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BSL_Annual_Report_2005-2006.pdf    BSL_Financial_Report_2006.pdf


BSL_Annual_Report_2006-2007.pdf    BSL_Financial_Report_2007.pdf


Children & Families

SparkL Creative Partnerships were initiated with philanthropic funding from the Dara Foundation and the support of the BSL, Berry Street, EdPartnerships International, the Faculty of the VCA & Music (University of Melbourne) and the Victorian Foundation for the Survivors of Torture.  SparkL works with schools in developing multi-literate and creative learning approaches and research through placing creative practitioners in schools.  This is a learning program for students, a professional learning program for teachers, and a research program to help better understanding of how students from disadvantaged communities can succeed at school.  [1]  

The partnership between HIPPY and Readings Books & Music was the Victorian winner of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Community Business Partnerships in the 'medium sized business' category. The program was also supported by the City of Yarra.  [2]


Creating Early Childhood Partnerships Project, an Anglicare Victoria and Brotherhood of St Laurence Initiative, began in July 2006 with a small group of Anglican parishes.  [3]


Community issues

A community arts and mental health forum 'How does access to the arts increase your social and psychological wellbeing'' was held on 10 October at the Frankston Arts Centre. The event was an initiative of Frankston Arts Centre supported by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, IMPACT, Mental Illness Fellowship and local service providers.  With the aim of creating awareness of arts initiatives and opportunities in the local area, along with discussion of the positive effect of involvement in an arts event in improving mental health and wellbeing, the evening explored the connection between art and mental health.  [4]


The BSL supported CBD-based cleaners in their "Clean Start - Fair Deal for Cleaners" campaign for improved wages and conditions. Organisers of the campaign claimed that under the Government's new industrial relations laws they would lose up to 30 per cent of their income, which was on average already below the poverty line.  [5] ( See http://tinyurl.com/2c6rnpm )

The BSL took a stand against the proposal by the Federal Family and Community Services Minister Mal Brough for a portion of welfare payments to be deducted from the income of neglectful parents and spent directly on food and other essential items for their children.  [6]  Poverty_not_an_item_in_a_press_release_Nicholson_2006-5-8.pdf


Serena Lillywhite, manager of the BSL's Ethical Business Unit was interviewed on ABC Radio’s "National Interest" program on "Australia's push for ethical business in China" as part of the lead up to the 150th anniversary of the eight hour day on 21 April. (16 April)  [7]  ( See the transcript at http://tinyurl.com/2ew3mhr )


The Brotherhood of St Laurence (through its Ethical Business Unit) along with four other NGOs won a case against GSL (Australia), which ran Australia's refugee detention centres, including Christmas Island, for breaching the human rights provisions of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The guidelines are a voluntary mechanism to encourage corporate social responsibility. … None of the parties used, lawyers and GSL executives were involved right through to mediation.  [8]  Corporate_Social_Responsibility_&_BSL_2006-5-15.pdf


The Brotherhood of St Laurence Ethical Business Unit participated in the United Nations Asian Regional Consultation on Business and Human Rights held in Bangkok. This consultation focused on responsible supply chain management and the implications for business in meeting their human rights responsibilities.  The Brotherhood was a signatory to the outcomes document from the consultation. (June)  [9] 

Asia Civil Society Statement- Ruggie Asia Consultation_2006-6-27.pdf

Serena Lillywhite (manager of BSL's Ethical Business Unit) went to Ghana (funded by the European Union) conducting an inter-regional training program for OECD Watch and taking part in field trips to see first-hand the impact on local people of widespread resource 'development'.


At the time of the 2006 COAG meeting the BSL called upon COAG to follow the lead set by other countries, including Britain and Canada, and set a target to reduce the most egregious form of disadvantage in our society - child poverty. The BSL position was that child poverty should be reduced from its present level of 13 per cent to at least 8 per cent in 2010 and 3 per cent in 2020.  [10]  ( See http://tinyurl.com/2ee5bat


The BSL entered into the PACE (Partnerships Advancing Community Engagement) Initiative - a partnership with Rotary and the Victorian Government to pursue common interests in the engagement of local communities to create place-based initiatives that will result in local solutions to local problems. This is seen as a strategy to address disadvantage and create stronger families and communities.  [11]Partnerships_Advancing_Community_Engagement_MOU_2006.pdf


