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News
Save the Date!
October 10, 2017
CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn is hosting the 10th Annual Comorbidity Interagency Day on Wednesday, 29 November 2017.   (image)     Please be sure to register your attendance through the below link and share with relevant stakeholders. https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/10711907115
World Mental Health Day
October 10, 2017
World Mental Health Day – 10 October – is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. An initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide. Mental Health Australia is delighted to be leading the World Mental Health Day campaign in Australia. As the peak not-for-profit organisation representing the mental health sector in Australia, Mental Health Australia has a focus on ensuring the whole community recognises the part we all play in creating a mentally healthy society. Do You See What I See? challenges perceptions about mental illness in Australia and encourages everyone to look at mental health in a more positive light, in an effort to reduce stigma and make way for more people to seek the help and support they deserve. Stigma around mental illness due to misunderstanding or prejudice remains an issue in Australia, delaying or preventing people from wanting or feeling able to seek help, and impacting adversely on their lives. Misconceptions and misrepresentations about those experiencing mental illness are damaging to people’s lives. They may include references to people affected as being ‘scary’, ‘comical’, ‘incompetent’, ‘weak’ or ‘hopeless’ and can appear anywhere, from in the media and the arts to conversations we have at work, school or home. The reality is the vast majority of people affected by mental illness are able to lead independent and contributing lives in the community, with the right treatment and support. With one in five Australians affected, they form part of our close circles of family, friends and colleagues, and interact with us in our communities every day. It’s time to look at mental illness in a different light – a positive light. Colour and Life, Resilience, Determination, Strength, Perseverance, Bravery, Recovery, Hopefulness, Courage, Contribution and more. For more information on World Mental Health Day and mental health in general please visit https://1010.org.au/
CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn’s CEO Anne Kirwan’s Keynote Address to Staff for 60th Anniversary
September 1, 2017
Thanks to Warren for providing such a wonderful welcome to country.  I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are meeting on today, the Ngunnawal people, and acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city, this region, and in particular, to our sector.  I would also like to acknowledge any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who maybe attending today’s gathering. Why are we here? Thank you for taking time out of your day to celebrate our 60th year and join us for our Staff Birthday Party!  And thank you to those involved in organising this event. CatholicCare’s mission is simple, we aim to provide quality services to those most in need – in both the ACT and surrounding NSW regions.   Our doors are open to every human, regardless of socio-economic status, age, gender, race, sexuality, or religion - we welcome everyone. This year we – as CatholicCare – we celebrate 60 years of serving our community.  But where did we come from? CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn is of course, an entity of the larger Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn.  The Archdiocese evolved from the Diocese of Goulburn, and Canberra was created as a parish in 1928.  The first parish priest of Canberra was Monsignor Haydon – and many of you will recall the Haydon Annexe that our Youth Programs worked out of in Manuka for several years which was obviously named after him.  St Christophers school was opened that year in Manuka, and now makes up the Catholic Education Office precinct in Manuka.  In fact, our lovely Bishop Pat Power went to that school as a child.  And it was opened by the Good Samaritan Sisters, who also built this building we are meeting in today, and it was their old convent. In 1938 the cathedral stone of St Christophers was laid, and the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn was created in 1948. Around 1957 (60 years ago) there were regular meetings across Canberra involving Catholic community members who were volunteers providing ad hoc services and support to each other and families in need.  One such group was the Marian Club organised by Fr Lynch.  Again many of you will recognise that Marian is the name of the new Independent Living Units developed in Manuka on the site of our old office.  Fr Lynch was a key figure in supporting this group of parishioners who volunteered their time across Canberra to support those who needed help. Then in 1959 there was a significant change in Australia, as the government passed the Matrimonial Causes Act which united all Australian States under one matrimonial law, and one divorce law.  You can imagine that the Catholic Church had serious concerns regarding these changes and laws on divorce, and the Australian government responded by offering Catholic Diocese across Australia a fund of $5,000 pounds to train people to become marriage guidance counsellors.  The Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn was one of a few diocese across Australia to accept this funding. As such, the Catholic Marriage Guidance Bureau was born, and commenced in 1960.  This was CatholicCare’s first name!  This also marked the beginning of the Church officially receiving government funding to provide services within its regions, and saw the movement from ad hoc volunteer based parish activities to a more coordinated response. Fr Lynch became the first Director of the Bureau, and became the first staff member.  He quickly recruited other members of the Archdiocese to train as marriage counsellors, who all worked part time mainly after hours to provide counselling services to the community for the next 20 years. During this time the Bureau and its team of part time staff worked with an ANU professor Mark Pentony and he is regarded as the key person who brought this part time community based volunteer approach to counselling to a professional model.  Many of you will recall that our Board room in Manuka was named the Pentony Room after this influential clinician, and now the board room here at Red Hill. These services began to be provided out of our old Manuka offices.  In 1972 the Marriage Bureau began offering marriage education courses, and we still offer these today should any couple wish to be married in a Catholic Church. In 1977 Fr Lynch stood down, and the Archbishop undertook a review of the pastoral activities within his Archdiocese, and as a result Fr Tom Wright was appointed as the new Director of Catholic Social Services (our second name).  This change saw the centralisation of services to Manuka, including Marriage Counselling, Natural Family Planning, Pre-Marriage Education, School Counselling, Family Life Education, Canberra Homemaker Services for families in distress, Rainbows a program for children whose parents separated or divorced, Catholic Church Insurances and Refugee Resettlement.  Fr Wright was a strong political advocate and retired in 1991.  The counselling wing in Manuka was named after him. In 1991 Catholic Social Services (this was the plaque in the wall outside our manuka offices remember) hired a new Director Fr Southwell, and also renamed itself Centacare across Australia (our third name).  At this time, we were also offering Mediation and Canberra Family Support programs, as well as FACES and protective behaviours.  The total income was $172k. It was around 1992 that Centacare with the support of Sr Jeanie Heininger lobbied the government for funding for disability services.  This funding saw the commencement of our disability care services and our first group home, and was the beginning of our NDIS services today.  When Fr Southwell stepped out, Sr Jeanie acted in his role until a permanent Director could be appointed. In 1994 Centacare appointed its first lay Director (which means not a member of clergy) Mr Neil Harrigan.  This saw another shift with Neil coming to Centacare as a practicing Psychologist at a period of significant change within Australia and government and welfare services.  This was a time when the government began outsourcing its programs to the community, and we saw significant growth and investment into community organisations.  The income at the time of Neil commencing was around $800k a year, and Neil was told they could only afford his wage for 12 months.  