Support Groups

Support Groups are held for any bereaved parent/brother/sister or grandparent who would like to meet others who truly understand and care. Support Groups provide a safe environment for people to share their thoughts and emotions, gain insights from those further along in their grief and develop skills to assist them on their grief journey.

By joining The Compassionate Friends Victoria and going to the Suicide Support group, I felt I was not alone in my grief. I listened to stories from other parents and siblings that helped me understand my own grief. It is in the sharing that we are to normalise our feelings of guilt, sadness, anger and trauma. I have made good friends out of my grief at The Compassionate Friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to questions we often get asked about our group meetings.  If there is something else you want to know please contact The Compassionate Friends Victoria office on (03) 9888 4944.  Outside Melbourne metro Free Call 1800 641 091.

Who Can Attend?

Meetings are open to all families who have experienced the death of a son or daughter, brother or sister, at any age, from any cause.

If I go to a meeting, will I have to talk?

No one is required to talk at any meeting. We understand how difficult that can be when our grief is so fresh. We do ask that you listen, however, and we don’t interrupt while another member is sharing their story.

Is there a charge to attend?

There is never a charge to attend a TCFV meeting. We rely on voluntary donations from members, friends and the community at large and we do receive some government funding.

What happens at a meeting?

Most groups start with an informal time for welcoming people and having a cup of tea or coffee. The formal part of the meeting then begins with the facilitator speaking and perhaps reading a piece of poetry or a short story, after which time we introduce ourselves in turn and share our thoughts and feelings. At this time, you may share as much or as little as you need. General discussion then follows and groups usually end with another cuppa for those members who wish to stay.

I have baby-sitting problems. Would it be all right to bring my child with me?

While we understand the difficulties of finding child care, we must ask that out of respect for the needs of others, you do not bring children to meetings. We do have a siblings group at our head office in Canterbury for brothers and sisters 14 years and older. The exception to this is the Bereaved by Suicide group which is open to both bereaved parents and older bereaved siblings. At this time, we do not provide any services for younger siblings but we can refer you to other agencies where these services are available.

My child died several years ago, and I postponed my grief work. Now it's catching up with me. Is it too late to come now?

We all grieve differently. Many parents don’t feel the need of a support group until years after the death of a child. It’s all right to come whenever you are ready, whether it’s soon after your child’s death, months later or years later.

Can I bring a friend with me?

If you need a friend to drive you to the group, or you need their reassurance, they are welcome to attend. It is important for us to be able to share freely within our group and be sure confidences will be respected. Your friend would need to accept this confidentiality.

My partner says they won't come with me. Can I come alone?

Yes. We all grieve differently and they may not be ready to take part just yet…or ever. And, likewise, many parents attend meetings without their partners.

Religion doesn't matter to me anymore. Can people at a meeting accept that?

We think you will find TCFV members are very tolerant of any views. After the death of a child or sibling, many priorities, as well as values, change.

Do I need to speak to someone before I come to a meeting?

No. Just come whenever you feel up to it. It is a good idea though to ring the centre prior to attending to confirm the venue, especially in the case of regional groups.

I notice the meeting is in a church. Do I have to belong to a church to attend?

TCFV has no religious affiliation. Meetings are held in a wide variety of locations depending upon what is available in our communities.

Bereaved Parent & Siblings

Parents Group (Daytime)
When: 4th Wednesday of each month excl. December
Time: 11:00 am

Parents Group (Evening)
When: 2nd Tuesday of each month excl. January
Time: 7:45 pm

Siblings Group (Evening) (For siblings 14+ Yrs)
When: 2nd Tuesday of each month excl. January
Time: 7:45 pm

Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria
229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126

Bayside Support Group

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 4th Wednesday each month excl. December
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Venue: Highett Neighbourhood Community House
2 Livingston Street, Highett VIC 3190

South East Suburbs Support Group

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 1st Friday of each month excl. January
Time: 1:00 pm

Venue: Bridgewater Centre
Cnr Fullham & Bridgewater Roads, Rowville VIC 3178

Western Suburbs Support Group

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 3rd Tuesday of each month
Time: 7:30 pm

