The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2018-12-19T01:16:57Z ‘Forgotten Christmas’ Campaign Helps Raise Struggling Families Above Poverty Line in Asia 2018-12-19T01:16:57Z forgotten-christmas-campaign-helps-raise-struggling-families-above-poverty-line-in-asia TOOWOOMBA, Queensland—As holiday shopping in North America is predicted to top $1 trillion this year, GFA World (formerly Gospel for Asia is urging Christians to make the season more Christ-centred by adding someone they don't know to their gift list. GFA's "Forgotten Christmas" campaign ( gives an opportunity to churches and individuals to provide practical gifts, including income-generating resources that can help lift a family out of poverty in Asia, where millions struggle to survive below the $1.90-a-day poverty line.    The centre piece of the effort is a touching three-minute video drama which follows a young American boy as he provides desperately needed groceries for a struggling couple in his neighbourhood.   "Christmas is about so much more than just presents," viewers are told. "Let's bring Christmas back to what it's really meant to be about: giving hope to others. Why not go further than just next door? Make an impact around the world this Christmas."   They can do that through GFA World’s Christmas Gift Catalogue (, which features almost 40 different giving opportunities.   For just $11—the price of three eggnog lattes—a pair of chickens can improve a family's financial situation by breeding more birds that can be sold, or through the sale of their eggs. Other poverty-breaking gifts include a lamb for $65, a sewing machine for $85, and teaching someone to read for $25.   "There is so much to enjoy in the Christmas season, but it is easy to lose sight of the real meaning, if we are not careful," said GFA founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan. "Christmas is about Jesus coming into the world, showing us God's love in tangible form.   "Through a simple gift that can completely change their circumstances, we can demonstrate his love to those struggling in poverty. We can show them that they may have been forgotten by the world, but they have not been forgotten by God or his people."   GFA World hopes that in this 12th year of “Forgotten Christmas,” churches and individuals around the globe will join them in seeing families in Asia  receive help to rise above the poverty line. Last year, GFA and its supporters helped more than 230,000 families receive income-generating presents.   One GFA supporter who provides help through the gift catalogue each year said: "What a wonderful way to invest treasure into some of the poorest of the poor—a way that gives them new opportunities for self-support and dignity and demonstrates God's love for them.”  # # #   GFA World ( has – for nearly 40 years ‒ provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions in Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,000 wells drilled, over 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 200,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. RetireAustralia launches informative ‘Retire Ready’ guide 2018-12-16T23:07:42Z retireaustralia-launches-informative-retire-ready-guide RetireAustralia has launched a comprehensive new guide aimed at helping seniors and their families make informed choices about retirement village living. Retire Ready provides information on moving into, living in, and leaving a retirement village. RetireAustralia’s CEO, Alison Quinn, said Retire Ready is designed to help seniors plan their futures with confidence. “We know making a decision about your future is an important step and we hope this guide helps you feel better informed and more confident about making your choice when the time comes,” she said. “[It’s] important to have the facts, so we can make informed choices that set us up for the future we want.” The 24-page guide covers the various types of village available, retirement village lifestyles, how to choose a suitable village, costs, contracts, care options, and much more. It is available online as a download or in print form from a RetireAustralia village. The launch of Retire Ready coincides with the Retirement Living Council’s new ‘A Wise Move’ campaign, of which RetireAustralia is a part. The ‘A Wise Move’ campaign is designed to provide information to potential residents and their families about retirement living options and benefits, and address misconceptions about retirement communities. Retire Ready is available now! Download your free copy at:  Australian social workers support the 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, calls on government to restore Australia’s place as a human rights leader 2018-12-09T23:37:49Z australian-social-workers-support-the-70th-anniversary-of-the-un-declaration-of-human-rights-calls-on-government-to-restore-australias-place-as-a-human-rights-leader On the 70th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Australian Association of Social Workers calls on the government to take serious action to fulfil its human rights commitments. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “The AASW continues to have serious concerns over Australia’s breach of human rights, including the treatment of people seeking asylum, and the systems abuses of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and children, including their overrepresentation in the justice system. “Article One of the declaration tells us that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’, and although Australia prides itself on values of respect, dignity and compassion, it is clear the Australian government is failing in this regard. “For example, Indigenous Australians are 13 times more likely to be imprisoned, often for minor offences like unpaid fines[1], than the rest of the Australian population, and Aboriginal women are the fastest growing prisoner demographic in Australia[2]. “Furthermore, despite being a signatory to many UN conventions that protect human rights, the Australian government appears undeterred by repeated calls by the UN to end offshore ‘processing’ of people seeking asylum. Not only this, we have people who have been held in indefinite closed onshore detention for almost 10 years. “Social workers see first-hand the devastating consequences of government policies that neglect the freedoms provided by the Human Rights Declaration. “People are sick of the political rhetoric and cruelty of the Australian government around people seeking asylum, and they are using their vote to show it, as we have seen in recent by-elections. This is very much an election issue now, and if the government isn’t willing to act on this as a humanitarian issue then perhaps the threat of losing office will move them to action. The election is an important time for those in all political parties to show moral leadership, honour our legacy of compassion and not pander to the politics of fear and racism.” As social workers, we will continue to advocate against human rights violations and look forward to the day when the Australian Government stops exploiting the public’s fear, misconceptions and prejudices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, asylum seekers and refugees for political gain, and becomes a global leader for human rights. The AASW represents over 11,000 professional social workers from around Australia. Christine Craik is an Ambassador for Kids off Nauru. Christine Craik is available for interview. [1] [2] Ibid. A Gift to the City - A video presentation on the Digital Tower at Yagan Square 2018-11-29T03:56:17Z a-gift-to-the-city-a-video-presentation-on-the-digital-tower-at-yagan-square Schools of Early Learning – Children breaking new ground… A dedicated group of our Schools of Early Learning (SOEL) educators from across all 5 of our centres have been busy working on a long-term research project with groups of 4 year old kindy children, around community and relationships. Each location explored the unique and reciprocal nature of their relationships with their peers, community and local indigenous culture, and then came together for regular meaningful visits to Yagan Square. The children named themselves ‘The Together Group’ and produced ‘gifts to the city’ in the form of mark-making and clay sculpting, leaving these works behind are returning days later to see how they had been changed by the city. We'll be revealing our children’s gifts to the city via a video presentation on the digital tower in Yagan Square, with the launch screening on Friday 30th of November, at 6:30pm sharp! It will be running for a number of weeks and is complemented by large stickers on the ground in the area featuring children’s work and links to further information.   Find out more at:   More than just child care, SOEL is a candidate IB World School offering the Primary Years Programme with a focus on the Early Years. We build partnerships with families and the community through collaboration, to create opportunities in which children are listened to, respected, mentored and challenged, so that they can be local, national, international and global citizens. Local adoption report published: A time to recommit to the best interests and cultural rights of Indigenous children 2018-11-27T00:44:37Z local-adoption-report-published-a-time-to-recommit-to-the-best-interests-and-cultural-rights-of-indigenous-children The Australian Association of Social Workers’ (AASW) submission to the Federal Government’s review into local adoptions has been cited in the report which was published yesterday, Breaking barriers: a national adoption framework for Australian children. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “The report marks an important time for governments to refocus and recommit to upholding the best interests of children in all adoption matters. “Children and young people in the care of the State are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. Adoption must only be considered when all other options for the child’s safety and wellbeing have been expertly assessed as not suitable.” AASW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Representative Director, Linda Ford said, “In ensuring their safety and wellbeing, attention must be paid to the child’s holistic needs. When working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, the AASW contends that planning must be culturally appropriate, with a focus upon the child maintaining connection with their family, culture and other significant relationships. “With the rate of removal of Indigenous