At a time when most of the funding came from the Church, Neil needed to grow and build the agency, and he did. Neil, with this small team, significantly expanded the organisation, adding the JPET, PSP, SAILS Program, Ainslie Village, Open Employment, Dorothy Sales Cottages, ACCESS EAP ACT, Reconnect ACT and NSW, the LODGE, Hands on Studio, Refugee Resettlement, Homelinx, Youth & Wellbeing, Sobering Up Shelter, Comorbidity Project, Youth Connections, CatholicCare Migration Service, Flexible Family Respite, AIM, ASSIST, MINOSA House, Mature Carers, Towards Independence TWIN, HACC, HASI HARI, Partners in Recovery, STEPS, Transitional Housing, EAP services, Better Access, Health in Mind ATAPS Suicide Intervention, GrogWatch, Regional Aged Care Assessment, LINC and SINC to the organisations offerings to the community, as well as two retirement villages.  A legacy to Neil, the organisation grew to be a $16 million large diverse agency during this 20 year tenure. In 2005 Centacare sought to become Quality Assured, and has been operating against quality standards now for over 12 years. In 2009 the organisation changed its name again to CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn following the agreement by the Bishops to better reflect who we are (this is our fourth name). We also developed our first Reconciliation Action Plan! Neil Harrigan semi-retired in 2014, and handed the reins to the first female lay Director in me – Anne Kirwan.  His is a hard act to follow.  The last three years have continued to see significant change for CatholicCare, as we continue to evolve and change and seek to adapt to government legislation and priorities and respond to community need. Most noticeable has been the transition into the NDIS and the cessation of many of our well known programs into individual packages of care.   However this has enabled us to offer new services to people with a disability like Speech Therapy, Home Maintenance & Gardening, NDIS counselling and behaviour support.  We have also seen the commencement of several new services, like Next Step High Intensity and Next Step Youth Clinical Programs, our ATOD Reaching Out Program and the new Complex Case Management ATOD Program that replaces Comorbidity, the Safer Pathways Program in Goulburn and Queanbeyan, Community Home Support Packages for the elderly in Braidwood and Southern Highlands, and Community Assistance and Support packaged in the ACT, as well as the significant achievement of registration as a Community Housing Provider and that of an Aged Care Provider. CatholicCare has not stopped growing, changing and taking on new opportunities. During the last 60 years we have seen 14 Prime Ministers (I didn’t count Rudd twice) and their relevant governments and agendas come and go.  We are still here. Through all this change and turbulence, our focus has been clear.  To support those who are living on the edges, who are marginalised and who need assistance.  We have sought to live out the principles of Catholic Social Teaching in our daily work – by ensuring that we treat every person with dignity and respect and do our best, with what we have. And throughout those 60 years, with our history laid out before us, one thing is clear.  That the Catholic Marriage Guidance Bureau, Catholic Social Services, Centacare, or CatholicCare – whatever our name, is an organisation made up of people, seeking to help other people, to make their lives better, to ease their burdens and help on their journey to recovery. We are an organisation made up of people, initially volunteers, and then through the years, reflecting the changes within community, government and services, an organisation made up of professionals, seeking to do good. We have a legacy of helping to maintain, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you to add to this history, to ensure that every person who comes into contact with CatholicCare, leaves in a better situation. Without you, our staff, we cannot achieve our mission.  Over the last 60 years, hundreds of staff have walked through our doors, and given their time and energy to our organisation.  Sometimes, it hasn’t been easy work.  But together, we have done amazing things. So today, we celebrate our 60 years, of giving and working together, of developing and building this organisation, and our services, to be recognised as a quality organisation that makes a difference. So thank you to everyone who has contributed to the last 60 years.  Who knows, we might all be here to celebrate our 100th !!! Happy 60 years CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn!!
Senator Seselja announces funding to support Canberrans with substance use disorders
August 30, 2017
Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja and the ACT PHN today announced a funding package to support five local organisations to provide new specialist drug and alcohol services for people with substance use disorders in the ACT. The Canberra region has received $2.8 million for Primary Health Networks to commission local drug and alcohol treatment services. The funding forms part of the Federal Government’s $241.5 million for additional treatment services under the $298.2 million National Ice Action Strategy (NIAS) to reduce the impact of drug and alcohol misuse on individuals, families and communities. Senator Zed Seselja welcomed the newly funded services which will help to combat the devastating impact that drug and alcohol misuse is having across the region. “Drug use, particularly the use of Ice, is a serious issue for our local community,” said Senator Seselja. “This money will provide much needed services to people in our region that are grappling with ice addiction and substance misuse.” Capital Health Network (CHN) Chief Executive Gaylene Coulton said CHN, ACT’s primary health network (ACT PHN), has been working with the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA), the ACT Drug and Alcohol service sector and ACT Health to identify gaps in local alcohol and other drug services.“ ACT PHN commissioned ATODA to conduct a needs assessment to identify service gaps and population needs for specialist drug and alcohol services in the ACT. In addition ACT PHN consulted with key stakeholders in the service sector. Both the needs assessment and consultation informed our process to ensure we’re investing in local specialist drug and alcohol services to provide effective and efficient treatment services to Canberrans,” said Ms Coulton. The needs assessment showed that there was a shortage of specialist alcohol and other drug counselling services in the ACT, with a much lower occurrence of episodes of care than other parts of Australia. “To address this local need, this package is funding new specialist drug and alcohol counselling services which will help people receive immediate intervention and long-term support for substance use disorders, such as methamphetamine addiction or prescription opioid analgesic addictions,” said Ms Coulton. “A Service Users’ Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey was conducted across ACT specialist alcohol and other drug organisations on a single day in 2015, the survey identified that at that point in time one in four people accessing alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services in the ACT were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Therefore part of this package is enabling local organisations to deliver indigenous-specific AOD services to clients and also to work with service providers in the AOD sector to ensure the services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients are culturally sensitive,” said Ms Coulton. In response to the findings of the National Ice Taskforce, these additional services have been made possible through funding provided by the Australian Government under the PHN Program:
  • Specialist Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Counselling Services - ACT PHN has engaged Karralika and CatholicCare to deliver specialist AOD counselling services to residents of the ACT who are currently unable to access specialist AOD treatment services, including the ACT corrections population. ACT PHN has engaged ACT Health to deliver specialist AOD counselling services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.
  • Indigenous specific AOD services - ACT PHN has engaged Gugan Gulwan, ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth organisation, to deliver indigenous specific AOD services.
  • Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Worker - ACT PHN has engaged CAHMA (Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation & Advocacy) to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients to navigate the AOD service system; deliver brief interventions; and work with service providers in the AOD sector to ensure the services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients receive, are where possible, culturally sensitive.
Read the full Media Release here
Hands On Studio Upcoming Exhibition
July 19, 2017
Hands on Studio, an art studio run by CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn, would like to warmly invite you to the opening night of their latest exhibition.