Employment & Training

City of Yarra Street Cleaning Enterprise began in late 2006 in conjunction with the BSL as the first step in local employment and training for those disadvantaged in the labour market living in the City of Yarra, with a strong focus on public housing residents.  This led to the identification of other employment and training opportunities - City of Yarra Graffiti Crew and the roles of Foreman/Supervisor, Street Sweeper Driver, Multipurpose Litter, Herbicide Spraying and Road Maintenance. [12] Hannett_Investing_in_Community_BSL&City-of-Yarra_2009-5.pdf


George Housakos, who had been at the BSL since 2000 in a number of positions within the employment area, and from December 2005 in the role of Senior Manager Community & Employment Development, resigned in March.  In the last few years he led the areas of training and community enterprise which resulted in many innovative programs including the Cleaning Enterprise in Fitzroy, using the BSL’s services in Aged Care and Family Day Care to provide traineeships and employment for long term unemployed people, as well as focused on turning around the financial position of STEP and Furniture Works.  George with his team and others in the organisation had been able to creatively match various State and Federal funding streams to develop a comprehensive program of training, support and employment for many vulnerable jobseekers.  He was succeeded by Charlie McShane, appointed to the position of Senior Manager Community & Employment Development on 11 September. [13]


Fundraising & Resources

New retail ventures included:

  • The transfer of the Diamond Village Auxiliary Store to the Holy Spirit Church at 78 Watsonia Rd, Watsonia (2 February).  A partnership with the Anglican parish, the net proceeds were to be shared by the BSL & the parish.
  • A new store selling specialising in vintage & retro clothing opened at 149 Chapel St, Windsor (16 March)
  • The Footscray Store at 462 Geelong Rd, West Footscray re-opened.  The store did not carry recycled clothing but was a different concept carrying fridges, washing machines, furniture, books, computers, manchester, Furniture Works custom furniture and a range of brand new items of general household goods. The store also refurbished/repaired computers with a Green PC employee resident on site.
  • In Frankston a new site was obtained to replace the old store, which was in the Bayside Shopping Centre. The new store is just around the corner at 27 Keys St, Frankston.  [14]


The pre-Christmas Festival of Lights was held in Frankston with proceeds to the BSL as the "official charity" (November)

BSL was invited to take part in & be the exclusive beneficiary of the ABC Radio 774 Christmas Giving Tree promotion  (December)  


The Brotherhood, along with the Salvation Army, was the subject of the research documented in the article "Funding the non-profit welfare sector: Explaining changing funding sources 1960-1999". [15]


Older people

Sambell Lodge in Clifton Hill won a "Highly Commended" award in the partnership section of the 2006 Anglicare Australia Awards for the 'Celebration of Life' Senior Sports Day.  The brainchild of Paul Brophy, manager of Sambell Lodge, this day brought together seven other aged care facilities and members of Melbourne's City of Yarra community. It was designed to promote the positive aspects of ageing, and enabled a high level of participation by people whose age, frailty and limited mobility would normally prevent them from enjoying activity and socialisation of this nature.  [16]

The BSL's Socialisation Program received a nomination in the Anglicare Australia 2006 Awards.  In response to the isolation of many of the frail elderly, the BSL developed a support service focusing on the revival of community for the elderly with the aim of connecting the elderly to their social, recreational and leisure interests as a means of developing and improving their friendship circles and ties with their family.  


Organisational aspects (BSL)

Organisational Charts - March 2006 & November 2006


Chart of Community & Employment Development - September 2006


A BSL-wide survey of staff in August sought agreement on key values for a statement of values to support the existing Vision, Mission and Code of Ethical Behaviour.  The role of the Values statement was to encapsulate the values underpinning the way the BSL operated, describing the core "essence" of the BSL and what sets the BSL apart from other organisations.  Three draft statements were prepared for the consultation:

  • Option 1: "The BSL inspired by our Christian origins, seeks the common good through compassion and generosity of spirit"
  • Option 2:  "The BSL, inspired by our Christian origins, seeks the common good through compassion, with a generosity of spirit and reliance on evidence"
  • Option 3: "The BSL, inspired by our Christian origins, seeks the common good through compassion and generosity of spirit.  We value shared responsibility, equality of opportunity, and accountability.  We are committed to contributing to a sustainable supportable future."  

