Red Cross in collaboration with Headspace is bringing David Younger, one of Australia’s leading clinical and consultant psychologists specialising in disaster recovery, to the Northern Rivers at the end of January. He has experience working with and supporting communities and organisations throughout the country to recover from natural disasters. In 2009, the Black Saturday bushfires came close to where David was living and working, and as a result he became deeply involved in treating and supporting survivors of natural disasters. David works using a strengths-based approach, embedded with a message of hope, and lived experience stories.
Dr Younger’s visit from Tuesday 31St January to Friday 3rd February and will cover locations across the Northern Rivers with a focus on the Lismore LGA.
There are three types of sessions:
- Council and Recovery Worker Session – Lismore and Tweed
- Business Owner Recovery Session – Lismore
- Community Recovery Session at various locations in the Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed LGA’s
Please see information below and register through the Eventbrite link for sessions. Attached are digital and print copies of the flyers. Please use to promote the sessions. Please share within your networks including with participants/clients for sessions which may be relevant.
Council and Recovery Worker Session – Lismore and Tweed
This session is aimed at anybody working in local council and/or Flood Recovery support role. Among other things, David will facilitate a conversation to help you understand more about the recovery process, coping with challenges, and supporting the community in the lead up to the anniversary and into the 2nd year. He will also cover what you can do to maintain your overall health and wellbeing. All Recovery workers, social services staff and Council workers very welcome!
Tuesday 31st January 2023, from 10:30am – 12:30pm: Council and Recovery Worker Session, Lismore Heights Bowling Club, 181A High Street, Lismore Heights https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512548806277.
Business Owners Recovery Session – Lismore
The Business Owners Recovery Session is aimed at supporting the business community in their recovery journey. All too often the additional complexities faced by the business community after a natural disaster are not recognised. This session will provide the opportunity for all business owners to come together to better understand their unique circumstances and to learn strategies that will help navigate the path ahead. He will share lived experience, research and how to support your own health and well being during these trying times. The session will conclude with a Q&A session. All business owners’ are encouraged to attend and are very welcome!
Wednesday 1st February 2023, 7am-9am: Business Owners Recovery Session, Aardvark Brasserie (Old Uni Bar), Southern Cross University, East Lismore https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512578645527
Community Recovery Sessions – various sessions
The Community Recovery sessions are place based and aim to support participants to understand more about personal and community recovery after a natural disaster like flooding. Dr Younger will help you understand more about coping with the challenges during your recovery, including effects on adults, couples, families, children and young people. He will cover impacts a natural disaster has on the broader community leading up to the anniversary and into the second year. Dr Younger will discuss what you can do to maintain your overall health and wellbeing, recovery related tips and strategies. He will also talk about how communities can best support themselves. At the end of the session, there will be time for Q&A. All community members welcome! Please share with participants who may benefit or be interested.
Tuesday 31st January 2023, 6:00pm – 8:30pm: North & South Lismore Community Recovery Session, Winsome Hotel, 11 Bridge Street, North Lismore https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512569768977
Wednesday 1st February 2023, 2pm – 4pm: Nimbin & surrounds Community Session, Nimbin Town Hall, 45 Cullen St, Nimbin https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512590159967
Thursday 2nd February 2023, 5pm – 7pm: East Lismore, Girard’s Hill & surrounds Community Recovery Session, Presbyterian Church Hall, 10 Park Ave, East Lismore https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512597301327
The full schedule of Dr Younger’s visit is list below.
Tuesday 31st January 2023
10:30am – 12:30pm: Council and Recovery Worker Recovery Session – Lismore & Surrounds, Lismore Heights Bowling Club, 181A High Street, Lismore Heights https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512548806277
6:30pm – 8:30pm: North & South Lismore Community Recovery Session, Winsome Hotel, 11 Bridge Street, North Lismore https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512569768977
Wednesday 1st February 2023
7am-9am: Business Owners Recovery Session, Aardvark Brasserie (Old Uni Bar), Southern Cross University, East Lismore https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512578645527
2pm – 4pm: Nimbin Community Session, Nimbin Town Hall, 45 Cullen St, Nimbin https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512590159967
6:30pm – 8:30pm: Woodburn Community Session, Woodburn Memorial Hall, 127 River Street, Woodburn https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512624984127
Thursday 2nd February 2023
9:30am – 11:30am: Wardell Community Session, Wardell CORE, 3 Sinclair St, Wardell https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512641503537
1pm – 3pm: Coraki Community Session, Coraki Uniting Church, 5/15 Adams St, Coraki https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512650289817
5pm – 7pm: East Lismore, Girard’s Hill & surrounds Community Recovery Session, Presbyterian Church Hall, 10 Park Ave, East Lismore https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512597301327
Friday 3rd February 2023
9:30am – 11:30am: Recovery workers, Social service sector and Council staff – Tweed & Surrounds, Murwillumbah Civic Centre Auditorium, 10-14 Tumbulgum Rd, Murwillumbah https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512560320717
2 – 4pm: Tweed Heads Community Recovery Session, Tweed Civic Centre Auditorium, Cnr Brett St and, Wharf St, Tweed Heads https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/512669487237
This series of events is a collaboration of the Australian Red Cross and headspace, National Youth Mental Health Foundation and is proudly funded by NSW Government.
