Junction Connect May 2019

May 01, 2019

Growing Strong – Celebrating 40 Years


Margaret Thatcher had just become Britain’s first female Prime Minister. The Windies won the World Cup. The first Walkman was released in the United States.

Globally 1979 broke new ground. Locally, it also signalled the start of something significant in SA with the incorporation of a much needed support service for young people who were homeless in Adelaide’s south.

2019 marks 40 years since Junction was established as Noarlunga Youth Accommodation Service.

With a mission to “dynamically respond to changing community needs” and support from Governments, the organisation evolved to include counselling services and the provision of community housing.

In the early 2000s, then as Southern Junction Youth Services, the organisation opened the State’s first residential care house – providing a home and 24/7 care and support for children under guardianship who couldn’t be placed with a foster family. Before this, some of these children had been living with carers in motels.

Today, the organisation cares for 39 children and young people under Guardianship in 12 residential care houses in the metropolitan area including a therapeutic support service to help children process and overcome issues related to abuse, neglect and trauma they have experienced.

Junction also manages two community centres – on Kangaroo Island and at Hackham, domestic violence support and counselling, including specific support for sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, homelessness and the provision of affordable housing remains a focal point of investment, innovation and service delivery.

Junction CEO Maria Palumbo said “our real nirvana” would be for no one to need our services anymore.

"We are building a model so we support people, some who have been through unimaginable adversity, to overcome trauma, to be more resilient and ultimately, to become independent.

“When they reach that point, we hope they go on to lead happy and successful lives. At the same time though, we have to be there for them if they need us because when people have been through the types of trauma some of our clients have, it is a lifelong impact."

Ms Palumbo said the theme for the 40th anniversary – Growing Strong – was testament to every element of our business.

“It’s about aspiration, resilience, sustainability and independence – for ourselves, our organisation and most of all, our clients and tenants.

“It’s going to be a great year.”

Over the course of 2019, the 40th anniversary milestone will be celebrated through a range of initiatives and events including a video capturing the history of our organisation as told by some of the key people who have helped shape the organisation over the years.


Filming for our 40th Anniversary video, which will bring to life the history of our organisation and our community impact.

Our History:

  • Incorporated on August 1, 1979 as ‘Noarlunga Youth Accommodation Service’
  • From 1986, the organisation became known as 'Southern Junction Youth Services,' developing a reputation for offering quality support to marginalised people with complex and challenging needs
  • To reflect the increasingly broad scope of services, in 2005 the name changed to 'Southern Junction Community Services'
  • In 2007 the housing services section of the business established a trading division.
  • Rebranded as Junction Australia in 2013.
  • Junction Australia merged with Women's Housing Association in 2014 and became '‘Junction and Women’s Housing’
  • Junction Australia again in 2015 - functioning as one integrated organisation
  • Today, known as Junction, a leading social enterprise supporting around 8,500 South Australians each year through housing and community services.


Learning a Way Out of Homelessness


Junction client Gemma, and Outreach Support Worker, Shaina.

In 13 years of school, Gemma hardly missed a day – despite sleeping rough most of this time.

Now 19, Gemma, a Junction client, says going to school was her routine and education a way out.

“I’d leave my stuff in the front office and while I was in class I’d work out where I was going to stay that night,” she said. “But I never missed school. I went to school every single day.”

Sadly, homelessness was the norm for Gemma. She was placed in foster care aged one and then cared for by her father who was dealing with his own struggles.

“We moved around a lot,” she said. “Sometimes we were in our own housing, but mostly it was staying with family and sometimes, we just slept in parks."

"Eventually it got to a point where I didn’t have access to a shower or food. That’s when school intervened.”

Through the help and support of Seaford High, Gemma was linked to Mission Australia and then, Junction where she was assisted into transitional housing which enabled her not just to finish school, but do so with an ATAR above 75.

“There was a lot of collaboration between a psychologist, the school and Junction to support Gemma,” her Outreach Support Worker, Shaina, said.

"Going through year 12 with her was a pivotal but challenging journey.”

After successfully completing her first semester at University last year, Gemma is now taking some time out to “steady (her) health” before planning to return to pursue study in social work later in the year.

