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The Good Samaritan Inn has just finished some much needed building renovations! They now have a revised kitchen to offer further safety for children and families accessing the communal crisis accommodation. And along with the kitchen, bathrooms have been renovated including a disability friendly bathroom, allowing greater access for clients with mobility issues to access our service. A security fence has also been built around the parameters of the property to ensure greater safety and security for clients staying at the Inn.

ACRATH begins the 16 Days campaign on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and it concludes on 10th December, International Human Rights Day. Human trafficking is one of the greatest examples of violence against women and girls.  Human trafficking is a $150 billion global industry – and growing. Millions of women and girls are forced to work in terrible conditions for little pay and no chance of an education and many are forced to marry.  To assist communities, workplaces, parishes and schools to take part in the 16 Days Campaign ACRATH has stories to tell and events to attend.

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand has had the incredible opportunity to be a part of its first collaborative project with Good Shepherd Asia Pacific. Good Shepherd came together to develop a regional campaign for UNICEF’s International Day of the Girl Child, which was marked on Sunday 11th October, and which aims to promote girls’ empowerment and fulfilment of their human rights. To officially launch the campaign, Good Shepherd conducted a live stream on the 11th October, which featured a panel discussion with girls from Asia Pacific who spoke about child marriage, online child exploitation, migration, and access to education; all common issues faced by girls in the Asia Pacific region.

Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project October newsletter is out now. The newsletter is packed with information related to the need for ‘cultural change’ in Australia in order to ‘meet the other’ and to truly embrace supporting our refugee and asylum seeking brothers and sisters; jobs for asylum seekers in rural Australia; where do donations to BASP go? What difference did the Budget make to people seeking asylum and refugees? and much more. Read the newsletter here.

During this increased time at home, many of us may be spending this time cleaning out and re-organising our homes with the intention of and preparing to donate some of the items that are no longer needed or used. Edmund Rice Camps Victoria would love you to think of them, particularly if you have things like sleeping mats and inflatable mattresses, complete tents, large storage containers, coloured fabric, bikes, helmets, paints and brushes. They'll be on hand to come and collect when safe to do so!

Inspired by Get Active Victoria, Wellsprings for Women is offering fun exercise activities to help keep its community members moving and staying healthy. It’s Ageless Grace session is free and held twice a week on Tuesday and Thursdays via Zoom from 9:00am - 9:45am. Wellsprings is also hosting a Resume Writing, Job-Interview Skills and Personal development course from 13th October - 10 November 2020, every Tuesday from 11am - 2:00pm. 

Normally at this time of year, St Mary’s House of Welcome is busy organising its ‘Degustation for Dignity’ annual fundraising gala event to help people sleeping rough and experiencing chronic homelessness. Sadly, COVID-19 and physical distancing has put a stop to that for this year. Far from being defeated, St Mary’s has created something new — ‘De-frustration for Dignity’, to be held on Friday 30th October, 7:00pm - 8:30pm. Cost is $220 for two people (includes premium grazing hamper for two, full of beautiful Victorian wine and produce; exclusive access to an online wine Masterclass hosted by renowned wine writer, Max Allen, tasting notes, access to an online silent auction, and more.

Powerless. Distressed. Sad. Anxious. Uncertain. We are all growing weary of restrictions, lockdowns and safety precautions. This is especially true for those who live across VMCH's aged care residences. Helping them to navigate their emotions and maintain their faith at this difficult time is the role of dedicated pastoral care practitioners. Sr. Kate Mannes, Pastoral Care Practitioner at VMCH Bundoora Aged Care Residence says residents’ feelings are swinging in multiple directions at the moment. 
Wellsprings for Women is hosting a couple of online courses over coming weeks, as well as a series for women to help build connection. The first is for resume writing and job interviewing skills, taking place every Wednesday, from 19th August to 16 September, 11am-1pm. The second course is on 'Making Australia Home', which is every Tuesday, 11am - 12:30pm, with the next one taking place on Tuesday 18th August, to 15th September 2020. The 'At the Well' series for women is being held on Thursdays, starting 20 August. For more information, email indri@wellspringsforwomen.com or phone (03) 9701 3740.
Life in isolation is difficult for all of us. Being physically separated from the people we love is heartbreaking. We hear a lot about older people in aged care and how they’re coping, but how are people in other support services faring? Member organisation VMCH provides 14 Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) homes across Melbourne for adults with disabilities who can live independently, with some support. 

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