Junction Connect October 2019

October 25, 2019

KI Youth Space Open and Evolving

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Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, cuts the ribbon to open the youth space.

A new hub for young people on Kangaroo Island has been officially opened - but that’s just the beginning.

“It has to always be an evolving space,” KI Community Centre co-ordinator Maree Baldwin said. “It’s been designed by and for our young people, and they will make it into whatever they want or need at that time and as different people and groups come through.”

Around 70 people gathered at the Centre, managed by Junction in Kingscote, for the opening of the new area this week. Guests included: Leon Bignell MP, Member for Mawson; Wendy Campana, Commissioner for Kangaroo Island and Michael Pengilly, Kangaroo Island Mayor. Helen Connolly, Commissioner for Children and Young People, opened the Centre with Junction CEO Maria Palumbo also speaking as part of the formalities.

The youth space concept grew from a consultation with local students about what they would like to see on KI for young people.

“They wanted a space that they could study, listen to music, play computer games, have access to wifi, make a coffee, watch TV but more importantly ‘hang out’ with other people their age,” Maree said.

Kingscote Area School year 11 Integrated Studies students have been integral to the design and fit out of the space. They also organised the opening event.

The youth space was made possible thanks to a grant from Variety. The Centre is supported by the State Government and KI Council.

A Rosie Perspective Helping Others

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Rosemary with Siblings in Focus participants.

Reynella East College student Rosemary has grown up fast.

Her dad is blind, her mum suffers from chronic illness, and with siblings also living with disabilities, including autism, the now 14-year-old has taken on more responsibility already than many people will in a lifetime.

“I’ve always been mature,” Rosemary explains. “I’ve always cared for my family, especially my dad – helping him to do things and go places, especially on the bus. But, I did always wonder if there was anyone else like me.”

That was until late 2016 when a friend introduced Rosemary and her mum to Siblings in Focus (SIF) – a Communities for Children AnglicareSA activity, funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. The program is designed to support young people whose siblings have disabilities and complex needs. SIF is delivered by Junction at several sites in the south and is also held in the Kangaroo Island Community Centre managed by Junction in Kingscote.

“I was shy at first, but it was really welcoming and to just have a break. My mum used to stay for most of it and it was good for her too,” Rosemary said.

“I wanted to hear how other people felt about having siblings with disabilities, but it’s not like we talk about it all the time.

“I felt like I was the only one who had been living like this but then there were other people going through the same thing even though our situations are all very different.”

Now, almost three years later, Rosemary has gone from participant to mentor undertaking a volunteering role to support the initiative delivered by Junction at the Hackham Community Centre.

She is also a worthy recipient of a 2019 Children’s Week Award presented this week at Government House by Mrs Lan Lee. Rosemary was recognised for her ‘outstanding and consistent contributions to the needs, interests and welfare of children.’

“Once I turned 13 I was too old to continue as a participant but Tanya (SIF co-ordinator) asked if I would like to become a volunteer,” she said. “I was so keen. I can catch the bus straight to Hackham. It works perfectly for me and I am really excited about it.”

Rosemary, who wants to study psychology when she leaves school, said she really liked “talking with people and hearing their problems and seeing how (she) could help them.”

“It’s hard to imagine everyone else’s life. With my own family, I get sad sometimes because I can’t relate to them and it can be sad and confusing watching things happen in the house and all the doctors’ appointments.

“For most people, the program is just about having a break from all that which is really important.”

Dress for Success

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CEO Maria Palumbo, D4S client Domenica and D4S Business Manager, Joan Knezevic.

If you have the 90s, Roxette song ‘Dressed For Success’ in your head, think again.

A new Junction partnership initiative by (almost) the same name is helping equip tenants to gain employment and pursue their goals.

Dress for Success SA is a local organisation empowering women by providing them with skills, knowledge, mentoring, and access to corporate clothing and accessories to help them thrive in work and life.

Through the agreement, Junction is providing a group of eligible tenants with the chance to benefit from the program at no cost to them.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for a number of our tenants who have a strong commitment to job seeking and are motivated and have the capacity to complete the program,” People and Places Team Leader Jo Wilson said.

“We are opening the door for them, and you can already see the difference it is making.”

Meanwhile, Junction client Sara was treated to a shopping trip of her own with SA style guru Emma Riemersma.