Feedback was requested in the following format:  Is there a preference for any particular statement?  Is there a reason for the preference?  Are any of the statements unacceptable? [17]


The Brotherhood's Indigenous Strategy Plan 2006-2009 was launched at the Aborigines Advancement League in October  [18] 


Following consultation with the members of the BSL Board's Governance Working Group (Celia Gerreyn, the Reverend Barbara Colliver and Evan Thornley with Mike Wilson as secretary), a set of Board governance documents was drawn up and approved by the Board (some of these are now in draft form whilst being revised). Role of the Board - Role of the Chair - Role of Committees - Role of the Executive Director - Role of Charter & Life Members


Presentations & Publications

The Brotherhood of St Laurence Reconciliation Working Group with Golden Seahorse Productions presented the launch of Feeding the Flame, a film by Lou Glover, on 9 February.  "This is an exploration of the BSL’s journey with the Indigenous Community and an examination of where we are heading together."  (Launch details & content of film)


The 25th Sambell Oration: Rights and responsibilities: towards a genuinely Australian understanding was given by Geoff Gallop, former Premier of West Australia, as part of the Conference Our Social Rights and Responsibilities: the new politics of welfare (August)  [19]  Our_Social_Rights_&_Responsibilities_Conference_Invitation_2006-8-30.pdf  Sambell_Oration_2006_Gallop.pdf


Publications included:

Videorecordings included:

  • Two families -  depicting issues for low-income families, economic and health aspects of families, and emigration and immigration. [29]
  • The Torch Project: 1.The essence (5 min.); 2. The turning of the tide (14 min.); 3. When The Torch came to town (18.5 min.); 4. Mapping the West (18 min.); 5. Faith (13 min.).  [30]


The Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Centre for Public Policy hosted a one day national symposium on the topic of Government & Communities in Partnership: The Next Steps (18 May) [31]

Paul Smyth & Mark Daniels spoke at the symposium - Strategic Issues for the Not for Profit Sector: The Road Ahead -  hosted by the Centre for Public Policy, in association with the Department for Victorian Communities.  This aimed to "capture practitioner learnings" and to contribute to 'joined up' thinking about the role of not-for-profits, government, and academics in responding to strategic issues in the not for profit sector.  The particular focus was on the relationship between not for profit activity and community strength and the stimulation of further research. (6 June)  [32]


Young people

The second report in the BSL's Social Barometer series – Challenges facing Australian youth – was launched at a half-day conference on 18 August. The Barometer shows how well equipped Australian youth are (or are not) to negotiate the important transition from school to the next phase of their development. It highlights education and training as well as the key life domains of physical and mental health and civic engagement.  The keynote speaker was Richard Sweet, Principal Analyst in the Directorate for Education in the OECD until 2006; other speakers included John Moran from Orygen, Professor Brian Head from ARACY, Troy Austin who highlighted challenges facing Indigenous Australians and Alison Coehlo, focusing on newly arrived communities.  A panel including Georgie Ferrari from YACVIC, and Dan Ziffer from The Age led a concluding dialogue on the new youth policy agenda.  Youth_Transitions_Barometer_invitation.pdf  BSL_Social_Barometer_youth_challenges.pdf

Collingwood College Year 9 Advance level students over two Terms researched and produced Digital Stories of Brotherhood of St Laurence agencies and other services in the City of Yarra, with stories to be displayed on large screens in the surrounding Housing Estates (funded by the BSL and UNESCO with Collingwood College) (September)  [33]  Collingwood_College_Digital_Stories_2006-4-21.pdf

Unsung Heroes - Pilot of a 'digital storytelling for social justice project' involving Melbourne Grammar students and elders from the Coolibah Centre was run in October-November [34]

The BSL's Homework Centre published an overview of their work along with the responses from surveys of their students and volunteers. BSL_Homework_Program_1990-2006.pdf  BSL_Homework_Program_Student_responses_2006.pdf  BSL_Homework_Program_Volunteer_responses_2006.pdf


The Brotherhood took part in the Agora Think Tank, a collaboration between the not-for-profit, business and government sectors working together in partnership to address issues of disadvantage in new and different ways.  To give a focus to Agora’s work, the initial lens was to increase ‘economic participation of socially-disadvantaged young people and their families through workforce engagement’. [35]Agora_Think_Tank_Charter_2006-9.pdf



St Laurence Community Services (Barwon) Inc. changed its name to St Laurence Community Services Inc.


