Meet the People, Feel the Issues visits Sept – Dec 2017


Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, 12 – 1:30pm, Thursday 5 October and Thursday 7 December.  214-218 Nicholson St, Footscray
Delivering services to 2,000 asylum seekers through their food and aid network, health, legal, counselling and case-work programs

Sacred Heart Mission, 11am – 12 noon, Thursday 12 October.  99 Grey Street, St Kilda.
Finally, a home (Hugs included)

Asylum Seekers falling through the gap, Salvation Army Auburn, 12 – 1pm, Tuesday 17 October. 166 – 170 south parade Auburn, Sydney
Most recent policy changes take punitive treatment of asylum seekers to a new low.

First Step and First Step Legal, 11am – 12 noon, Thursday 19 October. 42 Carlisle St, St Kilda
The opposite of addiction is …. Connection

Mornington Peninsula visit, 10:30am in Frankston to 4:00pm in Rosebud, Tuesday 24 October
All is not what it seems

Youth Unit at Port Philip Prison, 9.45am – 12 noon, Thursday 9 November. Port Philip Prison, 451 Doherty’s Rd, Truganina
Making a life on the outside viable

PCYC, St Kilda, 10:30 – 11:30am, Tuesday 14 November. 179 Inkerman St, St Kilda
Equipping vulnerable young people with skills for life

Mirabel, 10:30 – 11:30am, Tuesday 21  November. 87 Orrong Cres, Caulfield North
Supporting children who have been orphaned or abandoned due to parental illicit drug use.



Additional Project Information.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

Igniting Change has walked along side ASRC and founder Kon Karapangiotidis since it was founded in 2004. You can see Kon talking about what this has meant here.
Kon and the team deliver services to over 2,000 asylum seekers at any one time that include the food and aid network, health, legal, counselling and casework. The ground-breaking Innovation Hub offers English classes, business and employment support.
Kon will brief us about the joys and challenges of this work, then we will look around the building in small groups before returning for Q&A. We recommend staying on for the beautiful community lunch too!

Sacred Heart Mission.

Just five minutes from Igniting Change, is a beautiful residential home run by the Sacred Heart Mission community. Residents have histories of being homeless, many with a range of complex needs resulting from negative life experiences, including the effects of poverty, exposure to trauma and social isolation with few having any contact with their families. Sadly 40% of residents are under 64 years of age, the majority of these people have been let down by an ill-equipped existing system and nowhere else to go. A little love without judgement and compassion can break down so many barriers. Margaret Thorpe (Manger) and her team genuinely care about each and every individual and give them the respect and dignity they deserve, truly it has to be seen and felt to be believed.

Salvation Army, Asylum Seeker Program.

Recent policy changes mean that a growing number of asylum seekers battling through the bureaucratic processes of the Australian Immigration Department are left waiting for decisions on applications with NO access to Centrelink, medicare, food or material aid from Government or mainstream charities. Paul Moulds former Director of Oasis Youth Support and now Director of The Salvation Army Auburn District says these are the most desperate people he has ever worked with and this latest policy has taken the punitive approach to a new low. We will hear firsthand over a beautiful home cooked meal from the people Paul has the privilege to work with.

First Step and First Step Legal.

Igniting Change have been passionate supporters of First Step for over 10 years. First Step works with some of the most marginalised people in our community, to break the cycle of addiction and help them deal with the associated mental health and social issues. They offer mental health, social work, legal and employment services as well as specialised medical care – easy to access in one location and free of charge to all patients. First Step gets no state or federal funding and relies heavily on the generosity of supporters and philanthropic organisations to be able to provide this essential service. Over years Igniting Change is proud to have catalyzed support for core costs, equipment and the legal program worth over $650,000.First Step Legal supports recovery by helping people with the legal fallout from addiction, with remarkable results. Their Principal Lawyer Tania Wolff shared a recent case with us: ‘..without the backing from our generous and loyal supporters at Igniting Change, I have no doubt that Brad would still be in prison – as against working full time with his brother’s company and living a normal life.’
On our visit we’ll meet Principal Lawyer Tania Wolff, who supports clients to deal with the legal issues which are often part of the fallout from addiction, and can derail recovery. She’ll explain the complex nature of the issues they face and the need for legal and policy reform.

Projects on the Mornington Peninsula.

We are excited to take a road trip to places on the Mornington Peninsula people may not usually visit. We would love to share with you what we see and feel, from the people closest to the issues and support them to change the statistics which otherwise dominate this space. Yes, there is domestic violence, yes there is drug and alcohol addiction and yes there is high youth unemployment…but there are people making a difference, chipping away at what has been allowed to become an entrenched and insidious issue. Inequality in Australia is alive and well on the Peninsula.

Youth Unit at Port Phillip Prison.

The Youth Unit was created and is run by Youth Development Officer, Anne Hooker in response to alarming rates of suicide and self-harm in the prison. The Youth Unit supports first time offenders aged 18 – 25. Over the last 10 years Igniting Change has supported the Youth Unit by inspiring and enabling financial, in kind and ongoing involvement from a range of individuals, businesses and philanthropic organisations, including financial for educational and personal development programs; an evaluation of the Unit by Monash University; the creation of a partnership with the Toll Second Step Employment Program which has resulted in over 50 jobs for young men leaving Prison and seed funding for two ground breaking initiatives – the T shirt printing business, Doin’ Time, and the film, Stories from the Inside. The reoffending rate from the Unit is less than half that of inmates exiting the main prison system…at a challenging time in youth justice, the Unit offers a model that works.

PCYC, St Kilda.

PCYC mentors and engages over 140 young vulnerable people per week, each coming multiple times to access the ten distinct programs run by the dynamic and compassionate youth workers. The programs range from boxing, men’s and girl’s groups and homework groups empowering the young people with skills for life. Most recently Igniting Change has supported their girls group and the Duke of Edinburgh program.
Most of the young people in PCYS’s programs are from the housing commission flats and have disrupted and chaotic lives with families that struggle to make ‘family’ work. Many have very poor engagement with school and their only structured activity is often through PCYC. PCYC works with an individual’s school or own case worker where relevant.
PCYC also owns a house two doors down from the gym. It has 7 rooms and PCYC offers supported accommodation. Igniting Change recently catalysed a renovation on two of the rooms that were inhabitable. As the young people, they work with may be homeless, or living in difficult circumstances, the house is a crucial part of their service – and it is always full. Young people can stay safely here long term, and access support in their own time, as they get their lives together. PCYC has had amazing success with young people who have hit rock bottom at a very young age, and with support have emerged with the strength and capacity to make a go of it. Time and again the youth workers talk about the incredible strength and tenacity the kids have, when the right support is put in place.
Donny, the Youth Manager will show us around with Chloe, who has graduated from their programs and is now Operations Manager.

Mirabel Foundation.

Children orphaned or abandoned due to parental illicit drug use are often cared for by extended family, usually elderly grandparents who have little or no financial or social support. Run by the beautiful Jane Rowe, Mirabel supports these children aged 0 – 17 years, helping to restore a child’s self-worth, sense of belonging and hope for the future. Jane believes that ‘every child deserves a childhood’ and that working closely with these children is the most proactive way of breaking the destructive cycle of drug use. Mirabel is currently supporting over 1,500 children, with one new referral a week and has facilitated training throughout Australia for professionals and organisations working with vulnerable children