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Every year on March 21, people all around the world celebrate the lives and achievements of people with Down Syndrome. About one in every 1,100 babies are born with Down Syndrome in Australia each year. Supportive families and communities play a big role in helping people with Down syndrome lead happy and fulfilling lives. Member organisation Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) is proud to provide support and services to help people with Down syndrome achieve their goals.
March 16-24 is Cultural Diversity Week, Victoria’s largest multicultural celebration and a chance to raise awareness about issues of importance among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.
When Yin Chen and his wife migrated to Australia in 1999, they assumed family ties were all the housing security they needed. A few years later, a relationship breakdown with the couple’s son and daughter-in-law saw the pensioners facing the prospect of homelessness. Luckily, support through not for profit organisation Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) and the Assistance with Care and Housing (ACH) Program meant the Chens were able to secure permanent, affordable housing in Hawthorn East, where they’ve lived for the past eight years.
Sacred Heart Mission's GreenLight Program and Partnership Manager Annie and her colleagues have spent the past few weeks getting ready to assist people sleeping rough in inner Melbourne through Sacred Heart's innovative GreenLight Supportive Housing program, which it is providing in partnership with VincentCare and The Salvation Army - Victoria. The team of case managers, mental health clinicians and peer support settlement workers will be helping people experiencing chronic homelessness stay in their houses, recover and reconnect with the community- important and proven steps to help people stay in their home.
Join Jesuit Social Services for an evening of entertainment and celebration of a shared desire to build a just society at its Annual Dinner on Saturday 16 March at the MCG Members Dining Room. Liana Buchanan, Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People is this year’s guest speaker delivering the annual Frank Costigan QC Address. Tickets are on sale now. Book here.
The team at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand continues its important work of advocating on behalf of vulnerable women in our community. Its CEO appeared before the ParentsNext Senate Inquiry hearing in Melbourne recently arguing this pre-employment program is out of step with mothers and the labour market. Good Shepherd also co-hosted the Second National Summit on Dowry Abuse in Sydney.
Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) members from across Australia gathered in Sydney recently for their annual Conference. The theme for the 2019 conference was Human Face, Human Impact, Human Stories. ACRATH President, Sr Noelene Simmons, presented the ACRATH Annual Report assisted by the National Executive Officer and Regional Coordinators who provided snapshots of some of ACRATH's projects.
Wodonga resident Mikaela Reid was just eight years old when she became a carer. Her father has a mental illness and two brothers and sister live with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety. Mikaela was supported by our member organisation Villa Maria Catholic Homes for more than five years. Now aged 20, she’s giving back to the program that helped her though the toughest time of her life by volunteering as a mentor in its Young Carer Mentor Program (YCMP).
Villa Maria Catholic Homes are in need of more volunteer mentors in Wodonga, Wangaratta, Shepparton, Benalla and surrounds. If you can help, call Marion Rak on (03) 5722 9046. 
GriefLine is one of our valuable member organisations. Throughout 2019 it has a range of initiatives to encourage people to get involved with its important work. Many details can be found in its February 2019 newsletter.

For many years Palm Sunday has been marked by a Walk for Justice for Refugees. In light of the coming federal election, we think it is more important than ever to have a large showing from across the community at this walk to support justice.

On Ash Wednesday, 6 March, MacKillop Family Services is running a special fundraiser where any donation made on the day will have 4 x the impact! Paws4Kids aims to raise $200,000 to introduce 500 young people to dogs that are trained to support young people who have experienced trauma.

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Catholic Social Services Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the Communities where we work. Click for our Reconciliation Vision
Cardinal Knox Centre. 383 Albert Street (PO Box 146), East Melbourne Vic 3002
Tel: (03) 9287 5566 Fax: (03) 9287 5567 Email: office@css.org.au
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