Uniting established as new community service agency in Victoria and Tasmania

Uniting is the new community services organisation to be formed from 21 UnitingCare agencies and Wesley Mission Victoria.

Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) Limited was established and governance for all 22 agencies was unified under a single Board on 3 October 2016.

This is an exciting first step in moving from a network of separate agencies to a single organisation.

An experienced, skills based team will lead the design and build of the emerging organisation. The Uniting Board will be chaired by former Victorian Health Minister Bronwyn Pike. Paul Linossier, previously the CEO of Wesley Mission Victoria, is the inaugural Chief Executive Officer. Mr Linossier has more than three decades experience in leading organisational change and systems reform while maintaining a strong commitment to marginalised and vulnerable people.

The founding agencies to Uniting have a rich history of care, support and community partnerships. Mr Linossier said. “Together we can do more. We will have a stronger advocacy voice and we will have access to broader resources and skills to meet clients’ needs. This change provides the best opportunity for us to continue our important work in the community for many years to come.”

The move to the single organisation has just started. Each agency will continue the same quality services, with the same dedicated staff and commitment to care while work to shape the new organisation progresses. The merger is expected to be complete by mid-2017.

Uniting will be one of the largest community service providers operating in Victoria and Tasmania.

Uniting is all about working together to inspire people, enliven communities and confront injustice.” Mr Linossier said. “We are Uniting to have greater impact.

Released: Connections News - Spring Edition

The Connections News, Spring Edition is now available.

It is core to our philosophy that we are absolutely committed to preventing violence against women, and consequently, children.  

As a community service organisation with a strong reputation in the community, we can use our status and our influence to enter into public conversations about preventing violence against women and support a workplace where we have conversations about gender equality.

It is with this in mind, we are thrilled to be one of four organisations, and the only community organisation piloting an exciting new project with Our Watch. The Workplace Equality and Respect Project was launched on Wednesday 24 August 2016 by Fiona Richardson, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Minister for Women.  

I encourage you to read more about this important initiative in our newsletter.  

I also want to extend a very warm invitation to you to attend the 30th Annual WJ Craig Lecture and the Presentation of the 2016 Anti-Poverty Awards. This year we are delighted to have Seri Renkin, CEO of the ten20 Foundation delivering what we think will be a powerful lecture.  

If you haven't already, may I also encourage you to read about the work of the talented young people and schools who have been nominated for the 2016 Anti-Poverty Awards.  

Each year, I am moved by the motivation and commitment of the young people who apply. Through their actions, whether they are working in communities in Australia or overseas, they have taken up the challenge of making a difference and are working toward the common good.

Once again, I thank you for your support and hope you continue to be inspired by our work in your local community.

If you would like to receive the newsletter each season, please register here.

Click here to read Connections News – Spring Edition.

Thank you for your continued support of our work.

With best wishes,
 
Angela Forbes
Chief Executive Officer

Leading the way in workplace equality

Connections UnitingCare has been selected to take part in a pilot program aimed at preventing violence against women.

The Workplace Equality and Respect project was launched on Wednesday 24 August by Fiona Richardson, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Minister for Women. It is being led by Our Watch, a not-for-organisation established to drive nationwide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children.

The project will see Our Watch develop workplace guidelines to prevent violence against women. This includes promoting women’s participation and opportunities, challenging gender roles and encouraging respectful, healthy and equal relationships.

Connections is the only community organistion and not-for-profit selected to take part. The other organisations are La Trobe University, North Melbourne Football Club and Carlton Football Club.

Trish Chapman, acting CEO of Connections, said the organisation is excited to participate in the pilot.

“Core to the philosophy of our programs is that we believe we have an absolute commitment to prevent violence against women, and consequently, children,” she said.

“We think, as a community service organisation with a strong reputation in the community, we can use our status and our influence to enter into public conversations about preventing violence against women and support a workplace where we have conversations about gender equality.”

Ms Chapman said it was important gender equality is carried through from their community programs into the workplace environment.

“We help staff make the link between gender equality and preventing violence to women,” she said.

“We spend a lot of time in the workplace and I think it will be true to say that people take on the culture, norms and values of their organisation both in their professional lives and private lives too. Therefore our staff are able to take back the notions of gender equality into their everyday lives and consequently into communities in which they live.”

Under the pilot, each participating organisation will assess its own performance and come up with a series of actions and benchmarks to help it improve. This includes examining how its workplace reinforces gender stereotypes, whose voices are prioritised in decision-making, whether there are flexible workplace policies for both parents and how comfortable staff feel in raising concerns.

Our Watch CEO Mary Barry said tackling structural discrimination and disadvantage at work can be a catalyst for wider cultural change in the community.

“Workplaces are a key setting for the prevention of violence against women, not only because violence can occur in the workplace but because workplaces significantly influence our attitudes, beliefs or behaviours,” she said.

“Within the workplace itself, sexual harassment affects one in five people aged 15 years or over, and four out of those five harassers are male employees.”

