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A Victorian-first Multicultural Wellness Centre in Melbourne’s east is connecting seniors and combating social isolation. The Centre, run by non-profit organisation Villa Maria Catholic Homes, in Wantirna South has gone from strength to strength since it opened in 2016. It was the first Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)-specific, integrated, aged-focused wellness centre in the state.  
On 5 February, the centre’s most popular group, for Chinese seniors, will be a hub of activity as they bring in the Chinese New Year. Creating and hanging decorations, undertaking traditional customs and joining for the annual ‘Reunion Lunch’ are all part of the festivities.
Member organisation, Wellsprings for Women, provides a suite of programs designed in consultation with and in response to the needs of women in Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia, in Melbourne's southeast. There are a range of courses about to commence for 2019 including 'English for Driving Course', which starts 8 February, and runs over 9 weeks, and an Enterprising Creative Woman Program on Thursdays, commencing 7 February.

Warrnambool resident Gloria Smith, 85, hadn’t heard of a Home Care Package (HCP) before she secured one.
Like so many older Australians, Gloria feared declining health meant an inevitable move into aged care. Luckily, the local council referred Gloria and her partner of 29 years, Wallace McDonald, to non-profit organisation VMCH, which has supported them both with a HCP for more than a year. VMCH Case Manager Belinda Smith organises support for the couple with gardening, cleaning, home maintenance, personal alarms, meals on wheels and mobility aids to help them remain living independently at home.

Do you have 3 hours once a month to visit a prison to support the work of prison chaplains? 
Sister Mary O’Shannassy, from CatholicCare Prison Ministry would welcome Expressions of Interest from women and men who feel that they could make a difference by being a part of this Ministry. 

Expressions of interest are now open for the second round of Modelling Respect and Equality (MoRE), which will run in Melbourne commencing in early March 2019. MoRE was developed by Jesuit Social Services’ The Men’s Project, which recruits, trains and supports people who frequently interact and work with boys and men to promote positive attitudes, respectful relationships and gender equality. The attached brochure explains the program in more detail, including instructions on how to apply.
The Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS) have launched an initiative that will see their work in remote and regional Australia continue beyond the life of the religious community. The Sisters have set up Highways and Byways: A Community of Service, which will expand its reach across Australia, and take over the works of the John Wallis Foundation, which the MSS established in 2010 and named after the founder of the MSS, Fr John Wallis.
Highways and Byways is inviting grant applicants for projects that can make a difference in the lives of isolated, and often forgotten, Australians. More than $90,000 will be allocated in small grants to community programs in 2019. It is hoped that this figure will increase each year.
Eliska and her retired racing greyhound China are regular, friendly faces at St Catherine’s aged care in Balwyn. The secondary school student is one of more than 350 social visitors who make a real difference to the lives of older people in Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) aged care communities, particularly around Christmas when loneliness can be amplified.
A gathering from the deaf community and their families came from far and wide around Victoria to attend a special Christmas Mass Rally at the John Pierce Centre (JPC) in Armadale earlier this month. The occasion began with a morning Mass given in Auslan and spoken English by Fr. John Hill who is a member of the Redemptorist Missionary Order. Fr John has been chaplain at JPC since 2000 and throughout the duration of the Mass used his skills in sign language while the Homily was interpreted.
Sacred Heart Mission's Dine with the Champions is back! Join Sacred Heart for an unforgettable night on 28 February 2019, enjoy a delicious dinner, hear inside stories from sports greats and - most importantly - help raise $65,000 for its Kickstart Wellbeing and Activities Program. Tiffany Cherry, the leading sports broadcaster, presenter and producer will lead through the evening. Book your tickets now, here.
In a spirit of joy and celebration, a group of 28 pilgrims spent five days travelling through Tasmania recently to mark the commencement of the 75-year anniversary of the Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS). The pilgrims came from Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania and included 13 MSS and 15 friends and colleagues. The pilgrimage commenced in Launceston, at Calvary St Vincent’s Hospital, which is the site of the first ‘foundation house’ of the then Home Missionary Sisters Our Lady.

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