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Hands On Studio is a creative and inclusive art program that provides people with varying disabilities and psychosocial issues access to art. The program is housed within M16 ARTSPACE in Griffith and classes include painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. The classes are taught in a person centered approach, giving the students the opportunity to work independently or in collaboration with their peers and tutor.   Curator of the exhibition and Hands On Studio Manager, Tilley Davey is thrilled with the current output of art and her role there, “It is has been a delight to take on the role as the manager at Hands On. I believe that the value and substance which is produced at Hands On and other community art programs throughout Canberra is a critical aspect to community growth and wellbeing.”   “It sometimes feels like I am managing the brightest, friendliest studio in the world. It is wonderful to see the amount of effort that all of the students and tutors put into the exhibitions and their weekly classes.” Ms Davey said.   At Hands On Studio it is strongly encouraged that all participants view their art practice in a professional manner, by regularly contributing artwork to exhibitions around Canberra and collaborating with various artistic institutions in the ACT.   The works showcased in this exhibition have been produced at Hands On Studio over the past year. All of the works outline the value of the program and community art in Canberra as a whole.   Details for opening night of the exhibition are as follows:
  • When: Thursday 27 July 2017 from 6pm.
  • Where: M16 Artspace, Gallery 3, 21 Blaxand Crescent, Griffith ACT 2603.
  The exhibition will run until 13 August 2017. If you require more information about the studio or the exhibition please contact the studio manager Tilly Davey on 0406378613 or via email tilly.davey@catholiccare.go.org.au   We look forward to welcoming you and your family and friends on the evening.
MEET OUR CHURCH’S WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
June 28, 2017
Fiona van der Plaat from the Catholic Voice talks to Helen Delahunty, Anne Kirwan and Camilla Rowland, three women who are the forefront of decision-making in the Archdiocese. And she finds that there’s a lot more to life than work for each of them.

