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Voice Autumn/Winter 2013

YOUTH CENTRAL AND WHY IT’S A COOL HUB YOUNG TALENTS MAKE MUSIC HITTING THE RIGHT NOTE APPEAL SUCCESS FOR LOCAL FUNDRAISING

ART PROGRAM WINS AWARD LOAN SCHEME LENDS A HAND

our new look newsletter St Luke’s Anglicare, 22 Pall Mall, Bendigo, Victoria 3550

www.stlukes.org.au


Strong spirit as CEO

signs off

As St Luke’s CEO, David Pugh announces a new appointment at Anglicare Northern Territory, he says the spirit of St Luke’s is stronger than ever. Working for St Luke’s has been an amazing experience during the past 23 years. The next stage of my personal journey takes me back to the Northern Territory where my career in community work began 32 years ago. As I officially sign off, I take this opportunity to reflect on St Luke’s strengths, opportunities and future challenges.

• The community service system can be a maze at times. Under the leadership of St Luke’s director of client services, Grant Gibson, our diverse support programs now operate consistently and ‘as one’. There will be ‘no wrong door’ for clients, because we link our services, strengthening effectiveness and accessibility.

The St Luke’s approach is to care deeply, to believe in our clients’ capability and to strive together … I know that St Luke’s staff members are never satisfied with ‘business as usual’, because they hold such strong belief in our values: ‘respect, hope and fairness’. They are constantly compelled to seek better solutions and better outcomes for vulnerable people in our region. The St Luke’s approach is to care deeply, to believe in our client’s capability and to strive together with clients, families and the broader community to make this region a truly fair place. Our employees are never satisfied to solve social issues ‘one case at a time’. They believe the lessons learnt in our innovation and partnership with clients, and our discovery of what works well, should be shared more broadly. Hence, St Luke’s is a regional provider with a national voice. Our training, consultancy, publishing and presentations to government have impacted well beyond our service areas. St Luke’s is in great shape to continue to address the real needs of our community, here are some highlights: • Our new service complex, Youth Central brings a state of the art approach to support young people in greater Bendigo. It allows a platform to intervene early with ‘at risk’ youth, and to provide pathways for education, family connection, mental health care and employment.

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• St Luke’s has invested in the right infrastructure and business systems to support those who deliver our services. We constantly improve our staff training, health and safety and physical resources. • More than 100 business and community service colleagues joined us to open Youth Central in February. On the day, young people spoke about how ‘support’ had made an impact in their lives, and young people were acknowledged for assisting in the design and style of the building. In the crowd I noticed many members of our St Luke’s community. In attendance were local business people, the builders, government representatives and our dedicated staff. All these people stood behind us to achieve this goal, contributing through fundraising, granting financial aid, or donating their time and skills. I keep coming back to the African proverb: “It takes a whole village to raise a child”. It’s true. I witness it here in our community. Thank you for your support and encouragement as we go about a daily task of working hard to make a difference to the lives of many. - David Pugh

www.stlukes.org.au


Giving

matters

It’s by way of donation, through our Christmas Appeal, that truly helps to write the next chapter for children and young people who have experienced turbulence and hardship.

Each year St Luke’s opens a small shop for ‘invitation only’ families in need of assistance. It’s here families can come and choose gifts that our community has provided, by the appeal’s gift-giving or cash donations. When the shop opened in December, a mother and her nine children came to visit us. The eldest child, knowing full well his mum did not have the financial capacity to buy presents, had said to her, “Don’t worry mum, we won’t have Christmas this year.” The family was welcomed in, but the mum was very emotional. During their visit St Luke’s made sure the whole family was well cared for. And there were smiles on faces once more. This is the gift our St Luke’s Christmas Appeal gives. Funds go towards the St Luke’s early years centre, which offers a safe, child-focused environment for families in need of transitional care and respite. Bendigo’s Girton Grammar community is one of the many donors at Christmas. Headmaster, Matthew Maruff said giving through the appeal supports the ‘serve and leadership’ culture at the school. “For our students it’s all about developing empathy, and you do that by helping people, who you know are on the margins of our society, even though you may never meet them.”

New

IN THE SPIRIT: Julie Stratford from Strategem Financial Group and Girton Grammar headmaster Matthew Maruff deliver donations to St Luke’s child services team leader, Sue Tupper.

… it’s all about developing empathy.

moves for Echuca

Due to continued growth, St Luke’s Echuca office has relocated to 51-53 Heygarth Street, smack bang in the heart of town, close to vital community services.