children being 10 times that of non-Indigenous children, the pain and trauma of removal of Indigenous children cannot be consigned to the past. “The system’s focus upon punitive removal measures has profound negative consequences, severing family and cultural ties, intensifying transgenerational trauma and contributing to the ongoing dispossession, disadvantage and oppression experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. “For cases where removal is in the best interests of the child, systemic change is needed to address barriers and lack of support available to Aboriginal families that could foster or adopt. Areas for change include the need to amend the inherent bias and discrimination in application forms that demand a certain literacy and education level for applicants. Factors such as these do not determine an individual’s capacity to provide a safe and caring home.” Ms Craik said, “It is governments’ responsibility to support families to live in safe environments, stopping the risk of abuse and neglect before it arises. “With 17 per cent of total child protection funding on family support services for children and their families, compared with 83 per cent on child protection services, the AASW calls on the government to focus efforts on early intervention and family support that are built on partnership and collaboration with Indigenous communities.” The AASW calls on governments to commit and redirect funding to supporting and working with Indigenous communities and families to ensure the rights and needs of every child is upheld. The AASW represents over 10,000 professional social workers from around Australia, many of whom work in child protection. Christine Craik and Linda Ford are available for interview. DECEMBEARD® AUSTRALIA RETURNS 2018-11-26T01:48:17Z decembeard-r-australia-returns Now in its sixth year, Decembeard® Australia is a hair–raising fundraiser held during the month of December (1st-31st December), that encourages men to grow a beard or take a Beard Challenge, to raise funds and help Bowel Cancer Australia beat bowel cancer. Bowel cancer is Australia's second deadliest cancer, affecting around 1 in 11 Aussie men in their lifetime, and yet it remains largely unspoken about. “That’s why we’ve dedicated the month of December to raising much needed awareness and funds to address bowel cancer,” said Claire Annear, Bowel Cancer Australia’s Community Engagement Manager. “Anyone can get involved and there are no complicated rules. Grow a beard, sponsor someone who is, or get your friends involved by hosting a beard-themed fundraiser,” said Ms Annear. By raising funds for Bowel Cancer Australia, the 100% community funded charity can provide information and support services to the thousands of Australians affected by bowel cancer each year. Give your razor a rest this Decembeard® and sign up for the challenge! For more details or to register, visit -ENDS- About Bowel Cancer Australia Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and the best care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. Each year, Bowel Cancer Australia dedicates the month of June to raising much-needed awareness and funds. For more information visit Media Enquiries To arrange an interview with a Bowel Cancer Australia spokesperson, a local Decembeard participant or a bowel cancer patient, please contact: Joni Thomes M: 0421967709 GOOD SCOTT! COLLECTION OF A TASMANIAN ENTREPRENEUR FOR SALE 2018-11-25T23:24:01Z good-scott-collection-of-a-tasmanian-entrepreneur-for-sale Media Release November 26, 2018 GOOD SCOTT! COLLECTION OF A TASMANIAN ENTREPRENEUR FOR SALE James Scott was a surveyor of Van Diemen’s Land (later Tasmania) who spent most of the 1850s as the only surveyor in Launceston. While he endured relatively harsh conditions in his solo activity, he also acquired a small empire making him as much an entrepreneur as a government functionary. Now a collection of memorabilia attesting to part of Scott’s life is being offered for sale by Leski Auctions on 2 December. It makes for fascinating reading. Scott arrived from England in the 1830s, not long after island was established as a penal colony. While he might have surveyed the land for the British, he went about buying it for himself. He owned many properties and had an interest in a coal mine at the Don River west of Devonport. He was a director of the British and Tasmanian Charcoal Iron Co., and a foundation director and later chairman of the Mutual Fire Insurance Co. He was politically unaligned when he served the people as an independent in the House of Assembly for George Town in 1869-77 and for South Launceston from 1878 until his death in 1884. Among the items being offered is his personal bible; his family tree; his surveyors’ rolling rule; and a small leather-bound, hand-written, 312-page journal of his surveying activities from late 1835 to 1842, which feature his travels, lands surveyed, iconic homes, and meetings with landed gentry including Governor & Lady Franklin. The book is also an accounting journal from January 1836 to December 1842 in which Scott recorded his expenditures, his income, and the nature of each transaction. Also included is his silver pocket watch referred to in an article in The Mercury in November 1955. “James