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Services and Locations The St Vincent de Paul Society is a global organisation that operates in 130 countries and has over 950,000 members worldwide. Established by Frederic Ozanam in France 1833, the St Vincent de Paul Society was founded in Australia by Fr Gerald Ward at St Francis’ Church in Melbourne on 5 March 1854. The St Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria has over 7,000 members and volunteers providing assistance to over 660,000 people through its two arms: St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc. and St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services.


St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc. Conferences The Society’s members, known as Vincentians, and volunteers form local groups known as conferences. Our 293 conferences respond to calls from people in need within their local communities and provide assistance with food, material aid, budget advice, utility bills, advocacy issues as well as a hand of friendship. They also provide a range of initiatives that address specific needs of the people they assist. Fifty college conferences and 18 young adult groups involve younger members and provide a range of volunteer work in the community, including tutoring and organising Kids Camps for disadvantaged children. Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops The Society’s 94 Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops provide quality furniture, clothing and household items to people in need. Stocks are available to people being supported by conference members free of charge, as well as to the general public at a low cost. Profits raised from the sale of stock in the shops goes towards providing resources and support to people in need. Soup Vans The Society’s four soup van services are based in Collingwood, Fitzroy, Footscray and Moe. Staffed by volunteers, the vans travel the streets of metropolitan Melbourne and Moe each year bringing food and friendship to thousands of people in need. 2 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.


St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services Aged Care Services Elderly citizens are provided with care and accommodation through our aged care facilities located in Box Hill, Geelong North, Geelong West, Mont Albert North, North Melbourne, Traralgon, Terang and Westmeadows. These facilities include a nursing home for residents with high-care needs, seven hostels for residents with low-care needs, a day therapy centre and 53 Independent Living Units located in Ballarat, Bendigo, Maryborough and Mildura. Community Services Over 15 services are managed by the Society which provide a range of accommodation and support initiatives to people experiencing homelessness or requiring help with issues such as general health concerns, drug and alcohol abuse, employment education and training options, and social exclusion and isolation. A family violence service and a supported employment service for people with a disability complement the services which are predominantly located in North Melbourne, north western metropolitan Melbourne, Shepparton and Mornington.



Services and Locations


St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc. Beginnings


State Council


State President’s Report


State Council Initiatives


Social Justice


Chief Executive Officer’s Report


Conference Highlights


Membership and Development


Eastern Central Council Report


Northern Central Council Report


Southern Central Council Report


Western Central Council Report


Gippsland Central Council Report


North Eastern Central Council Report


North Western Central Council Report


Young Vinnies


Soup Vans




Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops


Migrant and Refugee


Overseas Development


St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services About Us


Board of Directors


Chairperson’s Report


Aged Care Services


Community Services


Financial Statements


Thank you


How you can help


3 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

The mission of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia is to deepen the Catholic faith of its members and to go out into our nation to heighten awareness of Jesus Christ. We do this by sharing ourselves – who we are, and what we have – with people in need on a person-to-person basis. We seek to co-operate in shaping a more just and compassionate Australian community, and to share our resources with our twinned countries. Our preferred option in this mission of service is to work with people in development by respecting their dignity, sharing our hope and encouraging them to take control of their own destiny.

St Vincent de Paul Society logo This logo represents the hand of Christ that blesses the cup, the hand of love that offers the cup, and the hand of suffering that receives the cup. Victorian Patron His Excellency, Governor John Landy Acknowledgements Design: Ramesh Weereratne/CCM

03 9926 5759

Photography: Peter Casamento 0419 104 244 Rhonda Butler St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services Printing: Doran Printing

03 9587 4333

Editor: Dianne Ballestrin St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Beginnings The inspiration and foresight of three people have been instrumental to the establishment and work of the St Vincent de Paul Society. In Victoria, the Society is over 150 years old and provides assistance to more than 660,000 people through the work of over 7,000 members and volunteers. We pay tribute to our patron and founders and continue to be inspired by their teachings and the example of their lives.

St Vincent de Paul Patron

Bl Frederic Ozanam Founder

Fr Gerald Ward Australian Founder

The Society was named after St Vincent de Paul. Vincent was born on 24 April 1581 and ordained a priest in France in 1600 at the age of 19.

Frederic Ozanam was born in French occupied Milan on 23 April 1813. He was the fifth of fourteen children.

Gerald Ward was born in London 1806 and arrived in Australia on 7 September 1850 after being recruited to work in the Melbourne mission by the pioneer priest Fr Patrick Geoghegan.

As a young man he ministered to the wealthy and powerful. However, an appointment as chaplain to a poor parish, and to galley prisoners, inspired a vocation to work with those most powerless and marginalised. Vincent urged his followers to bring God’s justice and love to people who were unable to live a full human life: “Deal with the most urgent needs. Organise charity so that it is more efficient…teach reading and writing, educate with the aim of giving each the means of self-support. Intervene with authorities to obtain reforms in structure… there is no charity without justice.” At age 80 Vincent de Paul died in Paris on 27 September 1660.

In Paris 1833 at the age of just 20, Frederic Ozanam established the St Vincent de Paul Society. At this time, the people of France were experiencing tremendous political and social upheaval: changes of government, the Industrial Revolution and unjust employment practices. Ozanam gathered some colleagues and began to respond in practical ways to the poverty and hardship he saw in the lives of people around him. They visited people in their homes and offered friendship and support. This practice, known today as ‘home visitation’, remains a core activity for St Vincent de Paul Society members and volunteers. The group formed by Ozanam and his friends later became known as the first ‘conference’ of the St Vincent de Paul Society. They met together regularly as a group for prayer and mutual support, to learn and to share ideas about how they could best assist others. Ozanam died on 8 September 1853 at the age of 40. Frederic Ozanam was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

4 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

The first conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia met in Melbourne at St Francis’ Church on 5 March 1854. The first president was Fr Gerald Ward. Fr Ward was later to suggest that the main reason why the conference was founded was for “the protection of male and female orphans.” With the discovery of gold in 1851 and the rush to the goldfields of central Victoria, the population doubled and homeless, deserted children roamed the streets. Fr Ward and the new St Vincent de Paul conference responded to this acute problem by establishing the St Vincent de Paul orphanage in South Melbourne. The foundation stone was laid in 1855 and the first children were accepted in 1857. In 1855, in a submission to the government of the day, Fr Ward stated that the new conference aimed at “the relief of the destitute, in a manner as much as possible permanently beneficial and the visitation of poor families.” Gerald Ward died on 14 January 1858 aged 52. A newspaper noted that “he was one in whom many a widow and orphan had found a good friend.” His enduring legacy is founded in such friendship.

St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc. The St Vincent de Paul Society is a lay Catholic organisation made up of over 7,000 members and volunteers as well as a small number of professional staff. In Victoria, the Society is governed by an elected State Council consisting of 12 members, representing the members and volunteers, and overseeing the direction and strategic guidance of the Society’s two arms: St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc. and St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services.

State Councillors

Syd Tutton

Peter Rigg

Sandra Walker

Teresa Wilson

Dennis Griffin

Jim Grealish

Tony Tome

State President

Deputy State President & Northern Central Council President

Vice President & Gippsland Central Council President

Vice President

Vice President

Treasurer & Corporate Secretary

Eastern Central Council President

John McCarthy

Phil Head

Cecilia McCormick

Tony Keaney

Penny Badwal

Mathew Gardner

Brian Dalton

Western Central Council President

Southern Central Council President

North Eastern Central Council President

North Western Central Council President

Youth Representative

Youth Representative

Chief Executive Officer

Organisational Chart

5 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

Syd Tutton State President St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

State President’s Report Our vision is one of love and compassion through the lifting of the cultural blindness to poverty, its causes and its devastating impact on people.

We are all pilgrims on a journey and not involved in Society work to build ourselves an eternal city. This is my last introduction to the Annual Report. I thank all conference members for their dedicated work; the unsung heroes, the volunteers at our Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops who provide the money and goods that sustain the work of our conferences; the generous donors to our appeals; and those who join our work through their prayers. The reports in this publication provide but a small insight into the scope of our work. At this time our tasks are more challenging than ever in confronting the stark reality that 800,000 children in this country live in households where neither parent is employed, and that 2-3½ million people live in relative poverty. People in poverty feel stigmatised and excluded from society as inferior – we strive to empower them in their lives through our work which is mirrored in this report. There has been no diminution in the number of welfare calls made by our conference members, who are privileged to visit people in their homes to assist them over a crisis and hopefully give them a hand up in life. During 2004-2005, over 4,000 voluntary members of the Society visited 110,387 families providing $5,192,946 of monetary assistance, raised through donations or from the sale of goods in Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops. In addition, $1,233,442 of material assistance was given to people in need through our shops. These figures exclude assistance provided for people through the St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services arm, see pages 26-35. We lament that generational poverty has condemned many to be marginalised from our communities.

6 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

The drought persisted throughout the year and we did our best to provide assistance to farmers and rural communities. Sometimes, however, we were unable to identify and locate all those who were suffering hardship. No charitable work is foreign to the Society, and this year we progressed the foundations of two special works: a budget grocery in Heidelberg West and, through the generosity of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, a project to provide housing for those suffering phychiatric disability. We are hopeful that both will be operational in 2005-2006. I note with disappointment that, despite its prevalence in our work, mental health has little support or sympathy. During the year the Society made a decision to relocate its National Office to Canberra. This reflects the changing times and the need to improve the National profile of our work. It also means we can advocate more effectively with decision makers in respect of matters likely to impinge on the wellbeing of the disadvantaged and marginalised. The close of the year saw the resignation of Neil Brown as Chairman of St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services. The Society owes a debt of deep gratitude for his great contribution to the disadvantaged and for his leadership. “Unrolling the scroll (Jesus) found the place where it is written: The spirit of the Lord is on me; for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives To let the oppressed go free.” Luke 4:17-18

