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Through the decades: 2000

Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 5 months, 3 weeks ago



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Click here for a comprehensive overview of the Brotherhood's Community Services in 2000




Children & Families

Briefing on the HIPPY program provided to Community Services Managers of the Victorian Department of Human Services to show how HIPPY can assist with parent support and improved preschool attendance, major policy objectives of the Government (30 August)


Community issues

BSL provided office space and made resources available to the Community Education Coordinator of the Defenders of Native Title, later to be known as ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation)


The play The Torch was re-mounted and performed in the City of Melbourne


The Brotherhood of St Laurence, on behalf of the Yarra Social Issues Network, developed a research proposal and received funding from the City of Yarra's Community Grants Program to produce a profile of the municipality's private rooming houses and their residents.  This information, in the report Better than nothing? The future of private rooming houses in the City of Yarra, was to be used as a benchmark with which to measure changes in the supply of affordable, single housing, the needs of rooming house residents and their access to support services. 


A Poverty Postcard campaign linked with the May Appeal invited BSL supporters to give their opinion on what could be done to eradicate poverty.  More than 1,000 people took the time to reply.  Father Nic Frances, the Executive Director, commented: "Probably what struck me most about the comments was the passion that is out there to actually do something about getting rid of poverty". [1]


Employment & Training

At a time when Victoria's youth unemployment rate was at 27 per cent, the Victorian Government launched the Youth Employment Scheme (to provide 2000 young people with public sector traineeships and apprenticeships) at the BSL's Employment Action Centre (2 March) Youth_Employment_Scheme_launched_at_BSL_2000-3-2.pdf


STEP team relocated to 109 Victoria Street from Head Office and commenced reintegration of its services with other employment programs   (September)


The Brotherhood, along with a number of community organisations across Victoria, took up the Community Business Employment (CBE) Program, a State Government initiative.  The CBE program was focused on unemployed people between the ages of 15 – 24, those over 45 and people from a multicultural background.  The Brotherhood sought to support five hundred people from the areas of the City of Yarra and the Mornington Peninsula Shire, including unemployed people in the Polish community.  [2]


Fundraising & Resources

Joint venture proposed with Anglicare Canberra and Goulburn to establish a viable clothing collection and sales arrangement to maximise returns from the 40 BSL bins already in the ACT, to build income for both parties as well as the Charnwood Parish and to enhance the profile of the BSL and Anglicare in the ACT.   (September)


New Brotherhood store established in St Paul's Anglican Church, Fairfield, with proceeds divided between the BSL and the parish; this also allowed the church to remain open during the week for private prayer.  [3] Church_aisle_to_shopping_aisle_in_BBL_Spring_2000.pdf

Older people

The BSL's Building Better Lives Appeal received a grant of $1 million as part of the Sidney Myer Centenary Celebration 1899-1999.  The remodelled Millott House (formerly St Mary's Mission House) in Fitzroy St was renamed Sidney Myer House, independent accommodation for older people without assets.  This building, which had a varied history – a base for the BSL's work in Fitzroy (1930s), a centre for homeless women and single mothers (1940s), a Russian Orthodox Church (1950s), a BSL rooming house (1970s-1990s) became 15 bedsitters in three town houses with shared kitchen, a spacious common living room area and laundry facilities.  [4]


The All My Love project, part of The Torch group'sctivities, was supported by the BSL from October 2000 – February 2001.  This project, funded in part by the Australia Council involved women and men from the general community over 60, coming from a diverse range of cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds.  All My Love was an investigation into the love stories of these men and women, by means of individual interviews and group workshops, which were photographed, recorded on video and resulted in generating material for a script and the 2002 production entitled The Grand Feeling[5]  All_My_Love_Project_Description_&_Timetable_2000.pdf  All_My_Love_MoU_2000-11-6.pdf


Organisational aspects (BSL)

The BSL established an EEO-AA (Equal Employment Opportunity - Affirmative Action) Committee (June) [6] BSL_EEO-AA_Ctee_Terms-of-Reference_2000.pdf


On Sunday 18 June, to celebrate the arrival of the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Fitzroy in 1933, a Eucharist was celebrated in the shell of the former Mission Church of St Mary the Virgin at 116 Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy.  The building (known in recent times as Millott House) was in the process of being renovated and had no internal fixtures.  In this current stage of refurbishment it was closest to the form in which Father Tucker found it when he took his first service there as the Missioner in 1933.  A selection of historical memorabilia was also on display, including the original foundation stone for the Mission Church which previously had been stored at St Peter's Eastern Hill. [7]


Relationship management policy developed for engaging with organisations or individuals (July) Relationship.pdf


Mod-Style-related Ethical Business Project outline approved by the Board (September)


Possibility raised of a BSL office in Canberra to provide a base for lobbying in Canberra for the National Agenda   (September)


Program of Koorie Awareness training for staff


Restructure of the BSL included the splitting of the previous position of Director – Community Services which had responsibility for all of Aged & Community Care and Family & Children’s services.  This resulted in new appointments at the (then) Director level, Social Action & Research (Stephen Gianni), Aged & Community Care (Sandra Hills), Community Services (Cath Scarth), Employment Opportunities (Joanna Dimopoulos) and Finance & Administration (Ian McHutchison).  The position of Director - Shared Services was abolished, with adoption of the model of giving each Director a share of the responsibility for 'whole of organisation' shared services.  Natalie Savin, who had been acting in the role of Director – Community Services left the BSL.  Responsibility for the area of Promotion & Communication returned to Social Action & Research to strengthen the advocacy role.  (November) [8]


