Newsletter December 2016

Page 1

Hope & Life December 2016

The biannual newsletter of Pregnancy Assistance Inc.


Lara Wynyard


Contents About Us


Message from the Chair


Message from the Coordinator



Eric Jas

Deputy Chair



Laura Craig

20th Anniversary Photos



Myrna Hyde

PA Gala Dinner


Board Member

Bronia Karniewicz

Soldier On


PA Training Day


Come Down Off The Shelf


Starting Over Support


A big thank you to Paul Bui from Monk Media for helping us with the newsletter!

Message from the Restorative Counsellor 9 Beautiful Hampers


Christmas @ PA


The Path we Travel


Closed for Christmas Season


Thank you - Donations


Contact Pregnancy Assistance Inc. Elizabeth’s House 195 Lord Street East Perth 6004 T (08) 9328 2929 E Visiting Hours Monday - Friday 10am - 3pm Phone Hours Volunteer Christina Pranata holding her beautiful baby boy Dominique.

Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm After Hours By Appointment

About Us Who are we? Pregnancy Assistance Inc. is an independent Catholic organisation initiated by Archbishop Barry Hickey in 1996. We provide compassionate care and emotional, practical and informative support to women in need throughout their pregnancy and post birth. Our free and confidential services are extended to all people irrespective of religion, race, demographic or personal values. What do we do? We provide a safe space in which all pregnant women have access to the care and support they need during their pregnancies and the freedom to make healthy decisions whether they are facing a crisis pregnancy and/or have had an abortion, miscarriage or still birth. We walk the pregnancy journey with the women we meet, assisting them through their crisis, encouraging them along the way and empowering them to walk independently into the future with HOPE and DIGNITY restored. Our free and confidential services include: • Pregnancy testing • Pregnancy care consultation and professional counselling • Accommodation provision • Future study/employment pathways • Practical support – bassinets, baths, nappies & clothes, maternity clothes • Financial assistance • Advocacy & support services referral • Post abortion care & grief counselling Who knocks on our door? Anyone and everyone affected by pregnancy who is in need of a little (or a lot) of help! We receive between 90 - 170 contacts per month from pregnant women who are distressed due to one or more of the following; • • • •

Unexpected pregnancy Teen pregnancy Abortion concerns Financial hardship

• • • • • • • • •

Foetal anomaly Domestic violence Homelessness Isolation / loneliness Relationship breakdown Drug addiction Mental health issues Migration Grief/loss

Our Centre (lovingly nicknamed Elizabeth’s House) in East Perth is open for appointment (telephone or face to face) and allows for popins because sometimes you just need help now! Individuals are also welcome to metaphorically ‘knock on our door’ by contacting us via e-mail or Facebook. What method do we use when talking about abortion? We utilise Heartbeat International’s L.O.V.E. Approach when pregnant women come to us in distress over whether to keep, adopt out or abort their baby. Pregnancy Assistance was founded on Christian values and offers its services as an alternative to abortion. We believe our counselling approach allows the woman to focus on her own needs. However, under no circumstances do we believe we have the right to supersede/impose upon a woman’s decision. We will continue to support and welcome back individuals in love who have made choices that differ with the personal values of Pregnancy Assistance’s volunteer base. Who supports us? God supports the operations of Pregnancy Assistance by providing the right resources at the right time. And you are part of that providence! Pregnancy Assistance operates through the generosity of its supporters and we thank you. Your support gives Hope and Life so please (if you haven’t already) donate and get involved. We especially thank the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth for providing our rental costs.

Message from the Chair

Message from the Coordinator

In this newsletter we look back at an eventful 2016. We celebrated our 20th anniversary with a succesful gala dinner, held at the Historic Pagoda Ballroom on 17 September. More than 130 people who all have been or still are involved with Pregnancy Assistance were present. The milestone was also celebrated with a Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, held on 10 December. Several other achievements have been realised this year. Our constitution, which has served us right for two decades, has been modified. The revision was necessary to ensure full compliance with the latest changes in the legislation for incorporated associations such as Pregnancy Assistance. We hope that the new constitution will serve us for the next two decades. We have also formulated a Vision Statement and several Value Statements for our ministry. More on this on page 12 of this newsletter. More work lies ahead of us, many people in need continue to visit Elizabeth’s House in search of support and a listening ear. We are immensely grateful to everyone offering their time, effort, prayers and donations. May I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy 2017. Eric Jas

