(02) 6620 1800 [email protected]
Rental lists for week commencing December 26, 2022

Rental lists for week commencing December 26, 2022

Click the links below to view the latest rental vacancy lists for the Northern Rivers region, including Tweed Heads, Lismore, Ballina, Grafton and Casino.

If you or somebody you know is homeless, or is at risk of homelessness, contact Link2Home 1800 152 152 for 24 hour emergency support.

If you are living from Tweed Heads to Grafton, you can contact Connecting Home on 1800 048 310 between 9am – 4:30pm
Monday – Friday or email [email protected]

  • Grafton
  • Ballina
  • Lismore
  • Tweed Heads
  • Casino / Kyogle / Tenterfield & Surrounding areas.

Grafton Greater Region Rental Properties

Ballina – Greater Region NSW

Lismore Greater Region Rental Properties

Tweed Shire Rental Properties

Casino North Casino Rental Properties

Healthy North Coast care finder update – Northern NSW

From 1 January 2023 Healthy North Coast (HNC) is commissioning the Commonwealth funded care finders. This program essentially supports older vulnerable people to access aged care services. It is a specialised program and focuses on those people that have specialised needs that can not ‘navigate’ the aged care system on their own.

Who are the targeted audience

The care finder target population is people who are eligible for aged care services and have one or more reasons for requiring intensive support to:

  • interact with My Aged Care (either through the website, contact centre or face-to-face in Services Australia service centres) and access aged care services and/or
  • access other relevant supports in the community.

Reasons for requiring intensive support may include:

  • isolation or no support person (e.g. carer, family or representative) who they are
  • comfortable to act on their behalf and/or who is willing and able to support them to
  • access aged care services via My Aged Care
  • communication barriers, including limited literacy skills
  • difficulty processing information to make decisions
  • resistance to engage with aged care for any reason and their safety is at immediate
  • risk or they may end up in a crisis situation within (approximately) the next year
  • past experiences that mean they are hesitant to engage with aged care, institutions or
  • government.

Where are we at?

The local Assistance with Care and Housing (ACH) providers listed below will be transitioning across on the 1st January. Organisations that are being commissioned into the program will be announced early in the new year and will be implementing services from April

Process after 1st January

Referrals to a care finder organization providing support with housing (ie old ACH providers):

Provider CareXcell Lifetime Connect Hammond care
Intake phone number 02 66511649 02 65682522 1800 826 166
Port Macq-Hastings X
Kempsey X
Nambucca Valley X X X
Coffs Harbour X X X
Bellingen X X X
Clarence Valley X
Richmond Valley X
Kyogle X
Ballina X
Byron X
Lismore X
Tweed X


Referrals for other vulnerable people from April / May

Updated information will be provided before March on local services and intake numbers.


Any questions about the program – any of the ageing team are available for questions

Bron McCrae – Deputy Director Healthy Living and Ageing

Deb Smythe – Project officer Healthy Living and Ageing team

Ashleigh Childs – NNSW Healthy Ageing Coordinator

Judy Bartholomew – MNC Healthy Ageing Coordinator

Community Groups: 2021 Census Data Update

Community Groups: 2021 Census Data Update

Community groups – 2021 Census Data Update 

The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW today releases a data update incorporating 2021 ABS Census data.

This downloadable resource in Excel provides you with the latest data to assist you in:

  • Assessing the potential relative demand for legal assistance services
  • Understanding the nature of community characteristics at the local level to inform collaborative service planning, and
  • Focusing service delivery to specific priority groups.

Data update

  • Community groups. Counts for relevant population groups have been updated with 2021 Census data, including some NLAP priority client groups.
  • A range of geographies. Data is available by State/territory, SA4 and LGA. Other geographies are available on request from [email protected].

Coming soon in 2023
The next data release planned for the first quarter 2023 will include updates to the Foundation’s Need for Legal Assistance Services (NLAS) indicators, Social Services data, and BOCSAR data (including counts of domestic violence-related incidents).
Click the button to download the spreadsheet,
check your downloads if the file does not open automatically.

Download the data
Taking connection to those who need it most

Taking connection to those who need it most

How do you tackle loneliness? Through bringing connections to people, one social enterprise says.

Social isolation and loneliness impact millions of Australians, even more so since the pandemic.

But a team of volunteers is helping connect up Australians to make a dent in the loneliness epidemic that grips us.

