For Them

3 April 2023


For Murray Bridge resident Shohan, becoming a carer had always been in the cards. Growing up in a tight-knit family, she quickly developed a natural affinity with children.

“Even as a child myself, I was always offering to take care of the other kids in my family. My mum said I started doing it when I was only three,” she said. “As I grew older and my friends started having children, I would also offer to take care of them.”

Shohan, who has a 19-year-old biological son, opened her heart to a little girl after meeting her through work.

“I was a SSO (Student Services Officer) at a primary school and the principal there had short-term care of a young girl. At nine months old, she was so tiny, she couldn’t even hold her own bottle,” she said. “When they struggled to find her another home, it just broke my heart. So, I decided I’d do it.”

After undergoing the appropriate processes, Shohan took on the young girl’s care.

“It happened so quickly but I knew she needed a home, so I didn’t mind,” she said.

“She is the most beautiful little girl. My whole life has changed.”

Three years on, Shohan now also cares for the little girl’s sibling – a one-year-old boy. Supported by Junction, her family and community, Shohan has enjoyed every moment of her journey.

“I have never once regretted it. There are challenges for sure. Recognising they have trauma and dealing with the emotional side is always difficult,” she said. “But it’s been amazing seeing them grow, seeing them smile, hearing their laughter. Just knowing they’re happy and safe.”

Now three-years-old, the little girl has grown to become brighter and more curious than ever.

“When I first got her, they said she wouldn’t walk, wouldn’t talk, wouldn’t do anything. She has since proved all the doctors wrong,” Shohan said. “If she was left in the environment she could have been left in, she may not have hit her milestones.”

She hopes both children will grow to live their lives to the fullest.

“No child chooses to be born into a bad situation. I don’t want them to feel that they’re disprivileged because they were in foster care,” she said.

“At the end of the day, you’re doing it all for them.”

If you have ever thought about becoming a foster carer, visit our Foster Care page for more details and to get in touch:

Other News

Read More

A New View for Veronica

19 April 2023


Veronica in her garden.

Filling up a glass of fresh water or using the bathroom is something many of us do without thought. But for Veronica, who lives in the inner-south, this is something she will never take for granted.

Growing up in the Fleurieu, Veronica’s hardships began at an early age.

“I was without parental figures from the age of 9. My father passed away then, and I didn’t have anyone else,” Veronica said.

By her late teen years, Veronica was living in a run-down, mouldy caravan with no access to fresh water or bathroom facilities. Surrounded by an environment of violence and substance abuse, Veronica knew that this was not the life she wanted to live.

“I used to stress a lot about where I could go to the toilet next, wash my clothes, get fresh water or refrigerate food.”

Despite being homeless, Veronica persevered through Year 12 before seeking help through Junction’s Fleurieu Homelessness Service. In mid-2022, she moved into her own home for the first time.

“Now, I don’t have to worry about any of that,” she said. “Little things that used to stress me out just aren’t a problem anymore.”

Since settling into her new home, Veronica has been able to focus fully on her goals. An aspiring lawyer, she has since found employment and intends to get her first aid certificate and driver’s license before moving forward with any big plans.

“I’m currently just working on becoming financially stable. I’ve never had more than $100 to my name so I’m learning how to manage my bills. I’m learning little things like how to wash dishes because I’ve never had anyone to teach me that,” she said. “I’m learning day-to-day mundane things that other people take for granted.”

Although she has faced many challenges, Veronica attributes her optimism and work-ethic toward her close friend who passed away a few years ago.

“Only after their passing did I want to start living. Not for them, but because I know they wanted me to,” Veronica said. “I think that was the turning point that made me wake up and say ‘hey, I don’t want to live like this anymore’.”

Looking to the future, Veronica dreams of reconnecting with the earth and living sustainably on her own land.

“I am proud of myself but I am also excited to evolve more. I am trying to focus on the future rather than where I am right now,” she said.

“I know where I am right now isn’t where I want to be, but it is where I can begin to move on.”

Other News

Read More

A First for Everything

12 April 2023


Anthony in his home.

For 24-year-old Anthony, a once distant goal of home ownership has recently become a reality.