Dear Friends, I write to you on the cusp of Advent , with a heart of ‘Thank You’. It’s been a wonderful year celebrating 20 years of PA alongside the Jubilee Year of Mercy. In an extra special way during this Jubilee Year, we were called deeper into our mission, to be “a living sign of the Father’s love in the world” (Misericordiae Vultus 4). A Father who never turns His face away and is always ready to offer love and mercy. If you know what it’s like to face a crisis, a time where you can’t see the dawn for the long dark night, then you know how our clients feel when they first reach out to us for assistance. Many of our visitors don’t have a family to turn to, but in turning to us, they recieve a familial care and can exclaim “I’ve got a family here !”. Through simple, loving support they receive “Courage” and “Hope” to carry on. I thank you and encourage you to continue investing into the amazing and exciting vision of this ministry through your energy, prayers and money. Only through collaboration with you can the vision come to full fruition. “Ministry is, first of all, receiving God’s blessing from those to whom we minister. What is this blessing? It is a glimpse of the face of God.” Henri Nouwen May you have a heart full of the spirit of Christmas. The peace and joy of baby Jesus. Lara Wynyard


Hope and Life

With Thanks to Monica Defendi from Monica Defendi Photography Hope and Life


Pregnancy Assistance Anniversary Gala Dinner By Juliet Vivarelli As a past volunteer, I was invited to attend the

unaware of the consequences of their choice.

Gala Dinner which was held as a fundraiser for

The lyrics told of how he had made the decision

Pregnancy Assistance. The dinner was attended

to put the life of a single man behind him and

by supporters of Pregnancy Assistance both

to embrace the life of a responsible and strong

young and old. It was a lovely evening and a

man, a father. He will be there for his family to

good opportunity to catch up with some of my

provide for them and give of his love – what

old colleagues with whom I had worked over

an inspiration.

a period of approximately ten years and exchanged phone numbers and general life experiences.

In concluding I would like to say it was obvious to me that the work of Pregnancy Assistance and the life and hope this organisation gives

However, what struck me most was the

can only grow thanks to Archbishop Hickey

attendance of many young people and the quiet

and those who have worked hard to do God’s

unassuming way they worked behind the


scenes to make the fundraiser a success. There were the students from Mercedes College, my old school. Back then the world was a different place and we were totally oblivious to the problems the young students face today. But here they were, carrying out the work so needed in our society. Also invited were some of the many parents and their babies who had reached out to Pregnancy Assistance over the last few years. They had come at a time of turmoil in their lives and received the hope and life they were searching for. A film was shown wherein they shared their stories and their experiences. One young father had written a ‘rap’ song and this was played. He shared his experience and more than that, he was reaching out to the young men of today who find themselves in the same situation. These men I have seen firsthand accompanying the mothers of their children to the abortion clinics, 4

Hope and Life

At our Gala Dinner, we received a song called “Soldier On” written by Jade Hoani Jorgensen and introduced by Mary Shanmugam. Please enjoy the excerpt below. We plan to have the song uploaded in 2017 to share with the wider community! Hi, my name is Narmatha Shanmugam, I’m 19 and I used to live on the streets and have many stories to tell, but had help. See I was stubborn at first not to go there but then pregnant I needed to get myself Lara and the ladies at Pregnancy Assistance. Thank You!

“SOLDIER ON” When your life feels compressed with disappointment and rejection, you must soldier on... cashless with dramas life burnt to ashes, but you must soldier on.. and never give up hope soldier on... there’s people that care...for people who’s scared...people who listen who want to help called...PREGNANCY ASSIST. So if you’re in a little bit of trouble ladies then there are people out there that can help you out in a double... Men too! PA is helping families clean up their lives like bodies fully covered in shampoo. Hearts stronger than bamboo, can-do attitudes helping those struggling giving them a chance too. No need to be stubborn or feel humiliated. Pregnancy Assistance is there to help no matter how much your life is complicated. You feeling a bit jaded by being God’s creation, hope’s just around the corner and you’ve just been nominated. After all, your kids deserve the best. Living homelessness on the streets, then your kids deserve a rest. Stressed and depressed, best believe they’re here to listen...must have faith, soldier on and make change to your mission. Must be strong through the struggles, never give up hope, you can do this. Accomplish what you thought was not possible because quitting is for losers. Hope and Life


Topical Training Day at Pregnancy Assistance

On the 19th November, a training day was held at Elizabeth’s House. It turned out to be a more informal and casual day than had been planned. However, this gave us the opportunity to just talk and share stories. The stories were both sad and uplifting and we reconfirmed the importance of listening as a major gift we can give those, both in crisis or not, when they visit us. We were able to reflect on the past Year of Mercy and the achievements of Pregnancy Assistance and thank God for His constant guidance and presence. Lara Wynyard reflected on the growth of Pregnancy Assistance, with special reference to the gift that Monica Defendi gives the new mums of taking beautiful photos with their babies. We had two guest speakers from Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (ACM), Vicki Burrows is the coordinator and Donna Ryder is a pastoral care assistant. They gave us an overview of what ACM is about and their work in the community. ACM provides a wonderful service of pastoral care and support with home visits being just one of the many services they provide. ACM are yet another valuable link in our own network to provide our clients with the best resources to help them in times of need. Our final speaker was Lisette Jas who talked about the importance of self-care. She discussed the importance of talking through and dealing with the emotions that can arise from our sessions with clients. There are times when we ‘take to heart’ a sad outcome and it is important to acknowledge our feelings and find meaning in the situation without taking responsibility for a client’s actions. We were able to share our experiences and learn from each other.