State Council Initiatives Spiritual Renewal and Mission We live today at a frantic pace and our spiritual ethos can be easily choked out by worldly worries. From time to time, we need to go by ourselves to a quiet place. The Society provides the opportunity to all its conference members to consider their spiritual life through retreats. All members are encouraged to attend a retreat once a year. We have appointed Mission Integration Officers to ensure that all volunteers in our Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops and staff in St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services are conscious of the mission of the Society. Vincentcare Through conference visitations, we have found that more of the people seeking help have some type of psychiatric disability and we are ill-equipped to assist them. In 1996, the Society in Western Australia established Vincentcare. Its mission is to provide self-managed and shared accommodation with live-in managers. The Society in Victoria has been planning a similar project for a number of years but it is only recently that the dream has become possible. Through the Archdiocese of Melbourne we now have land at Meadow Heights to build six units. The initial cost of establishing this first complex is $1.2 million and we are in the process of raising these funds. The great challenge facing us today is the provision of adequate accommodation for a growing number of people, especially the young who have a psychiatic disability. Our goal is ambitious, yet essential if we are to help these disadvantaged people. Viewpoint The Viewpoint magazine, which has served the Society in Victoria since 1983, was published for the last time in June 2005. Viewpoint started 23 years ago during the term of the then State President, Jim Carroll. It was a humble eight page A5 publication on lightweight paper. In time it developed into a 16 page glossy of the same size. Then in late 1999 it changed to full magazine size and style with a focus on providing outward looking 7 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

articles, addressing issues of social justice and the Catholic faith. The Society’s national magazine, The Record, will now replace Viewpoint as the magazine for all members around Australia. It will be a dynamic quarterly of 36 pages. Vinnies Budget Groceries Following a model established in Western Australia, State Council has determined that a low-cost food outlet, known as Vinnies Budget Groceries, be established in Victoria. The first low-cost outlet will be established in Heidelberg West, which has been identified as a high-need area, and will bring real assistance to people currently struggling to make ends meet. Staffed entirely by volunteers, Vinnies Budget Groceries will provide assistance to people on a pension or health benefit card by stocking all types of groceries, produce (both frozen and fresh), meat, bread, milk and cleaning products. Customers will benefit from the stock’s lower pricing in this not-forprofit store. Feasibility studies for further Vinnies Budget Groceries stores are being conducted in Moe, Ballarat and Wangaratta. State Council extends sincere thanks to project manager Max Fletcher for his enthusiasm in producing the feasibility study and bringing this initiative to fruition. Max’s 30 years experience in working and managing supermarkets has been invaluable to this project. Ozanam Lecture In 1997, we inaugurated the Ozanam Lecture to raise community consciousness on contemporary social issues. This year we celebrated the eighth annual Ozanam Lecture at St Francis’ Church, Melbourne, on Thursday 26 May 2005. We were privileged to have as our lecturer Moira Kelly AO, Executive Director of the Children First Foundation, who spoke on ‘Compassion and Hope for Children of the World.’ In the response to the lecture, Fr Peter Norden SJ, Policy Director at Jesuit Social Services, said Moira’s story had many parallels to that of our founder Blessed Frederic Ozanam.

Social Justice Throughout 2004-2005, the Victorian Social Justice Committee continued to focus on advocacy on behalf of those the Society serves, and on the adoption of social justice principles in the work of conferences throughout the state.

The Victorian Social Justice Committee also continued to contribute to the work of the national committee, supporting the latter in a number of social justice releases during the year with provision of appropriate data and text.

Conferences and social justice Council meetings and Festival meetings were used on a number of occasions as opportunities for members of the committee to talk to conference members about social justice within conferences.

Advocacy The Society’s Policy and Research Officer continued with major and invaluable efforts on behalf of the disadvantaged in a wide range of areas such as utility and public transport services, consumer protection and emergency relief. Frequent contact with government ministers and high level public officers, and with senior personnel from other welfare agencies, was maintained throughout the year.

The annual social justice forum for members was conducted in October 2004, with the theme Tools for Conference Social Justice Work. Over 80 members attended a highly interactive day that led to the publication of a booklet on the topic, which has been in high demand both within Victoria and nationally.

Victorian Vincentians took an active part in the Senate inquiry into poverty, giving evidence at a number of hearings throughout the state. They were also active in the No More Poverty campaign conducted as a result of the government’s nonacceptance of the Senate report. Resulting from surveys made among conferences in Victoria, the plight of persons suffering from mental illness and living alone in the community was referred to the National Social Justice Committee for consideration, and subsequently included in a submission to the Federal Government on mental health in the community. On the same general matter, the issue of privacy laws and their impact on the ability of community support groups to co-operate in work with those suffering from mental illness was also raised, and a submission made to the Federal Privacy Commissioner seeking a solution to this problem. A submission related to the costs of so-called free state education was made to the Victorian Government, highlighting the impact these costs had on low-income families and the children therein.

8 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Development of the concept of Conference Social Justice Officer was begun, and progress has resulted in a number of conference members (about 50 at time of writing) taking on this role. A special training program has also been developed by the committee to assist these members in their work. The committee expresses its sincere gratitude to the many Vincentians and staff who rendered so much assistance throughout the year.

Brian Dalton Chief Executive Officer St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Chief Executive Officer’s Report The magnitude of the Society’s works are highlighted by the reports from each of the seven Central Council Presidents (four metropolitan and three regional) and the key features on Soup Vans, Compeer, Migrant and Refugee, Overseas Development, Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops and Young Vinnies.

During the year State Council, in conjunction with key stakeholders, revisited the Strategic Guidelines of the organisation and arrived at the following strategic goals. These guidelines have been distributed widely to all conferences and they underpin all the works carried out by the Society: Spirituality • All actions will be determined by the driving force of a person-to-person response to “love thy neighbour.” • Provide programs for the spiritual formation of members throughout all levels of the Society on a continuing basis. Conferences/Members • Effective conferences are the basis of the Society in the development of members’ spirituality and their ongoing service to the poor and needy. Shops/Volunteers • To provide funds and material assistance for the Society’s expanding purposes. Finance & Corporate Governance • To provide responsible stewardship of all the Society’s affairs, both financial and governance, in the interests of all its stakeholders – members, volunteers, clients, donors, staff and government. Projects • To use innovative special projects as a means of extending the scope of the Society’s assistance to clients and invigorating the Society membership. Social Justice • Engender in Society members the recognition, understanding and appreciation of social justice issues as they arise in the day-to-day work of the Society, and thus assist State Council to develop the Society so that it becomes, in keeping with the spirit of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, an effective force at all levels for the promotion of social justice in Victoria, and an effective part of the Society’s work on the national promotion of social justice throughout Australia. Communications • Build improved communications in all aspects of the Society’s operations, ensuring that structures 9 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

and functions change within the strategic plan period. This planned improvement is recognised and factored into those changes. Clients • We reaffirm our commitment to those we assist, to work in their development, to respect their dignity, to share our hope with them, and to encourage them to take control of their own destiny. Staff • To ensure that staffing of the Society’s operations fulfils the current and future needs and obligations of the organisation, especially the harmonisation of staff, members and volunteers in the effective service of those in need. Public Relations & Fundraising • To continue to build the image of the Society internally and externally, and to raise donor contributions in the long-term. Training & Development • The Society will identify training requirements via a consultation process between providers and users, recognising the varying needs which arise as a result of geographic, functional and process differences within the Society, including spiritual (ethos) and material (practical skills) needs. The demand and the financial assistance provided is consistent with the previous year. However, the number of members and auxiliary members has decreased by 5.7%. The Strategic Guidelines identify the importance of members/volunteers and adequate recruitment and development will be an ongoing challenge for the future. Highlighted on pages 36 and 37 are the financial results of the aggregation of activity for the year ended 30 June 2005. The administration and fundraising costs represent 9% of the total net income. I would like to congratulate all Society staff at Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops and Central Administration for their continued excellent performance. Finally, my thanks to donors for their significant financial contribution to the Society, and thank you also to our members and volunteers for their outstanding work.

Conference Highlights Conference statistics for the financial year 2004-2005 Conferences No. of Monetary that operated cases where Conference No. of value of Visits not in 2004-2005 material No. of No. of bread runs households assistance involving (even if for No. of assistance adults children (or food assisted by provided by material only part of No. of auxiliary given assisted assisted runs) bread runs conferences assistance the year) members members Eastern Central Council












Northern Central Council












Southern Central Council






$ 1,141,948





Western Central Council












Gippsland Central Council












North Eastern Central Council












North Western Central Council



















Victoria Conferences (total)


140,362 120,524

* In addition to these 293 conferences, the figures also include the work of eight non-conference entities (ie four visitation teams and four assistance centres)



Previous Caller – 64.89%

Salary & Wages – 2.13%

Government Department – 4.19%

WorkCover – 0.45%

Non Government Agencies – 2.76%

Aged Pension – 4.85%

Church or Similar – 6.22%

Sole Parent Payment – 31.35%

Self-Referral/Friend – 21.94%

Newstart/Unemployment Benefits – 24.83% Sickness/Disability – 28.51% Other Governments – 2.27% No income – 1.29% Youth/Study Allowance – 1.56% Other/not determined – 2.76%


Accommodation – 2.28% Cash – 0.62% Food Vouchers – 48.36% Food Purchases – 13.46% Transport – 2.61% Whitegoods – 1.15% Utilities Bills – 5.49% Education – 2.56% Other – 3.75% Donated Food – 18.93% Prescriptions/Medicine – 0.78%

10 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Membership and Development The St Vincent de Paul Society provides services to more than 660,000 people in need each year through its network of over 7,000 members and volunteers. The Society’s members and volunteers form local groups known as conferences and respond to calls from people in need within their local communities, providing assistance such as food, material aid, budget advice, help with utility bills, advocacy as well as friendship.

Blessed Frederic Ozanam believed that with God’s love, one person could make a difference. Conference work is the one work of the Society which is done on a voluntary basis. The Membership and Development Team aims to assist with and resource the work of the 293 conferences and 33 regional councils, helping to identify needs and respond to them. Conference Survey In April 2005, a Conference Survey was undertaken to obtain up-to-date information on conference membership, practices and needs. It was most encouraging to see the wide variety of works that conferences were engaged in and to see the many innovative ways in which they were giving people a ‘hand up,’ including teaching cooking, subsidising families with extra-curricular activities such as swimming, soccer fees, pool and cinema tickets, organising holidays, assisting people to get employment/apprenticeships, tutoring, mentoring, providing emergency accommodation and subsidising child and adult education expenses. The survey also highlighted problems being experienced in some conferences, including an ageing membership (71.5% of members were aged 60 years or more) and conferences that had excessive workloads (11% of all respondents). In addition, 20% of conferences reported having an active membership of five members or less. This highlights the urgency of working with regions and conferences to increase membership. Membership and Development Team The Membership and Development Team, whose roles include provision of information, advice and training and support for regional councils and conferences, has undergone a period of transition in the last 12 months. This transition period has included: • Diversification, through staff recruitment, of the range of skills within the team • Adoption of a very flexible approach to service provision whereby each member of the team is available to work anywhere in the State depending on the presenting need.

11 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

Box Hill Call Centre When people are in need they often call the Society. In order to assist people and respond as quickly as possible the Society’s Call Centre was established at Gerald Ward House in Box Hill. The Society’s Call Centre now handles all requests for assistance with food, bills, furniture and clothing for 82 conferences. In the past year the Call Centre took 22,739 calls, as well as many other calls that for various reasons were not recorded. The Call Centre now has 16 volunteers regularly involved in taking calls and new volunteers are always welcome. Prison Program The existing Vincentian Prison Program has been expanded in the last year, with a new Children’s Activity Program at Fulham Prison which was undertaken in partnership with The Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO). The program is staffed by volunteers from across Gippsland and was set up with assistance from a staff member in the Membership and Development Team. The Children’s Activity Program was developed in recognition of the fact that if children visiting prison have a positive visiting experience, they are more likely to want to come again. This is another way of helping to maintain the family unit and strengthen the children’s relationships with their fathers. In addition, work has been done at Barwon Prison to strengthen the existing Vincentian Prison Program and to identify new initiatives. It is expected that the work of the Society in prisons will need to expand considerably in 2006, with two new prisons being opened in the western suburbs and with a request from the Metropolitan Assessment Prison to have the Children’s Activity Program established in that prison. This option is under active consideration and would be done in conjunction with The Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders.