Summer Leisure workshops have splashed into ACE Murwillumbah. Discover a taste sensation, free your inner creative, learn a new skill or simplly zen out. Let’s cool off and start the year refreshed.
To mark the one-year anniversary of the 28 February natural disaster, Lismore City Council is holding a series of events to allow our community to reflect on the catastrophic flood and to look forward as we rebuild our City.
Lismore City Mayor Steve Krieg said Reflect, Rebuild Lismore will give residents the opportunity to once again come together to reflect on the past 12 months, reconnect, heal and hopefully enjoy some entertainment to mark the city’s new beginning as we rebuild.
“While the morning of 28 February dramatically changed our city, it also revealed the best of our nature with stranger coming to the aid of stranger, neighbour helping neighbour and our whole community standing as one,” he said.
“There is no doubt that this has been the toughest year for many of us, which is why on the first anniversary of 28 February it is important to come together as a community and reflect on what happened on that horrible morning and also on how far we have all come since.
“It is also a time to look to our future and our City’s future as we rebuild together.
“Reflect, RebuildLismore is for our community with all events free.”
Reflect, Rebuild Lismore is funded by the NSW Government.
Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said these anniversary events are recognition of what happened, what we lost including lives, and also an opportunity to recognise the way we rallied, responded and looked after each other.
“Despite everything I see an optimism in our community, and now is the time to get stuck into reimagining Lismore,” she said.
The first event is a Service of Reflection and Healing for our whole community to come together at Mortimer Oval from 6pm with the service between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Prior to this a private event will be held to recognise members of the Tinny Army who saved countless lives on that fateful morning.
Running from Tuesday, 28 February to Sunday, 19 March, Reflect, Rebuild Lismore also features a Community Concert at the Turf Club on Sunday, 5 March for those in the Lismore LGA, an open CBD Gathering on Saturday, 4 March with CBD businesses, food vendors, local artists, roving entertainers and four live music stages around the block which will be closed to traffic.
Other events include a Wellbeing Hub at the Quad between Tuesday, 28 February and Sunday, 5 March, a welcome party for the Bowilzilla Skate event at Nimbin on Thursday, 2 March and a Flea Circus Skate event at GSAC on Friday, 3 March.
The two final events are a Community Cricket 20/20 with former Australian Test cricketers, led by Adam Gilchrest, playing with local senior and junior cricketers at Oakes Oval on Saturday, 11 March and an Opera in the Gardens at the Lismore Turf Club on Sunday, 19 March with well-known international performers and orchestra.
A free bus shuttle service will be available for some events. Those who need transport to other events can contact Hart Services service on 1300 874 278 which is kindly providing a free pick-up.
Full details can be found on Council’s Visit Lismore website at www.visitlismore.com.au and on Council’s Facebook page.
A new Oxfam report has found that the richest 1% of Australians accumulated 10 times more wealth than the bottom 50% of the population in the past decade, as cost-of-living pressures bite and global inequality spikes.
Published just as political and business leaders gather in the luxury Swiss ski resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, Oxfam’s report Survival of the Richest shows how extreme wealth and extreme poverty have increased simultaneously for the first time in 25 years.
You can read the full report HERE.
Come along to understand more about personal and community recovery after a natural disaster like flooding at a Resilient Lismore event.
Hear from David Younger, a Melbourne based clinical psychologist and natural disaster preparedness and recovery consultant. In 2009, the Black Saturday bushfires came close to where he was living and working, and as a result he became deeply involved in treating and supporting survivors.
David will share key messages designed to help you understand more about the challenges we are facing and, what you can do to maintain your overall health and wellbeing.
He will also talk about how communities can best support themselves. All community members welcome!
Heartfelt House is beginning a new healing program for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Please see the attached pamphlet for more information.
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:
Safe Haven Xmas Lunch
The Safe Haven Christmas lunch is on 25 December 12pm – 2pm at the Carpark below the Quad in Lismore – Corner of Rural and Dawson Street.
All are welcome!
Click here for Information about Safe Haven and the Safe Haven Xmas Lunch
Community services including homelessness, mental health and family violence organisations are facing soaring demand this Christmas due to the cost-of-living crisis, continuous disasters and the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, a new report has found.
