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Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 1 year, 4 months ago


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Children & Families

EMC developed the Family Support Volunteer Program, training volunteers to assist newly arrived families, a number of whom had been released from detention


The international HIPPY body granted the BSL the national licence for the HIPPY program and the BSL, with 3-year funding from the Westpac Foundation, established the HIPPY National Resource Unit to assist other communities to set up their own programs across Australia.  [1]  BBL_2002_Summer.pdf


Three HIPPY programs were auspiced by the BSL - Fitzroy, North Melbourne and Flemington, with a program in Geelong auspiced by Glastonbury Child & Family Services.


The Principal of Sacred Heart School, Fitzroy - an ESL school with 176 pupils, 96% of whom came from the Atherton Gardens estate approached the Brotherhood for assistance.  In attempting to trace the cause where children’s behaviours were of concern, Fran Ford had discovered that some of the children had not had breakfast before coming to school.  In response, as part of a plan to engage with the local community and volunteers through the BSL's Community 1st program, the Brotherhood offered a helping hand and ran a trial breakfast program for 3 weeks at the end of the year.  This attracted 50 children by the third day.  (See also 2002)  [2]





Community Issues

The BSL's Public Housing Advocacy Program (PHAP), in partnership with Infoxchange Australia, established Internet Cafes on public housing estates with the assistance of funding from the Victorian Department of Human Services 


An Australian Inquiry into the Wealth Divide was proposed by the BSL with the Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and Catholic Welfare Australia as national partners (June)


The Torch group developed into a statewide arts program that explores local stories and issues through dance, song and theatre with the play touring to Northern Victoria, rewritten to reflect new events within the City of Shepparton (with additional support from funding bodies, local community, the Ecumenical Migration Centre and the Brotherhood of St Laurence).


EMC co-convened the Justice for Asylum Seekers alliance for reform of Australia’s policy of mandatory detention for refugees while acknowledging the need for border management and sound migration processes.  This was in response to the turbulent political environment in relation to the human rights of refugees seeking asylum in Australia, of detainees and of Temporary Protection Visa holders.  [3]Refugees_7_deadly_laws_in_Comment_2001-12.pdf


Employment & Training

The BSL's STEP (Scheme for Training and Educating People) Group Training Company for the first time placed 10 trainees into 12-month traineeships within the Brotherhood’s aged care and retail facilities


Fundraising & Resources

Second stand-alone Hunter Gatherer store opened in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy and a new Bargain Saver store was opened at Deer Park.  The Brotherhood also established a partnership with Anglicare in opening a shop in Queanbeyan, New South Wales (just outside Canberra).  [4]


The Brotherhood’s accounting and accountability were explained in an article in Building Better Lives  [5]  BSL_Financial_Accountability_in_BBL_Spring_2001.pdf


Material & Financial support

The BSL's material aid service Just Essentials was replaced by an innovative project called the Resource Bank which concentrated on accessing quality furniture, blankets, linen and stationery in order to pass them on to other emergency relief agencies  


The Christmas Toy Program, previously held in two large shops in Fitzroy and Frankston, was rolled out over 22 locations in partnership with community groups across the State.  [6]  Christmas_Toy_Program_2001_in_BBL_Summer_2002.pdf


Older People

Redevelopment of Sumner House & Millott House completed, with low care provision for 40? residents and independent living for XX residents 


As part of AXA's Hearts in Action program which develops long-term partnerships with organisations aligned to causes chosen by AXA staff, AXA employees prepared and served breakfast at the Coolibah Centre every second Sunday.  They also visited Sumner House on a monthly basis to assist with cooking and serving breakfast, giving them an understanding of some of the issues faced by hostel residents. [7]


Just before Christmas the investment company Merrill Lynch invited members of the Coolibah Centre and residents of Sambell Lodge (Clifton Hill) to use their telephone facilities free of charge for two hours so that low income people could contact friends and family overseas.  [8]  BBL_2002_Summer.pdf


Organisational aspects

The Terms of Reference for the Mod-Style-related Ethical Business Project were approved by the Board in February 2001.  This began the process for the review of the supply chain between China and Mod-Style, which later in the year extended investigating the supply of new clothing to the BSL's Hunter-Gatherer stores.  [9]  Ethical_Business_Update_in_BBL_Summer_2002.pdf


Major internal consultation took place towards the development of a Vision & Mission statement for the Brotherhood, involving the Board and Charter members (a total of 40 people) and most of the staff.  (The attachment begins with a one-page draft Vision & Mission statement and is followed by responses from across the organisation.) Draft_Vision_&_Mission_&_Responses_2001.pdf


National Engagement project presented to BSL Board for approval   (July)


BSL Enterprise Agreement ratified in July, followed by the Human Resources Department establishing a Staff Relations Consultative Committee to deal with issues raised under that agreement.