In December the designation of the Executive level of managers was changed from "Director" to "General Manager", to distinguish them from the members of the BSL Board who are the Directors of the Brotherhood.  OrgChart_BSL2000-11.pdf    OrgChart_BSL2000-12.pdf


At the Brotherhood's Annual General Meeting Sandy Clark retired as Chairman, succeeded by Professor Stephen Duckett (Professor of Health Policy and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University).  Reverend the Honourable Professor Brian Howe and Patrice Marriott joined the Board; Bishop Michael Challen was made a Life Member.  [9]


An organisation-wide consultation on the BSL's Volunteer Program published the findings from the perspectives of volunteers and of the providers of services (November)  Volunteer_Program_Consultation_2000-11.pdf



Johnny Kalisperis, one of Melbourne's first ethnic workers, retired from the Ecumenical Migration Centre after 41 years of continuous service. [10]


Presentations & Publications

The 19th Sambell Oration: The role of the welfare sector in advancing the position of Aboriginal people in the broader Australian community was delivered by Marjorie Thorpe  [11]  Sambell_Oration_2000_Thorpe.pdf


Publications included:


  • Growing apart: Measuring Australian attitudes to poverty Jeanette Johnson.  This is a summary of research conducted in January 2000 in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania with adults 18 years and over. The report measures the strength of viewpoints in relation to poverty.  [13]
  • He Got Things Done: a memoir of Gerard Kennedy Tucker, founder of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Community Aid Abroad, by his nephew David Scott  [14]


Refugees & Settlement

EMC provided support to 100 newly-arrived Afghan refugees (another 150 Iraqi refugees were being supported by the Iraqi community)   (August)

Young people

A clothing distributor (Chain Reaction, Richmond) donated clothes from its selection of sample stock to establish a clothing library for young JPET clients.  These were used by those who needed to attend job or school interviews but found it difficult, if not impossible, to dress as others would expect in such circumstances.  [15]


Following the successful operation of the Transition Project in Brunswick Secondary College and Karingal Park Secondary College (Frankston), the BSL launched a new project at Frankston's Monterey Secondary College.  The Transition Project involved placing a case worker in the school to develop personal relationships with the children at risk of leaving school early so as to help them make the next step toward work or further training.  (Interviews with many of the teenagers who had been part of the BSL's Transition Project contributed to the report "Out of Education".) [16]


  1. "An Australia free of poverty?", Building Better Lives, Spring 2000 p.2; BSL Annual Report 2000 - quotes appear in pp.4-9 & 17.
  2. "Employment Program targets the disadvantaged", Building Better Lives Winter 2000 (No.5) p.2
  3. "From church aisles to shopping aisles", Building Better Lives No.6, Spring 2000, p.1; BSL Annual Report 2000 p.4 [Church_aisle_to_shopping_aisle_in_BBL_Spring_2000.pdf]
  4. "Making history", Building Better Lives Winter 2000 p.4; "Sidney Myer dedication", Building Better Lives Spring 2000 p.2; BSL Annual Report 2000 p.17.
  5. [All_My_Love_MoU_2000-11-6.pdf] & [All_My_Love_Project_Description_&_Timetable_2000.pdf]
  6. [BSL_EEO-AA_Ctee_Terms-of-Reference_2000.pdf]
  7. Fax from Father Robert Holland to members of the BSL Board, Tuesday 13 June 2000
  8. Confidential email of Executive Director to the BSL Board, 10 October 2000
  9. "BSL Annual General Meeting", Building Better Lives, Summer 2001 p.3. This article also lists the retiring and new Charter Members.
  10. "Johnny Kalisperis retires after 41 years at EMC", Building Better Lives Spring 2000 pp.3-4
  11. [Sambell_Oration_2000_Marjorie_Thorpe.pdf]
  12. Building Better Lives, No.5, Winter 2000 p.1; BSL Annual Report 2000 p.6. Janet Taylor & Jeanette Johnson "Growing apart : a new look at poverty in Australia : the findings of The Understanding Poverty Project of the Brotherhood of St Laurence" (BSL Library 362.50994 TAY) [Poverty_grips_the_lucky_country_in_BBL_Winter_2000.pdf]
  13. Jeanette Johnson "Growing apart: measuring Australian attitudes to poverty" (BSL Library 362.50994 JOH).
  14. David Scott, "He got things done: a memoir of Gerard Kennedy Tucker, founder of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Community Aid Abroad:, Brotherhood of St Laurence, 2000. (BSL Library 361.709945 SCO)
  15. "Dressed to impress", Building Better Lives Winter 2000 (No.5) p.5
  16. "Keeping kids connected", Building Better Lives, Spring 2000 p.4. The Victorian Department of Education & Employment's report "Out of Education" by Helen Stokes (University of Melbourne) focused on a target group of 50 'at risk' 14 to 18 year olds who were not in education, training or employment. The research tested the current anecdotal evidence about what these young people are doing, how they are supporting themselves and their experiences of education. Five themes were developed from the interviews. These included: 1. the complexity of young people's multi-dimensional lives, in which education and training are only small parts; 2. the strong hopes and ambitions expressed by these young people, including aspirations for satisfying and meaningful work and for further education and training; 3. the degree and nature of these young people's connection to or disconnection from family, peers, education and support agencies; 4. the diversity of the un-met needs expressed by these young people; 5. the need for a diversity of support mechanisms to meet their needs and to bridge their current situations to their aspirations. (BSL Library 371.2913 STO)

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