Tony Tome State Councillor Eastern Central Council President

Eastern Central Council Report The Eastern Central Council’s conference members have provided assistance to the value of $991,165 to 18,386 families in need during the past 12 months.

Eastern Central Council consists of six regions, 57 conferences and 16 Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops which continue to provide valuable funds for the region to assist people who are marginalised and disadvantaged. Over the past 12 months the Eastern Central Council has continued to support, both financially and with volunteers, visitation in the inner city areas of South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, Armadale, Prahran, Windsor, St Kilda, St Kilda East, South Yarra, Toorak, Fitzroy and North Richmond. Many of these areas have high-rise flats and boarding house accommodation. Visitation in these areas has grown significantly and is now a major special work of the conferences and regions. The Ringwood Region has successfully trialled rotating regional meetings at different conferences. Many conference members as well as the Parish Priests are now able to attend the regional meetings. The region has also created a database of service providers and support groups for conferences to use for referral where specialised help is needed. The youth group has been re-established and has 15 members. In May the call centre operating at the Ringwood store was transferred to the Box Hill Call Centre.

and as a result visits are more effective and regular follow-up visits are now conducted. More networking with other agencies is being undertaken with benefits to all concerned. Membership numbers are increasing, and mentoring of new members by established Vincentians is encouraged. The Young Vinnies conference is encouraged and supported by the senior conferences in the region. At Christmas the Upper Yarra Conference, in partnership with Interlink, assists young families in the area by running a toy shop. Purchased from various manufacturers by representatives from the conference and Interlink, toys are offered to families assessed to have the most urgent need. A special phone number is set up so appointments to select toys – one toy per child at a minimal cost – can be made by the families. In this way families do not feel as if they are accepting charity. Toys are available two weeks prior to Christmas and are collected from the Shire offices so that people’s privacy is respected. The Eastern Central Council extends its sincere thanks to all members and volunteers in this region for continuing to provide love and care to the disadvantaged within our area.

The Knox-Sherbrooke Region continues to support the secondary scholarship scheme running in Ferntree Gully. The Camberwell Region has changed the lives of many refugee families by providing temporary housing at the Society’s two transitional housing units in Kew. The units provide accommodation to people who have suffered great hardship but the real comfort for these, our suffering brothers and sisters, is the Vincentian love and care provided by our team of volunteers. A successful initiative of the Hawthorn Conference, with funding by Camberwell Region, has been the introduction of microwave cooking classes. This has been well received by older people who find microwave cooking easier and safer. The Yarra Valley Region has conducted training days to develop better visitation procedures 12 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Eastern Regions






Auxiliary members


Youth conferences


Youth members


College conferences


Vinnies Shops


Area covered

East Metro

Peter Rigg Deputy State President Northern Central Council President

Northern Central Council Report The Northern Central Council’s conference members have provided assistance to the value of $506,101 to 13,497 families in need during the past 12 months.

The Northern Central Council provides services to people in the oldest areas of the inner city and outer north eastern suburbs of Melbourne through its network of members and volunteers. The call for assistance within the Northern Central Council’s area has not diminished, and this in turn reflects the widening gap between rich and poor in Australia. Over the past few years the Society as a whole, and we in the Northern Central Council, are focusing on what we are able to do to assist people in need beyond just providing vouchers and food parcels. There is a growing feeling that education is a vital tool in overcoming the causes of need. Council’s aim is to pursue initiatives in this area and break the chain of poverty, while also bringing compassion to the people we serve. There will always be a need for ‘basic’ assistance; however, if there is an alternative path then we should pursue it. Home visitation is the core work of the Society. However, for the past four years an alternative option has been necessary for conference members and volunteers providing services to people in the high-rise flats of Collingwood.

emergency food for 1 or 2 meals and referred to a service in their area. Those needing any of the shop’s services are greeted by local volunteers with dignity and warmth in a welcoming environment. A more recent State Council initiative for our area involves the concept of setting up a low-cost food outlet, known as Vinnies Budget Groceries, in Heidelberg West. We look forward to its successful operation from August 2005. The Preston Regional Council sponsored and participated in a program of developing accredited ‘trainers’ in the community. These 12 trainers are now qualified to advise a self-help program in their specific areas of expertise. People who qualified as trainers were from the local community. They doubted they could participate, let alone become trainers. Each year the Northern Central Council provides assistance to children and families. For us there is no greater gift than working within the community, bringing love and compassion to people in need.

A unique shop-style operation, known as the Collingwood Community Shop, was established and provides material aid, counselling, advocacy and support to people in need. The shop’s primary aim is to provide nutritious meals to people in need, but it does not work on a financial transaction basis; instead, people accessing the service are given a monthly allocation of points in which they are able to order from the wide range of foods available. Products available are either donated or purchased from low-cost food wholesalers. People accessing the service are assessed prior to receiving assistance to ensure that there is a need, and that they live in the local catchment areas of Collingwood, Abbotsford or Clifton Hill. Anyone from outside the catchment area is provided with 13 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

Northern Regions






Auxiliary members


Youth conferences


Youth members


College conferences


Vinnies Shops


Area covered

North Metro

Phil Head State Councillor Southern Central Council President

Southern Central Council Report The Southern Central Council’s conference members have provided assistance to the value of $1,141,948 to 20,028 families in need during the past 12 months.

The Southern Central Council has had another busy year. The amount of support provided by our conferences is at a level comparable with last year, while both financial support from conferences and material support from the Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops is well in excess of $1.1 million. Southern Central Council is a microcosm of the Society’s activities within the State. We have both the richest and poorest sectors of the population within our boundaries, and in the case of Gardenvale Conference within the boundaries of the conference itself. I have been proud of our members’ efforts in bringing support to those whom we visit. Highlights for the year have been re-establishing conferences in Hastings and Bentleigh as well as the opening of a new Centre of Charity/Vinnnies Shop at Pakenham. We have been able to support ourselves through the internal transfer of funds among the five regions. With regret I must report the passing of our former State President, William (Bill) Kinsella. Knowing Bill was an education for me and I enjoyed our discussions on the Society’s philosophy and spirituality.

I am especially pleased that they are treated as equal partners with the senior conferences at those meetings. On a visit by conference members to a long-time caller a couple of years ago, the condition of the person’s kitchen came up. It had been a regular talking point for the conference for quite some time, as the person concerned has severe physical and mental problems. When the conference asked, “Can we help you clean this up?” the person agreed. So a group cleaned the kitchen, and on opening the kitchen blinds found that there was a spectacular view to the Dandenongs from the window. The blinds had been down for many years but now remain up so the view can be enjoyed. The joy of this story is that when the hospital arranged for our friend to have a holiday, only one postcard was sent, and that was to the conference. On a recent call, the kitchen table was clean enough to work on for the first time since visitations had started many years ago. This ensured that the conference could sit and share with the person’s increase in self-esteem. It was a small but very significant step in our lives together. This is the spirit and joy of the Society.

We are also beginning to network with other agencies in the area and, hopefully, under the auspices of a local Centrelink initiative, will be able to target our support more appropriately. This initiative is a continuation of the work done in the Bendigo and Boroondara regions. In line with other councils, we have found that there are increasing calls to assist those who are living in private rental accommodation; be it in houses, units or caravan parks. The impact of rental costs on low income earners and pensioners has meant that we have had to think laterally when we provide support. We have been able to provide a ‘hand up’ by supporting them with vouchers and utilities aid, which frees up their money to pay accommodation costs. Our Young Vinnies conferences are actively involved with Kids Days Out, Kids Camps (although the ability to eat hot-dogs seems a prerequisite) and Roadshow. They have been innovative in their ideas and bring a breath of fresh air to regional meetings. 14 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Southern Regions






Auxiliary members


Youth conferences


Youth members


College conferences


Vinnies Shops


Area covered

South Metro

John McCarthy State Councillor Western Central Council President

Western Central Council Report The Western Central Council’s conference members have provided assistance to the value of $717,091 to 17,729 families in need during the past 12 months.

The Western Central Council embraces the regions of Altona, Broadmeadows, Central Highlands, Essendon and Geelong. The Essendon and Broadmeadows Regions visit people in the Society’s Westmeadows hostel. The Geelong Region has a house at Queenscliff which provides a holiday facility for people in need. One of the conferences in the Essendon Region is the Vietnamese Conference, which looks after the needs of this particular ethnic group in the Kensington and Newmarket areas. The Western Central Council is planning a retreat in November of this year which will provide a great opportunity for all participants to enhance their own personal spirituality, so they can better serve people in need. Each region within the council conducted at least one Festival meeting over the last 12 months, all of which had excellent attendances and speakers to inform on matters of interest.

needs to take place and challenges lie ahead, such as: • Giving encouragement to the Young Vinnies and inspiring them by good example • Ensuring our Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops are run efficiently • Speaking out on social justice issues and ensuring our voice is heard by decision makers and raise awareness of people’s needs in the wider community. The Western Central Council will continue to encourage and support continued overseas links with: • • • •

Twins and approved overseas projects Assist a Student program Adopt a Family Relief for refugees, such as Sudanese

The Western Central Council is grateful to its members and auxiliary members who, by respecting others, continue to bring comfort to those in need.

The council is currently working with other Catholic welfare agencies under the leadership of Bishop Mark Coleridge to seek out the best ways of helping the large Sudanese community in the St Albans area. We are very fortunate in the Western Central Council to have five Young Vinnies conferences. These conferences consist of young people between the ages of 18 and 35. The are involved in various activities such as Kids Days Out, nursing home visitation, Kids Camps, assisting in home visitation, volunteering at Ozanam House and assisting on the soup van. These young people have a wonderful social conscience and when they become aware of some injustice in the community they want to do something about addressing it. Most of the prisons in Victoria are, or will be, located in the Western Central Council area. The new Membership and Development Team is assisting the council to find ways to assist inmates and their families who may need our help. Recruitment is a big issue: conferences need members. Consolidation of existing membership 15 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

Western Regions






Auxiliary members


Youth conferences


Youth members


College conferences


Vinnies Shops


Area covered

West Metro

Sandra Walker State Councillor Gippsland Central Council President

Gippsland Central Council Report The Gippsland Central Council’s conference members have provided assistance to the value of $583,585 to 9,895 families in need during the past 12 months.