The Boston Consulting Group conducted a BSL Employee Survey  (August-September)


The Railway Poplar ("Father Tucker's Tree" - aka the 'kapok tree') that had been at the rear of 67 Brunswick Street for between 60-80 years was declared unsafe and had to be removed.  It was  intended to save the wood for use by a furniture maker to provide an enduring 'memorial' (the exact use depended on the condition of the timber).  Father_Tucker's_Tree_to_be_removed_2001-9-7.pdf


The Torch project team developed a 5-month Organisational Cultural Development project with the 600 staff of the Brotherhood of St Laurence. The work culminated in The Brotherhood Show, a celebration and showcase held at the (then) Kingston Town Hall.  (19 October)  Brotherhood_Show_Day_Preliminary_Flyer_2001.pdf  Brotherhood_Show_Day_Tucker&BSL-History-Script.pdf  The_Brotherhood_Show_NicFrancesFeedback_2001-10-22.pdf


The Donated Goods Division relocated to Thomastown


Forty Brotherhood staff enrolled in the Frontline Management Development Program customised for the Community Services & Health industry.  This program was developed jointly by Chisholm Institute (who had responsibility for delivery through its facilitators) and the Community Services & Health Industry Training Board (who had input into the customisation to meet the professional issues and constraints experienced by those participants).  Frontline_Management_Program_&_BSL_2001.pdf


The BSL's responsibility for the Care Manager software and two staff closely associated with its initial and ongoing development was transferred to DCA (Database Consultants Australia) on 26 October 2001.  [10]


Phase 2 of the National Engagement project, A Trial Study to Explore Australian Values, was approved by BSL Board in October and began in November


In an overview of the period 1999-2001 the following developments were in evidence;

  • From one Director of all Community Services (controlling ~80% of the BSL's budget) to three General Managers with specific interest and expertise
  • From various components of Employment Services operating as individual unrelated services to specific service areas being managed by the one person across different locations
  • From Senior Staff meeting once a year for budget updates and organisational reporting to six meetings a year in a now-accepted pattern and framework for input and development
  • From the Finance department being seen as the 'reprimanding presence' to professionals developing an active and proactive guiding relationship with each manager
  • From the Executive meeting as an 'Executive Council' to an Executive Team meeting, with people from other parts of the organisation taking part in the decision-forming processes



Jessica Sumner, best known as the Manager of the Coolibah Club from 1948 and Welfare Officer for the Aged between 1962 & 1972, died on 20 July.  [11]


Presentations & Publications

The 20th Sambell Oration: Wake-up Australia; The new world order: The human dimension was given by the Honourable Justice Marcus Einfeld in October. Justice Einfeld, an experienced human rights campaigner, was a foundation President of the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission.  


The contribution of volunteers to the BSL was celebrated at a function in November, attended by the Governor-General, His Excellency the Rt Revd Dr Peter Hollingworth and Mrs Ann Hollingworth  


The early years, Consultation with providers of early childhood services in the Melbourne municipalities of Yarra, Hume and Moreland, by Rosemary Rogers and Jenny Martin, November 2001



ANTAR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) consolidated their activities in an office at the BSL's head office located at 67 Brunswick Street  (May)  BSL_Media_re_ANTAR_2001-5-7.pdf

Number of visitors to this page: 


  1. "Hippy goes national", Building Better Lives No.9, Summer 2010 p.7; "BSL celebrates International Year of the Volunteer", Building Better Lives No.9, Summer 2002, p.7; BSL Annual Report 2001 p.4 [BBL_2002_Summer.pdf]
  2. See [School_Breakfast_Program_Initial_Mtg_Summary_2001-9-6.pdf] & Item 3 in [BSL_Research_&_Policy_Projects_overview_2001-12.pdf]
  3. BSL Annual Report 2001 p.3. "Seven deadly laws to prevent refugees seeking asylum in Australia" in Brotherhood Comment, December 2001 pp.4-5 [Refugees_7_deadly_laws_in_Comment_2001-12.pdf]
  4. "One day in the life …", Building Better Lives No.8, Spring 2001 p.3
  5. "Being accountable", Building Better Lives No.8, Spring 2001 p.5 [BSL_Financial_Accountability_in_BBL_Spring_2001.pdf]
  6. "Christmas Toy Program expands", Building Better Lives No.9, Summer 2002 p.3; BSL Annual Report 2002 p.7. [Christmas_Toy_Program_2001_in_BBL_Summer_2002.pdf]
  7. "AXA Hearts in Action", Building Better Lives No., Summer 2002 p.6
  8. "Highlights from Coolibah", Building Better Lives No.9, Summer 2002 p.6 [BBL_Summer_2002.pdf]
  9. "Ethical business update", Building Better Lives No.9, Summer 2002 p.8 [Ethical_Business_Update_in_BBL_Summer_2002.pdf]
  10. BSL Finance Committee Minutes, 20 November 2001
  11. "Remembering Jessica Sumner: The life of a passionate welfare campaigner" in Building Better Lives No.8, Spring 2001, p.1 [Obit_Jessica_Sumner_in_BBL_Spring_2001.pdf]

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