Ms Barry said as long as women are seen as less equal than men, disrespect and violence against women will continue.

“We know women’s experiences of violence outside the workplace, such as in the home, can also impact on the workplace,” she said.

“By implementing programs and policies to help prevent violence and provide support to those who may experience violence, workplaces can really benefit through increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and improvement in staff health and wellbeing.”

The Workplace Equality and Respect Standards are supported by accompanying tools, which will be continually improved until May 2017. At the completion of the project in May next year, these resources will be freely available to all workplaces.

family violence, women, children, our watch, community, connections


If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.

This original article was found on crosslight.org.au

Call for abstracts close in less than 3 weeks

You are invited to submit an abstract for the Connections UnitingCare Conference: Making Lives Better.

We are keen to receive papers which explore and address innovative ideas which respond to the needs of vulnerable children and families in the community.

We encourage submissions from a range of organisations and individuals who can contribute to our knowledge of current practices and interventions which are making the lives of vulnerable children and families better. The conference will explore how we build services around clients in a changing, complex world.

Presentation styles offered:

- Oral presentations
- Interactive workshops
- Poster presentations

Abstracts can be submitted which address the following four key sub-theme areas:
•    Cultural responsiveness and awareness
•    Early intervention
•    Measuring change in the context of challenge
•    Workforce development

Abstracts will be peer reviewed by the Conference Program sub-committee. The committee reserves the right to decide the format of the presentations and in which stream they will be presented on the basis of time and space available.
Abstracts should be a maximum of 250 words.

 

28th Annual WJ Craig Lecture and Presentation of Anti-Poverty Awards

You are invited to this year’s 28th Annual WJ Craig Lecture and Presentation of Anti-Poverty Awards

Delivering this year’s Lecture is Magistrate Leslie Fleming, Children’s Court Magistrate at the Melbourne Children’s Court. Her Honour is a founding member of the Victorian Association of Deserted Children and was appointed to Regional Coordinating Magistrate, Dandenong Magistrate Court before taking up her current position.

When: October 17, 2014

Where: Melbourne Town Hall (Swanton Hall)

Time: 3pm to 5pm

RSVP: rsvp@unitingconnections.org.au or 03 8792 8999. RSVP essential

The Annual WJ Craig Lecture honours Connections’ history and the philanthropic legacy of William John Craig (1839-1899) and his family that endures in the work of Connections to this day. 

The Anti-Poverty Awards recognise and highlight the creative and sophisticated ways that young people and schools are engaging with the communities affected by poverty and extreme disadvantage.

This event, linked to Anti-Poverty Week, is about providing a platform for people to come together and discuss issues that are relevant to the community and celebrate the achievements of young people.

 

 

17 Oct 2014

Life is a cabaret

Every young girl aspires to be a singer or a dancer at least once in their life. For Amara, being blind, suffering from mild Cerebral Palsy and having an intellectual disability was not going to stop her from living her dream of one day having a career in music theatre.

A number of years ago Amara’s dreams came true and she performed in Nadrasca Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret. After learning her lyrics and melodies by listening to audio tapes and CDs.

With the support of Connections’ South Eastern Scholarship program, Amara was able to pay for her singing lessons to further her dream of making it onto an even bigger stage.

“By receiving this scholarship, I was able to pay for my singing lessons. This freed me up extra money to make my life easier through having more money for my living expenses that I would have missed out on.” Amara.

Connections’ South Eastern Chances is an innovative scholarship program that provides financial support to children and young people living in south east Melbourne to obtain educational, cultural and social opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.


To find out more about Connections' South Eastern Chances program, click here.

To help other young people like Amara pursue their dreams, click here.

 

Connections News Spring Edition

The Spring Edition of the Connections Newsletter has just been released.

In this edition we share with you Amara’s story. Amara always dreamed of having a career on stage and was not going to let being blind, suffering from mild Cerebral Palsy and having an intellectual disability get in her way. Recently, Amara was awarded a scholarship through Connections’ South Eastern Chances program. Keep reading to find out how this scholarship helped Amara and her family.

Also in this newsletter we invite you to the 28th Annual WJ Craig Lecture and Presentation of Anti-Poverty Awards. This event, linked to Anti-Poverty Week, is about providing a platform for people to come together and discuss the issues that are relevant to the community and celebrate the achievements of young people. 

If you would like to receive this newsletter each quarter, click here.

To read the Connections News Spring Edition, click on the image below.

Connections News Spring 2014

 

 

Welcome to our new website

Welcome to Connections’ brand new website. We are very excited by the launch of our new site, and believe that it more accurately reflects who we are as an organisation by using bright colours and images throughout.

The new site will more effectively tell Connections’ story and the story of the people we support.  It will also allow us to illustrate the important community-focussed work we do in a striking new way.

We have worked hard to make the new site more engaging, as well as easier to navigate so you can find what you’re looking for faster, and with less difficulty. We have also added a number of features designed to better facilitate the way in which we engage with our community and supporters through our website.

Let us know what you think of our new site. Join the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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