MONEY raised for UnitingCare’s Pancake Day are beginning to trickle in with over $47,000 already pledged for people living in crisis.
Financial services AMP were just one of many local businesses that held a Pancake Day event in February in a bid to get behind the cause.
Staff arrived at work bright and early just to secure a plate full of delicious pancakes in a variety of flavours.
UCVT Senior Manager Marie Howard met with AMP Capital Tony Ridge last week who kindly handed over a cheque for almost $2,500.
Local churches and schools from all over Victoria and Tasmania also got behind the annual event. Over 140 Uniting Church congregations held an event in their local community to raise money for people living in crisis including those suffering from homelessness, domestic violence, addictions or financial hardship.
Although the funds are still pouring in, St Leonards Uniting Church beat their personal best after raising over $1600 at their event. Then additional donations from congregation members saw their tally shoot up to over $2000.
While Leopold Uniting Church helped raise over $1500 for UnitingCare Geelong who support local disadvantaged families.
Leopold Uniting Church Pancake Day Coordinator Ken Flavell said congregational members and community volunteers cooked pancakes at Leopold Primary School.
It’s the fourth year the church catered for nearly 800 children, together with parents, grandparents and school staff along with a few other interested residents.
“By 8.30am it’s all action, Ken said.
“Trays of pancakes being rushed from BBQ’s to serving tables, plates being loaded at a great rate and topping distributors fulfilling the requests to lots of happy faces. Not one person missed out on a pancake – the cheerful, delighted, appreciative faces of so many were the best donations.
Ken said Leopold Uniting Church members are only too happy to roll up their sleeves and participate in Pancake Day.
“We want our church to be out there producing a positive and welcoming presence in the community,” he said.
“We were joined on the day by East Geelong UCA members for a combined morning service and so it followed quite naturally that pancakes were available at lunch time. It was a happy and relaxed atmosphere. No time restraints like we experienced at the school environment, but the donation box was well supported.”
Since 2002, millions of pancakes have been flipped and sold to raise much-needed funds for UnitingCare agencies. Last year over $80,000 was raised as a result of Victorians and Tasmanians cooking up a pancake storm.
LIFELINE has launched an online campaign seeking one million signatures calling on the Federal Government to double funding for suicide prevention.
The petition follows the release of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showing that 2864 people– almost eight people per day – took their own lives in 2014. This is an increase of almost 13.5 per cent from 2013.
Wesley Mission Victoria CEO Paul Linossier called on Victoria to get behind the campaign, highlighting the importance of a whole-of-community approach to suicide prevention. Wesley Mission Victoria operates the Lifeline Melbourne service.
“We were surprised and saddened to learn that the suicide rate increased almost 13.5 per cent in 2014, especially considering the amount of suicide prevention work by Lifeline and other agencies,” Mr Linossier said.
“Talking about suicide is one of the key steps to reducing deaths by suicide and we need more resources to give the whole community the confidence to have that conversation.”
Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel said it is time for the Federal Government to acknowledge the growing national suicide emergency and provide adequate funding to support lifesaving services, research and initiatives taking place.
“We know the profound impact that suicide can have on individuals, families, friends and whole communities,” Mr Shmigel said. “In seeking a million signatures through this campaign, we want to empower everyday Australians to join together and take important steps towards the goal of stopping suicides.
“The number of deaths by suicide is more than double the road toll, yet government funding for road safety is double that for suicide prevention. Furthermore, while we have seen a 25 per cent decrease in the number of motor vehicle deaths over the past 10 years, the number of suicides has increased significantly in this time.
“By sharing Lifeline’s online petition via social media or email, we have the opportunity to create a groundswell of support to show the government that we, as a community, care about this issue. We do not accept this needless loss of life and we want to do something about it.”
Mr Shmigel said that while Lifeline will receive more than a million calls to its 13 11 14 crisis line this year, the national charity does not have the resources to answer every call immediately.
“We are disappointed and heartbroken when someone has to wait for extended periods as a result of our lack of resources, but my message to those people is to please hang on the line or try calling again later – you will get through. We greatly value the community’s support so we can answer every call at all times of day all year long.”
To sign Lifeline’s petition, visit prevent-suicide.lifeline.org.au/sign
Name: Rebecca (Bec) Young
Role: Share’s Database and Administration Coordinator
Time working with Share: I started in June 2015
Favourite TV program: I love watching reality TV shows (sad but true). But l think if l had to name one, it’s The Big Bang Theory, l love Sheldon.
Favourite movie: There are many, but my favourites would have to be Two Weeks Notice with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant which I have watched so many times that I repeat the lines in the movie and Shawshank Redemption.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Shopping with my daughter Kirsten, eating, spending time with friends, oh who am I kidding. I love watching/going to sporting matches such as Football, Tennis and more recently the NRL.
If you could have any five people over for dinner, who would you invite? I would love to have dinner with my father. He died when l was only 20, so l never really got a chance to know him as an adult. Ron Barassi, Denzel Washington, Barrack Obama and Sandra Bullock.
Favourite travel destination: I have never really travelled, so I would have to say exploring my own city, although l do love Sydney.
Where have you travelled recently? Travel is definitely on my list of things to do.
