UnitingCare Pancake Day

It’s fun, easy and it’s making a big difference! Oh, and it involves PANCAKES!

Every year people come together for UnitingCare Pancake Day to flip for a good cause. The reality is that 1 in 7 Australians are living in poverty with 1 in 6 children affected, that’s 2.9 million Australians too many. By hosting your very own Pancake Day event, you will be helping Australians living in crisis including those suffering homelessness, domestic violence, addictions and financial hardship.

Join us this year at Federation Square on 28 February. Pancakes will be on from 8am – 2pm. Money raised on the day will support the UnitingCare network, assisting those experiencing marginalisation and disadvantage. 

When: Tuesday 28 February 

Where: Federation Square, Melbourne

Time: 8:00am - 2:00pm

Pancake Day


28 Feb 2017

The 30th Annual WJ Craig Lecture and Presentation of Anti-Poverty Awards

We warmly invite you to attend the 30th Annual WJ Craig Lecture & Presentation of the 2016 Anti-Poverty Awards.

This year's Lecture will be delivered by Seri Renkin, Managing Director of the ten20 Foundation.

Seri brings over twenty years’ experience in senior executive and advisory roles to her leadership of the ten20 Foundation. Having worked across the corporate, non-profit, philanthropic and government sectors, Seri has a unique perspective of how diverse sectors operate.

She utilises her strategic, innovative and entrepreneurial skills to build cross sector collaborations focussed on social impact. She joined ten20 as founding CEO in 2012.

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

The Lecture aims to stimulate and encourage debate on important social issues.

About the Anti-Poverty Awards
The Anti-Poverty Awards recognise the many young people passionately working towards tackling inequality and injustice within Australia or abroad.

The awards acknowledge and highlight the hard work and dedication of individuals and schools across Australia who demonstrate a deep understanding of those in need.

When: Friday 21 October 2016

Where: Deakin Edge
Federation Square
1 Batman Avenue

Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

RSVP: Christine Williams rsvp@unitingconnections.org.au or 1800 137 036 by Friday 14 October 2016

RSVP is essential

Refreshments provided

16 Sep 2016

NAIDOC Week Celebrations

This year Connections is proud to be involved in the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency’s (VACCA) NAIDOC Week celebrations.

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.

NAIDOC Week is held in the first full week of July. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.

Connections has a strong commitment to Aboriginal people and their community. We are actively working to develop culturally appropriate services that are guided by the Aboriginal community. Through the Reconciliation Action Plan sub-committee of the Connections Consultative Committee, we are forging and building partnerships to ensure we are improving our understanding, responsiveness and work with Aboriginal families. 

For more information about NAIDOC Week or to see what events are happening around the country, visit www.naidoc.org.au 

01 Jul 2016

Trauma and Differential Diagnosis

This full-day practice forum will support and enhance the skills and knowledge required by health and community services professionals working with children, young people, and families.

It will consider and explore the at times overlapping presentations of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the context of a trauma history.


Friday 17 November 2017

Wurundjeri Conference Room
Department of Health and Human Services
883 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill, 3128

$220 (incl. GST)
Limited discounted student spots available.

Tymur Hussein tymur.hussein@unitingconnections.org.au    

To book your ticket, click here. 

This event is fully catered.  Please indicate dietary requirements via trybooking.


09:00 - Registrations Open
09:15 - Welcome Tymur Hussein
09:30 - Complex Trauma Vicky Nicholls
10:15 - ADHD Tim Doyle
11:00 - Morning Tea
11:20 - Case-Study
12:00 - Discussion
12:30 - Lunch
13:00 - FASD Prue Walker
13:45 - ASD Sonia Street
14:30 - Afternoon Tea
14:50 - Case Study 
15:30 - Discussion
16:00 - Close


  • Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) - Prue Walker
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) - Sonia Street
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – Tim Doyle
  • Complex Trauma - Vicky Nicholls

The speaker biography can be found here: Trauma and Differential Diagnosis Practice Forum Speaker Bio

*Connections UnitingCare has joined together with other community service organisations in Victoria and Tasmania to form a single organisation Uniting.

17 Nov 2017

Guest Speaker announced for the 29th Annual WJ Craig Lecture

The 2015 Annual WJ Craig Lecture will be delivered by Dean McWhirter, Assistant Commissioner, Family Violence Command.

In March 2015, Dean McWhirter was appointed Assistant Commissioner of the first Family Violence Command in an Australian policing jurisdiction. Assistant Commissioner McWhirter has been in the force for 35 years, specialising in the crime and intelligence areas and overseeing training at the Police Academy.