The Gippsland Central Council comprises the three regional councils of Latrobe Valley, East Gippsland and South Gippsland, with 18 conferences and 226 members. In the past year these dedicated members have made more than 10,000 home visits, distributing over half a million dollars in material aid. The council’s 11 Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops, which have approximately 320 volunteers, this year exceeded one million dollars in sales. Tertiary Education Sponsorship The Tertiary Education Sponsorship program, now in its fourth year, aims to assist students from rural Gippsland who have the ability and would like to study beyond secondary college, but whose financial situation limits the likelihood of their being able to. At present the program has 24 students studying a variety of courses. During sponsorship interviews for 2006, a Koori student who hopes to study Archaeology remarked, “If I were to receive this sponsorship, I would be the first in our family to go to university.” We thank the generosity of individuals, and in particular the Ian Potter Foundation and the Grosvenor Settlement, for supporting this program.

to provide $90,000 per year for five years for the establishment of a Development Officer and funding to be distributed to indigenous students enrolled in Catholic educational institutions in Victoria. In 2005, 245 indigenous students were assisted with education grants. The students were from 46 primary schools and 29 secondary school throughout Victoria. The work of the Development Officer is focused on four key areas: • Assisting the indigenous community, specifically families and students • Lifting the profile of the foundation and creating awareness • Raising the financial base of the foundation to ensure its financial future • Administration duties It is with pride that the Gippsland Central Council continues to provide assistance, and it will endeavour to introduce new initiatives for the betterment of people within our community.

Prison Visitation Another initiative for this year is prison visitation to Fulham Prison in Sale. Sixteen members in this special conference visit the prison in pairs every Saturday afternoon with the intention of helping families with the visit and making it less stressful for the children and their mums. The volunteers work with families of the prison inmates, welcoming them when they visit and organising activities for the children like games, painting and reading. Opening the Doors Foundation The Opening the Doors Foundation was established in 2001 to address the educational disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and allowing their children a greater choice of education through independent educational institutions. In honour of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s 150th celebrations in 2004, the Society formed a partnership with the Opening the Doors Foundation 16 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Gippsland Regions






Auxiliary members


College conferences


Vinnies Shops


Area covered

South East Victoria

Cecilia McCormick State Councillor North Eastern Central Council President

North Eastern Central Council Report The North Eastern Central Council’s conference members have provided assistance to the value of $697,391 to 19,208 families in need during the past 12 months.

The North Eastern Central Council has continued to work conscientiously in providing support and assistance to the five regional councils that make up this rather large area of responsibility. The regional councils of Mid Murray, Goulburn Valley, Bendigo, Wangaratta and Upper Murray provide the link for 37 conferences and 18 Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops that are operating mainly throughout the Diocese of Sandhurst. Our conferences, with a total of 413 members, are diverse in size and action but are focusing on ‘sharing ourselves with the poor’ by increasing home visitation and assisting in initiatives that are working to alleviate distress and hardship in our communities. During the past 12 months these conferences have provided assistance in the form of food, food vouchers, furniture, clothing and financial assistance to families and individuals in need. Our retail Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops are all working efficiently to help provide the funds and the goods we know as material aid to assist with the work of our conferences throughout the north eastern region of Victoria.

Roadshow has been a great catalyst for inspiring our country youth to get involved with Society works, such as establishing college groups or young adult groups, and we hope that this youthful entity will help to enhance the ageing population of our adult conferences. We are very aware of the problems stemming from the drought, such as lack of employment and stresses of limited income. The great divide between the income differences has never been more apparent, and within our regional areas we are working hard to assist those in need. The Mid Murray Region has financially supported many farming families, providing drought packs and supermarket gift vouchers, and has also linked people with appropriate services to access government funding or special benefits. A small school in Bendigo sponsored the provision of large personalised gift hampers to 11 cash-strapped families in Naneella. We look forward to another year of service, to bring the love and compassion of our founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, into our modern day.

Over the past 12 months the shops have all run very well, exceeding budget expectations, and the excess funds passed up to State Council through the regional councils has reached $500,000. These funds then assist the needs of other councils and special works of the Society. We were fortunate to have the Young Vinnies Roadshow visit on two occasions in our council area. Each Roadshow consisted of three fun-filled activity days for 230 disadvantaged children aged 6-12. In 2004, the days were successfully conducted in Swan Hill, Bendigo and Ballarat [North Western Central Council] and in 2005, Roadshow went to Wodonga, Wangaratta and Shepparton. The Roadshow team of young Vincentians from Melbourne worked well with student groups from the local Catholic colleges and were ably assisted by local conference and regional council members.

17 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

North Eastern Regions






Auxiliary members


Youth conference


Youth members


College conferences


Vinnies Shops


Area covered

North East Victoria

Tony Keaney State Councillor North Western Central Council President

North Western Central Council Report The North Western Central Council’s conference members have provided assistance to the value of $555,665 to 11,644 families in need during the past 12 months.

During the past 12 months, the 43 conferences in our five regions of Ballarat, Colac, Glenelg, Sunraysia and Wimmera have provided assistance to individuals and families. Our members have made visits to people in their homes, hospitals, nursing homes and hostels where no material aid was provided. We gratefully acknowledge the invaluable work of the volunteers in our 17 Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops who give tirelessly of themselves. Conference Work Conference work is the Society’s core activity and in our regions, conferences endeavour to focus on the ‘hand up’ ideal. In the past year, conferences in Ouyen and Apollo Bay have re-established to assist people in need in their local communities. A new conference was also established at Hopetoun. Both the Hopetoun and Ouyen Conferences will be particularly important in meeting the needs of families affected by the drought in the Sunraysia and Wimmera Regions. In an effort to share the workload within all the regions, and in conjunction with the Membership and Development Team, we are supporting other conferences in recruiting new members.

regularly organises events, such a Kids Camps and Kids Days Out. They also provide a regular tutoring/ mentoring program in conjunction with Centacare. St Patrick’s College, Ballarat, has an active college conference that will be involved with the Sebastopol Conference in providing a tutoring program as part of Widening Horizons. In October 2004, they assisted Young Vinnies from Melbourne in conducting a Roadshow activity day at the college for 40 children. Two new college conferences have recently been established at Mercy College, Camperdown, and Trinity College, Colac. At St Joseph’s Primary School, Warrnambool, a mini-Vinnies group has been formed with grades 5 and 6 pupils, under the guidance of two teachers, with the aim of getting young people involved in helping others in the community and to build an awareness of the issues affecting people living in poverty. In a variety of ways, the members and volunteers of the North Western Central Council continue to bring love and compassion to all we serve.

To further facilitate the ‘hand up’ ideal, we are intending to provide a no interest loan scheme which will offer an alternative for people to access small credit amounts for the purchase of necessities, such as household items and whitegoods. In our largest region, Ballarat, the Sebastopol Conference recently applied for and received funding from the Department of Family and Community Services to conduct a project called Widening Horizons. This project is aimed at disadvantaged families who have limited life skills and/or poor parenting skills. It will assist vulnerable, disconnected families through programs, encouraging them to share ideas and learn new skills, and through social interaction to become more independent. Youth Activities A dedicated group of young people from the Ballarat campus of the Australian Catholic University 18 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

North Western Regions






Auxiliary members


Youth conference


Youth members


College conferences


Vinnies Shops


Area covered

West Victoria

Young Vinnies Many people use the quote, “Young people are our future.” However, if the problems faced by the disadvantaged and the needy in our community are to be tackled, young people need to step up and take action today. Over the past year, Victoria’s 19 Young Adult Conferences, numbering 291 members and 48 College Conferences, have been doing just that.

Young adult members of the St Vincent de Paul Society have participated in home visitations, and visits to the sick, elderly and those incarcerated in detention centres. They have worked in our shops and on the soup vans. Much of their time, however, is spent working with children from families already being assisted by the Society. Young Vinnies run Kids Days Out, among other activities, providing children with positive recreational pursuits, while also acting as positive role models and developing firm relationships with the children and their families. College conference students have generously provided the Society with money and goods generated from their hard work of organising many fundraisers and appeals. Kids Camps and Roadshow Excited children, exhausted leaders, appreciative parents, long days, short nights, a welcome break, fun had by all – welcome to the world of Kids Camps and Roadshow. For numerous years young adult members of the St Vincent de Paul Society have operated holiday programs for disadvantaged children.

teenagers are taken away for a weekend in the bush, sleeping in tents, eating around a campfire and participating in bush walks and other naturerelated activities. Children assisted on both of these camps were from across Victoria and chosen from families being assisted by the Society. Leaders are chosen from young adult conferences and recruits from information sessions held before each camp. The Roadshow Conference operates its program in one of the three country central councils and involves a team of experienced young adult members travelling to three different towns in one week and running activity days for children aged 6-12 years. While Roadshow is similar to Kids Camps in that it aims to provide children with positive recreational pursuits they would otherwise not experience, it also aims to educate students about poverty and how to address the needs of their community. Therefore, in each town, the night before the activity day, students from the local Catholic college are trained to participate as leaders and learn about the Society and the work we do. It is hoped that these students go on to set up young adult conferences in their communities in the future.

These programs have touched countless people’s lives: numerous children have been provided with opportunities that they would not otherwise experience, while parents have welcomed some much needed respite. Young adult members (leaders) have enjoyed the opportunity to generously give up their own holidays, learning that it is in giving that you receive.

Over the past year, 16 young adult members ran two Roadshows, travelling around Victoria and running six activity days for 232 children, with the assistance of 65 student leaders. Children had a wonderful time doing craft activities such as making kites, juggling balls and participating in miniOlympics and giant sports.

Over the past year the Younger Kids Camp Conference has run three week-long camps for 86 children, aged 6-12 years. These children have enjoyed participating in many craft and sporting activities, discos, bush dances, as well as day trips to the beach and Sovereign Hill.

Despite the many commitments young adults face, they continue to be an integral part of the Society. Their youth, optimism, love, compassion and passion for making a difference means they play an important part in changing the world we live in today.

The Teenage Bush Camp Conference has run three camps for 28 children aged 13-16 years. The

Young people can join Young Vinnies by logging on to our website

19 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

Soup Vans So why do you work on the soup van? “Oh, I don’t know, it’s something tangible. We see people faceto-face and it’s so satisfying. We have a chat and give them food. They are just as real as anyone else; they have opinions and they matter,” said Liz, a regular soup van volunteer.

The Society’s four soup van services provide assistance to more than 550 people each night and serve over 205,850 meals per year. In the spirit of our founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, the Society’s soup van services bring practical assistance, friendship and genuine concern to people in need within our community. For over 26 years the St Vincent de Paul Society’s soup van volunteers, known as Vannies, have worked tirelessly to provide food and offer assistance to the many homeless people throughout inner suburban Melbourne and Moe. The majority of people seen by the Vannies are isolated and feel disconnected from the ‘real’ world. Vannies move throughout the streets visiting people in parks and boarding houses; bringing a meal but offering much more: a warm smile, a chat, someone to listen and friendship. For many, this contact will be the first link to the outside world for the day. The Vannies’ relationships with the people they serve does not end with the handing over of a meal. There is a follow-through process where they provide links to other relevant services, including health and transitional housing, and referrals to other conference services, such as Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops and assistance with clothing for school-aged children. The Vannies are witnesses to the lives of the people they serve. They see children growing up in boarding houses, life changes as people regain independence and dignity, while also, sadly, they see people pass away. It is a sad fact that if a homeless person passes away, Vannies may be the only ones attending the funeral. Likewise, the people served are witnesses to the life changes of the Vannies themselves. Two Vannies recently married and people they had served attended their wedding. The soup van services aim to offer friendship, care and genuine concern to people in need. By accepting each individual and their lifestyle, it is hoped to inspire feelings of dignity, self20 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

esteem and value as a person. Acceptance is not dependent on a person’s actions but based on simply accepting one another as we are. No one is asked to change, and giving is unconditional. In sharing a moment of each individual’s time, no more is expected than to listen.

