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The 2020 Knox Public Lecture will feature Sheree Limbrick, Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL) speaking on the topic 'Safe Church: Commitment, awareness and action for cultural change'. The free event will be held online on Thursday 5th November 2020, 7:00pm-8:30pm. Register here.

As we face the devastating impact of COVID-19 in Australia and its compounding effects on the most vulnerable within our communities, Catholic social services are called more than ever to be bearers of hope, to serve with courage and compassion, and to draw strength from our collective and collaborative approach to advocating for a more just and equitable society. More than ever we are called to being living signs of the Gospel, wherever we are, in the services and care we provide. A new book, Serving Communities with Courage and Compassion will be an invaluable tool to assist us in this mission.

More than 300 organisations, including Catholic Social Services Victoria and a number of our member organisations, have signed an open letter calling for a social housing construction boom, similar to that of the post-war era. The initiative has been led by the Everybody’s Home campaign, which is pushing for the Federal government to build 30,000 new homes in Australia in the next four years, not only to deliver families much needed secure housing but to also in a bid to create some 18,000 jobs.

Mental Health Week is a national week celebrated each year in October kicking off with World Mental Health Day on October 10. This year’s Mental Health Week theme is Strengthening Our Community – Live, Learn, Work, Play and we are continuing to aim at increasing mental wellbeing across Australia. With this in mind, and acknolwedging the Bishops' 2020 Social Justice Statement on mental health and wellbeing, Catholic Social Services Victoria, is pleased to facilitate a specialised online course for Victorian parishioners together with Neal Murphy, an accredited Mental Health First Aid trainer.

​On 20th September 2020 the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne celebrated Social Services Sunday where we recognised in a particular way the work of parish communities and the staff of Catholic social services agencies, who work so hard to care for those in need of practical expressions of God’s love and healing. "We are very limited as individuals in what rewards we can deliver for those who are suffering deeply. But as a community in the Church - the Body of Christ - we can do infinitely more," stated Fr Joe Caddy, Episcopal Vicar of Social Services, in his homily for this special Sunday.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day that aims to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented. In these difficult days of extended COVID-19 restrictions and the subsequent loss of jobs and housing security, the devastating impact of isolation and loneliness, more than ever the spotlight has been shone on mental health, reinforcing the importance of keeping this issue at the forefront of our concerns, and our advocacy work.

Catholic Social Services Victoria has released two reports, which outline the social service and infrastructure needs of rural and regional communities living in the Great South Coast and surrounds, and in Gippsland. Building on long standing engagement and recent consultation work conducted in the Warrnambool and Gippsland areas in 2019, the reports reflect the experience of people working in their local communities with individuals and groups who face isolation and disadvantage; circumstances that have been further exacerbated by the devastating impact of COVID-19, and the bushfires in Gippsland.

We're excited to release our 2019 Catholic Social Services Victoria Annual Report, which demonstrates the depth and breadth of the work and mission we undertake, together with our member organisations, the Bishops of Victoria, Catholic parish communities and agencies, our sector partners and government. Writing about the Annual Report in the recent June eNews, Executive Director Joshua Lourensz, writes: "When compiling all the work that went on throughout 2019, I was deeply impressed that so many people from across the member network and beyond came together to make all these events, advocacy and work happen — it is something to be celebrated.

The national Catholic social services conference, Serving Communities with Courage and Compassion, covered a range of topics that impact those working in the sector, and those we serve. There has been a range of articles that highlight different topics and speakers who presented at the conference.  
The bushfires we have seen over the past few weeks and months have been devastating. Catholic social service agencies are responding to both the short and longer term planning needs of communities across the country with many others. As a sector we also need to consider how we address the conditions that have given rise to such ferocious fires.

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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
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