The new Echuca office provides community and welfare services including support for people affected by mental health, gambling and homelessness issues. According to St Luke’s Echuca site coordinator Francis Lias, the new location will enhance service accessibility. “This new facility supports our goal to ensure easy access, we are now in easy vicinity of the right mix of support for our people when they need it.

“I believe we will be better placed to offer existing services more effectively, and due to the upgraded office space, it will be easier to work in cooperation with other community service organisations.” he said.

St Luke’s Anglicare, 22 Pall Mall, Bendigo, Victoria 3550

I believe we will be better placed to offer existing services more effectively … “St Luke’s is committed to building and nurturing collaborative and effective partnerships to assist our clients to achieve positive outcomes and this move enhances our opportunity to do this,” Francis explained. St Luke’s Echuca community programs and services can be contacted at their new office number on 03 5482 0900.

www.stlukes.org.au

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m I recieved an email the other day. Attached was a video about wealth distribution in the USA. The email stated the clip will, ‘blow your socks off ’, and it did. With excellent graphics, it quickly communicated the vast disparity in wealth that occurs in the US. It’s where one per cent of the population has 40 per cent of the wealth, while 80 per cent of the population share only seven per cent of the nation’s wealth. With these staggering figures of inequality, one can’t help but question what will be the long-term outcome for the nation. As we read it overall, it’s a country that resists taxation increases to fund services and the outcome is that 80 per cent of the population is getting poorer and poorer.

In Australia we pride ourselves on being a more egalitarian population, but some trends concern me. At present, within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations, which are regarded as the most economically advanced nations in the world, Australia records the highest costs of home ownership. In other words, the affordability of housing in Australia has become the most expensive in the western world. At St Luke’s we deal with inequality and disadvantage day in, day out. We see the effects of high rents and lack of affordable housing. We see people struggling to get an adequate education, manage debt, and deal with disability and long-term unemployment. We see young people trying to find stability in their lives. The lasting sustainability of any nation must be based on the values of fairness, respect and hope and these translate into a better distribution of wealth and opportunity. Values to which St Luke’s is committed. - Bishop Andrew Curnow St Luke’s Board President

I’m not homeless now, I’m not moving on.

Shaun Conroy feels very settled in his Castlemaine home. After many years in and out of hospital, due to mental health issues, Shaun says he’s learnt to manage his condition, thanks to the support of St Luke’s. Shaun recently applied for a financial loan through St Luke’s No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS). He was successful, and in fact, his approval marked a milestone of 100 applications provided by St Luke’s to eligible clients. According to Shaun, being able to borrow money, and being able to plan wisely for repayments, is an opportunity he treasures. “It’s very difficult for people on medication, to work and do things … everyone else just goes to work and they earn say, 700 dollars, but I can’t do that, because people like me can’t hold down a job,” he says.

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“But I’m not homeless now, I’m not moving on. And with the loan I’ve bought the TV, stereo, clothes dryer and exercise equipment … they make my place feel like a home.” “I am in total awe of St Luke’s. They look after me, they’ve helped me with a lot of things, if it wasn’t for them I don’t know where I’d be.”

Shaun Conroy is St Luke’s 100th NILS recipient.

www.stlukes.org.au


no full stops Right in the heart of Bendigo, there’s a lot of learning going on.

At Youth Central, a youth services hub established by St Luke’s, teacher Kathy Waters and student Lauren Trull are turning the pages to a new chapter. Kathy is a teacher in the Specialist Teaching Unit at Youth Central. She understands what it means to overcome the obstacles of learning, that’s because she has observed both the challenges and the changes her students experience at this St Luke’s program. These are young people who may have found difficulty fitting into mainstream schooling, and, of course, there are many factors that can severely compromise the ability of our local children to succeed in conventional education. But here with this specialist program, part of St Luke’s Educational Services Unit, nothing unlocks the success inside a young person like quality education, combined with a supportive network of St Luke’s services. According to 15-year-old Lauren, school wasn’t an easy ride. “I wasn’t having a good time there. And after a while I really didn’t want to go to school at all. Then, mum tried alternatives, and she home-schooled me for a while, but then … she brought me here,” Lauren says. Lauren’s mother had been seeking support for her daughter for some time, and when her schoolteacher, who could see Lauren’s vulnerability, referred her to St Luke’s, it was the welcoming of a brighter world for Lauren and her family.

