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Make a difference

Windermere NEWS Young, homeless and a new mum Make change happen

Trek to end violence

CEO’s message

Building community harmony The simple act of bringing students together from different backgrounds is a powerful way to break down barriers. At every Building Harmony event we see both students and staff from different faith and cultural backgrounds build rapport and understanding. Around 150 grade 5 and 6 students, attended our first event of the year hosted by Maranatha Christian School on 26 March. We also welcomed students from Minaret College, St Brigid’s Primary School and Officer Primary School.

On behalf of the entire Windermere team I extend my sincerest thanks for your ongoing support for the work that we do. Windermere News is an important way for us to keep you informed of how your support helps. Each year we ask for help in many ways; fundraising, program supports, event participation and sponsorship. This newsletter is once again full of great stories of just some of our work and the support of you and others like you can make a difference. First of all you can read more about how young people from different cultural backgrounds are being given the chance to build lasting understanding and mutual respect for each other through our Building Harmony program opposite. This edition also includes our Kokoda trekkers, and their goal to end family violence. In October, a team of 27 people will fly to Papua New Guinea to complete the arduous 96 kilometre Kokoda Trek. The team are raising funds to assist us to provide prevention, early intervention and support services to families impacted by family violence. We are very fortunate to have the support of our Ambassador and AFL great Matthew ‘Richo’ Richardson, who will be leading the team. We thank them all for their commitment. You can read more about this story and how you can support the cause on page 6. You can also read more about our Mums & Bubs program on page 3. Strachan House provides safe housing for young mothers who need a base to establish independent living and self sufficiency, and it’s a real game changer. Last year we helped 14,837 children and their families reach their full potential. Our range of support services assist children to thrive or families get back on their feet after a crisis or trauma. We could not do this without your generous support. Thank you. Dr Lynette Buoy Chief Executive Officer PS. Please consider making a difference to a family trying to get back on track today. You can read more about how you can make a donation to our tax appeal on page 4. 2

On the day, students were mixed into teams and given various challenges to solve. We were excited to chat with Sam, a year 10 student, who was assisting on the day and participated in Building Harmony previously. “I really loved Building Harmony,” Sam remembers. “When you meet others you really do break that wall that’s built between you and build harmony with each other,” she says. We thank Pam Usher, Sunshine & Crocodile Fund Pty Ltd for continuing to support the program, which is designed to foster mutual respect and understanding between different cultures and faiths.

Feedback from Building Harmony “It’s really fun, I’ve learnt about different cultures and talked to people at other schools,” Caleb, Officer Primary. “I’ve got to see what’s different and what’s similar about others, it’s been a good experience,” Nejla, Minaret College. “It’s the obvious and not so obvious barriers that get broken down when students and staff get together and start to know each other.” Pam Usher, Sunshine & Crocodiles Fund Pty Ltd

How your support is helping For more information about how you can support these programs or to make a tax deductible donation: Please call 1300 946 337 or use the coupon on the back page.

Mums & Bubs

Young, homeless and a new mum

Thanks to your support, our Mums & Bubs program continues to provide a safe haven for young mothers and their babies who are homeless, and supports them in transitioning to secure, independent living. Our group home, Strachan House, has the capacity to accommodate four mothers and their babies at the one time and continues to operate at full capacity, since opening almost 12 months ago. The mums currently in the house have nearly completed a program which supports them to obtain and maintain

rental accommodation. “All mums continue to work toward their goal of obtaining a private rental and we are confident that some of our residents will soon be settled in their new private rentals,” says Sarah Truscott, Team Leader Homelessness Support Services. There have been some happy memories created in the house. In the last three months, the mums teamed up to go on outings to the local swimming pool and also held an Easter egg hunt for the children. Thank you for your continued support of this important program that makes a real and ongoing difference in the lives of young mothers and their babies.

Keeping kids on track Thanks to your support, our Kids on Track program continues to make a difference to young students’ lives. Kids on Track runs in partnership with Victoria Police. The program educates grade 5 students so they are able to make more informed social and life choices.

