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JUNE 2020    

CEO Update

We celebrated two important weeks for Anglicare NT in May – National Reconciliation Week and National Volunteer Week.

At our National Volunteer Week event in Darwin, Her Honour the Administrator of the Northern Territory, Vicki O’Halloran, told gathered volunteers that their work was valuable beyond measure and that their contribution to our community was priceless. During that event I enjoyed talking with volunteers who had only recently arrived in Australia, and others who had been visiting older people in Darwin for over 20 years. Their shared experience and motivation seemed to be the joy and satisfaction of connecting with others, of contributing and of being of service.

National Reconciliation Week was an important opportunity for our community to take stock of the work we have in front of us. In 2017, the Uluru Statement From the Heart was written by 200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders. They called for a national voice to be enshrined in our constitution. They also set a vision for a day when every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child would know what it was to live in two worlds well, and to know that their culture is a gift. Sadly, we are a long way from that. 

Much of the work of Anglicare NT that you see reflected in this newsletter connects to those two themes. Building a society where service and mutual care are central, and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination.

The last few months of physical distancing, isolation and pandemic have been hard for many of our community members. Housing stress, unemployment and anxiety are rising. Your support for our work, your thoughts and encouragement are deeply appreciated. Together we can be of service.

Dave Pugh
Chief Executive Officer 

Anglicare NT staff

Maintaining support for Territorians

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Anglicare NT has remained committed to continuing to provide services to individuals, families and communities across the Northern Territory. We have complied with government directives and taken extra health and safety precautions. We continue to review how our services are delivered and how we can best help keep everyone safe.

To maintain connections with our social group participants in Alice Springs, staff introduced a new fortnightly newsletter, made regular telephone check-ins, delivered magazines and newspapers and made special Easter deliveries. In Darwin, our services for older people adapted by making phone calls and one-on-one social support visits. Essential support services have been maintained with additional safety measures for people requiring meal preparation, physical care and assistance with shopping.

Volunteers with the Community Visitors Scheme changed the way they connect with older people. Instead of visits to tackle isolation and loneliness, volunteers have made phone calls, written letters, set up video conference calls and hosted online group quizzes.

headspace services in Darwin and Katherine have continued to provide mental health and wellbeing support to young people. Group sessions moved to online platforms and extensive mental health support and advice is being shared on Facebook and Instagram.

Our Financial Counsellors from the East Arnhem Money Support Hub normally travel regularly to remote communities. They have been able to continue providing services through phone and conferencing apps. 

Donate to help Territorians
Donate to COVID-19 recovery appeal

The Coronavirus crisis has had an impact at every corner of the globe. While the Northern Territory has emerged in a strong position, the risk remains prevalent and the impact already felt by all of us.

At Anglicare NT, we are continuing to work in ways that promote hope while addressing people’s immediate and long-term needs. Will you help us get Territorians back on their feet?

Your donation could provide:
  • Financial counselling to individuals and small business owners
  • Essential items for women and children who have fled domestic violence
  • Brokerage fees for migrants in need of emergency housing
  • Mental health support for young people 
Donate online before 30 June or call us on 08 8985 0000.  

Anglicare NT volunteer celebration in Alice Springs
Thanking our volunteers

Volunteers are key people in a vibrant, connected and thriving society. At Anglicare NT, our volunteers support others in the community by delivering Meals on Wheels, helping at our opportunity shop and visiting older people through the Community Visitors Scheme. During National Volunteer Week (18 - 24 May), we celebrated the generous contribution of our volunteers – thanking them for their commitment and kind efforts that bring joy, connection and support to people across the Northern Territory.

Community Visitors Scheme volunteers in Alice Springs celebrated this important week with a shared meal. In Katherine, our volunteers participated in a group painting activity. In Darwin, Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AO, Administrator of the Northern Territory, awarded volunteers with certificates to recognise their efforts.

Volunteers with the Community Visitors Scheme support older people who may be lonely or socially isolated. Volunteers regularly catch up with older people and share conversations, news, fun activities and friendship. Our Meals on Wheels volunteers in Alice Springs help make it possible for older people to stay living in their own home. Delivery of a meal and a quick chat makes living independently a possibility, preventing or delaying a transition into an aged care facility.

At our ReStore opportunity shop in Darwin, volunteers help sort, display and sell second-hand clothing, books and household items. Through resale and restoration, the shop helps build a sustainable community and environment. 

If you are interested in volunteering with us, phone 08 8985 0000.
Volunteer Zahid receives certificate from the Administrator of the Northern TerritoryMaureen receives Volunteer Week certificate from the Administrator

David Curtis, JCAC Executive Manager; Leonie Patterson, Anglicare NT Senior Aboriginal Advisor; and Sam Ashton, JCAC CEO
Partnership support for Aboriginal organisations

Anglicare NT is proud to launch the Partnership Support Service (PSS); a social enterprise that works together with Aboriginal organisations to deliver stronger services for community. The innovative service has been founded to support self-determination and strengthen our commitment to listening, learning and walking together.