Scott was not only a witness to Tasmanian history but a participant,” says Charles Leski. “Together with the black painted metal trunk which contained his effects, this remarkable group fills in a gap in the historical record from that period. It is a rare and exceptional record of a slice of Australia’s early history.” Lot 236, James Scott Surveyor of Van Diemen’s Land, has a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 - $80,000. (Image available at The lot will be sold by Leski Auctions ( on Sunday, 2 December from 12.00pm. About Leski Auctions Leski Auctions was established in 1973. Today, it is regarded as one of Australia’s leading auctioneers of Sporting Memorabilia, Australian Art & Antiques, Collectibles and World Philately. Among the many significant collections that Leski Auctions has been privileged to sell are those of Shirley Strickland, Ron Clarke, Sir Reginald Ansett and former RSL President, Bruce Ruxton. It has sold more ‘baggy green’ caps than any other auction house in the world. Charles Leski is a registered valuer for the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts’ Cultural Gifts Program. He is also the valuer of the displayed items at the National Sports Museum at the MCG, Melbourne. Harry Glenn, an industry veteran with more than 20 years experience, has been working with Charles since 2012. The company is located at 727-729 High Street Armadale, Victoria 3143 Australia. Tel+61 3 8539 6150 and Issued by: Harry Glenn, Leski Auctions Michael Krape, Michael Krape Consulting Tel: +61 (0) 425 790 735 Tel: +61 (0) 403 135 880 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: 25 November #HearMeToo 2018-11-21T01:43:44Z international-day-for-the-elimination-of-violence-against-women-25-november-hearmetoo The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) supports the theme of this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which is this Sunday 25 November, #HearMeToo. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “This has been yet another shocking year for violence against women in Australia, with 60 women killed in 2018. Many more are living with, or have survived family violence. “We also know that for many women, for many reasons, it’s not possible to speak. To those women, whose names we may never have the privilege of knowing, we take this occasion to say that we hear you, too; and that we notice the wisdom, the courage and the survival in your silence. “But let this not be another occasion on which women speak only to each other about the devastating consequences of gendered violence. To those who cause harm: we believe in your capacity to change. Only you are accountable to your choice to use violence, and to the pain and fear inflicted in the lives of women and their children. Only you are responsible for seeking support for your behaviour. Today, we implore you to seek support. “To those in positions of power, capable of beginning the huge cultural change we need in our society to end this violence against women, today we also implore you to have the courage and enact that change. “Australian social workers are committed to having a strong voice on matters of social justice and human rights, which is why, importantly, we want to remind Australian governments that gendered violence is common, but it is not inevitable. Gendered violence is a systemic issue, driven by gendered inequality, and it can be addressed by cultural change. “This can only occur when there is a concerted effort, and adequate investment, toward that end. We need a national coordination of prevention, early intervention, crisis and recovery. This is what we are calling on Australian governments to commit to today. As more and more women come forward to speak truth to power, to say ‘hear me, too’, we ask that governments be responsive to the building tide of social change; that one day, the leadership of this country might be able to say, ‘we did’.” Christine Craik is available for interview. She is a renowned expert in family violence and completing her PhD in the subject at RMIT University. Art for the Afterlife 2018-11-20T01:34:33Z art-for-the-afterlife Troy Upfield, founder of Chapter House Funerals, met Leroy on the streets a few months back. Over a period they often chat about the day's happenings and swap stories about each other's life journeys. Over conversation, Troy discovered Leroy's talent for painting and wanting to help offered Leroy to paint something for the walls of Chapter House.  It took a few weeks, however, Leroy eventually walked into Chapter House Funerals, and the quietly spoken Leroy said 'I'm here to paint'. Unsure what to paint and to paint on Troy asked Leroy if he would be ok to paint on a coffin lid. Apprehensive at first, Leroy agreed.  Leroy is self-taught as an artist. His is a familiar face in the village of Kew, Melbourne and is often to be found painting outside the supermarket. His strong, quiet presence belies his homeless status. Leroy’s ancestors are Koori, from the Yorta Yorta tribe near Echuca, and he has an unbreakable bond with the natural habitat of his home as his work so clearly shows. Leroy has painted the mythical ‘Bunjil’, his nation’s Creator deity. Bunjil interchanges between Eaglehawk and human and has been portrayed soaring above sun-scorched treetops, yet reaching down through a sinuous root system to the eternal womb of mother earth.  