The Soup Van Services Margaret Oats Soup Van – Collingwood During the last 12 months, the Margaret Oats Soup Van – Collingwood has provided over 27,000 meals to people on the streets of Collingwood, Richmond and Kew. The soup van’s 90 volunteers provide real and practical support to people in need five nights a week. Matthew Talbot Soup Van – Fitzroy The Matthew Talbot Soup Van – Fitzroy provides assistance to people in need located in the areas of the CBD, Fitzroy, East Melbourne and South Melbourne. The service provides over 127,000 meals per year and operates seven nights per week. There are 152 soup van volunteers who assist by making a regular ongoing commitment. To assist in this special work, a new soup van was purchased in December 2004 by the Rotary Club of Camberwell and our State Council. Matthew Talbot Soup Van – Footscray The Matthew Talbot Soup Van – Footscray assists people in the Footscray, Maidstone, Newport and Williamstown areas, seven nights per week. The van operates from St Monica’s Parish in Footscray and provides over 36,500 meals per week. Frederic Ozanam Soup Van – Moe Over the past 12 months, the Frederic Ozanam Soup Van – Moe has provided meals to over 14,560 people in need. Thirty volunteers provide support to people in the areas of Moe and Newborough two nights per week. The soup van also receives support and donations from local Moe businesses and members of the community. Soup vans receive little government funding and rely on the generosity of donors, both financially and with gifts in kind, to enable this voluntary program to exist. To become a Vannie, call 03 9895 5800.

Compeer All of us know that occasionally someone befriends us and touches our lives, that someone cares about our well being without expecting anything in return. Because they believe in us, we are encouraged to believe in ourselves.

For people experiencing mental illness, isolation is a common experience. It imposes major stress on their lives and their relationships with family and friends, and causes a divide that can be difficult to bridge. It makes living with the illness more difficult and slows possible recovery.

The annual evaluation by referring professionals, clients and volunteers reported significant improvement in clients’ social skills, self-esteem, trust, independence and ability to access other outreach programs and broader community social networks.

This is where the Society’s Compeer Companionship Program plays a part. Compeer volunteers are matched with a companion of the same gender and about the same age. They meet for one hour each week for at least a year to share interests and activities, go to the pictures, play sport, walk or share a coffee. Assistance that is faceto-face and provided by people who volunteer their time is particularly prized – and it follows the founding principles of the Society.

A Compeer companion (client) wrote: “When I am out with my companion I feel I am part of what is happening in a busy world and I am not alone. I see other people together and I no longer feel different because I am with my companion.”

Compeer volunteer ‘John’ has visited his companion for the past 12 months engaging in some of these activities. At a recent review, his companion’s mental health professional commented that the program had achieved all that he had hoped for. Prior to the program, the client was isolated, could not attend office-based appointments and resisted all attempts to connect him into outreach programs. At the end of the year, however, he was going out more, regularly attending appointments at the professional’s office and had begun attending a drop-in centre and men’s group. Compeer offers training, ongoing support and regular supervision to volunteers. The program is run under license from Compeer International, a program begun in the USA 30 years ago and being established in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. The name Compeer is a combination of ‘companion’ and ‘peer’ – a companionship of equals. In the development phase over the past 18 months, the program has recruited and trained 40 volunteers and matched 25, with more matches scheduled before Spring. It is planned to double the number of matches during the coming year.

21 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

The program’s aim is simple, but its effects can be profound. We thank all those who have generously supported the program, in particular The Danks Trust, Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and The William Buckland Foundation, as well as the program’s patron, Professor Allan Fels AO. As this program presently receives no government funding, it is dependent on the Society and the generosity of donations to continue. We hope to secure government funding in the future.

Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops During 2004-2005 a national decision was made to rename the Society’s Centres of Charity to Vinnies Shops. This year, the shops have assisted over 14,000 households with goods valued at $1,233,442, while sales at our shops have contributed $6,615,130 for distribution to the Society’s good works.

In good economic times it is easy to overlook the existence of those members of our community who are experiencing great difficulty and hardship. The St Vincent de Paul Society’s shops continue to be an easily identifiable point of contact for people seeking assistance and community fellowship.

assisting those in need. Material aid is also provided to those people who have been identified by our conference members as being in need of basic household items, especially furniture. These items are then ordered and delivered directly to our clients.

The shops are places where people know they can find essential items at affordable prices. Our focus on providing the best quality items to our customers also sees our shops building a reputation as places where genuine treasures and bargains can be found.

New initiative Our newly developed INNZONE concept – youthful fashions of today and originals from the 60s, 70s and 80s – has proved to be an extremely popular initiative attracting both bargain hunters and vintage clothing enthusiasts. Its success has seen us introduce the concept to a further nine shops across metropolitan and regional areas. We have also refurbished our shop in Brunswick to convert it into Victoria’s very first Vinnies INNZONE concept shop. True to the concept, the store is bright, eclectic and provides a veritable treasure chest of goodies for retro shoppers.

The St Vincent de Paul Society is fortunate to have over 3,000 dedicated volunteers who generously give regularly of their time to help us operate our 94 Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops situated throughout the State. These volunteers come to us from all walks of life and include community service students, the unemployed, those who have retired from full time work and those who are new to their community and are looking to build a social network. Some of our larger and busier shops require us to employ a small number of staff as professional managers and driver/jockeys to help meet their considerable demands. We thank those staff for their dedicated support. During the past 12 months we have continued our focus on improving our retailing standards to provide a modern, fresh and popular shopping environment for our clients and customers. We have also maintained our commitment to adhering to all relevant Occupational Health & Safety requirements to ensure safe and healthy workplaces for our members, volunteers and staff. Continued improvement in our shops is generated by our constant reviewing and updating of policies and procedures to ensure they reflect absolute compliance and best operational practice. Many information days were conducted throughout the year. These days provide an opportunity to keep our personnel informed of any important new Society initiatives. An increase in excess of 10% in sales across our shops over the last financial year has meant an increase in the amount of funds available for 22 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Vinnies Shops Two new shops were opened during the year in Pakenham and Mount Clear. Our shops at Kew East and Mansfield were successfully relocated, while those in Bendigo, Hamilton, Mooroopna, Ringwood, Yarrawonga, Ascot Vale and Sunbury received major renovations. Eighteen more across the State were treated to retail facelifts. This expansive body of work is indicative of our continued commitment to improving the aesthetics and functionality of our shops for clients, customers, volunteers and staff members. It also helps us to provide a comfortable and pleasurable experience for all those who enter our stores. But over and above the physical aspects of our stores, much of the success that we have been able to achieve is directly attributable to the passion and dedication displayed by our personnel. Financial Overview during 2004-2005 Sales $12,486,196 Expenses $ 5,871,066 Funds available for distribution $ 6,615,130

Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops In Victoria the St Vincent de Paul Society has 94 Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops providing quality clothing, furniture and other affordable household items to the public. The combined value of assistance available and provided by Vinnies Shops is $7,848,572.

Shop Locations Alfredton






Ascot Vale

Heidelberg Heights






Hoppers Crossing*

Port Melbourne*





Kangaroo Flat





Briar Hill

Kew East



















St Albans



St Arnaud









Swan Hill











Mont Albert











Ferntree Gully

Mount Clear














Ocean Grove

* Denotes shops with INNZONE fashions. Donations of good quality clothing, furniture and household items can be made to any Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shop, call 1800 621 349.


For the second year, world renowned children’s entertainers The Wiggles have kindly gifted their support to the Society for a national campaign promoting Vinnies Shops. The Society is grateful to The Wiggles for their generous support.

23 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

Migrant and Refugee Exile for the Holy Family in Egypt enabled Jesus to identify with Jewish people’s previous captivity.

Jesus identifies with troubled persons wrongfully incarcerated, with long-term detainees and with little children who experience a razor wire compound. He has empathy for those who, in fleeing persecution, sacrifice mother country, culture and native tongue for a better life. The current Humanitarian Program will accept 13,000 new settlers this year. In partnership with the Department of Immigration, the St Vincent de Paul Society in Melbourne provided basic household goods for nominated families. Over four years Vinnies have provided for 10,442 persons from 3,049 households. During 2004-2005, assistance was provided to 2,039 persons from 642 households. Participants arrived from the Sudan (54%), Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Burma, Liberia and Ethiopia. Of these, 28% of Sudanese are single persons, 15% are sole parents. Many Sudanese Catholics attend Mass at Dandenong, Noble Park, Sunshine and St Albans. These people are resourceful and have formed African choirs to enhance the liturgy and established a Legion of Mary group. Many Sudanese experience a culture shock which invites a Christian response in areas such as English language tuition, introduction to banking, Medicare and Centrelink systems, and for simple issues such as shopping and making medical appointments. Unemployed persons need vocational guidance. Our Migrant and Refugee Committee subsidises a caseworker in both Dandenong and St Albans South parishes. Soccer and basketball programs have been established to help prevent boredom among adolescents. An Iranian refugee who addressed our committee had been imprisoned for his political views. He escaped and ultimately fled from Indonesia to Australia by sea with 350 others. The five-day journey meant little food, no water, much praying and crying. He was incarcerated for 18 months. After six years he has finally been reunited with his

24 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

family. His psychological scarring is obvious and prevents his full participation in the law, his profession. Some refugee families have received assistance for air travel costs. Bridging Visa holders have received rental assistance. Regular visits continue to be made to detainees at Maribyrnong. Networking with a dozen like-minded persons/groups was a feature of the Social Justice Forum. Our committee hosted a national Advisory Committee Meeting which attracted 33 attendees. Issues dealt with – some of which were suggested as being appropriate for advocacy through politicians – included: • More just and humane treatment of detainees, especially children • A variation to the restriction imposed on some Bridging Visa holders who are not allowed to work • Seeking affordable housing • No interest loan schemes Also of concern was the plight of young people being surreptitiously lured to Australia under ‘Visitor’ visas but actually being used for trafficking in prostitution. Asylum seekers have committed no crime. The physically and psychologically wounded yearn to receive the Christian response of a gentle and healing love. The Migrant and Refugee Committee sees the full extent of how people can be assisted when we share our love and compassion with those people seeking a new home.

Overseas Development The State Overseas Development Committee, backed by strong support from all conferences and councils, has actively maintained its commitment to Twinning, Assist a Student, and new projects.