Sara and outreach worker Cristy Pamment recently hit Rundle Mall - supported by tips and style advice from Emma. This opportunity and experience was made possible thanks to Trudy from Davies Stewart Consulting, who purchased the initiative which included a new, $300 wardrobe as part of the silent auction at our Life’s A Circus event earlier in the year. In addition, Gratitude to Emma, who donated her time.

Foundation for Life

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Earlier this year we announced a campaign to build new housing to better support the children and young people in our care.

Since then, we have been working tirelessly but quietly behind the scenes to make this concept a reality.

With the foundation support of Hames Sharley, donation pledges from business supporters, including Seeley International, as well as guidance from some of our key stakeholders – including our staff and young people - we are bringing this goal to life.

We look forward to updating you on our progress very soon.

Mind, Body, Spirit and Culture

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Kathryn Bullock from Dreamtime Yoga.

It’s a clear and calm spring morning when Kathryn Bullock arrives at the Hackham Community Centre.

As she unpacks her props – including mats, toys and a talking stick – and families arrive, it’s hard to believe things are actually going to get more peaceful.

However, that’s exactly what happens as around 20 parents, carers and children arrive for a school holiday session of Dreamtime Yoga – a yoga style created by Kathryn to connect people of all ages to their feelings, each other and Aboriginal culture.

“Dreamtime Yoga is an upbeat version of traditional yoga, and it was originally designed to engage younger children and to immerse them into their surroundings,” she explains. “I use a lot of props and dancing throughout the class to keep everyone present and in the moment.”

The wide variety of toys and props create sensory experiences for the children to connect with the environment around them and with other participants.

“A large part of Dreamtime Yoga is understanding your surroundings and acknowledging your presence in those surroundings,” Kathryn adds. “It’s the first thing I acknowledge when I teach a class.

“Dreamtime Yoga is fun and interactive yet extremely powerful. It’s great for exercising our body, mind and spirit.”

Kathryn believes it is important to create a healthy mind and well-being from an early age. She said this, combined with the fact it is something children, parents and care-givers can do together, makes it particularly beneficial.

“Community and connection can be strengthened in so many ways,” she said. “Simple breathing exercises and mindfulness can alter a mood or encourage positive behaviour. Everyone learns together and supports each other, and I think that’s really special.”

Growing From Strength to Strength

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Junction Annual Report 2018/19 cover.

· $105.3 million housing investment program over the next decade

· 135 clients supported through counselling

· 105 people helped through our domestic violence services including 39 children

· 70 children and young people in our care

· 50 programs supporting South Australians to access opportunities and improve their lives

Building capacity, resilience and growing strong from the inside out.

Read the stories behind the statistics in our 2018/19 Annual Report.

For a hard copy of the report, please call 8203 5700.

More Than a Cuppa

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Terezia at Coffee and Craft.

Terezia knows the difference a cuppa can make.

As a single mum who has battled significant illness and depression, she says the impact of this simple gesture cannot be underestimated.

Now, the volunteer facilitator of a new coffee and craft group, Terezia is “sharing the love.”

“Just being able to sit down and have someone make you a cup of tea or coffee and having a chat is such a peaceful thing but something some women never get to do,” Terezia said.

“They don’t have to do craft but if they want to, it’s there – beading or decorating. They can just sit and talk or watch. There’s no pressure. It’s just fluid and it has to be for those who need it.

“We don’t have to have a room full of people, either.”

While life is good now for Terezia, she is the first to admit, 12 months ago it was a very different story.

“I really hit rock bottom,” she said. “I had been very sick in hospital and I had really bad anxiety. I was just starting to come out of that when my friend, Eden, bought me along to women’s group here at Hackham (Community Centre).

“I really enjoyed it. Then, I had the chance to facilitate a group leading a mindfulness and gratitude session. I just loved it and I had so many of the women saying the same thing.

“From there I just wanted to do more.”

Terezia, who has an honours degree in sociology, combines her knowledge and learnings with her own personal experiences and intuition to support others.

“I hadn’t realised what I had been through until I heard others’ stories and talked to other people. “If I can make one woman happy every time I do this, my job is done.”

Hackham Community Centre Team Leader Tammy Elvin said Terezia’s journey was a wonderful example of both community and personal development.

“It’s been fantastic to see how Terezia’s confidence has evolved and the benefits this is having for her and other women,” Tammy said.