Parents, Carers and Communities

Changes to Australian Passports for 16 & 17 year olds

From January 1 2016, applicants aged 16 or 17 years will be issued with a 10-year passport instead of the five-year passport currently issued to children under the age of 18 years.

Parental consent will still be required and applicants will need to accompany their parent, or a person with parental responsibility, when lodging the passport application.

The application fee for 16 and 17 year olds will be the same as for adults, reflecting the longer validity of the passport to be issued.


Trades apprentices to get Half-Price Car Registration

Is your child a school-based apprentice? Are they interested in starting an apprenticeship next year?

From 1 January, eligible apprentices paying standard registration on a light vehicle in metropolitan Melbourne will save $385.70 per year and apprentices in regional Victoria including Bendigo and Ballarat will save $330.20. This saves them nearly a weeks pay on an expense that they require for day-to-day work and learning.

Apprentices can apply for the discount as soon as they receive their renewal notice for their registration.

For more information, see: Trade apprentice registration discount


Better Health Channel's New Look

Find the health and wellbeing information you want when you need it with the new Better Health Channel website.

Since May 1999 the Better Health Channel has helped Victorians stay healthy and understand their medical conditions by providing easy to understand information that is quality assured, reliable, relevant and up-to-date.

The site has undergone a facelift recently with a design that is not only more contemporary but easier to use. The site has also been designed with mobile and tablet users in mind so everything can be accessed more readily.

The content continues to be developed in consultation with experts from a variety of reputable Australian health and medical organisations and covers the wide range of health interests in the community.

Based on feedback, there have been lots of updates and additional features created for the new look, including:

  • more videos on health and wellbeing topics
  • a new Healthy Pantry feature, containing nutrition information, buying guides and cooking ideas for a range of fresh ingredients
  • a searchable database containing consumer information on all commonly prescribed medications
  • a new pain section, with information on understanding, managing and treating pain and related conditions
  • profiles on hundreds of medical and health-related professions, including how services can be accessed, medicare and subsidies information, qualifications and an overview of services provided.

The Better Health Channel will continue to change and grow as more features are developed over the coming months.

For more information, see: Better Health Channel


Gifted and Talented Resources on Raising Children Network

The Department of Education and Training has partnered with the Raising Children Network to develop new text and video resources for parents of gifted and talented children and teenagers.

The Raising Children Network website now offers a comprehensive, evidence-based and easy-to-understand resource on parenting gifted and talented children.

The gifted and talented content includes eight in-depth articles and four videos, covering a range of topics from the identification of gifted children to family life behaviour and social development to gifted and talented programs and talking about abilities.

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Further Information


The Daniel Morcombe Foundation has produced a 'Keeping Kids Safe' resource kit. The kit has resources suitable for students Prep to Year 9 and encourages child safety by promoting the key messages: Recognise, React, Report. The kits were distributed directly to Victorian schools this term.


Driveway Safety

On average, every year 7 children aged 0-14 years are killed and 60 are seriously injured due to driveway run over incidents in Australia. Most driveway run overs occur in the driveway of the child’s own home, or in a friend or relative’s driveway. The driver is usually a parent, relative or family friend.

In 85% of cases, the driver does not know that a child is close to the vehicle; they think they are being looked after elsewhere.

Driveways are dangerous places for children – they are designed to allow vehicles access to and from a property and therefore present the same hazards as roads. Children’s unpredictability, their inquisitive nature and the fact that they are surprisingly quick and mobile, places them at increased risk around driveways.

To assist in making your driveway Kidsafe ensure that you SUPERVISE, SEPARATE & SEE. For more information please view Kidsafe’s driveway safety video and fact sheet on their website.



Parenting is not always easy. From time to time, all families can benefit from extra support.

Parentline is a Department service which began in 1998. It provides information, support, and referral services to parents from 8am to midnight seven days a week.

Whether you’re struggling with everyday tasks, or simply wish to discuss parenting ideas, Parentline is a valuable source of counselling and assistance.

The qualified and experienced social workers and psychologists who staff the service answer approximately 13,000 calls per year from parents from all backgrounds looking for support and advice.

They will work with you to better understand your relationships and personal situations to help you to develop strategies which are tailored to your individual needs.

Parenting is challenging, but Parentline can help you to develop positive coping strategies, allowing you more freedom to enjoy your time with your children.

You can ring Parentline on 13 22 89.

For more information see: Parentline

Do you need tips on what to pack in your child’s lunchbox?

Healthy eating has a long-lasting and positive impact on a child’s growth, development and health.
Find out more about health eating in the Healthy Eating Fact Sheet.

How to help your child successfully face challenges

To coincide with the launch of Building Resilience, its author Associate Professor Helen Cahill from the University of Melbourne shares her take onwhat resilience is and what you can do at home to support your child.

Please open the Resilience Q&A Fact Sheet here.