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  1. "Rationale for SparkL: Research has found that many students from low socio-economic communities, of indigenous heritage or with refugee experiences do not succeed as well at school as those students from wealthier or more advantaged backgrounds. SparkL is investigating how we best educate students who have limited access to material wealth, social networks and the cultural knowledge that contributes to success at school. We are also exploring the changes required if a student's school experience is to make a serious difference to their life chances and success in learning." (from http://www.sparkl.edu.au/about 18 October 2010)
  2. See media release [HIPPY_&_partnership_award_Readings-Books-&-Music_2006-9-12.pdf]
  3. [Creating_Early_Childhood_Partnerships_update_2006-9.pdf]
  4. It was facilitated by Brian Nankerivs (aka Raymond J. Bartholomeuz) and featured performances by indigenous and local dancers, musicians and more. Other guests included Matthew Johnstone, artist, mental health consumer and author of 'I Had a Black Dog', Susan Ball from VicHealth and Professor Carol Morse, Director, Health and Wellbeing Research at Monash Peninsula. Monash University Peninsula Online, Issue 13, Monday, 2 October 2006, http://www.monash.edu.au/campuses/peninsula/news/peninsula_online/issue13_06.html 12 October 2010
  5. See the article in The Age “City cleaners fear wages will drop” 20 April 2006 at http://tinyurl.com/2c6rnpm
  6. See also the Opinion piece by Mike Steketee in The Australian "A modest proposal" 6 May 2006
  7. For a transcript of this program see http://tinyurl.com/2ew3mhr
  8. [Corporate_Social_Responsibility_&_BSL_2006-5-15.pdf]
  9. Asian Civil Society Statement to U.N. Special Representative on Trans-national Business and Human Rights, at the Asia Regional Consultation, Bangkok, Thailand 27 June 2006 [Asia Civil Society Statement- Ruggie Asia Consultation_2006-6-27.pdf]
  10. See the opinion piece in The Age, "It's time to share the spoils" 14 July 2006 at http://tinyurl.com/2ee5bat
  11. [Partnerships_Advancing_Community_Engagement_MOU_2006.pdf]
  12. [Hannett_Investing_in_Community_BSL&City-of-Yarra_2009-5.pdf]
  13. [Re - George Housakos Resignation 2006-3-21.pdf]
  14. [Retail Update 2006-4-28.pdf]
  15. Gabrielle Berman, Robert Brooks & John Murphy "Funding the non-profit welfare sector: explaining changing funding sources 1960-1999" in Economic papers Vol 25 No 1 March 2006 pp.83-99
  16. The partner organisations and community groups joined forces to develop a topical 'Commonwealth Games' theme. The result was a highly enjoyable day for elderly residents who benefited physically and socially. The enthusiasm among the relatives, volunteers, staff and local school children who also took part contributed to the festive atmosphere. The event was well covered in local media which presented it as a wonderful way to celebrate ageing. This event has now become a regular event with different themes for each one, such as a tea dance and the forthcoming country and western dance afternoon. The 'Celebration of Life' organisers hoped the idea would be picked up around Australia. See Anglicare Australia Awards 2006 http://www.anglicare.asn.au/aaawards2006.htm 28 September 2010.
  17. [Values_Consultation_Options_2006-8-1.pdf]
  18. [Indigenous_Strategy_Plan_launch_Notes_2006-10-20.pdf] [Indigenous_Strategic_Plan_2006-2009.pdf]
  19. [Our_Social_Rights_&_Responsibilities_Conference_Invitation_2006-8-30.pdf] [Sambell_Oration_2006_Gallop.pdf]
  20. This report from stage 7 of the Brotherhood's longitudinal "Life Chances Study", when the young people were aged 15, explores school engagement and transition issues. It reports on interviews with 41 selected 15 year olds and their parents, and contains several illustrative case studies. These young people's engagement with school (at a critical stage) was influenced by school factors (whether they were doing well academically, had teachers they could talk to, had friends, participated in school sport and other activities) and by family factors (including parental separation and family conflict, parents' employment, low income). The findings point to important ways for schools and education policy makers to engage disadvantaged young people, as well as the need for adequate income support for families and for young people who have left home.