We finished with a beautiful mass celebrated by Archbishop Hickey and a lovely shared lunch. Carmel Randazzo (PCC)


Hope and Life

Come Down Off The Shelf

If I choose to, I can show myself some care Take a shower daily, even wash my hair If I choose to, I can treat myself so kind Forgive my past behaviour, nurture my mind If I choose to, I can be healthy Eat good food and exercise Take good advice from those who are wise If I choose to, I can give my heart to the Lord Surrender all my sins And feel the forgiveness within If I choose to, if I may I could even show myself love Believe that I am worthy That I am enough And finally the big one I can love myself My body, my mind, my soul Come down off the shelf

By Rebecca White

Hope and Life


Starting over Support - Making a Difference Starting over Support (SOS) is a charity dedicated to helping families and individuals after a crisis situation. It is dedicated to providing a safer and fulfilling new life to people escaping domestic violence. SOS collects pre-loved and unwanted goods and furniture items from generous donors all over the Perth metropolitan area. Debbie Mason founded this charity in 2014 and since inception has helped over 270 families. This service relies totally on donations,. On Saturday 15 October SOS organised a fundraiser High Tea at Mayland’s Autumn Centre. Caroline Nolan and Lisette Jas from Pregnancy Assistance attended and enjoyed an afternoon of delicious treats, a variety of teas and of course bubbly! You can contact SOS on 0403 367 767 Lisette Jas, Debbie Mason & Caroline Nolan


Hope and Life

Message from the Restorative Counsellor (RC) Mary MacKillop says: “Find happiness in making others happy.” When women come to our door in distress, we have to ensure they leave with a bit more spring in their step. As a counsellor, I have to slow down, look within and be open to what is happening in the developing relationship between the client and myself. Many beautiful people came to Elizabeth’s House during the past Jubilee Year of Mercy; we are a growing Ministry and we welcomed Francine Jones to our team of professional counsellors. We are blessed to have Francine on board. She is genuine and caring and a delight to work with. This is her story! “Lord, grant me the SERENITY to accept things I cannot change, COURAGE to change things I can, and WISDOM to know the difference” Neinhold Niebuhr (1934) I adopted this as my counseling motto when I completed my Diploma of Counselling in 2014. These sentiments express my own approach to life and at times, its unpredictable consequences “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray” (Robbie Burns, poet). I was born in The Netherlands and immigrated to Australia in 1955. We were a large, non-English speaking family and had no idea what the future held. Those early memories have help to shape the person whom I am today. I remember the acceptance, help and kind gestures that we received from others in those early days. I have a background in Paediatric Nursing (PMH) and Midwifery (ECU). My work in those areas have strengthen my views not only on the frailty of life but also the strength, courage and tenacity of the human spirit. This human spirit when infused with empathy and support from others can achieve miracles. As a midwife I was privy to many ‘unplanned pregnancies’ and the despair that flowed from it. However ‘unplanned’ did not necessarily mean ‘unwanted’. With practical and emotional support, many women became empowered to accept and continue with their pregnancies. At Pregnancy Assistance, pregnant women receive this necessary emotional and practical support. Restorative counselling is available to those women who have been affected by abortion. Many of life’s painful experiences are buried deep in the sub-conscious but they can continue to influence lives in a negative way. In a private, non-judgemental environment these painful experiences can be shared and reconciled with the hope of finding true peace. Hope and Life


Beautiful Hampers When Liz Green visited Pregnancy Assistance in October, Elizabeth’s House looked brighter for it! Liz makes beautiful Mums Pamper Packs. This service was born out of love and care for mums-to-be who don’t have a lot of support. Liz says: “When I had my son (now 20 years old) my husband and I had no family support and were struggling to make ends meet. I just feel that when you’re a mum with a new baby or a mum-to-be, it would be nice to have a few baby items that are new to help start you off and to know that someone does care. I get my daughters (11, 13 and 15 years old) help out with the shopping and making of the hampers as it teaches them that everything is not always about them and they should always help someone else when they can.”