Leroy tends to lose himself in the craft and demands of his work. With his tattooed physique but quiet nature, we find him engrossed in his subject. His painting requires fine brushwork. Attention to detail is apparent, but the result maintains a terrific vigour and vibrancy. Since meeting Leroy, the idea of supporting community and artists has inspired Troy to invite others to tell their story. As an initiative to help, the Chapter House ‘every life has a story to tell’  Art Series has been created and offers local painters the opportunity to showcase their work in a unique format. Chapter House is transforming everyday coffin lids into unique and original artworks.  Chapter House has other works in progress from Chinese, Maori, Street Art and artists with brain acquired injuries.  Each artist will have a feature video produced, and an open exhibition will be held early 2019 to showcase the diversity of art and culture each telling a story.  Leroy's story on Vimeo (photos available on request) In this way, we are challenged to take stock and to remember the precious nature of life itself. In discovering these artists, we celebrate each other and share the fact that every life has a story to tell. Chapter House is an attentive, family-focused business - a local funeral provider. The tight-knit company offers personal attention and sets out to support the Kew and surrounding Melbourne, community. END SydWest Driving New Opportunities for Job-seekers in Blacktown 2018-11-19T00:16:02Z sydwest-driving-new-opportunities-for-job-seekers-in-blacktown SydWest Multicultural Services has partnered with Blacktown City Council and Settlement Services International (SSI) to undertake another Blacktown Employment Accelerator event aimed at improving economic outcomes for job seekers from refugee and migrant backgrounds, as well as people with disability in the Blacktown LGA. Leaders from the business community will come together with job-ready job-seekers from refugee, migrant backgrounds and people with disabilities for speed-dating recruitment meetings to accelerate employment outcomes for everyone involved. Our corporate partners include Hire-Up, Thrive Refugee Enterprise, Meat processors group, Coles, AimBig Employment, Regional Workforce Management. This event will assist people from diverse backgrounds who are job-seekers to make new connections, connect with sustainable employment opportunities and expand their networks and increase their employability chances. The event will be held on Friday 23 November from 11am – 1pm at the Blacktown Workers Club, 55 Campbell Street, Blacktown. SydWest Multicultural Services CEO, Elfa Moraitakis is encouraging people of all backgrounds to join in this unique initiative: We are looking forward to continuing to drive accelerated employment outcomes for our new arrivals – including refugees, who are often highly qualified but experience barriers to employment – by bringing employers and job-seekers together, we believe real, sustained employment outcomes can be achieved. It’s a win-win for everyone! Blacktown Employment Accelerator 2018 continues to showcase the wealth of experience and expertise on our doorstep, and accelerate the connections necessary for successful employee recruitment. As SSI CEO, Violet Roumeliotis noted in 2017 on the importance of employment to the settlement process:  Finding employment is not only one of the highest priorities but also one of the biggest hurdles during the settlement process for refugees and migrants SydWest Multicultural Services is the largest and most diverse community services organisation in the Western Sydney region. Established more than 33 years ago, SydWest provides a range of services to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals and communities services to assist with settling and living productive and independent lives in the community. This event is proudly sponsored by BREED and the Greater Blacktown Business Chamber   STATEMENT ENDS / For further information contact Vikki Hine, Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, SydWest Multicultural Services on or 9621 6633. Filming/photo opportunity: WW1 Remembrance Event 2018-11-07T21:00:00Z filming-photo-opportunity-ww1-remembrance-event Event: Rookwood Cemetery honours Australian war heroes at WW1 Remembrance Memorial for 1700 unofficially recognised service men and women buried at Rookwood Cemetery Date & Time: Friday, 9 November 2018 from 10am to 2pm at Rookwood Cemetery’s All Souls Chapel Interview: George Simpson, CEO, Rookwood Cemetery Overview The World War I centenary marks the completion of a four year long project for Rookwood General Cemetery, identifying and documenting the unofficial graves of servicemen and women who served in WW1 and buried in the grounds of Rookwood. The project was managed by a team of Rookwood General Cemetery staff and volunteers, who located the graves, undertook research about the individuals and their families, and cleaned or repaired the grave stones. Throughout the project, Rookwood appealed for public assistance to help identify family members of those who served during World War I and were buried at