Anthony, who works in insurance, had always seen himself breaking into the property market further down the line. However, when a two-bedroom apartment became available at Junction’s Camden Park development, he jumped at the opportunity.

“I’d thought about buying a home before, but not with any serious consideration. When I saw this opportunity, I thought it could be my best chance to get onto the property ladder.”

The $20 million Camden Park development – Junction’s largest to date – comprises 54 architecturally designed townhouses and apartments on Anzac Highway. Of those who purchased a home within the development, many were first homebuyers.

“As a first homebuyer, I did get a little bit overwhelmed once everything started to kick in,” Anthony said. “But everything was explained to me clearly. Over the course of the journey, I started to understand everything there was to buying a home.”

Having previously lived with his parents, Anthony is now enjoying his own space. This, along with the apartment’s modern design, reduced market rate and convenient location helped ‘seal the deal’ for Anthony.

“It’s located half-way between my parent’s home and where I work, with a tram line running from Glenelg to the city. It’s just very convenient,” he said.

Discovering an unexpected community of like-minded peers within the apartment block has also helped Anthony settle.

“They’ve all been super nice, and most are around my age which is really comforting considering the market at the moment,” he said. “I’ve already had nice notes passed in the letter boxes. It’s as much of a community as it could be.”

Also a musician, Anthony is currently converting his spare room into a personal music studio.

“Music has always been a massive part of my life so just having the space for it helps so much,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being creative in that home studio, and just sort of build my music career.”

“It’s a hobby right now, but I’m hoping that the dream can become reality.”

Other News

Read More

Connecting Communities Awards 2023

26 March 2023


In recognition of Neighbour Day (March 26th), we are excited to launch Junction’s inaugural Connecting Communities Awards – a way to recognise and celebrate our amazing community!

From checking in on elderly neighbours and delivering meals to those in need, to striving through disadvantage and creating positive change, we have heard it all! If you know someone who is a Junction tenant or program participant and deserves to be recognised, nominate them now for their chance to be recognised and win a prize in one of five categories.

To nominate, simply speak with our Community Engagement Team on 8275 8700 or email and tell us why you think this person deserves to win.

The 5 categories are:

• Positive Influence (an individual who demonstrates acts of kindness and leads by example)

• Community Champion (a ‘changemaker’ who goes the extra mile to get involved and be the voice for their community)

• Outstanding Achievement (an individual who has striven through disadvantage to create impact or enact positive change in their own lives, or the lives of others)

• Youth Excellence (an individual 25 years or under who has had a positive impact or achieved something outstanding)

• Community Choice (an individual nominated by fellow Junction tenants or program participants for having a positive impact on their community)

Nominations close on Friday 28th April.

Other News

Read More

Creative Culture

17 January 2023


Telling stories through vibrant colours and intricate designs is not only therapy for Phyllis, a proud Ngarrindjeri woman from the Fleurieu Peninsula, but also a way of preserving her culture for future generations.

As a teen, Phyllis found her passion for art and went on to complete four years of art school through Tauondi Aboriginal Community College. There, she nurtured her skills and embraced her culture.

“I’m just drawn to art,” Phyllis said. “I was a child who always had a pen and would be doodling. I just love it, it’s my therapy.”

In 1998, Phyllis experienced a car accident that resulted in serious injuries to her neck, back and shoulder. It took her years to get back on her feet but rediscovering her passion for painting helped with her recovery.

"Painting helps me with pain. It helps me to keep my mind off things and it helps me to keep focused. This is my escape."

That said, Phyllis’ creativity isn’t limited to canvas. She is also a talented seamstress, sculptor, beader and crocheter. She learned many of these skills from her mother.

Phyllis has turned her spare bedroom into an artistic sanctuary – full of artworks in progress. Whenever she is experiencing pain or trauma, she finds comfort in playing music and shutting the studio door to the outside world.

“I’m not tidy, I come out with paint in my hair,” she said. “Sometimes I will be in here until 5am. It’s easy to lose track of time when you enjoy what you’re doing.”

Now, more than ever, Phyllis is determined to share her culture with her six grandchildren. In addition to her art, she has also been tasked with designing the family cookbook to share and preserve traditional recipes handed down from her parents.