Shaina said she is in awe of Gemma’s resilience.

“I didn’t do things for Gemma, it was just about enabling her,” she explains. “It started with just going to Centrelink, now she’s negotiating her private rental leases on her own. It’s all her.”

“I just hadn’t been taught anything. I’m learning so much all the time, and I want to keep learning because it’s always been a positive for me,” Gemma, now living in private rental, said.

“I’m a very reflective person now, and I’m acknowledging that I have a lot to deal with and I need to stabilise my life before I go onto the next thing because I’ve never really had stability before."

"I’m still working through things, but I think I’m ok because one day, I know, it will be all good.”

Help to Heal - a Privilege for Helen


Helen encourages clients to reflect at the beach as a reminder that the world is beautiful.

Helen Dunkley has been working at Junction for more than ten years as our dedicated sexual abuse counsellor.

Over that time, she has supported around 340 clients who have been impacted by a form of abuse that sadly, carries a label for many people.

This is something Helen would like to see change.

“It is a reality that shame is a by-product of having been part of something shameful, even though a person, particularly if a child, had no way to prevent it,” Helen explains.

“These deep-seated feelings like shame and guilt can profoundly affect how someone sees themselves as a person, and it is not an accurate view.”

Helen said she uses education and opportunities for those impacted to explore more of who they are (and would have been) without that label of sexual abuse.

“Because of the tangled lives that are often a prelude to these abuses, there is a need to learn afresh how to assess situations and relationships for safety, trust and sustainability, and to learn strategies to manage their emotions and behaviours to maximise positive life changes,” she said.

“Sometimes it is a mission of slowly building a new sense of self, and dealing with the grief. That is part of accepting what cannot now be changed, but also the hope of what is both possible and necessary."

"I see it is a privilege to be part of someone’s healing.”

Fleurieu Visit Shines Light on Services


Minister Lensink, David Basham MP, and Junction Tenancy Officer, Jack.

The Honourable Michelle Lensink MP, Minister for Human Services and David Basham MP, local Member for Finnis, visited our Fleurieu office earlier this year.

Minister Lensink and Mr Basham took their time meeting staff and hearing first-hand about our work, our experiences and challenges in providing housing services, homelessness and domestic violence support across the Fleurieu.

Tepee a New Haven for Hackham


Tepee fun for Adam and crèche worker, Ajah.

A new addition to our Hackham Community Centre playground has hit a high note.

The tepee, donated by Redarc Electronics, has fast become a new creative haven for children attending crèche, playgroups and programs at the centre.

Made from bamboo with a timber frame, the idea was born from discussions with families, staff and importantly, the children.

“The kids love it because they feel safe and ‘like they are camping’ and their parents can fit in too!” Tammy Elvin, Team Leader at the Centre, said.

“Some of the children have set up the space like they are on a camp. It’s also great for our music group, food sharing and informal chat with families.”

Over the past few years, Redarc has raised around $50,000 for Junction through a range of employee and partnership initiatives.

Redarc Owner and Managing Director Anthony Kittel said: "To have an organisation like Junction that's able to contribute to our local community, look after people, create housing that's available for disadvantaged people is a great benefit to society.

"We're really proud to be involved with Junction, and all of our staff at Redarc are delighted with the work that's happening in this part of the world."

Junction Development Supports Melrose Renewal


Melrose Renewal, Junction partnership with Qattro.

Work is starting this month on the first stage of our $8 million housing project to transform part of Melrose Park.

Delivered in partnership with developer Qattro, the project will include a three storey, 15-unit residential building, 21 townhouses and a reserve.

The first stage, due to be complete in 2020, will comprise seven townhouses for people on low-to-moderate incomes as part of the State Government’s affordable housing plan.


A Swimming Success


Junction community event at Marion Outdoor Pool.

Swimming, mini golf and a barbecue lunch proved the right recipe for young locals at a Marion community event on Sunday, March 17.

Almost 90 Junction tenants were among those who enjoyed the warm weather at Marion Outdoor Pool. For many, it was the first time they had visited the pool and facilities.

The initiative was organised by Junction and the City of Marion.