The report Helping people in need during a cost-of-living crisis, based on the Australian Community Sector Survey undertaken by the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney for ACOSS and the State and Territory Councils of Social Service, and supported by Bendigo Bank, found that only three per cent of the 1,470 organisations surveyed said their main service can always meet demand.
In 2020, when the Coronavirus Supplement was in place, that figure was 19 per cent, before dropping to six per cent in 2021 after the Supplement was withdrawn by the Federal Government.
Housing and homelessness services are particularly stretched. Not a single one of the 180 services in the survey said they could ‘always’ meet demand and as many as one in 10 said they could never meet demand.
Some 66 per cent of organisations reported increased demand in 2022, including 85 per cent of those delivering financial, legal and emergency support; and 80 per cent of those delivering domestic and family violence services.
One CEO of a child and youth service in Victoria said: “In almost thirty years in community service provision, I have never experienced a more challenging environment.”
Meanwhile, 61 per cent of service providers reported increased poverty and disadvantage among their clients and 64 per cent reported that clients’ needs were increasingly complex.
The increased demand and complexity of need has put extra pressure on community service staff, with 54 per cent of organisations reporting their main service is affected by staff burnout.
This was especially high among domestic and family violence services where 81 per cent reported staff exhaustion.
Many organisations are struggling to recruit and retain staff, with 40 per cent reporting their main service is unable to find enough staff and 36 per cent struggling to find volunteers.
Only one in eight said they receive enough funding to meet community demand.
One frontline worker at a family services organisation in Queensland said: “We are underfunded and understaffed to meet the increasing needs.”
ACOSS Deputy CEO Edwina MacDonald said the report laid bare the shocking impact of the cost-of-living crisis.
“It is clear that community services are experiencing something unprecedented. Intensifying financial pressures on top of disasters are really affecting people and overly straining providers this Christmas,” she said.
“As people increasingly search for help, services face higher operational costs and staff shortages, further limiting their ability to assist their communities.
“Government relies on our sector to serve the public interest on its behalf. It is therefore vital that it properly fund services and invest in service sector staff who have been doing an incredible job in tough circumstances.
“People across the country know just how hard-working, resilient and committed our sector has been during three, long years of pandemic, disasters and economic turmoil.
“But the challenges of demand, complexity of need, poverty and disadvantage, combined with the past decade of chronic underfunding, are pushing community services beyond breaking point, and that cannot be tolerated,.
“If our sector is to support everyone seeking help, then strengthening our workforce and suitably funding essential services is crucial.”
Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey, said demand for food relief is now even higher than during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“On any given day, over half a million households in Australia are struggling to meet their food needs and 306,000 are receiving assistance from food relief organisations,” she said.
“We know how important it is for people to have access to nutritious food, yet the rising costs of energy, fuel, groceries and rent have put this fundamental need beyond the reach of more and more people with no respite in sight.”
Full Stop Australia Chief Executive Officer, Hayley Foster, said family and sexual violence services are completely overwhelmed and underfunded.
“We’ve seen a shadow pandemic when it comes to family and sexual violence. Never have we seen such overwhelming demand. Indeed, these are the only major crime categories that continue to climb across the country. Yet, many services haven’t seen an increase in funding to meet that demand resulting in a situation where it’s currently chance if victim-survivors get the support they need when they need it.’ she said.
“Right now, many services are so underfunded that they can barely deal with the crises on their doorstep, let alone provide the ongoing support survivors need to heal and recover. It’s simply heartbreaking.”
Financial Rights Legal Centre CEO, Karen Cox, said her organisation has struggled to recruit and retain specialist staff who are equipped to respond to the demand for legal assistance in the midst of numerous climate-related disasters and the cost-of-living crisis.
“Our dedicated insurance and debt lawyers are never able to answer all of the calls that come through on our specialist advice lines. This has been particularly true following the huge loss of property in this year’s unprecedented floods.
“On top of that, more and more people are turning to us for help as the cost-of-living crisis hits hard.”
- Only three per cent of survey respondents reported they can always meet demand
- Two thirds reported increased demand in 2022
- 61 per cent reported increased poverty and disadvantage among their clients
- 2 in 5 respondents said waiting times for their service had increased (39 per cent)
- A third (32 per cent) said their service had turned people away due to lack of capacity
- 30 per cent reported referring people to other services due to lack of capacity
- 16 per cent said their main service had to close a waiting list, as it was too long
- 81 per cent of staff in domestic and family violence services had seen staff exhaustion or burn out in their main service during 2022
- 63 per cent of survey participants said cost of living pressures had affected the people or communities that their organisation supports.
Media contact: 0419 626 155
Splash into GSAC this Sunday for the first of its Summer Sunday Sessions. With the Lismore Memorial Baths still damaged after the February natural disaster, Lismore City Council has extended the GSAC pool’s opening hours to include Sundays.