Known as Connected AU, the program has created a network of penpals all across the country, helping to ease loneliness one letter at a time.

It began with just an idea back at the beginning of COVID, founder Mea Campbell told Pro Bono News.

Reflecting on members of her own family, Campbell’s thoughts turned to those who would be alone during COVID lockdowns, people who wouldn’t have family or people to care about them or visit them.

She embarked on a “research dive” into loneliness and isolation, and realised that “loneliness is an epidemic”.

“It costs Australia $2.7 billion annually. It’s a huge socio-economic health issue. And after that deep dive, I felt… I just wanted to do something,” she said.

Connected AU was that something. The first program was the Letterbox Project, a pen pal program.

Campbell said the project is unique thanks to the way it is managed. Connected AU manages and vets all communication; those who sign up for the program are given a short description of their pen pal, and respond with a letter that gets sent to the Connected AU office.

That letter is vetted by the office and passed on to the pen pal for a response.

After just a few months, Campbell said she began to have an inkling that it was “pretty significant”.

“It didn’t take long for me to realise there’s such a need,” she recalled.

“We’ve had over 40,000 people in the last two years participate, and over 600 schools… aged care facilities [and] corporate groups [too],” Campbell said.

Services like aged care homes, disability providers and homelessness services have referred clients to the Letterbox Project.

She believes the safety process is part of why the Letterbox Project has been so popular.

Another reason is the “tangible, slow form connection” that letter-writing builds.

“It’s stepping away from this tech-mad world that we live in. It’s taking people back to social connections,” Campbell said.

“And the other reason it’s so popular is because I think everyone resonates with loneliness, whether it’s themselves, whether it’s one of their parents, grandparents or neighbours. Everyone has a reason to understand loneliness.”

A plan for sustainable growth

Since 2020, Connected AU has grown into a sustainable organisation with multiple programs.

Although it was initially envisaged as being for people who couldn’t access technology — seniors and people with disability, for example — people from all walks of life flooded to the program, from young children to teenagers, new mothers to people living in geographic isolation.

“That really surprised us because people were reaching out for connection, even though they could get on social media or they could access technology and connect,” Campbell explained.

“That just really showed us that it’s not just those vulnerable people; everyone can feel lonely and is looking for connections.”

The team behind Connected AU decided to create online programs that would ensure the same safety as the letter-writing program, while facilitating the quicker form of tech-based communication.

They formed online clubs, including a social club, book club, cooking club, gardening club and kids club.

“They’re just like traditional clubs… in your local area, but they’re online,” she said.

“People from all over Australia are in these clubs, and they’re so fun and positive and obviously very safe.”

Each month, there is a different theme in each club. The cooking club might focus on desserts, while the cooking club looks at indoor plants. Activities and challenges fill the month and a chat function facilitates conversation.

Another program is an online events schedule. These are hosted on Zoom and are tailored to those who may not be able or may not want to go to an in-person event in the community.

Each online event features something different, like a Q and A with a high profile Australian.

“It’s like a really accessible and non-overwhelming way for people to connect,” Campbell said.

“We’re filling that gap, taking connection to people where they are.”

There are also other programs out in the community, including a schools program and a corporate volunteering program.

The Letterbox Project is sponsored by Tetley, which enables Connected AU to keep it free and reach some of the most vulnerable people in the community. Campbell said the sponsorship allows Connected AU to keep the program running.

Connected AU currently operates as a social enterprise with paid memberships for some of its programs. There are plans to look into B Corp certification down the track, though they “haven’t started down that path yet”.

Campbell explains Connected AU’s model as “purpose for profit”.

“A lot of the stuff we do is free, particularly for all those concession holders. Some of the clubs have memberships for people who don’t fall into [that category]. We’re trying to keep it as accessible as possible,” she said.

She sees Connected AU as fulfilling a need in the community that isn’t going away.

“We’ve worked really hard over the last six months to really make everything strong… and to make sure that we’re sustainable and that these programs stay around. Small changes to make it so that we’re more sustainable whilst making it free for everyone [for whom] it needs to be,” Campbell said.

“In the next five years we have some really clear goals. We want to be able to reach more vulnerable people, because taking that first step is something that we’ve identified is really hard for people to do. We’ll be trying over the next 12 months to just get the name Connected AU out there, whether it’s in GPs or hospitals or every aged care home, when someone first goes in… if someone is disconnected and lonely, just refer them straight to Connected AU.