The tsunami tragedy engulfing the Asia Pacific area has touched all our hearts, and the Society is aware of the long-term repercussions to those nations already suffering from the effects of poverty. A recent national appeal for tsunami victims was overwhelmingly supported by Victorian members who donated $78,639 to be distributed by the International Coordination Committee for the Asia Pacific region. Currently Vinnies is twinned with 526 conferences throughout the Asia Pacific area, and with the assistance of modern technology we are better able to exchange thoughts, and thus better informed to allow us to provide assistance more appropriate to local needs. The assistance provided annually to support these Twins amounts to $126,000. Whenever visiting developing countries, we are constantly made aware that families see education as a way out of poverty. This has lead to an unprecedented demand on our Assist a Student program. This year Victoria has funded 1,059 students, to the amount of $77,000, and has been active in promoting the program in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Projects, particularly self-help types such as the provision of sewing machines, cow banks, water wells and goat banks have been readily adopted by our conferences and State committee. In the past 12 months, 19 projects have been funded at a cost of $21,367. The roll-on effect has allowed 167 families, totalling 940 persons, to be assisted. Berwick Regional Council has raised $10,000 through a series of concerts to assist an orphanage in East Timor. Society members have been particularly generous in supporting Christmas and Easter grants that provide an additional boost for our Twins at these special times of the year. A total of $80,000 has been distributed by way of grants in the past 12 months.

25 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

In Fiji, the Society has been active in assisting with promoting growth, financial support and structural changes. We have provided a dedicated vehicle for the Fr Law Home, an aged care facility near Suva, at a cost of $30,000. The National President of India Br T Joseph Pandian, along with the National Treasurer Br A R Leon visited Victoria in November 2004 and provided our members with an insight into the challenges facing the Society and its members in India. The Overseas Development Committee wishes to acknowledge the generosity and strong support of its work by the people of Victoria. Country

Caroline Islands

No. of Twinned Conferences

No. of Students assisted



















Thailand Total





St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services

About Us St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services manages professional welfare services focusing on aged care, homelessness and supported employment for people with a disability.

The services provided by St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services are largely government funded and supplemented by donations and bequests from individuals and from philanthropic trusts in order to provide additional support over and above the government funded level. With approximately 550 employees, and supported by volunteers, St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services assists over 120,000 people each year. Aged Care Services Our services provide care and accommodation for elderly citizens through a mix of hostels, a nursing home and independent living units. St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services operates eight aged care residential facilities across Victoria: seven low-care hostels and one high-care nursing home, which 334 residents call home. Co-located with the nursing home is the Day Therapy Centre that treats 90 people a week. Across four Victorian regional locations, Ballarat, Bendigo, Maryborough and Mildura, we also manage 53 Independent Living Units in Residents in our Independent Living Units enjoy a home-like environment with complete responsibility for their own care and support needs. Community Services Our programs reflect the more traditional origins of the St Vincent de Paul Society, stemming from the work of our founder Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and working with the most disadvantaged and marginalised citizens in our community who present with complex issues that often require long-term strategies and involvement. The St Vincent de Paul Society has been managing government funded community programs for over 50 years. St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services continues this work with society’s most needy through numerous programs funded by the Victorian State Government’s Department of Human Services, through a three-year funding and service agreement. Additionally, St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services receives further assistance from the Federal Government to support

26 St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services

our disability employment service and a preemployment support service primarily targeted at homeless people. Historically our services have tended to focus on the north-western region of metropolitan Melbourne, growing out of locally identified needs within the community. We operate a range of accommodation and support initiatives for people who experience homelessness, providing help with issues such as general health concerns, drug and alcohol abuse, employment education and training options, and social exclusion and isolation. A famiily violence service in Shepparton and a disability employment service in Mornington reflect further diversity of our programs. Our Services One of the unique aspects of our services is the collaboration between the professional and volunteer arms of the organisation. St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services is fortunate to have the support of the St Vincent de Paul Society in advancing our services. We gratefully acknowledge the dedication and professionalism of our employees, and the commitment of our volunteers who consistently give generously of their time and energy, often making a real difference to our work and the quality of life of those we aim to assist.

Board of Directors St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services was incorporated on 1 August 2003 as a result of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s desire to ensure major government funded works are developed and run with service expertise and managed professionally. The Board of Directors is empowered with independent responsibility for the strategic direction and development of the organisation in accordance with the Mission and ethos of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Neil Brown*

Rob Allum

Adrian Cervetto

Bernie Geary OAM**

Gabrielle Levineθ

Pamela Macklin

Anne O’Shaughnessy

Allen Pretty

Peter Rigg

Tony Ryan

Syd Tutton

Doug Kent


Chief Executive Officer

* ** θ Φ ΦΦ

Neil Brown resigned 1 July 2005 Bernie Geary resigned 22 September 2004 Gabrielle Levine appointed 18 October 2004 Pamela Macklin assumed Chair 26 July 2005 Syd Tutton appointed 4 July 2005

A word of thanks It was with regret that St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services received the resignation of Neil Brown as Chairperson effective from 30 June 2005. Neil Brown has worked tirelessly for the organisation, particularly during the early formulative days when strong leadership was needed to work through complex issues. Commitment and passion do not do justice to how Neil applied himself to the role. He consulted widely, and drew on an intuitive knowledge of how to get the best from people; leading when leadership was required, and taking a step back when that was the appropriate. Neil has an excellent appreciation of a director’s responsibilities and executed them with foresight and diligence. It is undisputed that St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services owes much of its achievements over the past three years to the time and energy applied to the role by Neil. The Board of Directors congratulate Neil on these achievements and wish him all the best for the future.

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Pamela Macklin Chairperson St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services

Chairperson’s Report Change has very much been the theme for the organisation over the past 12 months.

In late 2004, the search for a new Chief Executive Officer commenced, culminating in the appointment of Dr Doug Kent in February 2005. Doug brings a broad range of senior management experience, particularly in change management and strategic planning, both of which will be critical to the development of St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services in the immediate future. A focus throughout the year has been the restructure of our aged care facilities. This has been both a rewarding and frustrating process for the Board. We remain committed to the aged care sector, and firmly believe our Mission obliges us to be an active participant in the sector and a strong and responsible advocate for the residents to whom we provide daily care. The following provides a summary of the five projects the Board has pursued during the year: 1. May Noonan Hostel – Terang In 2002 the Department of Health and Ageing allocated six additional bed licences to May Noonan Hostel, and on 30 June 2005 the new wing accommodating six additional bedrooms was officially opened by the local Federal Member, The Hon David Hawker MP. At an overall cost of $713,978 this represented a significant investment into the Terang community, and takes the total number of beds at May Noonan up to 40. 2. O’Mara House – Traralgon A 15-bed extension is currently underway at O’Mara House and is scheduled for completion in November 2005. The extension will house 11-bed licences allocated to O’Mara House in 2002. We are currently applying to the Department of Health and Ageing for an additional four licences for the remaining places. At this stage the project is progressing well both in terms of time and costs. The expected project cost is $1,506,323. 3. A New Facility – Geelong We are currently finalising the plans for the development of a new 91-bed facility in Hamlyn Heights, a suburb of Geelong, where we anticipate construction will commence in November 2005, with an expected completion date of September 2006.

28 St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services

This development will cost around $11 million and employ the most up-to-date design techniques to provide residents with optimum care and amenities. Residents at our two existing Geelong facilities, Vincentian House and Rosalie House, will relocate to Hamlyn Heights, and the Board will consider the future of these two sites over the coming year. 4. St Vincent de Paul Nursing Home – Box Hill The Board has proposed the development of a 60-bed extension to the existing 30-bed high-care facility. The development has been problematic due to the physical challenges presented by the site, and we are yet to finalise a viable plan. Cost penalties associated with the site, as well as design limitations the site imposes, have frustrated the Board’s efforts to advance the project. 5. St Anne’s Hostel – Westmeadows Town planning issues have presented major barriers to the progression of the Board’s proposed development of the existing 30-bed St Anne’s Hostel. The Roman Catholic Trust Corporation for the Archdiocese of Melbourne from whom we propose to lease the site, has been very supportive throughout the planning process, and we acknowledge its ongoing commitment in these endeavours. Improving the Quality of our Services Over the past year several initiatives have advanced our commitment to embedding a quality culture in the organisation. Across Aged Care Services a focus on the implementation of standardised systems and processes occurred, most significantly with the adoption of a single Quality Management System. We also standardised on a single laundry supplier where this was practical. In Community Services, draft Victorian Homelessness Assistance Standards are being developed by the Department of Human Services, setting out standards of good practice in service delivery in the homelessness assistance sector, covering all the elements that constitute high quality service for consumers in these services. The adoption of, and compliance with, these standards represents a significant challenge for the organisation in the coming year.

The Board recognises that much more work lies ahead in this area, but has been pleased with recent developments, including an employee opinion survey conducted in May and June. Addressing Financial Viability The Board has identified financial viability as a major challenge for the organisation. Past years have seen the organisation incur substantial operating deficits, softened somewhat by investment earnings. Our strategy of developing the aged care facilities into a viable economic size is critical to addressing this, but of course will come at the price of losing the accumulated investment funds that have been providing those investment earnings. Hence we are acutely aware that our services must operate efficiently in order to service the debt the organisation will take on as part of our commitment to aged care in Victoria. We know we operate in an industry where margins are tight. But we are confident our people, systems and processes are now well placed for this challenge, and growth will be an important keystone to meeting this challenge head on. Fostering Stakeholder Awareness of our Objectives and Needs The St Vincent de Paul Society has traditionally gone about its quite remarkable endeavours to assist society’s most needy citizens in a very quiet and unassuming way, seeking no recognition for the good work it does, content in the knowledge that a person’s dignity has been preserved, or suffering alleviated. In today’s world this approach, whilst commendable, places the organisation at risk as not-so-humble ‘competitors’ actively market their achievements and enthusiastically enumerate their success stories. Over the past 12 months the Board and Chief Executive Officer have actively worked on establishing relationships with key stakeholders, particularly funding bodies. We need to understand what their expectations are from us so strategic planning can prepare for shifts in policy emphasis. We also need to be telling them what our observations are from the ‘coal face.’

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Pursuit of Good Governance Just as the Board supports and encourages staff to adopt a continuous improvement mindset, so we do for ourselves as directors in the execution of our Boardroom responsibilities. Directors maintain an awareness of governance issues through technical based memberships and subscriptions, and have traditionally engaged specialist consultants to advise on governance matters of a specific and/or specialised nature. The Year Ahead 2004-2005 has been a significant year where the Board and Chief Executive Officer have worked to consolidate the organisation. In 2005-2006 we expect to see the fruits of this groundwork as the organisation moves into a position ready for growth and diversification. Strategic planning has commenced for the coming five years and, following a wide consultation process, will form the basis for this growth. We expect to see a blurring of the lines between Aged Care and Community Services. These two divisions have traditionally shared little common ground, but the Federal Government’s clear policy of supporting people to remain in their homes rather than enter aged care facilities, combines the skill sets from both divisions, as Community Services’ case management practices become important in the delivery of home-based care. St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services has been very fortunate to enjoy the support of a large number of volunteers who regularly give their time and energy to assist the disadvantaged in our care. Our volunteers are one of our biggest, and at times somewhat secret, assets. They are often what separate St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services from other service providers. In the coming year we expect to revitalise our volunteerism, particularly in our aged care facilities. The government’s shift to homebased care further links volunteers and professional care providers, as it is typically the volunteer who will already be engaged with the care recipient.