  21. This report is an evaluation of the Scheme for Training and Educating People (STEP) residential care program which enables people who face barriers to employment to gain a traineeship in Certificate III in Community Services (Residential care), through a partnership between the Brotherhood of St Laurence residential care facilities and STEP Inc (the Brotherhood’s group training company). The program succeeded in helping disadvantaged people to find meaningful employment, and represented a worthwhile investment in training and support, with potential for replication, in a sector facing skill shortages. [Mestan_Stanley_STEP_residential_care_evaln.pdf]
  22. [Nicholson_Doing_a-deal_with_Parents_2006-9-6.pdf]
  23. [Media_Release_re_Interest_Rate_Rise_2006-8-2.pdf]
  24. [BSL_Social_Barometer_youth_challenges.pdf]
  25. [risk_&_reality_insurance_report.pdf]
  26. [raising_young_children_greater_dandenong.pdf]
  27. [Nicholson_Opinion_Herald-Sun_2006-7-20.pdf]
  28. [Nicholson_Opinion_re_COAG_2006-7-14.pdf]
  29. "Two families" [videorecording] Brotherhood of St Laurence, X-RayVision and iliadstudio, 2006 (BSL Library DVD 362.8 BRO)
  30. "The Torch Project" [videorecording], Brotherhood of St Laurence, Small Sparks Production, 2006 (BSL Library DVD 305.89915 BRO)Director: Steve Payne. Contributions by Rachel Maza, Nick Hayne, Stefo Nantsou, Jo Tassone. 1999-2006
  31. Speakers included The Honourable John Thwaites, Deputy Premier / Minister for Victorian Communities; Dr Peter Shergold, Secretary to Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; Professor Mark Considine, Director, Centre for Public Policy, University of Melbourne; Louise Coventry Manager, YP4; Dr Shane Houston, Assistant Secretary, Office of Aboriginal Health, Family and Social Policy, NT; Tony Nicholson, Brotherhood of St Laurence; Dr Tim Reddel, Director, Social Policy, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, QLD; Professor Paul Smyth, Brotherhood of St Laurence / Centre for Public Policy, University of Melbourne.
  32. Other speakers were: Jo Barraket, University of Melbourne; Mark Considine, University of Melbourne; Elizabeth Cham, National Roundtable of Nonprofit Organisations; Bronwen Dalton, University of Technology Sydney; Charles Lane, Department of Victorian Communities; Jenny Lewis, University of Melbourne; Mark Lyons, University of Technology Sydney; Sarah Maddison, University of New South Wales; Myles McGregor-Lowndes, Queensland University of Technology; Malou Pascual-Anes, Adult Multicultural Education Services; Jeff Rich, Department for Victorian Communities; Cath Smith, Victorian Council of Social Services; Paul Smyth, University of Melbourne and Brotherhood of St Laurence; David Thompson, National Roundtable of Nonprofit Organisations.
  33. Collingwood College Newsletters 21 April & 6 September 2006 [Collingwood_College_Digital_Stories_2006-4-21.pdf]
  34. "Unsung Heroes - The power of digital storytelling in English and community services" - David McCallum, Melbourne Grammar School, Alberto Rizzo, Melbourne Grammar School: The project ‘Unsung Heroes’ was an outstanding example of effective integration of ICT across both the English curriculum and the school’s community services commitment. It was the result of collaboration between the English Department, our eLearning Coordinator and The Brotherhood of St Laurence. Year 10 boys from an English class interviewed elders from the BSL Coolibah Centre in Fitzroy and constructed visual stories with MS Photostory 3 using readily available materials such as scanned documents, photos and other images as well as some recordings. Students developed narrative writing skills such as script writing, storyboarding, and collaborative writing skills through involvement in 'story-circles' through the appropriate use of technology, and gained a heightened awareness of the wider community and a greater understanding of diversity. The project was so successful that a new semester unit called Digital Storytelling has now been introduced into the mainstream curriculum for Year 9 and 10 English. (From 2007 ICTEV Annual Conference - Digital Discussions)
  35. [Agora_Think_Tank_Charter_2006-9.pdf]

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