The pool will be opening on Sunday’s from 10am-2pm starting this Sunday, 18 December. With the following Sunday being Christmas Day, the Sunday sessions will pick back up from Sunday, 1 January and run until Sunday, 19 February.
For more information on opening hours, facilities and programs call GSAC on 6625 5370.
There is a Fairtrade Christmas market on in Bangalow this Saturday.
If you are looking for ethical Christmas gifts, this is the place to buy them!
It’s at the Bangalow Uniting Church.
After the popular Lismore Library was destroyed by the February natural disaster, a new temporary Pop-Up Library will open its Molesworth Street doors on Thursday.
Lismore City Mayor Steve Krieg said Council was determined to open a new temporary library while the permanent one in Magellan Street is rebuilt to bring a sense of normality for library users and community.
“We decided to open a temporary library because this service is very popular with our community,” he said.
“I would like to thank the Library staff who have worked extremely hard to make this possible, and especially the many volunteers who have helped to fill the shelves with more than 20,000 donated books.”
The Pop-Up Library at 146 Molesworth Street will provide access to the brand-new community donated collections, computers, printing, and a space to connect, discover and escape.
Lismore Area Librarian Michael Lewis said it was wonderful to have the library back in the CBD.
“This move, with the support of the Lismore City Council and General Manager John Walker strives to support the revitalisation of the Lismore CBD,” he said.
“The Lismore Library has over 20,000 items ready for the reopening. These donations and community support shows the meaning libraries have in their communities and will support the positive recovery for our library and our community.
“The library is a safe space for many, and by opening in the CBD, it will provide accessible services, collections, and programs for all in our community.
The Lismore Pop-Up Library is located at 146 Molesworth Street and is near parking, public facilities and local eateries and shops.
The library will be open 7 days a week at the following times:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
9.30am – 5pm
9.30am – 7pm
9am – 1pm
1pm – 4pm
With the opening of the new CBD library, Goonellabah Library will have a change of opening hours. From December 1, the Goonellabah Library will be open:
- Monday – Friday: 9.30am–5pm, closed from 12.30pm to 1.30pm daily.
- Saturday and Sunday will remain open for the next two weekends. Last day will be Sunday, December 11.
Did you experience sexual abuse as child? Are you wanting to move towards healing and recovery? You do not need to do this alone.
Healing and Recovery for Survivors is a medium to long term counselling program provided by specialist trauma counsellors from Full Stop Australia.
Counselling is free and available at Lismore Womens Health Centre, No referral necessary.
For more info and to see whether this program is right for you:
Call Full Stop Australia on: 02 8585 0363 / Email: [email protected]
FOR 24/7 COUNSELLING SUPPORT 1800 FULL STOP (1800 385 578
Walking Tall Program is a women’s mentoring program with individual and group components. The purpose is aimed at increasing self-confidence, interests, knowledge, and strengths in life and increasing opportunities of employment. Mentors and mentees will be involved in workshops, promoting positive self-worth and growth. This six-month program endeavours to empower women.
Mature mentors will be specifically chosen and paired with mentees between the ages of 16 to 24 years old. Types of personalities, culture, and personal interests will be considered to ensure a perfect match is created and positive connections are made.
Monthly reviews of goals will occur to allow for focus and continued reflection on how needs are being met and what changes need to happen to ensure the end goal is achieved.
- Commit to meeting three times per month on a Friday participating in workshops and gatherings.
- Be between the ages of 16-24 years of age
- Be committed to the program and have a willingness to learn
- Have an honest approach to what goals you want to achieve in the program.
- Have a positive attitude and learn whilst having fun.
- Build meaningful relationships with mentors.
Walking TALL Mentee Criteria
- Female aged 16 – 24 Years. (some wriggle room)
- Be connected to the Kyogle LGA.
- Be respectful.
- Wanting support in career pathway steps.
- Ready to make change, ready to work towards greater success.
- Open to working with volunteer mentors and work collaboratively with each other and the facilitator.
- Student, Unemployed, Employed, Part time, Full time, Stay at home mum. ALL WELCOME as long as you can
- Guardian permission if under 18 yrs. of age
Please contact Jade for any questions on 0498008513/66321044 or email [email protected]
The NSW Transcultural Mental Health Line operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 4:30 pm to support people who live in NSW and who are culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
You can call the NSW Transcultural Mental Health Line on 1800 648 911.
The Line is specifically focused on supporting people from CALD communities to get the help they need, with a specialist team of health care professionals who speak their language and understand their mental health concern from shared cultural perspectives.
The Line will also provide information for callers on how to access mental health care and it will be able to connect them with relevant services and community support.
For more information on the Transcultural Mental Health Line visit: https://www.dhi.health.nsw.gov.au/tmhl