“It’s really important for me to pass my culture on to my grandchildren. If I don’t pass my culture on, it dies with me.”

Other News

Read More

Loud & Proud

22 November 2022


Lee-Anne has loved singing as long as she can remember. However, after suffering family abuse as a young person, she stopped – and stayed silent for a very long time.

“I loved singing,” she said. “Ever since I was a child. I started when I was three. That got taken away from me because of abuse from a family member and I was too ashamed to sing and dance.”

Almost fifty years later, the grandmother of 21 and great grandmother of 3 has found her voice again as part of a very special group.

Finding Your Voice – Women’s Community Choir brings together 28 women aged between 20 and 70. Delivered through Junction, the Choir, which has been practicing since August, will perform at a concert at the Old Noarlunga Town Hall on Sunday.

The initiative was funded through a grant from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Local Drug Action Team. Widespread research shows that women who have experienced domestic violence are more likely to engage in risky and addictive behavior.

“I’m showing off today,” Lee-Anne joked at one of the final practice sessions. “I love being part of this group.

"I feel exhilarated. I feel so happy to be part of women that are survivors. You are very safe here. It’s a safe place."

Safety is something Lee-Anne never takes for granted having fled abuse with no-where to go.

“In 1974 I had to run with my little baby,” she said. “But there was nowhere to run.”

This led to Lee-Anne squatting with some other women in several vacant homes.

“The Housing Trust ended up buying them. That’s when women’s shelters first came out. So, I was part of the pioneer group. I am very proud of that.

“I am passionate about wanting to give back and help other women who have been through similar things. It IS my passion.”

Like many people who have experienced violence and abuse, Lee-Anne’s life journey has been long and winding.

“I’ve been addicted to many substances since I was 8 years old,” she explained. “Because of abuse when I was young, I couldn’t shake them off until just recently.

Lee-Anne, now healthier and happier than she’s ever been, said the choir, and music generally, has been critical to her healing.

“I love Van Morrison,” she said. “He has a song called Brand New Day and it’s about abuse and conquering it. That gives me a lot of feelings of being powerful.

“Freedom. Freedom is my main message. And exhilaration.”

Other News

Read More

Playing a Part in Food Relief

15 November 2022


The lead up to Christmas is proving a busy time for Matt.

As a Foodbank volunteer, he sees first hand the impact cost of living pressures are having on South Australians and he’s proud he can play some role in supporting the most vulnerable, especially during the festive season.

Matt, who lives in Junction housing at Oaklands Park, spends three mornings a week building pallets, moving stock and supporting the everyday operations at Foodbank’s Edwardstown warehouse.

Taking on his new role in February, Matt quickly gained new skills and is one of the 700 volunteers across SA who are vital to the running of this crucial service.

“Matt has certainly come out of his shell, he’s now part of the furniture,” Tony, Foodbank Edwardstown’s Warehouse Manager, said. “He really does enjoy it too, which is great.”

Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation, operating on a scale that makes it crucial to the work of the front line charities supporting vulnerable Australians.

Foodbank provides more than 70 per cent of the food rescued for food relief organisations nation-wide.

From delivery drivers to shop front and customer support, the efforts of the dedicated volunteers stretch far and wide across nine shops and warehouses in metropolitan and rural SA. The Edwardstown service, alone, supports roughly 2000 people per month, giving away 20 tonnes of fruits and vegetables and 6-7000 loaves of bread each week.

“Without volunteers and donations, we couldn’t function,” Tony said.

Matt plays a crucial role in keeping the warehouse safe and tidy – with no task too big or little for him to tackle.

“I like sweeping,” Matt said. “I like packing, I like moving pallets of stock, I like everything.”

But, he admits, it’s the social interactions and being part of a team that supports the community he loves the most.

“I enjoy being a volunteer. It’s really rewarding.”

Other News

Read More

Year in Review 21/22

2 November 2022

Point of Impact Year in Review 21/22

We are pleased to present our Point of Impact – Year in Review 2021/22.

What’s the impact we want to have on the people and communities we work with? It’s the most critical question for everyone at Junction.

In defining our brand and strategy for the next five years, we determined supporting South Australians to not just survive but thrive in life, is our direction.

