Junction Connect August 2019

August 12, 2019

A Party for All

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Singing. Dancing. Face painting – and of course, cake. Our 40th Anniversary community celebration brought together the many faces of our organisation for an afternoon of fun and happiness for all.

More than 100 attended the event last Thursday at Hackham Community Centre – most who were yet to be born when Junction was incorporated in 1979.

CEO Maria Palumbo said it was wonderful to see the many faces who make up our Junction community.

“Some people connect with our organisation at a point in their lives where they are literally at a cross roads, and where we can, it’s about us helping them in the right direction.

“What ever different pathways led us to Junction, the main thing is we are all part of this community and we are all stronger for it.”

A few short ‘formalities’ included a song specially written for Junction in honour of our 40th birthday celebrations. Walking Steady was written and produced by our music group teacher, Sherilee Williams who performed the track live on the day.

Thank you to all those who supported the event with donations of food and discounted services.

Our tenants are also sharing in our anniversary celebrations with themed Pop Up events across our neighbourhoods.

To listen to Walking Steady, by Sherilee Williams, CLICK HERE.

Howdy Neighbour - it's Tool Time

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Junction's Tool Library launch in Mitchell Park.

Junction tenants and other locals living in and around the Marion area are now able to borrow tools to help them with their gardening and maintenance.

With support via a $4,400 grant from the City of Marion and help from Bunnings, Junction has set up a tool library.

Housing Services General Manager David Burton said the library wasn’t just for green thumbs.

“It's ideal for tasks tenants can - and want - to sort out themselves, but don't have the equipment and it's not something they'd put a maintenance request in for," he said.

"It's also about the interaction which obviously comes with a chance to chat with people through the library and to make new connections, which can also be really helpful.“

Mitchell Park Community Champion Denise volunteered to help co-ordinate the library which was launched at a barbecue in June.

If you have equipment to donate to the library, phone 8275 8700.

Connecting Market to Make Ends Meet

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Premier Steven Marshall, with Minister for Human Services , Michelle Lensink MLC , Junction CEO Maria Palumbo and tenant Angie.

Informing and supporting our clients and tenants to help them reduce their costs of living is an important part of our work.

Premier Steven Marshall recently visited Angie, a Junction tenant living in Adelaide’s south, to discuss an energy concession for people on low incomes which has the potential to cut bills significantly.

The concession, which can reduce annual utility costs by more than $500 a year, is available to eligible South Australians who are Origin customers.

Angie, who has eight children – four still living at home – said: “When it comes to electricity – heating and cooling – it becomes really expensive,” she said. “One of my children lives with complex disabilities, so it’s really challenging.”

Packed with Love and Support

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Junction staff with Backpack 4 Kids bags.

It started with two families wanting to do something to help children in foster care. A decade later, Backpacks 4 SA Kids INC now supports more than 8000 vulnerable SA children and young people each year, including Junction clients and families.

The backpacks - containing essential and comforting items - help relieve stress and anxiety for children when they are facing uncertain and traumatic situations including homelessness, family violence and poverty.

“There’s been some difficult situations where we’ve been working with parents and children – as well as teenagers – and we’ve been able to give them one of these packs,” Sonia Sheppard, Group Leader, Tenant Services said.

“It is something really practical that can be tailored for different ages, and you can see, straight away, how appreciated the gesture is.”

2019 Staff Conference

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Andrew Cockington, Acting General Manager, Community Services with Margaret Harrod and Jane Doyle.

Nothing is so terrible you can’t talk about it.

With these words, Margaret Harrod opened a confronting but real conversation as the keynote speaker for our 2019 staff conference.

Margaret, author of Blood on the Rosary, opened up about her experiences of abuse to help our staff better support clients while drawing inspiration from her story.

“As hard as it is, the only way you’re going to go on to heal and have any sort of joy in life is to speak about what happened to you,” Ms Harrod said.

“A lot of it is trying to dispel the shame and the secrecy around these issues. We have to break silences about abuse of any nature.”

From early childhood until her 20s, Mrs Harrod was abused by her father. She also later reported abuse by a priest. While secretly enduring this shame, she took comfort from her twin brother, Michael, a priest who also spent time as principal of a Catholic school in regional SA.

However, in 2004, allegations arose that her brother had sexually abused young people since the early 1990s, Margaret gave evidence to police following concerns about her brother’s behaviour. Michael was convicted of multiple offences and is now in gaol.

Junction CEO Maria Palumbo said Margaret’s messages were so powerful and pertinent.

“The challenges Margaret has faced are the same as so many people, including many of our clients. We are inspired but above all, strengthened by her story.”

Claire Welcome

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Claire Taylor, Senior Manager, Community Services.

We are excited to welcome Claire Taylor to our team as Senior Manager, Community Services.

Claire, who holds a Master of Business Administration and is a fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation, comes to Junction from the Department for Child Protection where she was Program Manager, Out of Home Care Reform with 12 years’ experience across residential care and the Youth Court.

Claire said she is excited by the opportunity to use her skills to deliver quality services to children, young people and families in our community.

“I want to hear from our staff and clients about what’s working well and how we can work together to make a difference,” she said.

Claire is also Executive Officer of the National Therapeutic Residential Care Alliance.