Tireless efforts to improve the lives of young Victorians recognised
Anglicare Victoria CEO Paul McDonald has been honoured by the Victorian Protecting Children Awards.
Mr McDonald won the Robin Clark Leadership Award for his tireless efforts to improve the lives of young Victorians. Mr McDonald was praised for his leadership of Anglicare Victoria and his advocacy for sector reform, including his role as Chair of the Home Stretch campaign which is urging governments around Australia to give young people the option of staying in state care until they are 21.
Anglicare Victoria chairperson Stephen Newton said McDonald was a leader “who really walks the talk”.
“In addition to his big picture advocacy, he regularly visits our residential units to have dinner with young people and staff,” Mr Newton said.
“I’ve often heard Paul say it’s important that he never loses touch with the most vulnerable children and young people that we work with. It’s a sentiment that makes him a most deserving winner, and has contributed so much to what makes Anglicare Victoria a great organisation.”
Click here to read more or visit Pro Bono Australia to read a profile of Paul.
Celebrating one year at Benetas St Paul’s Aged Care Apartments
Benetas is celebrating one year since opening the doors to its St Paul’s Terrace Aged Care Apartments in Frankston.
The apartments, which reflect the organisation’s new approach to aged care, opened in September last year and have since become a vibrant part of the local community.
Benetas Chief Executive Officer Sandra Hills OAM said the milestone provided a great opportunity for the organisation to celebrate its vision for ageing.
“Our new approach to aged care is all about creating an environment that is as home-like as possible and St Paul’s Terrace is our first custom-built example of this,” said Ms Hills.
“At St Paul’s Terrace, small groups of residents share apartments where they are supported to live the way they like.
“We have deliberately moved away from the traditional, hospital-style of care and while clinical support is available as appropriate, the focus is more on resident choice and control.”
Benetas is currently undertaking an extensive evaluation of the new approach to inform future builds in Heidelberg and Doncaster, and upgrades to existing sites.
“The feedback we have received from residents and their families about the approach at St Paul’s has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Ms Hills.
Benetas has been servicing the local Frankston and Mornington Peninsula areas for over 50 years, with Benetas Corowa Court Aged Care Apartments in Mornington and the former Benetas St Paul’s Court in Frankston.
The organisation also offers the full range of support in the home and respite services in the area.
“We’re very proud to be a part of the local Frankston and Mornington Peninsula community and look forward to supporting the needs of older people in the area well into the future,” said Ms Hills.
Click here to read more.
Anglicare WA Spring Appeal focuses on financial hardship
Anglicare WA has launched its annual Spring Appeal at a time when its financial counselling services are experiencing increasing demand from people struggling with everyday costs of living.
Chief Executive Officer for Anglicare WA, Ian Carter, said the state’s economic downturn, high rate of unemployment and sharp increases in public utility costs was a triple blow to many families who were “just a few paychecks from serious difficulty.”
According to Anglicare WA, some 240,000 Western Australians are living below the poverty line, with a further 150,000 at risk of financial hardship.
“Over the past year, 44 percent of Western Australian households experienced financial stress and just over 13 percent could not pay their electricity, gas or phone bills on time.
“In Perth’s northern suburbs, 30 percent of clients presenting to our financial counselling services are individuals struggling to pay their utility bill in the past six months, with the average utilities debt having jumped from $250 to $1,500 since 2016.
“People are not simply struggling with the jump in prices, but juggling multiple bills. Families and individuals already on tight budgets are sacrificing other essential items, such as food and medications, just to cover power bills.”
Mr Carter said Anglicare WA’s Financial Counselling services are helping eligible clients with advice on reducing energy bills, access to Hardship Utility Grants and negotiating repayment plans with gas and electricity companies. In the last year more than 3,000 people used the service.
“We can also help eligible clients with no-interest loans of up to $1,500 so they can buy more energy efficient white goods to lower their bills,” Mr Carter said.
Mr Carter said monies raised from the Spring Appeal would go towards a range of services provided by his organisation, including support for homeless people and counselling services for children experiencing domestic violence.
“Our Spring Appeal is a reminder that supporting vulnerable Western Australians is something we do throughout the entire year, and we look to generous members of the public to assist us in this work,” Mr Carter said.
Click here to read more, or make a donation by calling Anglicare WA on 9263 2091.
Churches to provide support to refugees to prevent them being forced back to danger
The Very Reverend Peter Catt, Anglican Dean of Brisbane has called on Australians to support a network of agencies who will provide necessary shelter and support to refugees whose income support and accommodation has been removed by the Turnbull government.
Launching an appeal for funds, the Rev Peter Catt, Chair of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, said it would ensure people who have come to Australia seeking safety and protection, will be supported, so that they will not choose to return to places of harm through desperation.
“The people under attack are those who were offered Sanctuary last year,” Rev Catt said. “The Sanctuary offer is still on the table should the government make moves to forcibly remove these people.
“Our offer of Sanctuary precipitated a huge outpouring of support as the community recognised that the government was preparing to send people, including children, to places of harm. This lead to schools, hospitals and most states and territories being declared places of sanctuary, safety and welcome.
“We were very encouraged by this and call on the government to reverse its latest attempt to return these people, including children, to places of harm, such as Manus and Nauru, by starving them into it.
"Yesterday, over forty men and women went into an appointment with immigration, emerging penniless, without housing and terrified of returning to harm on Manus and Nauru. Among them were pregnant women and women that came to Australia for treatment after being sexually assaulted on Nauru.
We will not stand by and allow them to be made destitute and forced back to danger on Nauru. When this government is cruel, the community will be kind.”
The agencies include the Asylum Seeker Centre in Sydney, the Romero Centre in Brisbane and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne and others.
Click here to read more or donate to the appeal by visiting www.refugeecouncil.org.au/take-action/let-them-stay-donate.