18 June 2018

Community and Service

St Patrick's Fremantle

Homelessness as an issue is never far from home. This was clear following a visit to Fremantle to pave the way for a service activity as part of the Round Square Conference being hosted by Scotch in April. Staff in the St Patrick's Community Support Centre feed around 80 homeless people each day as well as cater for other personal needs, such as for medical services and emergency accommodation. The overwhelming incentive for staff is to move clients from a state of homelessness to one of permanent accommodation and stability.

While many of the homeless in Fremantle have mental and physical health issues that prevent them from working, some are hit by a sudden change in circumstance - a loss of job or breakdown in a marriage - and as a result find themselves without a place to call home - if only temporarily. The staff at St Patrick's work to alleviate the suffering of those in our society going through particularly hard times.

The 'Choir of Hard Knocks' performance at Scotch recently highlighted the need to provide all people with a means to contribute meaningfully to society. The choir represents a channel whereby members can regain dignity through the role they play in lifting up their audience through their collective voices. While it is important for society to support the less fortunate, it is imperative to provide those in dire circumstances a means to feel valued - often following a soul-destroying fall from grace. It is interesting that St Patrick's also has a choir and believes that this is a way of creating stability and sense of family - mentioned by Choir of Hard Knocks Artistic Director Jonathon Welch as a central role of the Melbourne choir.

Manna Industries

A group of Year 10 boys were provided with a unique experience of homelessness through the 'Tranby' service activity. The boys were able to purchase bottles of water and hand them out directly to homeless clients of Manna soup kitchen in a park in Northbridge.

manna industries

Balga SHS Students to Present at Round Square Conference

Delegates at the forthcoming Round Square Conference will be able to hear the personal stories of two refugee students attending the Intensive English Unit at Balga Senior High School. These students, from The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Iran, will be presenting with Akram Azami, Young Australian of the Year, 2013. Akram currently works with Year 10 students on Friday afternoons as part of the Service Learning Programme. Scotch boys have been going to Balga SHS for the past nine years to assist with conversation English language and assimilation activities. Akram Azami is from Afghanistan and came also to Australia as a refugee. He is now completing his third degree while working as a tutor in the Department of Medicine at UWA.

Disabled Surfers Association Storage Request

The Disabled Surfers Association of WA is seeking storage space to park their trailer containing all the equipment needed to run events at Leighton Beach during the summer months. This is a large enclosed trailer and would require an undercover space in an industrial-size shed. Please contact Bill Cordner if you can assist.

Mr Bill Cordner

Director of Community and Service