Liz with one of her beautifully created hampers

Pregnancy Assistance loves to spoil beautiful mums-to-be and their little bubs. We like to be generous and are always in need of the following items: Bassinets & bedding Baby baths & bath supllies Car-seats (suitable from birth) Nappies (newborn, infant, crawler) Pampering gifts for mum New & pre-loved baby clothes (0000-0), One of our mums-to-be receiving a pamper pack! Thank you Liz!


Maternity clothes Wipes

Hope and Life

Christmas at Pregnancy Assistance “Friendship… has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” C.S. Lewis At Christmas, perhaps more than other times of the year people get the opportunity to come together, whether amongst family or friends. For most of us this can mean a number of gatherings, a lot of cooking, trying to fit in the majority of people we know in a very packed December calendar, and not to forget also to provide presents for the new neighbour or a Great Aunt. Some of our clients unfortunately tell us that they do not have many true family or friends to speak of. Sometimes this is due to the fact they have recently migrated or are refugees, other times it can be due to family disputes and disagreements, other times and perhaps most hurtful, they have found that during their pregnancy crisis some family members or friends haven’t been as supportive and present than they expected. For us here as Pregnancy Assistance, Christmas is not only a great time to celebrate our Saviour’s birth but also to extend the same grace and friendship Jesus extends to us daily. Whilst we are not perfect (by any means!) we hope that during the festive season to come our rooms will be filled with joy, hope and festivity with those who are lonely and seeking true friendship. We thank you for your ongoing support and ask that you pray for those that visit us during this time to find refreshment and friendship. Laura Craig (PCC) Hope and Life


The Path We Travel - Our Mission, Vision and Values It is important to define the Mission, Vision and Values of any organisation. They offer clarity, focus and direction. Mission The Mission defines the purpose of an organisation (what we do). Pregnancy Assistance’s Mission Statement was defined in 1996, and is still applicable today. It is mentioned at the very start of our constitution, and has remained unchanged in its new version: To provide relief of poverty, suffering, distress, misfortune, destitution, or helplessness for pregnant women of all sections of the public irrespective of race, colour or creed. Vision The Vision describes the long-term desired achievement (desired end-state), resulting from the organisation’s work (why we do what we do). After receiving all the necessary feedback from the members, volunteers and several key stakeholders of Pregnancy Assistance, we have defined the following Vision Statement: A world in which every woman has free access to compassionate, informative and practical support when impacted by pregnancy or pregnancy loss. Values The Values informs the workers and the clients about the organisation’s core beliefs and principles in the manner we undertake the mission (how we do what we do). It helps our clients to connect with us, and reminds our workers about these beliefs and principles. From the feedback we received from members, volunteers and key stakeholders we have defined the following Value Statements:

PREGNANCY ASSISTANCE will: Be welcoming to all; Be non-judgemental; Listen with respect and impartiality; Provide hope where there is despair; Demonstrate love where there is injury and pain Seek to restore dignity Offer safety to the vulnerable; and, Provide a place of rest for the distressed. 12

Hope and Life

Closed for the Christmas Season After a busy year of ministry we will be taking some time out to spend with family & friends, in rest, in prayer, in celebration and flower sniffing ! Pregnancy Assistance will be closed from Friday 16 December to reopen on Monday 9 January 2017. Wishing you all a blessed Christmas season full of Hope, Peace and Joy!

Thanks from all of us at Pregnancy Assistance!

Hope and Life


Thank You Thank you for supporting us to continually achieve our principal objective – “To provide relief of poverty, suffering, distress, misfortune, destitution, or helplessness for pregnant women of all sections of the public irrespective of race, colour or creed.”

good hope and life truly is. We also welcome donations in the form of nappies, wipes/bath supplies, pampering gifts for mums to be, and pre-loved baby clothes and maternity clothes.

Pregnancy Assistance Inc. solely relies on private donations. We are an ACNC registered charity, and all monetary donations above $2 are fully tax-deductable. Your generous support gives and changes lives and allows people to taste just how sweet and

Your Donation Makes A Difference The Archdiocese pays for our rent but for all else we rely entirely on GOD speaking to your heart! Pregnancy Assistance Inc. PO Box 8129 Perth BC WA 6849 Donations over $2.00 are tax deductible

T: (08) 9328 2926





Email: I make the following donation to Pregnancy Assistance Inc. of $ once only


By cheque/money order: made payable and addressed: Pregnancy Assistance Inc. PO Box 8129 Perth BC WA 6849 By Direct payment: Pregancy Assistance Inc. | Westpac | BSB 036014 | Acc 306953 Mastercard


Card Number:


Name on card: 3 digit verification number: Online: By including us in your will.