The eight week program covers topics such as violence, drugs and alcohol, mental health and cyber safety. “The program is currently in huge demand, with a waitlist,” said Rachel Clarke, Youth Project Officer. Last year, thanks to your support, we presented to over 360 students, across nine schools. Kids on Track has funding until the end of this year. To discuss how you can support the program into the future please contact 9705 3286

Feedback from our Kids on Track “I think it is a good program it’s helped me and my sister with going through a hard time.” Kananook Primary School students enjoy the popular Martial Arts Therapy session as part of our Kids on Track program.

Thank you!

“Honestly, I think learning about illegal things (was the most important thing to learn) if I hadn’t learnt it, I reckon I would have made some silly choices.”

We rely on our sponsors and supporters to provide additional support that allows us to respond quickly to community needs. So a huge, heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you who contributes so much.

We know we could not do what we do on our own, and we absolutely know that together we really do help create better lives.

Please accept our warmest thanks. 3

Children like Dylan and Sarah urgently need your help For many a safe home, nourishing food and a chance to thrive, is a given. But what happens to the children who live in crisis every day? Sadly, there are many desperate children who need our help…

Meet Dylan and Sarah…. Karen* and her two children, Dylan 7 and Sarah 4 were desperate. Fleeing a violent and controlling environment, they had left most of their belongings behind. The children were scared and traumatised. Karen was exhausted and struggling to pay for essentials like food and housing. Karen fled her violent home with the sole purpose of protecting her children. She used what little resources she had to escape with Dylan and Sarah, and move as far away as they could. Can you imagine how desperate Karen must have been to ask her children to leave their belongings behind? Despite Karen’s decision to flee, the trauma began to tell on the children. In particular, things got far worse for Dylan. He was extremely distressed, and would often lash out in anger and fear, harming himself and others. Then, to make matters worse, Karen’s mother passed away, leaving them without emotional support. Increasingly isolated, and facing the realisation she could not feed Dylan and Sarah, Karen reached out to Windermere for assistance.

Last year we supported nearly 15,000 people with services like trauma counselling, disability and therapy services, access to stable accommodation and financial support. 4

Will you make a contribution today and help children like Dylan have a better life?

With thanks to people like you, we were able to provide immediate assistance in the form of food vouchers and trauma counselling for Dylan. The family was also linked in to a range of counselling, accommodation and financial services.

“The kids feel much happier and we have a secure place to sleep at night. Dylan’s much calmer now and feels safer,� says Karen. The outlook for Dylan and Sarah is slowly improving. Both these young children and mum Karen, now enjoy a much more settled and stable routine. *Details have been changed to protect privacy.

$54 CAN: provide a fun day out, giving a family hope and happiness

$100 CAN:

$200 CAN:

provide a fleeing family with food for the week

allow long term counselling, family therapy and support for children like Dylan

Make a tax deductible donation to Windermere by 30 June, and together we can make a real difference to children like Dylan and Sarah.

How to Donate 1

Fill in the coupon on the back page and return to: Windermere Reply Paid 84615 Narre Warren VIC 3805


Online at


Call the Fundraising Team on 9705 3286


$30,000 $25,000 $20,000 $15,000 $10,000 $5,000

Donations received at the time of printing


Trek to end family violence The countdown is on for our Kokoda team who will be undertaking the challenging Kokoda Trek in October to raise funds to end family violence. The group of 27, which is led by Windermere Ambassdor and football great Matthew ‘Richo’ Richardson, have been busy preparing for the trip and fundraising. Their efforts will assist Windermere to provide crucial family violence intervention and prevention services, which will go to assist community members like mum, Carla. In 2012, Carla’s former fiancé, beat her with a sledgehammer and left her to die on her kitchen floor. Her terrified eight year old son didn’t know if his mother was still alive. But he saved her life by calling 000 and staying by her side until help arrived.

