May 2018
Update from Catholic Social Service Victoria

We are called to be servants of those in need
Annual General Meetings are not always exciting, but they can be valuable gatherings around common interests.  Our AGM on 30 April was fruitful on a number of fronts. It enabled the election of Council members, including Netty Horton from CatholicCare joining for the first time; and it included a challenging forum on housing and homelessness.

Executive Director Denis Fitzgerald reflected during the meeting that Catholic Social Services Victoria is built on the premise that, working together, the many arms of Catholic social services can contribute more to the wellbeing of society than they can when they work by themselves.  We are called to serve those on the margins, and to advance this as core business for all of society, including the Church and governments.

And our annual report includes a focus on Victoria's regional Dioceses - Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst.  These are also featured in articles below.
Contribution of Catholic social services 
A recent report quantifies the contribution made by Catholic social services - 17,600 volunteers, 6,800 staff contributing to more than more than 200,00 clients in services ranging from alcohol treatment, crisis housing, Indigenous ministry and prison ministry, to the protection of women and children escaping family violence.
Budget welcomed, but there's a long way to go
The 2018-19 Victorian budget delivered provides something for nearly everyone: it focuses on training and skills development, and some contribution to most areas of social need.
However, a fundamental challenge remains: to see as core business addressing the needs of those on the margins.
People who are homeless face many challenges
People experiencing short and long-term homelessness face increasing challenges according to an expert panel that addressed the recent Annual General Meeting of Catholic Social Services Victoria. Increased awareness and continued advocacy are key elements of an effective response to this situation.
A focus on Catholic social services in Victoria's regional Dioceses
Catholic Social Services in the Ballarat Diocese 
Ballarat Diocese, led by Bishop Paul Bird CSsR, takes in all of western Victoria and includes a number of regions which experience regional disadvantage including higher than state average unemployment, increased youth unemployment, lower education levels and have a higher labour workforce. Centacare, Catholic Diocese of Ballarat is the lead social services provider for the diocese. Read more...
Catholic Social Services Sale Diocese
Sale Diocese extends along Victoria's south east and is led by Bishop Patrick O'Regan. Gippsland's economy, which is underpinned by agriculture, mining and electricity production, oil production and a growing tourism sector. Catholic Care Gippsland, part of the broader CatholicCare for Greater Melbourne/ Geelong/Gippsland, is the lead service provider. Read more...
Catholic social services Sandhurst Diocese
Located in the north of Victoria and led by Bishop Leslie Tomlinson, parts of the Sandhurst Diocese are among the most disadvantaged areas in the state. CatholicCare Sandhurst is the lead service provider of the Diocese of Sandhurst and delivers an extensive range of social welfare and outreach services across the region.
A Fair Day's Pay - for the dignity of the worker
For the Feast of St Joseph the Worker on 1 May, the Chairman of Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, Bishop Vincent Long OFMConv is calling for an urgent increase in minimum wages and the Newstart Allowance. Australia is facing a wage crisis, Bishop Long writes in his pastoral letter, A Fair Day's Pay - for the dignity of the worker and good of all. Read the full pastoral letter, here.
Miriam Rose Ungunmerr on daddiri & slowing down
Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr, Aboriginal elder and educator from Nauiyu, Northern Territory, was a presenter at the recent national Catholic social services conference, Hearing Healing Hope. During the ecological forum, Miriam broke open the concept of daddiri - what it offers to non-Aboriginal people, and why it's more important than ever to pay attention to the natural world. Read more and listen to the audio interview here.
Wungurilwil Gapgapduir Aboriginal Children and Families Agreement

On 26 April, Wungurilwil Gapgapduir - the name given to the new Aboriginal Children and Families Agreement Strategic Action Plan, which is a partnership between the Victorian Government, Victorian Aboriginal communities and the child and family services sector - was launched at Parliament House in Melbourne. Read more...

Walking on the land with Catholic Social Teaching - 16 May
Together with Edmund Rice Ministries and Presentation Sisters, we are hosting a practical experience of applying the principles of Catholic Social Teaching to promote the flourishing of creation and the building of a more just and compassionate society, with a guided Justice Walk through Melbourne Central Business District on Wednesday 16 May, 9.30am-4.30pm. Read more and download flyer…
Ministry on the Margins with Anthony Gittins - 21 May
Together with Catholic Mission, we invite you to a day of reflection on our spiritual roots and our service to those on the margins with renowned author and speaker, Rev. Prof. Anthony Gittins CSSp, Professor Emertius of Theology and Culture at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, on Monday 21 May, 10.30 - 3.00pm in East Melbourne. This reflection is recommended for practitioners and leaders working in the service of the Gospel. Click here for more details and bookings. 
The call to be catalysts of the new Church in a new society
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv and renowned Australian broadcaster and journalist Geraldine Doogue urged those working in Catholic social services to hold the Church to account for the core of its mission - to care for the least of our sisters and brothers during the 2018 Ozanam Conversation hosted by the St Vincent de Paul Society.
John Pierce Centre's Ephpheta Appeal
John Pierce Centre's Ephpheta (meaning 'be open') appeal hopes to raise $50,000 to maintain its commitment to supporting Deaf people in pastoral care, life skills, counseling, grief and loss sharing and funeral planning. In 2018, JPC urgently needs an additional $7,000 for new audio visual equipment and a projector: Read more and donate...
The JPC is also seeking a new part-time Strategic Implementation Coordinator for their Prahran office. Read more...
Young Carer Mentor Program a lifeline for Kids
On the surface, Xavier Bulger is your typical 12-year-old.  The Mooroopna local loves fishing, cars, motorbikes, and is adjusting to life at high school. But look closer and you’ll see Xavier is dealing with issues far beyond his 12 years.  Xavier’s mum, Kristie, has terminal cancer.  Since her diagnosis three years ago, he’s acted as her carer; helping out around the house when she’s too sick from chemo.  Read more...
Feed Fitzroy Trivia Fundraiser - 18 May
St Mary's House of Welcome is hosting its annual Feed Fitzroy Trivia Night on Friday 18 May at St Brigid's Hall, 378 Nicholson Street, North Fitzroy from 6pm (for 7pm start).  Enjoy an evening of good food, good friends and good times while raising money for its important work in assisting some of the most vulnerable members of the community.
Feed Fitzroy Trivia Fundraiser - 7 June
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand is hosting a conversation on forced marriage, slavery and family violence on Thursday 7 June, from 5.30pm-7.30pm, at Melbourne Town Hall (90-130 Swanston Street). The evening will begin with a keynote presentation by human rights champion Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, followed by a panel discussion on the link between forced marriage, slavery and family violence with leaders in policy and practice. Book your tickets here.

Catholic Social Services Victoria
383 Albert St, East Melbourne Victoria 3002,, tel 9287 5566

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Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne · 383 Albert St, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia · East Melbourne, VIC 3002 · Australia