Rookwood. The project uncovered 1700 graves of Australian service men and women, with family members sharing their stories and photos. The memorial event on Friday will honour these Australians, share some of their remarkable stories and acknowledge their bravery and sacrifice. Following is an example of one of many veteran stories that will be shared at Friday’s event: Edwin Arthur Hollinworth: Grew up in Texas, Queensland Was known as the horse breaker (he owned a beautiful horse named, Starlight). Served in Cairo with Starlight, and was a classic example of the close bond between a man and his horse He died on May 25, 1936 in Coogee after demonstrating to a visitor how a bomb, that had already been detonated, would have worked (the bomb was a souvenir he brought back from the war). However, the salt in the air, combined with remnants of gun powder still in the bomb, caused an explosion which led to Edwin’s death. The WW1 Remembrance Event will include: An official ceremony (held from 10:30am to 11:30am) Video tribute Morning tea Gun-fire salute Anzac Tours Open-air museum View the full program at or call 8575 8100 for further information. Social workers in Shepparton to quiz candidates ahead of Victorian state election 2018-11-07T04:58:00Z social-workers-in-shepparton-to-quiz-candidates-ahead-of-victorian-state-election The Goulburn Murray Social Workers Group, with the support of the AASW Victorian Branch, is hosting a “Meet the Candidates” forum of the Shepparton District tomorrow, Thursday in the lead up to Victoria’s state election, Saturday, 24 November 2018. Representatives who will be there include: Suzanna Sheed - Independent (current MP) Bill Heath - Labor Peter Schwarz - Nationals Nickee Freeman - Greens Liberal candidate Cheryl Hammer will be an apology. Goulburn Murray Social Workers spokesperson David Tennant and CEO of Family Care said, “The purpose of the forum is to ask local candidates how they plan to address the issues that are affecting marginalised sections of our community. We want to see these issues brought to the fore at this election. These include homelessness, child protection, family violence, rural and regional development, treaty and reconciliation and climate change. “This is an area of Victoria that politicians must watch. The 2014 state election saw a large shift in this district’s voting patterns and we want to make sure that prospective representatives are listening to our needs. “Social workers are busy every day in Shepparton working with individuals and rural communities to find solutions to the barriers they face; people that rarely get a say in political debates. Everyone deserves to have their voices heard.” AASW Victorian Branch President Alex Bhathal said, “This is an important opportunity for candidates in the state seat of Shepparton to present their perspectives on concerns that matter to a key professional grouping. Social workers are often the first health and community sector professionals to observe trends in social needs. Social workers also see the impacts of politicians’ decisions on people and communities. The AASW Victorian Branch welcomes this initiative by the Goulburn Murray Social Workers Group." A number of local organisations have contributed to making the discussion possible, including St. Vincent de Paul, The Lighthouse Project, Goulburn Valley Primary Care Partnership, and La Trobe University. The forum is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, 8 November, 7.00pm – 8.30pm at La Trobe University, Cnr Fryers and North Sts Shepparton. Light refreshments will be provided afterwards. Register your interest on Eventbrite by going to: You can also call Lachlan on 0403 170 711 with any queries. ENDS About the Goulburn Murray Social Workers Group The Goulburn Murray Social Workers Group has a rich 20-year history, working to improve the wellbeing of some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in Shepparton and the Goulburn Murray region. It is affiliated with the AASW Victorian Branch and will soon submit an application to the Branch to become an official practice group. AASW Symposium provides global leadership on responding to trauma 2018-11-06T23:36:50Z aasw-symposium-provides-global-leadership-on-responding-to-trauma The Western Australian Branch of the Australian Association of Social Workers will host a thought-provoking and action-oriented Trauma Informed Care Symposium this Friday, 9 November in Perth. The Symposium has gathered together social work leaders and researchers from the Noongar nation, Australia and the United States to explore together how we can respond to the devastating impacts of trauma at individual, family, community and global levels. Some of the speakers who will be presenting at the Symposium include: Respected Noongar Elder Elizabeth Hayden joins Noongar social workers Glenda Kickett and Dr Michael Wright to begin the Symposium with a ‘Yarning about Trauma’ session with Elder Jim Morrison. Together, they bring decades of experience of working with people and communities who have experienced trauma across generations. Dr Alicia Boccellari from the University of California and the founder of the Trauma Recovery Centre (TRC), which she launched in 2001. This Centre works with victims of abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence and other violent crimes. The AASW National President Christine Craik who has worked as a social worker in family support, housing, community health and hospitals with a focus on domestic violence, sexual abuse and refugees for almost three decades. Dr Ann O’Neill, who is an inspiring speaker, an award-winning humanitarian, victimologist, social worker, educator, activist, volunteer and researcher. Ann is a specialist in the areas of trauma, criminal victimisation and advocacy. AASW WA Branch President Michael Berry said, “When people are experiencing trauma and seek support they can be re-traumatised by the way in which individuals and services respond. This Symposium is an opportunity for people who work in this area to learn how to respond in ways that are healing. We are especially pleased to welcome Noongar Elders and have Dr Boccellari join us from the United States.” AASW National President Christine Craik said, “The Symposium aims to develop practice skills and knowledge for social workers and other workers who are responding to trauma at all levels. It will provide an opportunity for people to transform trauma, connect with each other to learn, challenge and share ideas.” Minister Simone McGurk, Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services was pleased the State Government through the Department of Communities was able to support this Symposium as a key sponsor. She said, “It is an excellent opportunity for social workers in our state to hear and learn from experts who respond to trauma. “I am a strong believer that we will only be able to address some of our most complex social issues by looking to evidence-based practice. “Understanding the impact of trauma on brain development, children’s well-being and family functioning is crucial to improving outcomes for individuals and families who have experienced trauma.” The AASW encourages live tweeting during the event, with the hashtag #AASWTrauma Register on the AASW’s website. You can also flag that you are attending the Symposium on Facebook and check into the event on the day. AASW National President Christine Craik is available for interview. ENDS Diamond Sponsor: Supported by the Department of Communities Silver Sponsors: AnglicareWA, angelhands, RUAH Community Services, Indigo Junction, Slater and Gordon Lawyers Media contact AASW Angela Yin Communications Lead P 03 9320 1005 M 0413 532 954 Media contact Department of Communities Steve Worner Manager, Media Relations Phone 08 6217 4077 Population Review needs to be balanced and sensitive to community cohesion says Settlement Services International 2018-11-02T02:05:31Z population-review-needs-to-be-balanced-and-sensitive-to-community-cohesion-says-settlement-services-international-1 Settlement Services International (SSI) welcomes NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s appointment of an expert panel to develop a population policy for NSW, especially if it brings balance, fact and data on Australia’s migration program and ensures Australia’s successful multicultural social fabric and community cohesion are not undermined. The panel will consider "the current rate of population growth and infrastructure pipeline" and "how long is needed for infrastructure to catch up with population growth rates". In her announcement (link:, the Premier renewed her call for net overseas migration levels to return to more sustainable Howard-era rates until a proper population policy is put in place. She said, “It is becoming increasingly clear that the current high rates of population growth are putting even more pressure on our infrastructure.” A "Howard era" benchmark — when NSW's net migration averaged at 45,000 people per year under the Howard government — would require halving the current levels, which have averaged above 100,000 for the past two years. SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said, “Discussions about levels of immigration are essential in an inclusive and democratic country like Australia, however we do not want to compromise our successful multicultural cohesion by focusing only on impacts to planning and infrastructure.” Ms Roumeliotis said while Ms Berejiklian believed, "NSW’s economic success is attracting a far greater share of total immigrant numbers than it has in the past" she also needed to acknowledge that much of that economic success could be attributed to the migrant population. She said, “Migration has clear economic and social benefits for Australia. Australia’s migration levels prevented our economy going into a technical recession after the World Financial Crisis. “The Productivity Commission Inquiry Report Migrant Intake into Australia (2016) found that with net migration at the historic average rate, GDP per person is projected to increase by some 7% relative to zero net overseas migration by 2060.” Ms Roumeliotis said there were planning pressures in any big city but “we must remember that migrants come to Australia with high levels of social and economic capital and a strong willingness to contribute and, further, have shaped modern Australia since World War II.” She said SSI supported the Productivity Commission’s recommendation that, in determining migrant intake, the Australian government