Aged Care Services It has been an exciting year for the aged care division of St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services. A year that has included growth and refurbishment in our facilities, success in applying for government training funds, the introduction of a new Continuous Improvement program and the appointment of a general manager for Aged Care.

The centralisation of Aged Care Services into one management structure is fostering discussion and collaboration amongst facility management and staff, and the identification of examples of best practice that can be shared across the division. Earlier this year we successfully applied for new government funding for training of staff working in the aged care industry. The Better Skills for Better Care program provides training in personal care, activities and leisure, assessment and training, and management skills. The training ensures our staff’s knowledge remains up-to-date in aged care best practice, and utilising a Train the Trainer approach, new staff will have the benefit of being supported by qualified, experienced teachers and mentors. With the introduction of specifically designed documentation in all sites, the process of assessments and identification of residents’ care needs has been streamlined. The Resident Classification Co-ordinator has supported staff to increase documentation skills, achieving a 31% increase in government funding in comparison to 2003-2004. We continue to grow and change, while maintaining our commitment to resident care. In Terang, the May Noonan Hostel opened six new resident rooms, purpose-built to allow residents to “Age in Place.” Previously residents with increased care needs were required to move to another facility when they became more frail, but with increased room space, ensuite bathrooms enabling wheelchair access and specialised lifting devices, local community members can feel secure in the knowledge that they truly can call May Noonan Hostel home even though they may become frailer. Our commitment to providing services in rural regions is further demonstrated by the building of 15 more rooms at O’Mara House in Traralgon, taking the facility to 64-beds. In a rural region the ability to remain near family and friends when a person can no longer live alone is of special significance. This is especially true for the seven members of the Smith family who have called O’Mara House home. On 28 August 2004 Wallace Richardson

30 St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services

Smith celebrated his 100th birthday. Over 100 guests packed into the activity room, abuzz with conversation about the old days. While watching TV recently and seeing London nominated for the Olympics, Mr Smith asked, “When are those Olympics?” When told 2012, he said, “Oh good, I will look forward to those”! Thanks to the energy and commitment of St Vincent de Paul Society’s Membership and Development Manager, Frances Warren, Bailly House in North Melbourne has introduced a music program for residents. Musicians devote their time, and provide several concerts a month with a variety of favourite styles. Residents actively participate in each performance, whether through singing, playing an instrument or movement. Two St Anne’s Hostel residents at Westmeadows are mastering computer technology through Computers in Hostels for the Aged Team program. A volunteer instructor provides the training, and one resident is now investigating his family tree. Another has researched the history of the Catholic church and is making prayer cards to give to others. The residents will soon be able to email their relatives and friends. Swift Electrical, a contractor for the hostel, donated various items to some of the residents who would otherwise be unable to afford them. The happiness this gesture achieved is a consistent reminder of our rewarding work. A resident, Alf, received a CD player and is now frequently seen dancing in his room! At the St Vincent de Paul Nursing Home in Box Hill, residents are considered important members of an extended ‘family,’ along with their families and friends. When Lorna Dyson turned 100 years old in February 2005, staff, volunteers and family members pitched in to give Lorna a birthday party to remember. In fact Lorna had two parties! A party was held involving her eight surviving children and many of her 80 descendants. On her actual birthday, she was helped to celebrate by her family, fellow residents and their families, staff, volunteers, and representatives from the Box Hill Parish, and Local and Federal governments. And there were cards aplenty: from the Queen, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Victorian Governor and Premier of Victoria!

In Geelong, plans for the new 91-bed facility are being finalised and construction is not far away. The development utilises the latest building designs to promote resident independence, privacy and dignity, as well as incorporating Environment Sustainability Design concepts. Recognising the importance of creating an intimate home-like environment, the plan promotes the development of integrated smaller communities within the overall facility. Three small ‘houses,’ each containing 30 bedrooms with its own private dining areas, laundries and activity areas, provide residents with the balance between privacy and companionship. The St Vincent de Paul Day Therapy Centre in Box Hill, co-located with the nursing home, continues to provide rehabilitation services to 90 elderly disabled clients per week. The majority of clients are community-based and are long-term due to the ‘slow stream’ nature of our service. It is a great source of satisfaction to see the improvements made by clients, particularly those who have had strokes and continue to show improvement for up to five years. The overwhelming theme from the Day Therapy Centre’s Client Satisfaction Survey this year was the ‘warm and caring atmosphere’ provided at the centre. The atmosphere is an integral component of the program, which provides clients with an environment where they can build their confidence to set goals and achieve them, supported by trained professionals. As the ageing population increases, the role of Aged Care remains focused on ensuring the needs of socially and financially disadvantaged people are met, while providing high quality care in home-like environments for all aged persons. As we move forward into another exciting year we recognise the contribution each staff member and volunteer has made to our organisation, and thank them for their continual commitment. We thank our residents and families for their faith in our level of care and for making the choice to join us.

31 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

Aged Care Facilities Facility


Bailly House

North Melbourne


May Noonan Hostel



St Vincent de Paul Nursing Home

Box Hill


O’Mara House



Rosalie House

Geelong North


St Anne’s Hostel



Vincenpaul Hostel

Mont Albert North


Vincentian House

Geelong West


No of Beds

59 334



Independent Living Units



Independent Living Units



Independent Living Units



Independent Living Units




No of Beds




Day Therapy Centre

Box Hill

Clients per week 90

Community Services Following the imperatives of the Strategic Plan, Community Services has focused on staff training and development throughout the year so better services to our clients can be offered.

An important focus has been on creating pathways between our services so that a better well-rounded response has been offered to our clients.

situations and/or poverty. It also assists with the development of their self-esteem, independence, and social skills within a group context.

Over 2% of our budget was allocated to staff development and training and, with further contributions from the Department of Human Services, the following has been achieved:

Quin House Quin House is a 10-bed supported accommodation facility for men recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. Seventy-four men participated in the program this year. Recent program developments include the provision of an experienced psychologist to facilitate group work around the gamut of issues that occur for men experiencing problematic alcohol and drug use. The service has developed a cooking and recreational program to improve living skills, while also fostering a greater sense of community. We have secured the voluntary services of the School of Natural Therapies to offer alternative treatment options.

• Eight managers and team leaders have completed a Diploma of Business (Front Line Management) • 12 staff have completed a Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs • Five staff completed Certificate IV Disability courses • 120 training sessions involving first aid, counselling skills, family therapy, addressing aggressive behaviour, etc Youth Support Services Youth Support Services provides short to mediumterm support to young people aged 15-25 years who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The service has consolidated its teams and all programs are now operating from Fitzroy. These programs provided services to 213 young people this year. Many of the young people who access Youth Support Services experience health issues as a result of their lifestyle or circumstances. They struggle financially, and have not yet had the opportunity to develop basic living skills. In an attempt to ameliorate some of these issues, Youth Support Services identified the need to develop a number of ancillary programs. Many of these programs work with the young people as a group. The Lunchtime Program has been developed to address some of the basic nutritional and meal preparation deficits that young people presented with. The Camping and Recreational Program operates throughout the year and is accessible to young people, whether attending school, unemployed, or homeless. It is designed to challenge those young people who live in urban areas to broaden their horizons through the discovery of new environments. It provides an opportunity for young people to enjoy some positive recreational activities they otherwise would not have due to difficult family 32 St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services

Personal Support Program – Ozlink This program aims to give clients time out from looking for work so they can focus on their own personal issues or problems. Over 75 long-term unemployed people have been assisted during the year through the Personal Support Program. The key focus of the program shifted from social to economic outcomes, with staff developing strong links with Job Network providers in the region, such as WISE Employment and Crosslinks. The program has also established links with specialist services such as Disability Employment Agencies and CRS Australia services. The Personal Support Program, in conjunction with the Community Development and Volunteer workers from Ozanam House, provided specialised employment training for Ozanam House residents. The training specifically focused on writing resumes, job application letters and interview practicals. Adult Outreach Program The Adult Outreach Program provides support to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and works with them to secure and maintain safe affordable housing. This year the team has provided support to over 846 homeless people. The team were actively involved in the Homeless Festival. Staff assisted in organising musical entertainment for the festival through the Ozanam Community Music Program and also volunteered

to set-up an information stall for the purpose of distributing brochures and information on Community Service programs to assist people in need. The festival was a huge success and provided staff with the opportunity to liaise with other housing and health providers. The Adult Outreach Program is actively involved in the Sustaining Tenancies at Holland Court and the Victoria Street Ascot Vale Program. In conjunction with the Salvation Army, Wombat, Tenants Union and Doutta Gala Community Connections Program, early intervention support to residents at both of these locations will be provided. Ozanam House Support Team The team case-managed 567 residents at Ozanam House during 2004-2005. A common assessment tool has been introduced for use by Adult Outreach, Ozanam House Support and the Homeless Drug Dependency Program, creating uniformity and reducing the need for multiple assessments to be undertaken. The assessment tool also incorporates an exit interview that tracks progress in the following areas: health, accommodation, social contacts, education and training, employment and financial status. Homeless Drug Dependency Program This program is a joint initiative with Flagstaff (Salvation Army) and Hanover Southbank to assist people with drug and alcohol addiction. A new initiative for the Homeless Drug Dependency Program is involvement in the Alcohol & Drug Parenting Support Service pilot which is managed by Kildonan Family Services. The pilot will provide specialised family support to Ozanam House clients. The program received funding for two additional workers located at Ozanam House to assist in the management of complex needs clients. The Psychological Assessment and Treatment in the Homeless Setting (PATHS) program accepts referrals for people who are experiencing significant emotional, behavioural, psychosocial and communication problems. The primary goal of the PATHS program is to initially fulfil an assessment/ diagnostic capacity, followed by ongoing clinical sessions with registered clients and secondary consultation for Ozanam House staff.

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Glenroy Housing Services This service manages 150 public housing properties and our Juvenile Justice Program targeting young people who are leaving Juvenile Justice Custody. During the year the Glenroy Housing Services has continued to develop quality responses to households experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, with over 7,000 people assisted. We consolidated the Housing Information and Referral team by including two workers at Ozanam House and the Ozanam Community Centre, thus enhancing the exchange of skills and ideas across all three sites. The Housing Information and Referral team has also continued to be very active in the Juvenile Justice pilot project, offering 642 episodes of care. Through early identification of potential housing issues likely to confront the young men and women on their release from the Juvenile Justice system, the program has worked assiduously towards ensuring that no young person’s release is held back due to lack of appropriate accommodation. The Tenancy Administration team has continued to prioritise system developments in support of their work, with over 42 support programs in provision of transitional housing to over 300 households. The Community Connections Program works with people living in low-cost accommodation who have complex support needs, by linking them into local services. The increase in demand for our services has also been experienced by the Community Connections Program staff who successfully assisted 169 highly marginalised households. The program team conducted a number of very successful community-based activities, including the Food for All Festival at Blue Gum Caravan Park and a newsletter for caravan park residents in the Hume Region, which has been very engaging and supported by service users and sector colleagues. Housing Services has also been a key participant in the implementation of the Victorian Homelessness Strategy in the northern region, and will continue to seek innovative opportunities to meet the immediate and longer-term housing needs of homeless and marginalised residents in our region.