Anne Kirwan, CatholicCare CEO

AS far as role models go, Anne Kirwan would like to think she is a good one for her 10-year-old daughter. But Wonder Woman isn’t a bad support act.

“We’ve just seen Wonder Woman at the movies,” the CEO of CatholicCare in the Archdiocese says.

“I like to see female action-hero role models and it’s good for my daughter to see them too.”

Escaping to the movies is also one of the ways – along with cheering on her daughter’s netball team and “yelling and screaming” from the stands at the Canberra Raiders’ NRL games – Ms Kirwan gives herself a break from what is “not just a job, but a vocation”.

When she took over the leadership of CatholicCare nearly three years ago, having worked for the agency for 20 years, she felt the weight of responsibility.

On one hand, taking over at a time of great change, particularly in the new world of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, was an exciting chance to do things differently and leave her stamp.

On the other hand, it was daunting. “It can be quite scary when you realise the buck stops with you,” she says.

“In the end, we are representing the Church and the Archdiocese, and I am mindful of the legacy of 60 years.

“You want to leave any position in a better condition than what you inherited, and I think I’ve given it a red-hot go. It’s been a challenging time, but a rewarding one.”

Ms Kirwan is thankful for her “amazing” staff, about 80 per cent of whom are women, and that she can rely on them to look after the details while she has learned to step back and look at the bigger picture.

While she has had to relinquish much of her clinical caseload, she has found her psychology training and experience useful in running an agency that needs to be financially and politically savvy while maintaining its community focus.

“In a leadership role, I need to remain calm and steer the ship,” she says.

“I strive to be a role model for my staff – I think that’s quite a compliment if people can say that you’re a role model.

“At the same time, I see myself as quite a work in progress.”

 

Helen Delahunty, Archdiocesan Financial Administrator

HELEN Delahunty freely admits if she had known what lay ahead when she accepted the job as Archdiocesan Financial Administrator in April 2011, things might have been different.

As it was, she was hesitant to even apply for it. She was “crook as a chook” in hospital at the time, had four busy sons to wrangle and enjoyed her work as chief financial officer with Greening Australia.

But her friend Francis Sullivan, later to become CEO of the Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council, encouraged her to go for it.

“I thought it was going to be a doddle,” she says. “Go to a few meetings, prepare a budget – I could do that in my sleep.”

She soon realised that “looking after the temporal goods of the Archdiocese” encompassed “just about everything”, from managing priests, property and staff to liaising with the parishes and overseeing the Manuka Precinct development.

And all this in the shadow of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and other Church scandals. On top of that, her husband, leading trauma doctor Damian McMahon, died suddenly a year after she started.

But it’s turned out to be “the best job I’ve ever had”. “I love the people, I love the work, I love the Archdiocese,” she says.

The Manuka development has demanded more from her than she expected, but it’s been a fulfilling project.

“That building is my rock,” Ms Delahunty says, as she signs off on the construction and prepares to “get a community going there”.

The Manuka project exemplifies the beauty of her job.  “I think what we do as an organisation makes a difference and I make a difference, and I couldn’t be prouder,” she says.

She has always felt supported in her role and being a woman has never been an issue.

Being a Catholic, while not necessary, has given her a deeper understanding of the people and the environment she works with, and Masses are the starting point of many meetings and gatherings.