should give greater consideration to the implications for planning and investment and that State and Territory governments should develop detailed infrastructure plans that are consistent with population growth. She said SSI also agreed with the Productivity Commission’s recommendations that the Australian government: develop and articulate a population policy, and calibrate the size of the annual migrant intake according to that population policy; and in determining the migration intake, give greater consideration to planning and investment in infrastructure. However, Ms Roumeliotis said, “Planning of population levels and infrastructure should involve all levels of government and other stakeholders, including industry and employer bodies, education and training providers, other service providers, academia, planners and representatives of relevant migrant and other community groups.” Settlement Services International have co-hosted the International Metropolis Conference held this week in Sydney. NOTES TO EDITORS For more information and interviews with Violet Roumeliotis, please contact: Stephen Webb l l 0488 684 163 WHO ARE PROPEL FUNERAL PARTNERS? 2018-11-01T03:34:31Z who-are-propel-funeral-partners The funeral industry in Australia is currently estimated to be $1.1 billion and provides essential services to individuals and families dealing with, or preparing for, death and bereavement. However, navigating the funeral industry when someone has died can leave many of us vulnerable to upselling and confused with no understanding of the industry and little idea of our funeral rights and choices. In Australia there are two main listed players, being InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC)and the newer Propel Funeral Partners Ltd (ASX: PFP). Between them they likely account for more than 40% of the Australian market after recent acquisitions. The following information is provided in a series of articles to assist consumers learn more about some of the largest funeral companies in Australia. In this article we provide an overview of Propel Funeral Partners. About Propel Funeral Partners? Propel Funeral Partners was established in FY12 and is now the second largest private provider of death care services in Australia and New Zealand. Propel was founded and is managed by Propel Investments Pty Ltd. The company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in late November 2017 as it sought to emulate InvoCare by buying up smaller family owned funeral homes. They own funeral homes, cemeteries, crematoria and related assets in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and New Zealand. Propel performed over 10,000 funeral services in FY18 and the Company’s portfolio currently comprises 108 locations (54 freehold and 54 leasehold) in Australia and New Zealand, including 24 cremation facilities and 7 cemeteries. It’s recent acquisitions include Seasons Funeral Homes in Western Australia and Norwood Park in New South Wales, Newhaven Funerals in Queensland. Which funeral homes are owned by Propel Funeral Partners? Corporate versus Independent Funeral Directors Although most consumers will pick a funeral home brand based on expensive marketing campaigns, it pays to shop around. We wouldn’t consider buying a car or paying for a wedding without learning everything we can about the product or service. The same decision making process should also apply to funerals! Choosing between a corporate or family-owned funeral home is a personal question. Corporate funeral homes are often able to charge a premium due to brand recognition and the belief that their services will be of a higher professional quality. On the other hand, independent funeral homes in Australia work for consumers and not shareholders of publicly listed companies, InvoCare and Propel Funeral Partners. They are often more connected with the communities they serve and have more freedom to tailor funerals to reflect the wishes of the family (rather than being bound by strict package options). GRAVE CONCERNS HELD FOR FUNERAL CONSUMERS EZIFUNERALS CALLS ON CONSUMERS AND FAMILY OWNED FUNERAL HOMES TO CHALLENGE THE FUNERAL DUOPOLY Make the Independent Funeral Choice the Right Choice If local ownership and community involvement are important to you, you should ask who owns and operates the funeral home you are considering. By choosing to use the services of an independent funeral director, listed with eziFunerals, you are selecting the help of a trusted professional – who can help you anywhere, anytime. They are not distracted or bound by corporate rules handed down from head office and shareholders but can be flexible and responsive to individual needs, providing a highly personal and compassionate service. So make the right choice and get value for money by selecting an Australian, independent and family owned funeral director to conduct a funeral. For more information on funeral costs in each of the states, see our city specific pages: Funeral Directors Sydney Funeral Directors Melbourne Funeral Directors Brisbane Funeral Directors Adelaide Funeral Directors Perth Funeral Directors Hobart About eziFunerals eziFunerals is a free consumer advocacy and funeral planning platform that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime.