantine, “Quarantini”.
  • The Kindness Pandemic Facebook Group – “We set up #TheKindnessPandemic because so many people need acts of kindness right now; and so many others want to hear stories of kindness. Kindness won’t make COVID19 go away, but it will make our lives easier and more rewarding. We particularly encourage intergenerational kindness, but welcome you sharing all acts of kindness”.
  • HouseParty App – Houseparty is a face to face social network. Spend time with people you care about. Where being together is as easy as showing up.

Sunday 22nd of March, 2020

Sunday 22nd of March, 2020 VICBEAR COMMITTEE UPDATE After careful consideration among the VicBears committee members, we have decided to postpone all VicBears events for the foreseeable future. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation through Government and Health Department resources available to us. As [...]

Tuesday 17th of March, 2020

Tuesday 17th of March, 2020 In line with the official notification from Bendigo Pride Festival, VicBears will also be postponing the Beartopia Lunch that we were organising as part of the festivities this year. We want to thank everyone from the Festival Committee who reached out [...]

Health Resources

  • Australian Department of Health – The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. Find out how the Australian Department of Health are monitoring and responding to the outbreak, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and what to do if you have symptoms.
  • Google COVID-19 Website – Google will start providing more enhanced information cards for people who search for terms related to the coronavirus. There will be information tabs for symptoms, prevention, global statics, and locally relevant information
  • Dr George Forgan Smith YouTube – Short, easy to understand videos that help you to to know your options and make informed decisions. Dr George Forgan-Smith is a gay male doctor based in Melbourne’s CBD. He has a strong interest in men’s health, gay men’s health and HIV and HIV Prevention. Dr George is a PrEP provider and happy to offer full and comprehensive health reviews and services.
  • Health Direct – A government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice.
  • “Update on COVID-19 for PLHIV”  – Thorne Harbour Health, Living Positive Victoria, and Positive Women Victoria are encouraging people living with HIV (PLHIV) to take additional precautions in the face of the changing landscape around 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Support Resources

  • LifeLine Resources – “Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak – While it is important to stay informed, the following are some mental health and wellbeing tips and strategies to continue looking after ourselves and each other during these difficult times.”
    The LifeLine Support Service also offers short term counselling by phone on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days a week) and webchat (3pm to 12am AEST)
  • BeyondBlue Resources – “Beyond Blue recognises and understands the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and offers wellbeing advice to assist us.
    The Beyond Blue Support Service also offers short term counselling and referrals by phone on 1300 22 4636 (24 hours / 7 days a week) and webchat (3pm to 12am AEST)
  • Australian Psychological Society – This information sheet outlines some useful strategies which can help both adults and children cope with the stress or anxiety experienced as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Community Resources

  • Chatter Pack Boredom-Busting Resources – A HUGE list of FREE online resources including Virtual Tours from around the world, Online Learning opportunities, Geography & Nature videos, Music, Arts & Culture links, Literature online, Entertainment and Anciety/Mental Health resources.
  • Animal House Livestreams – “We’ve set up a few live stream cameras from Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo, so you can enjoy the zoo from anywhere.”
  • Livestreaming Schedule from The Guardian – “As the coronavirus crisis roils on, creatives and cultural organisations are moving their work online. Here’s what’s coming to a monitor near you”.
  • Melbourne Rainbow Community Coronavirus Resource Exchange and Outreach Facebook Group – “This group is for our own little niche of our community. Be it Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Bi, Trans, Bear or Kink. We have a lot of crossover and this group exists to make sure everyone is comfortable to get or give help as they are without having to feel the need to hide”.
  • LGBTI COVID-19 Response Facebook Group – “Connecting our community to information from trusted epidemiologic and medical professionals dealing with this virus”.
  • “Quarantini” – YouTube or Instagram – Inspired by comparisons between the AIDS crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, noted gay historian Dr. Eric Cervini has launched an online LGBTQ+ book and film club for the quarantine, “Quarantini”.
  • The Kindness Pandemic Facebook Group – “We set up #TheKindnessPandemic because so many people need acts of kindness right now; and so many others want to hear stories of kindness. Kindness won’t make COVID19 go away, but it will make our lives easier and more rewarding. We particularly encourage intergenerational kindness, but welcome you sharing all acts of kindness”.
  • HouseParty App – Houseparty is a face to face social network. Spend time with people you care about. Where being together is as easy as showing up.
Suggestion Form

Want to add a great health or community resource you've found?

If you know of a great community resource that could help our VicBears members, extended tribes and communities during this period, we would love to hear from you! Use the form link attached to get us the information so that we can make sure to get it out to our community!

Suggestion Form