Life might have “thrown stuff” at her in recent years, but Ms Delahunty says her pragmatism has helped her set priorities and cope with the demands of her job.

“I like to work hard but family always comes first,” she says.

She visits her grown boys in Melbourne as often as she can and loves to watch them play Australian football. She is a keen Collingwood supporter and a foundation member of the GWS Giants, whose games she attends regularly.

She has great friends, four of whom she solves the problems of the world with as they walk up Red Hill most mornings.

She is also a member of a book club, loves to ski and travel, and has finally managed to trim her committee commitments outside work down to one position.

As for her current role, Ms Delahunty feels she still has a lot to give and plans to stick around as long as she is wanted and needed.

 

Camilla Rowland, Marymead CEO

Camilla Rowland always thought she would become a social worker or psychologist.

The youngest of three sisters has a family member with a disability and was inspired by her parents’ dedication to creating better care options.

She eventually moved into social work, and into her role as head of Marymead in Canberra, but not before detouring through a human resources degree, which gave her an understanding of business and marketing that would serve her well in future roles.

After studying social work, she moved from Sydney’s northern suburbs to rural NSW and Queensland for 16 years, working in palliative and aged care, family services, and drug and alcohol programs.

Her work with the Sisters of Mercy during these years exposed Mrs Rowland, who is Anglican, to the “uniqueness of the Catholic voice”.

“That approach of community service underpinned by pastoral care, where you are looking at the person as a whole, really resonated with me,” she says.

It was fitting, then, that she wound up as head of a Catholic agency two years ago.

“I came with a lot of respect for what has been achieved by the Catholic Church, especially the investment it has made in the community,” Mrs Rowland says.

Being a non-Catholic has had it benefits. “I am not hampered by any preconceived ideas about what positions people hold. I just treat everyone the same.”

She took over at a time of change for Marymead, which marks 50 years in Canberra this year.

The organisation has moved into autism care and has developed its mental health services for young people.

It has also set up co-location arrangements with CatholicCare and the St Vincent de Paul Society in some rural areas.

At the same time, though, it has lost its foster care work, in which it has “a long, solid history”.

It is also adjusting to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the government move away from block grants to individual funding, which Mrs Rowland says poses issues for community services.

The challenges don’t faze her, however. “I am known as a bit of a change agent. I’ve always been passionate about ensuring services meet community need.”

Mrs Rowland’s interest in building communities also dominates her limited spare time. “Some people cook as a hobby – I join committees. Social policy and good strategy are passions of mine,” she says.

She has the support of her family in this. Husband Duncan, who works in animal health, is community orientated – “he’s always the first person to help move things and dig things”.

And her two young-adult daughters, Rebecca and Alexandra, who went through Catholic schools in Canberra, “have a really good sense of social justice”.

Mrs Rowland likes to walk and do an occasional gym workout to keep fit, and loves to read, especially investigative books and whodunnits.

Staying busy is what makes her happiest, though. “When I retire, I see myself contributing to the community, on committees or volunteering,” she says. “Actually, I don’t think I will ever retire as such.”