Venue: Salvation Army Drop-In Centre
42 Devonshire Road, Sunshine VIC 3020

North East Support Group

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 1st Wednesday of each month excl. January
Time: 1:00pm

Venue: Eltham Library Community Hall
Panther Place, Eltham VIC 3095

Ballarat

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 1st Tuesday of each month excl. January
Time: 7:00 pm

Venue: Mt Clear Church of Christ (in the church hall)
1185 Geelong Rd, Canadian VIC 3350

Bendigo

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 1st Tuesday of each month
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Venue: The old Playgroup building
(near John Bomford Centre)
Crook Street, Strathdale VIC 3550

Castlemaine

Parents and Siblings Group
When: Last Thursday of each month
Time: 7:30 pm

Venue: Maternal & Child Health Centre
15 Lyttleton St, Castlemaine VIC 3450

Geelong

Parents and Siblings Group
When: Last Tuesday of each month
Time: 7:30 pm

Venue: Noble Street Uniting Church
26-42 Saffron Street, Newtown VIC 3220

Gippsland/Morwell

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 3rd Friday of each month (March, June, September, December)
Time: 7:30pm

Venue: Salvation Army building
57 Bridle Road, Morwell VIC 3844

Hamilton

Parents and Siblings Group
For more information please contact us.

Horsham – Wimmera

Parents and Siblings Group
For more information please contact us.

Mildura

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 1st Thursday of each month excl. January
Time: 7:00 pm

Venue: MADEC Community College
133-137 Madden Avenue, Mildura VIC 3500
(NOTE: Please ring front doorbell. Doors at MADEC are locked after 5:30pm.)

Portland

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 3rd Tuesday of each month
Time: 7:00 pm

Venue: Star Theatre
40 Julia Street, Portland VIC 3305

Wodonga

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 1st Thursday evening each month
Time: 7:00 pm

Venue: St Patricks Hall, 515 Smollett St, Albury 2640

Hobart Support Group

Parents and Siblings Group
When: 3rd Tuesday bi-monthly (February, April, June, August, October, December)
Time: 7:30 pm

Venue: TasCAHRD Building
319 Liverpool St, Hobart TAS 7000

Bereaved by Suicide

Parents & Siblings Group 
When: 1st Monday of each month
Time: 7:30 pm

Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria
229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126

Bereaved by Suicide (Sunshine)

Parents & Siblings Group
When: 1st Wednesday of each month
Time: 7:00pm

Venue: Salvation Army Drop-In Centre
42 Devonshire Road, Sunshine VIC 3020

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MenSpace

Bereaved Support Group for Men
Date: 3rd Wednesday of each month
Time: 7:00 pm—9:00 pm

For more information, click here.

Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria
229 Canterbury Road, Canterbury VIC 3126

“Express Yourself Through Art”

When: 3rd Monday of each month
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria
229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126

Places limited. Reserve your place here.

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Craft Group

When: 4th Tuesday of each month
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria
229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126
Please bring along a craft project you are working on. A great opportunity for bereaved parents and siblings to connect with others, relax, chat and do something enjoyable.

For more information please contact us.

Geelong Morning Tea Social Group

When: 2nd Tuesday of each month excl. January
Time: 10:30 am

Venue: Brioche Café
175 West Fyans Street, Newtown VIC 3220

Bayside Social Group

When: 2nd Tuesday of each month
Venue: Blue Dish, 236 Highett St, Highett VIC 3190

Healesville Lunchtime Social Group

When: 3rd Thursday of each month
For more information please contact us.

Men’s Brekkie

Bereaved men’s social breakfast
When: 1st Thursday of each month excl. January
(January is held on the 2nd Thursday)

Time: 7:30 am – 9:30 am

Venue: Wilson & Walsh Cafe
129 Maling Road, Canterbury VIC 3126

Southern Peninsula Lunchtime Social Group

When: 1st Tuesday of each month excl. January
For more information please contact us.

TCF Bereaved by Suicide Social Group

When: 4th Thursday of each month excl. December

Venue: Box Hill RSL
26 Nelson Road, Box Hill VIC 3128
Contact: Danny Bendel
Phone: 0408 448 404