We know that Aboriginal organisations are best placed to provide services in their communities, but can face challenges around resources, systems and specialist knowledge. Through the PSS, built on genuine partnership, we aim to share our expertise and assist organisations in their development, long-term independence and sustainability and in turn strengthen relationships with Aboriginal organisations and communities. In practice, this means both ways learning and co-designing services, products and training to meet an organisation’s needs and aspirations.

In 2019, the Board of the Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation (JCAC), based in Tennant Creek, formalised a partnership with Anglicare NT around growing and strengthening their capacity and establishing a new Child and Family Centre. The centre will support local families and young people to access coordinated services that help them live safe, happy and healthy lives. It will be one of the first Child and Family Centre’s to be led by an Aboriginal organisation.

To assist with the development, our Senior Aboriginal Advisor, Leonie Patterson, has been working closely with Julalikari staff. In March 2020, Leonie supported Julalikari to host a workshop in Tennant Creek that saw over 25 community members, service providers and key stakeholders come together to collaborate on how the centre will operate. More recently, we employed a Senior Service Development Officer based in Tennant Creek who will continue to support Julalikari with this important work.

Celebrating National Families Week

National Families Week (15 - 21 May) celebrates the vital role that families play in teaching, supporting and nurturing children as they grow up. At Anglicare NT, we work with families across the Territory to help create the best possible environments and communities for children.

Despite recent physical and regional distancing requirements around COVID-19, families have continued to engage with our children’s programs. Our resourceful remote East Arnhem Children’s Services staff have been leaders in their own communities at adapting to these challenging times. 

Staff in Yurrwi delivered packs to families containing activities for children, fresh fruit and antibacterial soaps. Staff made the soap from Eucalyptus and Lemon Myrtle to encourage good hygiene practices in the workplace and within family homes.In Numbulwar, the Saltwater Playgroup held a traditional weaving workshop for Mother’s Day and in Ngukurr, the Freshwater Playgroup enjoyed a trip to Wilton River to take part in craft activities.

Affordable housing investment needed

With the release of the annual Rental Affordability Snapshot on 30 April 2020, Anglicare NT called on the government to urgently invest in more affordable homes and raise the rate of welfare for good. The Snapshot, released in partnership with Anglicare Australia, surveyed 70,000 rental listings and found a chronic shortage of affordable rentals across Australia and particularly in the Northern Territory.

The ‘Coronavirus Supplement’, an additional $550 per fortnight, is giving households on certain government payments badly needed relief. However, even with double the income, private rent remains unaffordable, with zero properties suitable for single Territorians on these payments. 

Making the welfare increase permanent and extending it to people on the disability support and age pension would go a long way towards helping Territorians keep a roof over their heads. Ending the affordable housing shortfall is another essential step towards tackling the current rental crisis – and boosting our economy. Right now, there are over 4,500 households on the NT public housing waitlist with a 6-8 year wait time in some regions. While demand for affordable homes continues to grow in the Territory, investment in new public and community housing in urban areas remains low. 

Read the full Rental Affordability Snapshot 2020 here.

Janet, Leonie and Lucille commemorate Reconciliation Week.
National Reconciliation Week

The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation week, ‘In This Together’, encouraged all Australians to reflect on the part they play – whether big or small – on our journey towards reconciliation. A more reconciled Australia takes a commitment and contribution from us all.

At Anglicare NT, our continued efforts towards reconciliation are affirmed through our Reconciliation Action Plan and our work across the Northern Territory. We embrace the stories, contribution and learnings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We adapt our ways of working to ensure we are culturally responsive. We listen deeply to people, communities and partners. And we recognise and value the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their histories, language, culture and continuing connection to land and sea.

During National Reconciliation Week, Anglicare NT staff spent time reflecting on ways they, and the organisation, can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. Our Reconciliation Committee hosted screenings of ‘In My Blood It Runs’ and Aboriginal Wellbeing Worker Kaleishia Ross facilitated an art activity for staff at headspace Katherine where they each researched totems of the land they grew up on.
National Reconciliation Week at headspace Katherine

With a home young people can have a sense of belongingWith a home I can play and grow
Young people need a home

National Youth Homelessness Matters Day, held on 15 April 2020, aims to raise awareness of youth homelessness and celebrate the resilience of young people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. The Northern Territory has one of the highest rates of youth homelessness in Australia, with more than 3,500 young people homeless on any given night. In most cases, these young people are escaping family violence or conflict.

With a home, a young person can build positive, supportive relationships. With a home young people can study and achieve their academic goals. They can get work and start their careers, enjoy their hobbies and pursue their passions. With a home young people can realise their dreams. With a home young people can be happy.

To raise awareness of the possibilities for young people, we shared a series of photos across our social media platforms. Because having a home has never been more important.

Please donate before 30 June to help Territorians get back on their feet.

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