In my role as Assistant Commissioner of the Family Violence Command, I will be speaking out as loudly and as often as I can about family violence. There are too many people out there who are still suffering in silence.

community, event, lecture, family violence, victoria police

When: Friday 16 October 2015

Where: Melbourne Town Hall
Supper Room
Swanston Street

Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

RSVP: Christine Luk rsvp@unitingconnections.org.au or 03 8792 8999 by Friday 9 October 2015

RSVP essential
Refreshments provided


16 Oct 2015

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

National Families Week

Each year, tens of thousands of people and hundreds of organisations celebrate National Families Week - Australia's annual celebration of families.

The aim of National Families Week 2014 - the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family - is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society. The 2014 theme is 'Stronger Families, Stronger Communities'.

This year's theme highlights the important role families play as the central building block of our communities and that community wellbeing is enhanced by family wellbeing.

National Families Week is a time to celebrate with your family, make contact with your extended family and friends, and share in the enjoyment of family activities within the wider community. It is a time to celebrate the meaning of family and to make the most of family life.

National Families Week coincides with the United Nations International Day of Families on 15 May. This day is observed by the United Nations to mark the importance that the international community places on families as the most fundamental units of society, as well as to show concern about their situation in many parts of the world.

Connections recognised National Families Week as part of the inaugural Connections UnitingCare Conference - Making a difference in the lives of children and families.

For more information about National Families Week, click here.

15 May 2014

Supporting Young Mums Starting Out

Connections UnitingCare is offering young mothers the opportunity to gain more knowledge and further their skills by becoming a Peer Support Worker with the Starting Out program.

Starting Out is a community-based support program for young, pregnant and parenting women up to the age of 25 years, their children and their partners living in the east.

The Peer Support Training helps young mothers with developing knowledge and communication skills that can be used to mentor other young parents within the program. Whilst completing the 20-week course, participants take steps towards furthering their education and future employment opportunities.

Connections’ Starting Out Team Leader, Bronwyn Clarkson, believes that having Peer Support Workers who have been young mothers themselves is a great source of support guided by real life experiences.

‘Starting Out works because it has young mothers talking to other young mothers about the issues they are facing as well as providing a directed forum for mothers to share their fear and concerns with their peers,’ said Ms Clarkson.

‘The young women who go through the program are quite inspirational. They have experienced so much and are juggling so many new responsibilities, being there for other young mums to provide advice and support is just fantastic.

‘The whole Peer Support program provides endless possibilities in terms of young people helping and supporting other young people,’ continued Ms Clarkson.

For young mother, Freya, accessing Starting Out and completing the Peer Support Training program gave her the confidence to go back to school and study nursing.

‘The best thing about Starting Out was that I never once felt alone. There was always someone who was willing to help me when I needed help with my baby or when I just needed someone to listen to me,’ said Freya.

Starting Out offers a range of services such as pregnancy and relationship counselling, pregnancy and birth education support, parenting support in-home, support for families in transitional housing and playgroups for parents and their children where they can meet, play and learn in a supported environment.

Information Session
Wednesday 30 April,
10:00am - 11:00am
185 Mt Dandenong Road, Croydon
Contact Starting Out 03 9724 2222

30 Apr 2014 to 16 May 2014

Just Released

‘Sometimes social justice campaigning can feel like you’re on a lonely trail. Yet it is days like this that remind you that we’ve all chosen to walk the same road together.’ Chris Varney, 2013 WJ Craig Lecture presenter.

Connections has released the 27th Annual WJ Craig Lecture and Presentation of Anti-Poverty Awards publication.

In this publication you can read the passionate address that our presenter, children’s rights advocate Chris Varney, Foundation of Young Australians delivered. As well as find out more about the remarkable stories of the young people who received an Anti-Poverty Award, including main recipient Dieter Knierim.

‘Through this award, I hope to create a documentary called ‘The Forgotten’. The project will be about young people in our community with disabilities, whose lives have slipped into the gaps.’

Dieter Knierim, 2013 Anti-Poverty Award Main Recipient.

To see an on-line version of the 2013 Annual WJ Craig Lecture and Anti-Poverty Awards document, click here or contact Community Relations on 03 8792 8999 to request a hard copy.

Mental Health Expo

A free community event for people living in Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia

Get down to the Springvale Town Hall, 397 Springvale Road on Wednesday 9 April from 2:00pm - 6:00pm, to learn more about services around that might help you. Learn about support available for families of people experiencing mental illness and talk to service staff at display stalls.

Hear from former AFL Champion Wayne Schwass about his experience with mental illness.

This is a free community event.

For more information, click here.

09 Apr 2014
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