“It’s a really incredible program. When people first hear about it, they probably don’t think much of it, but it’s actually making an incredible impact.”


Originally published in Pro Bono News: 

Danielle Kutchel  |  @ProBonoNews

Danielle is a journalist specialising in disability and CALD issues, and social justice reporting. Reach her on [email protected] or on Twitter @D_Kutchel.
ADNSW partners with Corrective Services to deliver new community hub

ADNSW partners with Corrective Services to deliver new community hub

ADNSW, the Good Service Mob and Neami National have partnered with Corrective Services to deliver the ‘Facing the future with strength and hope hub’.

The community hub is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their family who have connections with Community Corrections.

ADNSW Assistant Community Engagement Officer Narelle Hennessey said the community hub offers a safe place to have a yarn and access services.

“No one is turned away and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also invited,” Narelle added.

The Community hub operates from the Minto Community Hall on Mondays from 10am to 12 noon.
Find out more.

Photo above, from left to right: Deborah Markou (Manager, Campbelltown Community Corrections), Annette Finneran (Aboriginal Community Engagement & Cultural Officer, Campbelltown Community Corrections), Narelle Hennessy (ADNSW), Kath Flack-Crane (Service Manager, Neami) and Ivan Broome (Aboriginal Specialist, Neami).

ACOSS congratulates the Albanese Government and the Greens on agreement for electrification of low-income housing

ACOSS congratulates the Albanese Government and the Greens on agreement for electrification of low-income housing

ACOSS welcomes the agreement reached between the Federal Government and the Greens to a package in next year’s budget that will help electrify the homes of people on low incomes. This agreement is on top of the Government’s plan to cap gas and coal price and provide energy credits to people on low incomes included in the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Gas Prices) Bill 2022.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“This agreement between the Albanese Government and the Greens for the electrification of low-income housing is an important addition to the package of measures already proposed. The agreement will help people on low incomes move away from using gas for their heating, including hot water and cooking and deliver longer-term savings.

“Gas appliances are not only inefficient to run compared to electric appliances, but it means people pay for two network costs. It makes no financial sense.

“We are encouraged the Government intend to roll this commitment into their National Performance Strategy and look at other measures that will help people on low-incomes improve the energy performance of their homes, reduce their energy bills and improve health outcomes.

“The energy efficiency of housing in Australia is so poor that people on low-incomes, especially those who rent, are getting sick or dying because they can’t reduce their energy use or install retrofits to keep their home warm in winter or cool in summer.

“Government investment to retrofit low-income housing to be more efficient, electric and produce renewable energy is the only way we will make these urgent upgrades.

“Such an investment would create profound and ongoing benefits for millions of people, while simultaneously saving lives, reducing poverty, and tackling the climate crisis.

“We look forward to working with the Government on design and delivery.”

FRRR Grant Funding Available

FRRR Grant Funding Available

The Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal has advertised the following grant programs are currently open:

For those wanting to do some planning for the future, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants program will open 1 February. It’s open to community groups working in Victorian dairy communities.

To apply, click on the links above, or if you want to see what you could apply for with a specific project in mind, explore our Find Funding Now tool. All applications close at 5pm Victorian time (AEDT).

Final distribution of Lismore Flood Appeal Grants

Final distribution of Lismore Flood Appeal Grants

Lismore City Council’s Flood Appeal is now closed to allow the distribution of the remaining balance of donations to all eligible applicants.

Lismore City Mayor Steve Krieg said the final distribution of the Lismore Flood Appeal funding is a great way to finish the year.

“I want to thank all the people from near and far who contributed to the appeal. The overwhelming generosity and kindness we have seen throughout this flood appeal process is very heartening and inspiring,” he said.

Just over $1.7 million was raised for the Flood Appeal through various fund-raising initiatives and the One from the Heart concert.

Round One of applications saw 1551 eligible residents receive $650 each. Round Two received 249 eligible applications, again receiving $650 each. This left a balance of $548,170.92 which will be split evenly between all eligible applicants from both rounds, with each receiving a further $304.54.

When the Flood Appeal began, Council staff developed procedures and processes to ensure the large sum of money and applications were managed in a fair, transparent and efficient manner.

Round Two of the Flood Appeal grants to residents who lost their homes and belongings due to the February natural disaster is currently being distributed. Council is aiming to have the final payments distributed before Christmas.

No administration costs have been deducted from the funds raised, with all donated funds going to flood-affected residents.