CatholicCare’s Response to the ABC’s Aged Care Investigation
June 27, 2017
Last night’s joint Fairfax Media and Four Corners investigation into a national aged care provider was quite confronting for many viewers. As a provider of independent living units in the ACT, CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn is concerned that citizens who have contributed their whole lives to society are spending their final years in such a neglectful manner. CatholicCare’s Deputy CEO, Ms Lisa Higginson, says that it’s important for anyone considering moving into an independent living unit or aged care facility to go through the contract with the provider, “We always sit down with our prospective residents and systematically work through the contract as well as encourage them to seek independent legal advice.” Similarly, Ms Pam Graudenz, vice president and village liaison officer from the Retirement Villages Residents Association in the ACT, says people don’t always understand what they are getting into, “Legislation between the Commonwealth and state differs depending on the level of living support you require. Knowing your rights and understanding the contract agreement is imperative before deciding to engage with a provider.” “The key element of a successful retirement village is professionally trained managers who are willing to negotiate with the residents to achieve good outcomes for all parties.” Ms Graudenz said. Currently 200,000 Australians are living in retirement villages with this figure expected to double by 2025. It is vital that both state and federal governments work closely with business providers to ensure that the legislation is upheld for the health, safety and happiness of all of residents. As CatholicCare is a not-for-profit organisation, our two residential villages are managed with the resident’s best interests in mind. This is through an in going contribution and agreement that ensures an equitable and stress free arrangement in the north side suburbs of Campbell and Aranda. The Archdiocese’s newly built independent living units in Manuka also run a similar model and professionally managed system. If you or someone you love is considering moving into a retirement village then it is worth considering the following advice from Ms Graudenz, “Like any investment, you need to think about how the end looks? If you were to leave your unit tomorrow, how do the finances stack up?” For media enquiries please contact Aerin Gordon Heinrich on 0419 555 560.
Canberra Hospital Foundation’s Generous Gift
June 13, 2017
Steps says a big thank you to the Canberra Hospital Foundation for the donation of the wonderful rug in the photo to Catholic Care’s STEPS Program, it brightens up the room and makes the space a lot more homely for the young people in our program. STEPS is a youth mental health residential service operated in partnership with Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) which offers an alternative to hospitalisation for young people 13 years – 18 years experiencing mental distress.  Donations like this help us to ensure we can offer the young people the support they need with some of the comforts of home, or in this case luxuries of home.  
CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn’s new location in Young
May 9, 2017
On Saturday, 6 May 2017 CEO of St Vincent de Paul's ACT, Barnie van Wyk launched their bigger and better Vinnies store in Lovett Street, Young NSW along with the new office locations of CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn and Marymead. The community of Young were on hand to celebrate the opening of the new store and offices, partaking in family activities and engaging with staff from Vinnies, Marymead and CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn. CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn have been providing services to regional NSW for many years. In Young, CatholicCare offer student counselling services as well as Youth and Family Support Services, in particular Reconnect Central West. For more information on accessing services in Young, please call 02 6382 6520.  
Archbishop Launches New Services for the Goulburn Community
May 9, 2017
  Tuesday, 2 May 2017 saw the opening of Marymead and CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn’s new office, where together, they will be providing a wide range of community services to the people of the Southern Tablelands.   The Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse said he was thrilled to bless the new office saying, “It is wonderful to see the coming together of these two Catholic agencies to deliver much needed services to a large and important part of our Archdiocese.”   The CEO of Marymead, Ms Camilla Rowland said this new shared space will offer so much more for the community, “The Goulburn office is effectively a one-stop shop providing wrap around services to the local community. By teaming up with CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn, we are increasing our capacity to deliver services, particularly to those with more complex needs.”   Marymead, together with CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn, are offering the following services for the extended Goulburn community;
  • Foster care
  • Disability services (NDIS)
  • Family referral service
  • Early intervention services
  • Counselling & psychological services
  • Pre & post separation support
  • Domestic family violence support for men
  • Aged care
  The CEO of CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn, Ms Anne Kirwan said the timing of this joint venture encapsulates their strength of commitment to supporting people in the Archdiocese, “The vision and mission of CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn and Marymead has always been to be there for our most vulnerable in the community. The fact that Marymead is celebrating 50 years of service this year and we are celebrating 60 years is a true testament of our relationship with the community and their trust in us to be there for them.”   This new shared space is open to the public and can be located at 32 Verner Street Goulburn. To book an appointment or to discuss the services more broadly, please call (02) 4827 1600 or visit the websites www.catholiccare.cg.org.au or www.marymead.org.au .
Media Releases
Funding to support Canberrans with substance use disorders
August 30, 2017
Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja and the ACT PHN today announced a funding package to support five local organisations to provide new specialist drug and alcohol services for people with substance use disorders in the ACT. The Canberra region has received $2.8 million for Primary Health Networks to commission local drug and alcohol treatment services. The funding forms part of the Federal Government’s $241.5 million for additional treatment services under the $298.2 million National Ice Action Strategy (NIAS) to reduce the impact of drug and alcohol misuse on individuals, families and communities. Senator Zed Seselja welcomed the newly funded services which will help to combat the devastating impact that drug and alcohol misuse is having across the region. “Drug use, particularly the use of Ice, is a serious issue for our local community,” said Senator Seselja. “This money will provide much needed services to people in our region that are grappling with ice addiction and substance misuse.” Capital Health Network (CHN) Chief Executive Gaylene Coulton said CHN, ACT’s primary health network (ACT PHN), has been working with the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA), the ACT Drug and Alcohol service sector and ACT Health to identify gaps in local alcohol and other drug services.“ ACT PHN commissioned ATODA to conduct a needs assessment to identify service gaps and population needs for specialist drug and alcohol services in the ACT. In addition ACT PHN consulted with key stakeholders in the service sector. Both the needs assessment and consultation informed our process to ensure we’re investing in local specialist drug and alcohol services to provide effective and efficient treatment services to Canberrans,” said Ms Coulton. The needs assessment showed that there was a shortage of specialist alcohol and other drug counselling services in the ACT, with a much lower occurrence of episodes of care than other parts of Australia. “To address this local need, this package is funding new specialist drug and alcohol counselling services which will help people receive immediate intervention and long-term support for substance use disorders, such as methamphetamine addiction or prescription opioid analgesic addictions,” said Ms Coulton. “A Service Users’ Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey was conducted across ACT specialist alcohol and other drug organisations on a single day in 2015, the survey identified that at that point in time one in four people accessing alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services in the ACT were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Therefore part of this package is enabling local organisations to deliver indigenous-specific AOD services to clients and also to work with service providers in the AOD sector to ensure the services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients are culturally sensitive,” said Ms Coulton. In response to the findings of the National Ice Taskforce, these additional services have been made possible through funding provided by the Australian Government under the PHN Program:
  • Specialist Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Counselling Services - ACT PHN has engaged Karralika and CatholicCare to deliver specialist AOD counselling services to residents of the ACT who are currently unable to access specialist AOD treatment services, including the ACT corrections population. ACT PHN has engaged ACT Health to deliver specialist AOD counselling services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.
  • Indigenous specific AOD services - ACT PHN has engaged Gugan Gulwan, ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth organisation, to deliver indigenous specific AOD services.
  • Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Worker - ACT PHN has engaged CAHMA (Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation & Advocacy) to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients to navigate the AOD service system; deliver brief interventions; and work with service providers in the AOD sector to ensure the services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients receive, are where possible, culturally sensitive.
Read the full Media Release here
CatholicCare’s Response to the ABC’s Aged Care Investigation
June 28, 2017
Last night’s joint Fairfax Media and Four Corners investigation into a national aged care provider was quite confronting for many viewers. As a provider of independent living units in the ACT, CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn is concerned that citizens who have contributed their whole lives to society are spending their final years in such a neglectful manner. CatholicCare’s Deputy CEO, Ms Lisa Higginson, says that it’s important for anyone considering moving into an independent living unit or aged care facility to go through the contract with the provider, “We always sit down with our prospective residents and systematically work through the contract as well as encourage them to seek independent legal advice.” Similarly, Ms Pam Graudenz, vice president and village liaison officer from the Retirement Villages Residents Association in the ACT, says people don’t always understand what they are getting into, “Legislation between the Commonwealth and state differs depending on the level of living support you require. Knowing your rights and understanding the contract agreement is imperative before deciding to engage with a provider.” “The key element of a successful retirement village is professionally trained managers who are willing to negotiate with the residents to achieve good outcomes for all parties.” Ms Graudenz said. Currently 200,000 Australians are living in retirement villages with this figure expected to double by 2025. It is vital that both state and federal governments work closely with business providers to ensure that the legislation is upheld for the health, safety and happiness of all of residents. As CatholicCare is a not-for-profit organisation, our two residential villages are managed with the resident’s best interests in mind. This is through an in going contribution and agreement that ensures an equitable and stress free arrangement in the north side suburbs of Campbell and Aranda. The Archdiocese’s newly built independent living units in Manuka also run a similar model and professionally managed system. If you or someone you love is considering moving into a retirement village then it is worth considering the following advice from Ms Graudenz, “Like any investment, you need to think about how the end looks? If you were to leave your unit tomorrow, how do the finances stack up?” For media enquiries please contact Aerin Gordon Heinrich on 0419 555 560.
“Next Step” mental health program: a first for the ACT and Australia
May 10, 2017
Canberrans experiencing symptoms of a mild to moderate mental health condition, with barriers to accessing Medicare services can now access free primary mental health support through the “Next Step” mental health program. Today Capital Health Network (CHN), ACT’s primary health network, joined with CatholicCare and Woden Community Service to launch the first integrated primary mental health stepped care program of its kind in Australia. “Canberrans with mental illness can now access “Next Step” which provides greater flexibility for them to access services that will meet their changing needs.  This stepped care approach to mental health will make real inroads into lifting the overall rate of access to mental health care in the ACT, as well as improved clinical outcomes for individuals,” said Gaylene Coulton, CHN Chief Executive. Stepped care models ensure that clients are offered the most appropriate intervention at the right time.  Clients can be stepped up or down into the most appropriate intervention without requiring a new referral or having to navigate a fragmented system by themselves, while receiving high quality, consistent, outcomes driven care. “Next Step” will add a new high intensity service to provide effective psychological interventions for people with moderate to severe symptoms of a mental health condition, who have barriers to accessing treatment through Medicare.  