… learning can be so much more than A to Z, commas and full stops. In the Youth Central study area, with Kathy’s guidance, Lauren is revising what she’s learnt since starting with St Luke’s last year. “With Lauren, well she’s good at literacy, but we’re working on a comprehension unit, just reinforcing Lauren’s literacy, and we’ll also brush up on some basic grammar,” Kathy says. “That’s because, with everyone I work with, I cover those basic elements … the basic grammar we all need.” Lauren laughs, “I might like words, but I still find fractions a bit more challenging!” Wisely, Kathy has a game plan, it’s all about fractions.

St Luke’s Anglicare, 22 Pall Mall, Bendigo, Victoria 3550

“We played a fractions game, and I asked Lauren to help design the game – it’s just a different way of working,” Kathy says. “Some young people who come to our Specialist Teaching Unit have missed out on a lot of learning.” “We make sure, they don’t miss out. And learning can be so much more than A to Z, commas and full stops. We help students to learn to read social cues, improve communication skills, to be confident and to be able to understand how people think and feel. That’s all part of their education, and it’s all part of the work we enjoy doing.”

www.stlukes.org.au

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Smart talk

It’s raining awards at Smart Art, that’s because they’ve decorated umbrellas and scored the ‘best community entry’ award in Bendigo’s Easter Parade.

The team at Smart Art, a St Luke’s support program located at Youth Central in Bendigo, were very chuffed at how their wonderful designs were appreciated. That’s because, with the support of teachers, who have a great deal of personal energy and patience, they’ve spent hours dabbing paint, adding colours and creating individual designs, one umbrella at a time. The Smart Art program introduces adults, children and teens to the enriching world of artmaking. The program, within the Educational Services Unit, uses art and craft to open pathways for learning, offering a group setting that provides a safe space where students can learn and practice social and interpersonal skills.

affordable

housing?

Finding affordable housing is becoming less of an option for low-income earners according to research undertaken by St Luke’s Anglicare. In April St Luke’s conducted a snapshot of available rental properties, as part of a nation-wide Anglicare survey. According to St Luke’s CEO David Pugh, the findings highlight how rental housing in rural and regional areas is not affordable for families, adults and young people on income support. “This lack of available and affordable rental housing is also placing great pressure on homelessness services in regional Victoria,” he says.

Well done Smart Art!

an agent of change St Luke’s has launched its Workplace Giving Program, organising regular presentations to local business. It’s an opportunity to share the many aspects of our organisation while building awareness about our community’s needs. If your organisation shares a philanthropic commitment, your employer can arrange St Luke’s Workplace Giving representatives to visit. And it’s during this presentation that you can arrange to donate to St Luke’s with a simple payroll deduction as often as you wish, making an ongoing, tax-deductible commitment. Regular giving from the workplace allows St Luke’s to plan confidently for our community’s future. Contact the St Luke’s Workplace Giving Program: Rhonda Dallow on 03 5444 8140 r.dallow@stlukes.org.au Jacqui Mott on 03 5444 8102 j.mott@stlukes.org.au

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A few of St Luke’s local snapshots: • In Bendigo, there was no affordable and appropriate rental housing available for a single person on the Disability Support Pension, Newstart and Youth Allowance. • In Echuca, only two per cent of rental housing in Echuca was affordable and appropriate for a single person, with a child under five in receipt Parenting Payments, and there was no affordable and appropriate rental housing available for a single person on the Newstart and Youth Allowance. • In Castlemaine, only four per cent of rental housing was affordable and appropriate for a couple on the Age Pension and there was no affordable rental accommodation for a single person on the Age Pension, or a Disability Support Pension, Newstart or Youth Allowance. “Many of the families that access support services at St Luke’s, are unemployed (or long-term unemployed) and they’re feeling housing stress due to this dire situation,” David Pugh added.

www.stlukes.org.au


Youth Central,

the centre of attention

In February this year, we saw the launch of a very special building.

In the heart of Bendigo, there’s a new addition to the city’s vibrant ‘youth precinct’. This precinct, which features education providers Bendigo TAFE and NETschool, now incorporates Youth Central, a St Luke’s coordinated hub, offering a range of early intervention services, to promote positive youth outcomes. This is a newly refurbished building, with walls that support much more than just its bricks, mortar and rafters. The centre supports our community’s young people,

and within the doors you’ll find access to a host of welfare-related services. These include St Luke’s Connect Central and its Education Services Unit – also known as The Chutzpah Factory. According to St Luke’s senior manager of youth support services, Nicole Turner, this hub acts as a channel for youth voice, and it’s been a personal vision to see it established. “This official opening is so exciting, and I feel so privileged to be involved in the birth of such an inspired centre for young people. “In our speak, we call Youth Central a ‘no wrong door’, a place where young people and their families can access support at every turn,” Nicole said.

… a place where young people and their families can access support at every turn. COMMITMENT: The Hon Mark Butler MP congratulates Bishop Andrew Curnow and CEO David Pugh.

Making

tracks

During Youth Week, St Luke’s students released a 24-track CD, entitled ‘Undaground 3’. At the R2R program at Youth Central it’s all about adapting to a flexible learning environment. The program enables young people ‘at risk’, who have felt disengaged from conventional schooling to learn within a customdesigned sound studio. According to St Luke’s youth worker Wayne Glenn, it’s a way for young people to be creative. “In our studio we encourage self-expression through music, an opportunity to a tell story … to give a ‘voice’ to a life,” Wayne explains.

Buy the CD at innovativeresources.org / 03 5442 0500

St Luke’s Anglicare, 22 Pall Mall, Bendigo, Victoria 3550

SUMMERY HEAT: guests gather to celebrate the new hub’s opening.

SPEAKING: on behalf of the Jaara people, Dja Dja Wurrung elder Aunty Brenda Kerr addresses the crowd.

www.stlukes.org.au

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Donate to St Luke’s It takes a whole village to raise a child. – Nigerian Proverb

our offices Business Office 22 Pall Mall Bendigo Vic 3550 03 5440 1100

Children, Youth & Family Services 175 - 187 Hargreaves St Bendigo Vic 3550 03 5440 1100 Youth Central 10 Mundy St Bendigo Vic 3550 03 5434 3922 Mental Health Services 32 Forest St Bendigo Vic 3550 03 5448 1100

To further our work in central and north-eastern Victoria your financial donation will greatly help us provide vital services. You can safely donate by using these methods: WEB: You can make a secure online donation at: www.stlukes.org.au

EMAIL: contact us and we will individually coordinate your donation.

PHONE: We take donations over the phone

POST: Mail a cheque to our business office, payable to: ‘St Luke’s Anglicare’ Donation Services Coordinator St Luke’s Anglicare PO Box 315 Bendigo VIC 3552 DONATION SERVICES donate@stlukes.org.au 03 5444 8140 03 5444 8172 St Luke’s is a registered charity, and all donations are tax deductible.

BEQUEST Consider leaving a donation to St Luke’s through an existing inheritance or through estate planning where a charitable bequest in your Will can be organised through your financial or legal representative. WORKPLACE GIVING St Luke’s proudly offers a workplace giving program where we are happy to come to your workplace and present the important work we do to support our community’s vulnerable children, young people, adults and families. Your company’s philanthropic support can make a tremendous difference to St Luke’s. The work we do at St Luke’s includes programs such as child and youth services, home-based care, gambler’s help, financial counselling, disability and mental health services. Please indicate what St Luke’s program you wish your donation to go to. Unmarked donations will be allocated at St Luke’s discretion according to our most urgent need.

DONORS Thank you to the many people and organisations who have donated to St Luke’s during the past six months. Contributors include: Bendigo Uniting Care; David Taylor Galt Trust; Ms Elaine Mathison; Community Telco Australia; Mr Ian McKenzie; Lions Club of Echuca; Mia Mia Kyneton Uniting Church; Commonwealth Bank Staff Fund; RE Ross Trust.

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St Luke’s Anglicare ABN 99 087 209 729

Counselling Services 47 High St Bendigo Vic 3550 03 5448 1000 Eaglehawk Cnr High & Napier St Eaglehawk Vic 3556 03 5430 1200 Innovative Resources 137 McCrae St Bendigo Vic 3550 03 5442 0500 Albury 442 Swift St Albury NSW 2640 02 6058 6500 Castlemaine Workspace 1 Halford St Castlemaine Vic 3450 03 5470 6266 Deniliquin Deniliquin Arcade 344 - 356 Cressy St Deniliquin NSW 2710 03 5881 7086 Echuca 51 - 53 Heygarth St Echuca Vic 3564 03 5482 0900 Kyneton 1 Victoria St Kyneton Vic 3444 03 5421 2000 Maryborough The Manse 93 Clarendon St Maryborough Vic 3464 03 5460 4144 Swan Hill 62 McCallum St Swan Hill Vic 3585 03 5036 3200

www.stlukes.org.au


St Lukes Voice Autumn/Winter 2013 edition