Community Services Ozanam Community Centre The Ozanam Community Centre provides basic meals every weekday, a dental and medical service and numerous other programs, including vigorous intervention, support and advocacy for single women at risk of housing loss. The Ozanam Community Centre was successful in gaining a $10,000 grant from the City of Melbourne to establish a writers group for the homeless and marginalised population within the community. The group has been very productive and has prepared a high-profile launch of the group’s Anthology of Writings at the Melbourne Town Hall later this year. The Ozanam Community Centre will also launch its new look Music Program in August 2005 with the services of a musician and music therapist. Over 22,000 meals were served at the centre during the year, while over 100 people per day used the centre for showers, laundry, drop-in activities, or for professional services such as doctor, dentist, optometrist, counselling and nursing care. A grant from the Department of Human Services and a generous donation of $50,000 from the McGrath Family Foundation has allowed us to commence a major renovation of the kitchen and dining room at the centre in June 2005. Ozanam House Ozanam House provides short-term crisis accommodation for 63 homeless men. During the year Ozanam House has been building on the developmental and therapeutic programs for the 671 homeless men who are accommodated throughout the year. The new programs include the introduction of weekly meditation sessions, Communicating Without Anger workshops, and Everyday Spirituality sessions with Sr Toni Matha and the recently established St Francis Conference. Ongoing activities also include a weekly Acupuncture Clinic, Community Music Program and soccer matches. The establishment of the Ozanam House Rehabilitation Scholarship Trust program has provided resources and a great opportunity for residents to access and develop vocational and educational training options. Eleven residents have commenced short TAFE and industry-based training programs. 34 St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services

Additional resources have been secured through the Department of Human Services to secure two mental health clinicians to assist in the management of high prevalence disorders such as anxiety, depression and personality disorders amongst homeless people. The program, known as PATHS program, commenced in May 2005 and will be further complemented with the employment of an additional mental health clinician. Ozanam Catering Services The Ozanam Catering Services (staff and volunteers) served 19,772 meals at the Ozanam Community Centre and a further 2,372 takeaway meals on the weekends from Ozanam House. A further 61,183 meals were provided to the residents at Ozanam House. The team has recently started to cater for staff and local community functions. During the year 424 functions have been catered for. Marian Community Based in Shepparton, Marian Community manages four refuge properties for women experiencing family violence, which continues to be the biggest single issue impacting on women’s lives and is responsible for more ill health and premature death than any other factor. Marian Community continues to support women and children affected by violence. In the past year local parliamentarians have been lobbied to ensure family violence remains on the agenda until a reduction in family violence statistics is seen. During the year support was provided to more than 400 women and children who have experienced violence. Our service is supported in its work by the local St Vincent de Paul Society conferences, wood-turners, quilters, Country Womens’ Association members, and a host of other community minded individuals. Ozanam Enterprises Located in Mornington, Ozanam Enterprises provides supported employment for 60 people with disabilities. During the year the service has continued to provide employment and vocational training opportunities for people with disabilities with the aim of assisting them to achieve their full potential.

Apart from providing supported employment for people with a disability, the past year has been an extremely busy one, particularly in meeting the obligations of the Federal Government reform agenda for Disability Services. This has included: Quality Certification under the Disability Services Standards; the transition to Case Based Funding; and the introduction of productivity based wages for all employees with a disability. While there have been some very positive outcomes from these processes, the challenge for Ozanam Enterprises will be in ensuring that it can continue to operate as a viable and sustainable business. To this end, Ozanam Enterprises received funding through the Business Service Assistance Package to develop a comprehensive Business Development and Marketing Strategy Plan, which will be implemented in 2005-2006. Case Study: Ozanam Enterprises Score one for Lee Lee is an enthusiastic employee with a disability who has worked at Ozanam Enterprises for most of her adult working life. Several years ago, it was only natural that Lee offered her assistance in the annual football tipping competition for employees and staff. With training and support Lee was very capably maintaining the tipping book, not only helping employees to record their tips, but also tallying everyone’s scores each week. Last year Lee undertook a computer training program at Ozanam Enterprises which involved her entering the competition’s weekly updates. An important job with no margin for error, due to the 50 eagle-eyed participants ready to challenge the figures if they had been recorded incorrectly. This year Lee took another step forward and is now able, without further supervision or assistance, to access the computer file, record the changes, save the file and print off copies. Lee has never won the competition because of her sentimental tipping of Hawthorn each week.

35 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

Community Services Achievements 2004-2005 No.

Service description


People assisted with information & referral


People assisted with housing establishment


Men supported in post-detoxification accommodation


Meals served in crisis accommodation


Men supported in post-rehabilitation accommodation


Homeless men placed in crisis accommodation


Doctor visits


Men engaged in drug treatment program


Men supported in Drug Treatment Trial housing


Homeless men exiting hospital supported accommodation


Free meals served


Gold coin meals served


Men, women and children linked to other support services


Single women at risk of homelessness assisted


Adult men supported through outreach program


Male and female youth supported through outreach


Youth exiting prison placed and supported in housing


Episodes of general care for homeless


Volunteers involved


People with disability in supported employment


Dental appointments


Episodes of nursing care


Young men with very high needs supported intensively


Women and children escaping violence housed and supported


Long-term unemployed assisted in personal support program


Other support activities

Financial Statements Statement of Financial Performance for the year ended 30 June 2005

2005 $

2004 $

REVENUE Fundraising Government Grants Sale of Goods Other Income Proceeds on disposal of Fixed Assets

5,078,852 19,149,130 14,832,134 5,987,824 2,596,495

4,997,028 16,266,890 13,429,185 5,670,197 2,419,661




9,958,007 2,852,509

9,540,952 1,786,326







EXPENSES FROM OTHER ACTIVITIES Assistance Aged Care Services Homelessness & Housing Services Support Services Fundraising/Public Relations Administration

8,047,229 11,706,423 7,707,519 1,668,978 629,066 2,473,407

7,438,651 11,665,100 7,391,017 1,347,253 511,986 2,568,084









EXPENSES Cost of Sales Written down value of disposed/written-off fixed assets


In the opinion of the State Council the financial report as set out in the fully audited Financial Statements: 1. Presents a true and fair view of the financial position of St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc. as at 30 June 2005 and its performance for the year ended on that date in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards, mandatory professional reporting requirements and other authoritative pronouncements of the Australian Accounting Standards Boards. 2. At the date of this statement, there are reasonable grounds to believe that St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc. will be able to pay its debts as and when they fall due. This statement is made in accordance with a resolution of the State Council, and is signed for and on behalf of the State Council by:

Syd Tutton State President

Jim Grealish Treasurer 36 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Dated this 6th day of October 2005. Fully audited Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2005 are available upon request.

Financial Statements Statement of Financial Position for the year ended 30 June 2005

2005 $

2004 $

CURRENT ASSETS Cash assets Receivables Inventories Other financial assets Other assets

22,235,338 416,123 153,737 8,138,704 489,561

18,559,498 324,040 185,591 8,125,647 415,299




NON-CURRENT ASSETS Property, plant and equipment Other financial assets TOTAL NON-CURRENT ASSETS

51,245,804 – 51,245,804

51,650,635 – 51,650,635




1,382,804 – 3,007,525 9,738,967

880,194 77,148 3,101,557 9,390,780







CURRENT LIABILITIES Payables Interest bearing liabilities Provisions Other liabilities









EQUITY Reserves Retained earnings

32,403,596 35,483,012

34,560,596 30,724,715








37 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion


������ Thank you Thank you to all the individuals, churches, community groups, corporations, philanthropic trusts and volunteers who support the St Vincent de Paul Society each year. Your support is invaluable and makes a significant difference to the people we assist.

The St Vincent de Paul Society relies heavily on the generosity of the wider community to support vital programs and services for people in need. Thank you to all the thousands of individual donors who have given generously over the past 12 months. The Society recognises that people give in a variety of ways: their skills, their time, their prayers, gifts in kind, and monetary donations. We are very grateful to all who support the Society. Trusts and Foundations Bell Charitable Fund Collier Charitable Fund Grosvenor Settlement Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Ian Potter Foundation Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund McGrath Family Foundation Olive Woods Trust Percy Baxter Charitable Trust Pierce Armstrong Foundation The Danks Trust The R E Ross Trust The William Angliss (Victoria) Charitable Fund The William Buckland Foundation Business AGL Australian School Canteen Association BHP Biliton Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia Pty Ltd and staff Cevol Industries Pty Ltd Cistercian Property Association CitiPower and staff City of Yarra Fletcher Jones Australia Support Ford Motor Company of Australia and staff Geelong St Patrick’s Racing Club Infineum Australia Pty Ltd Kilmore Medical Centre Maximum Agencies Minter Ellison Lawyers Powercor Australia and staff Rocket Advertising School of Natural Therapies Swift Electrical The Portsea Hotel Victorian Mortgage Management Group

38 St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc.

Community Groups Country Womens’ Association Ladies Auxiliary (Terang) Lions Club of Terang and Districts Nexus Service Club Rotary Club of Camberwell In-Kind Donations AGL Australian Catholics Magazine Baker’s Delight Boscastle Hand Made Pastries Cevol Industries Pty Ltd City of Boroondara City of Whittlesea Coles Myer Ltd Collingwood Football Club SPC Ardmona Tasty Trucks Telstra The Wiggles Unibic Australia Pty Ltd Western Bulldogs Football Club Media Special thanks to all Victorian media outlets (newspapers, radio stations and television stations) for promoting the Society’s appeal advertisements free of charge.

Special thanks to the people associated with the St Vincent de Paul Society and St Vincent de Paul Aged Care & Community Services whose photographs feature throughout this Annual Report. Photographs are interspersed randomly and are not necessarily associated with the accompanying text.

How you can help You can help the St Vincent de Paul Society help others by: Volunteering your time If you are interested in becoming a member of a conference or volunteering your time to help people in any of the Society’s services, please call 03 9895 5800. Making a Bequest Please consider remembering the St Vincent de Paul Society in your Will. The Society is able to assist thousands of people because of the generosity of those who have remembered us in their Will. For an information booklet, or to speak to our Bequest Officer, please call the Society on 03 9895 5800. Making a financial donation Donations can be made by visiting our website at or calling 13 18 12. All donations of $2.00 or more are tax deductible. Donating goods Donations of quality clothing, furniture and household goods can be made at any Centres of Charity/Vinnies Shops. See page 23 for shop locations or call 1800 621 349.

39 Annual Report 2004-2005 | Love and Compassion

2004-2005 Annual Report  

The St Vincent de Paul Society's Annual Report for 2004-2005

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