Thanks to our Windermere Kokoda Team Members

Matthew Richardson Craig Arnold Caroline Arnold Geoffrey Bainbridge William Bainbridge Ned Bainbridge Courtney Banks Simon Bennett Nathan Brown Bradley Byrnes Wayne Campbell Garry Conner

As a result Carla was left with long term injuries and lost her income. Windermere supported Carla to get back on her feet. “My case worker was always there when I needed her, giving me reassurance and much needed emotional support, to help my son and I as we moved through the darkest time of our lives,” says Carla.

Maree DeGeorge Tim Fleming Chris Geremia Pamela Goode

Carla and her son were safely housed and given financial support to meet the bills that come with everyday living. Her case workers also helped Carla with her victim impact statement and prepared her for court. In 2017 alone, every week we provided counselling services to over ten families who had experienced violence or sexual assault. We also supported over 400 family violence survivors, like Carla, with practical and financial support to enable them to keep safe.

David Greenstreet Rachel Hall Kylie Kimberley Paul Langdon Cameron McGlinchey Nicole Membrey Garrick Robinson


To support the fundraising efforts of the team in their #trektoendviolence go to or call our fundraising office on 9705 3286.

Daniel Shannon Nick Strachan Adam Strachan David Tocci

2018 Your support is a game changer Our annual Bounce of the Ball fundraiser was held at the MCG on the Tuesday eve of the premiership season to raise vital funds for our Mums & Bubs program. A big thanks to our expert panel who entertained us with their insights. We heard from Windermere Ambassador Matthew ‘Richo’ Richardson, Richmond AFLW Football Operations Manager Kate Sheahan and retired Essendon star Jobe Watson. The panel was facilitated by Channel 7/ ABC Grandstand Commentator and AFL Player Agent Nigel Carmody.

The day also included a red carpet entry to the MCG Member’s Dining Room and the AFL Premiership Cup. This year we were also entertained by musical duo Dean and Carruthers. Your contribution helped raise over $110,000 for our Mums & Bubs program, which provides secure housing for homeless young mothers and their babies. We heard from Mel, our homelessness support officer who explained how the program equips young mums with the parenting and life skills needed to build an independent future for themselves and their children. Congratulations to the silent auction winners Julian Freney-Mills and Rennie Di Maria.

A huge thank you to event sponsors Zagame’s Family Restaurants and Bendigo Private Banking Services. Your support really does make a difference. We could not run this event without your ongoing commitment.

Merry Mission brings ongoing joy Thanks to your overwhelming support, our Merry Mission Appeal allowed us to distribute over 1,600 presents to families in need last Christmas. Your incredible generosity made this our most successful Merry Mission to date, with over $36,000 raised to support our vital programs throughout the year. This allows us to support local families with services such as counselling, therapy and respite. Added to this, your support allowed us to also provide hampers containing essential food items to over 400 families.

The donated Christmas presents and food items provide much needed immediate assistance and festive joy to the families we help. We are humbled and grateful for the support of many new and ongoing donors for our Merry Mission. Your generous contribution makes a huge difference.

Footy Tipping Gurus! Proudly brought to you by

Congratulations to our footy tipping winners so far: Chris Simpson - Round 4 Geoff Webster & Sam Forte - Round 8 Our Footy Tipping competition is proudly supported by Zagame’s and funds raised go towards our Mums & Bubs program.


Going mad for a cause Recently we were delighted to accept an unexpected donation to support our Mums & Bubs program. A group of friends organised a Mad Hatters themed tea party with the aim of raising funds and collecting materials for our Mums and Bubs house. The donation has made a real difference to those we support. Chris, who dropped off the donation, is pictured here (right) with Belinda from our fundraising office.

Want to hold your own fundraising event? Contact the fundraising team on 9705 3286 or

Calling all golfers! This year, swing into action at the Windermere Classic: Monday 15th October 2018 Metropolitan Golf Club, Golf Road, Oakleigh South Celebrating its 25th year, don’t miss this exciting day which raises crucial funds for Windermere services.

25 Ye a r s

It’s almost time to tee off Register your interest today! Call the events team on 9705 3286 or email

We would like to acknowledge our valued supporters

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All donations $2 and over are tax deductible

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Donate online at or call 1300 946 337

Windermere News Issue 21 web  
Windermere News Issue 21 web