This report reflects our journey to date. It is a tangible and authentic product of our evolution towards an Impact Report demonstrating outcomes as they align to our strategy and within the broader social and political environment.

We are breaking new ground for an ambitious future.

Other News

Read More

Bittersweet Symphony

15 September 2022

Bittersweet Symphony

photojo SM 0007

Shelley Jones leading the choir.

It’s a warm, spring afternoon. Gradually, nervous harmonies give way to a strong, co-ordinated chorus. There’s so much more to this song, and this group, than the music.

Now several weeks in, the Finding Your Voice – Women’s Community Choir at Junction’s Hackham Community Centre is building rhythm.

The initiative comprises 28 women aged between 20 and 70. The group, which meets every Friday, includes participants from a range of cultures and backgrounds.

However, it’s their individual stories and experiences of family and domestic violence which brings them together.

“From the first week where it was very quiet, to now, it’s quite amazing to hear women go from whispering to singingly loudly and really proudly,” Hackham Community Centre Team Leader Tammy Elvin said.

“We have one woman who comes all the way from the other side of town. She’s hardly spoken at all but on Friday she got up and sang a traditional song from her home country in her own language. We all had goosebumps.”

Led by local artist, performer and self-care facilitator Shelley Jones, the group is focussing on sharing stories, learning songs, and understanding how to use their voice.

“Finding your voice is a metaphor for finding yourself."

“There’s a really collaborative approach to choosing the songs – music that means something to the women,” Shelley said.

Tammy adds: “When Shelley wasn’t there one week a couple of women stood up and led the group. They were nervous at first, but they did such a terrific job.”

Finding Your Voice has been made possible through a grant from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Local Drug Action Team. With a strong focus on early intervention and prevention, Tammy said the program was about the individual but also, the broader community.

“Research tells us women who have experienced dv are more likely to engage in risky behaviour like drugs and alcohol,” she said.

“We developed the program, so it is focussed on building capacity and relationships not just for the women attending but their children, extended family, and the whole community. It’s not just about managing risk but unlocking opportunity. There is so much potential here among this group and within these people.

“More than anything we’re seeing women recognising their own strengths and resilience and feeling more confident to face their challenges and fears."

“The vision for this choir is for it to be sustainable – community owned and supported. It’s a platform for these women to continue to grow and evolve. It’s clear they will also carry messaging around domestic violence and abuse and creating awareness about the issue wherever they sing.”

The short-term goal, however, is a concert on Sunday, November 27 at the Old Noarlunga Institute Hall from 1-3pm.

“The concert will be a wonderful celebration,” Tammy said. “It’s a bit of a journey and the songs will very much tell the stories from ‘this is where we’ve been’ to ‘this is where we are’.”

Other News

Read More
Anne in her garden

Getting Back and Giving Back

23 August 2022

Getting Back and Giving Back

Anne in her garden

Anne in her garden.

Almost two years after her initial diagnosis, Anne is re-gaining strength, getting back to her hobbies and even giving back, where she can.

In late 2020, Anne was diagnosed with bowel cancer – picked up during an unrelated surgery. That November, Anne underwent surgery to remove the tumor and parts of her colon before starting chemotherapy at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The three-month process had quite an impact on Anne’s health.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be that intense” said Anne, “It has a high impact with big side effects.”

Anne is now entering a five-year surveillance period which consists of regular blood tests, CT scans and colonoscopies to look for cancer markers.

“They don’t really call it remission because it can potentially come back at any time, but more likely during the five years,” she explained.

Around the same time, both of Anne’s siblings received a cancer diagnosis and her brother passed away from the disease shortly after.

During such a difficult time, Anne credits the work of her medical team at the QEH – especially the oncologists who she was able to call for support at any time. But she would not have been able to do it without the love and support of her two children.

“I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without them.”

Keeping in touch with loved-ones kept Anne going through her treatment and recovery. As she continues to regain her strength, Anne is looking forward to dining out at restaurants and getting back out into nature and the community. She also has since become a volunteer with the Cancer Council.

“I’m grateful I get to feel good and start to pick up my life again because not everyone gets that opportunity.”

Other News

Read More

Back to Top