Through the Commonwealth Government’s ACT PHN programme, CHN has engaged CatholicCare as the Lead Agency for the new service.  CatholicCare is delivering high intensity psychological interventions for people with moderate to severe presentations and have partnered with Woden Community Service, who will deliver low intensity psychological interventions for people with mild to moderate symptoms, formally the NewAccess programme. “Next Step aims to help vulnerable people who face financial barriers or access barriers to services. This may include children, youth, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.  It will help diversify our local primary mental health service landscape and ensure continuity of care for clients of mental health services,” said Ms Coulton. CHN successfully piloted a low intensity psychological support service over the past three years, one of only two PHNs providing such a service.  Approximately 9% of the ACT population will experience mild symptoms of a mental illness, mostly anxiety and depression.  Woden Community Service is now providing this valuable low intensity service into which people can self-refer. “Approximately 7% of the ACT population may experience moderate to severe mental disorders.  CHN has engaged CatholicCare to provide a new high intensity service so clients can access free face-to-face care from mental health professionals across a six to 18 session basis.  Clients jointly agree to treatment goals with their mental health professional and, with the consent of the client, the mental health professional will communicate with their treating GP or clinician throughout treatment,” said Ms Coulton. Capital Health Network is the ACT’s primary health network supporting health professionals to improve the coordination of care so that patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time. Download PDF Media Release
Archbishop Launches New Services for the Goulburn Community
May 10, 2017
Tuesday, 2 May 2017 saw the opening of Marymead and CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn’s new office, where together, they will be providing a wide range of community services to the people of the Southern Tablelands. The Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse said he was thrilled to bless the new office saying, “It is wonderful to see the coming together of these two Catholic agencies to deliver much needed services to a large and important part of our Archdiocese.” The CEO of Marymead, Ms Camilla Rowland said this new shared space will offer so much more for the community, “The Goulburn office is effectively a one-stop shop providing wrap around services to the local community. By teaming up with CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn, we are increasing our capacity to deliver services, particularly to those with more complex needs.” Marymead, together with CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn, are offering the following services for the extended Goulburn community;
  • Foster care
  • Disability services (NDIS)
  • Family referral service
  • Early intervention services
  • Counselling & psychological services
  • Pre & post separation support
  • Domestic family violence support for men
  • Aged care
The CEO of CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn, Ms Anne Kirwan said the timing of this joint venture encapsulates their strength of commitment to supporting people in the Archdiocese, “The vision and mission of CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn and Marymead has always been to be there for our most vulnerable in the community. The fact that Marymead is celebrating 50 years of service this year and we are celebrating 60 years is a true testament of our relationship with the community and their trust in us to be there for them.” This new shared space is open to the public and can be located at 32 Verner Street Goulburn. To book an appointment or to discuss the services more broadly, please call (02) 4827 1600 or visit the websites www.catholiccare.cg.org.au or www.marymead.org.au . Download PDF Media Release
A New Year, A New Direction for CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn
May 10, 2017
Wednesday 1 February saw the unveiling of CatholicCare’s new awareness campaign and strategic direction. Aiming to let the ACT and surrounding NSW regions know that no matter who you are, they are there to support everyone in any capacity. CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn have been supporting the most vulnerable in the local community for the last 60 years. Anne Kirwan, CEO of CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn said that this year was the perfect time to remind the community of their presence, “We are extremely proud of the work CatholicCare does in Canberra and Southern NSW to support families, couples and individuals experiencing a broad range of issues from homelessness, to mental health, relationship problems, addiction, housing, aged care and disability. As we celebrate our 60th year of community service, we thought this was the right time relaunch our organisation. Ms Kirwan also reflected on the recent funding structure changes such as the NDIS that have had a large influence on how social welfare is delivered, “CatholicCare has had to really reflect on our service delivery, especially in regional areas, to ensure that individuals requiring support and services through the NDIS have easy access to our support workers and that we have the right programs to support those who need it the most.” The Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse, was also on hand to launch the new direction of CatholicCare, saying during his speech, “CatholicCare help over 10,000 people every year throughout the Archdiocese and this is something to be very proud about. While the Catholic Church has rightly been under scrutiny and distrust lately, it is important that we don’t forget the foundations of being Catholic, which is to take care of all our brothers and sisters in need, no matter their backgrounds, beliefs or ideology. We are there for anyone in need.” The launch was held at the Nishi Gallery in New Acton where there were art pieces on display from CatholicCare’s Hands on Studio, an art school for students with a disability. The event was emceed by Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands Across Canberra, a Canberra wide charity that encourages the community to take care of our own and support all of the work done by the various different charities and organisations in Canberra, including CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn. The event was attended by heads of ACT Government agencies, CEOs of not for profit organisations, Senator Zed Seselja, Elizabeth Kikkert MLA and other ACT Legislative representatives. The new campaign will launch from the beginning of February. Download the PDF Media Release

For all media enquiries please contact our Communications and Marketing Officer, Aerin Gordon Heinrich on 0419 555 560 or aerin.heinrich@catholiccare.cg.org.au