What do you like the most about working at Share? The people, everyone has been so welcoming since l started, l feel like l have always been here. It is a really loving feeling.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Quirky, fun and passionate.
GERRY Mak will complete his six-month secondment as Project Director UnitingCare Network Project on April 13. In coming weeks he will return to UnitingCare LifeAssist as its Chief Executive Officer.
The Project Control Group is currently advertising for a Transition and Integration Manager, to lead a transition team within the new structure and continuing through handover to the new Agency Board.
Applications for the position, a fixed-term role of 18 months, close on April 17.
A copy of the advertisement can be found at here.
The PCG understands it is important to ensure the current momentum is maintained and we hope to fill this position promptly.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Gerry for his substantial contribution in leading the Project Team over the last six months and wish him well as he returns to his former position. His work has been greatly appreciated.
UNITINGCARE Tasmania and the Brighton Council, in the state’s south, have joined forces to educate struggling families on the nutritional benefits of fresh food as well as help them develop the skills to grow their own produce.
The innovative partnership – which is also supported by a six-month Work for the Dole project – will see community gardens developed on council land adjacent to UnitingCare’s facilities at Old Beach and Gagebrook.
Work for the Dole participants are undertaking the initial planting, with fruit trees and vegetable patches taking shape at Old Beach before they move onto Gagebrook.
Once up and running, community members can participate in the program. It will supplement the fresh food currently available through the agency’s emergency food relief program, which is supported by Second Bite. Second Bite redistributes surplus fresh food from businesses to community food programs throughout Australia.
UnitingCare Tasmania CEO Lindy O’Neill said she was excited by the prospect of seeing local residents getting their hands dirty by growing their own food and having the opportunity to learn how to prepare it.
“Many of the people we work with not only do not know how to grow food but have never leant how to prepare it,” Ms O’Neill said.
“Fresh food is important in the diet of young people for things such as brain development and, early in life, fresh food can give children the best chance at a fulfilling future.”
Ms O’Neill said another benefit was the therapeutic value associated with gardening, as well as the opportunity for families to work together on their own patch.
The project would also provide valuable skills for the Work for the Dole participants as they prepare themselves for the workforce.
Ms O’Neill said UnitingCare Tasmania and the council had developed a long standing relationship over the last two decades aimed at supporting struggling families in the region.
“The council is committed to assisting us to further develop our services and programs in the region.”
Brighton Mayor Tony Foster said the council was excited by the potential of the initiative.
“Council has built a strong relationship with UnitingCare over the years and we’re very happy to be able to support this latest project,’’ he said.
“Hopefully such skills get taken back to the gardens at people’s homes.
“As well as all the other benefits, the gardens will improve the amenity of a local area.’’
DOES your UnitingCare agency provide pastoral care? Are you wishing to enhance your practice and identity as a pastoral carer?
Uniting CPE – The John Paver Centre, auspiced by the Commission for Mission, is offering a program of supervised pastoral education for up to 6 people.
The program is designed for people involved in a range of community-based settings.
The part-time program, accredited by the Association for Supervised Pastoral Education in Australia (ASPEA), runs from August 4 to November 30.
It is open to people in either paid or voluntary positions, and applications close on 3 June.
For further details or inquiries contact the Director, Andy Calder, on (03) 9251 5489 or email email@example.com
DURING 2012 to 2015 over 187,000 people sought help from specialist homelessness services because of domestic and family violence, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
In 2014, Victoria Police responded to 68,000 incidents of family violence which equates to one every 8 minutes. More shockingly, of those 68,000 incidents, there were nearly 44,000 children present.
How do we address family violence? What role do community organisations and statutory bodies play in dealing with family violence? Can we eradicate family violence?
The 2016 Connections UnitingCare Conference: Making Lives Better – Improving Life Outcomes for Vulnerable Children and Families will bring together a panel of experts to discuss family violence and the role their organisation plays in eradicating it. Delegates will be provided with an opportunity to address questions to members on the panel.
The panel includes:
> Dean McWhirter – Assistant Commissioner Family Violence Command, Victoria Police
> Paul Nixon – Chief Social Worker, Child Youth and Family Services New Zealand
> Lesley Fleming – Magistrate, Children’s Court Victoria
> Kate Hawkins – Supervising Magistrate, Family Violence Court Victoria
> Jim Allen – Program Manager, Family and Community Services, Anglicare Eastern
> Dr Lyndal Bugeja – Project Manager, Coroners Court of Victoria
Are you interested in finding out more about the latest interventions, research and tools that can contribute to your knowledge of how to make the lives of vulnerable children and families better?
The Connections UnitingCare Conference will explore how we build services around clients in a changing, complex world.
With keynote speakers from around the world, the conference will cover topics including cultural responsiveness and awareness, early intervention, measuring change in the context of challenge and workforce development. It will highlight best practice and empower you and your staff to work more effectively with clients presenting with complex needs.
When: May 25 – 26 2016.
Where: Rydges Melbourne, 186 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Registration: Early bird rate of $595 (early bird offer ends May 12016).
We are pleased to offer members of the Uniting Church and UnitingCare network a 10% discount off the conference fee. Simply use the code ‘UC10’ when registering.
To learn more or to register your attendance visit connections.org.au/conference