Junction Connect September 2018

September 12, 2018

Message from the CEO

Maria Palumbo, Chief Executive Officer

In the past year, Junction has supported over 8,500 South Australians - more than ever before - through our community services and housing.

This included helping 560 young people facing homelessness; 114 clients escaping domestic violence and almost 3,000 families through programs and support at our southern hub, Hackham Community Connections. 

We also provided a home and care for 42 children and young people under guardianship of the Minister who, for a range of reasons, couldn’t be placed with foster families. 

While the work we do can be incredibly tough, it is also a privilege.

Every day we hear and see success stories – many that will never make the headlines but are life-changing.

As our partners and supporters, you are very much part of these triumphs.

So, we are going to get much better at sharing them with you – starting right now.

Fun on the Beat

Arlo-and-sherilee2.jpeg#asset:2217Sherilee with keen music group member, Arlo

Friday morning is the loudest of the week at Hackham Community Connections – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Music Circle with Sherilee is a weekly program which has become a hit with local families. It provides an opportunity for mums, dads and carers to connect with each other and the Centre, including links to support where needed.

The two-hourly sessions are packed with sing-a-longs which including puppets and props. Sherilee also uses a range of different musical instruments along with telling stories to music which are focused on cultural education.

Each session concludes with a fruit morning tea providing parents and children the chance to meet and catch up.

Mum Kelli said her daughter, Isobel, “enjoys music day and asks every morning if it’s music day yet!”

“We have met other parents and have developed close friendships through the music circle,” Kelli said.

Mum of two, Rachel, agreed. 

“Music with Sherilee is the highlight of our week. The session goes beyond anything else on offer in the area teaching our family how to remain mindful within play, music and environment,” Rachel said. 

“The children always come home calm, focused and inspired after the group and often replay ideas introduced to them through the rest of the week. If only I did one child-based activity during the week it would be this."

To Keep or Not to Keep Starts with a Cuppa

Milli-1.jpeg#asset:1685Milli Balmer

Clutter can pose significant challenges when it comes to the health and safety of our tenants. It also impacts our ability to maintain and repair the properties we manage.

To Keep or Not to Keep was recently engaged by Junction to support tenants with rightsizing their belongings to suit the space in their homes. The clutter management solutions business is run by Milli Balmer. Milli “starts with a cuppa” as the first step to understanding her clients so she can help in a gentle, practical way.

“For a lot of people, letting go of their belongings can be a really difficult and challenging thing to do. I’m really there to support them through that process, to work out why they are keeping things and help them work through whether they really need to hold onto them.”

While Milli helps clients with recycling options, cleaning tips and the removal of smaller, unwanted items, she says that a lot of clients find it easier to give something away to a friend or neighbour, or donate it to charity which can be very therapeutic.

Reflect And Respect

Cristy and Emmarita with RAP artwork

Reflect is Junction’s first Reconciliation Action Plan.

The Plan is based on a strong belief across the organisation that reconciliation is everybody’s responsibility. Defined as ‘coming together’ reconciliation is about understanding Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people’s culture and history and gaining and maintaining respectful relationships.

Driven by a dedicated staff committee, the Plan will guide the organisation in staying accountable and on track in truly demonstrating our commitment to reconciliation.

Making this project particularly special is that the artwork for the Plan was provided by a local artist and Junction client, Emmarita.

There are many elements to the story behind the painting including Emmarita’s experiences and her local community. 

 She said the centre of the painting represents the “carers, social workers and support workers, who all join together as a safe place and healthy relationships with young Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”

More Power to Tenants

Richard-and-Arika.jpeg#asset:2032Richard Turner, ZEN Founder and Innovation Director with Arika

Junction tenant Arika appreciates, more than most, anything that will help her family cut the cost of power. 

As the mum of Lilly, a 12 year-old with complex needs, a Junction initiative to install solar panels on homes we manage in Mitchell Park, including hers, has proven “a blessing.”

The ZEN-Junction partnership is delivering a mix of three to five kilowatt solar energy systems on around 100 properties managed by Junction in Mitchell Park.

The initiative will equate to more than 1,000 solar panels across Junction properties with potential to deliver up to 50 per cent reductions on tenants’ energy bills.

In addition to the Mitchell Park initiative, all new Junction properties will now, where possible, have solar inclusion to maximise energy-saving potential for tenants.

ZEN Energy is now also part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, with the new partnership of SIMEC ZEN Energy helping to deliver new low cost energy generation and supply across Australia.

Junction Leads The Way Joining New National Housing Scheme


Junction is leading the way by signing up to an innovative national scheme delivering more housing for the disadvantaged.

We are Australia’s first community housing provider to commit to the Homes for Homes initiative – an organisation established by The Big Issue to increase the supply of much-needed social and affordable housing.

Under the voluntary scheme, homeowners and organisations that sell property donate 0.1 per cent of each sale to Homes for Homes. Over time, this generates a pool of funding for social and affordable housing projects, to support people on low-incomes and those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Junction will facilitate these private donations where it offers house and land packages for sale on the open market at the full market rate or when an affordable house and land package sells to the open market.

Once a significant funding pool is generated, Homes for Homes will open an expression of interest through which community housing providers, including Junction, can apply for funding to build and deliver the new housing.

Funds raised in each state are invested in that state, meaning all donations from Junction properties will support housing projects in SA.


Junction is supported in the initiative by development partner and growing South Australian property group, Qattro.

“Every day we see the importance of housing to individuals and communities,” Qattro Managing Director, Brad Jansen said. “Our home is the heart of who we are, our stability and our success.”

Struggles of Living out of a Backpack

NP1269159_hi-res-edit-compressed.jpg#asset:2219Abby with her daughter, Aaliyah

Abby Smith remembers a time when routine meant having the same couch to sleep on two nights in a row.

“I was at this person’s house a few nights, then that person’s house a few nights, wherever it would take me,” the now 20 year old said. 

For Abby, much of her late teens was spent homeless – a situation made worse when her mum passed away. 

Abby said the first step to overcoming homelessness was seeking help. Determined to get her life on track, Abby turned to Junction where she received counselling, support and was linked into stable housing.

“Without Junction I would not have gone to school or done anything…without them I would be nothing,” she said.

Today she lives in private rental and is finishing her SACE and Certificate II in Community Services.

CreARTive Competition

Jane-and-Maria.jpeg#asset:2221Maria with one of the competition entrants, Sharon Jaud

Our recent CreARTive competition was an opportunity for our tenants to showcase their artistic work in various forms – painting, sculpture and photography. 

Entries ranged from creative re-designs of existing household items, to photo-realistic paintings of animals and landscapes. The talent showcased was immense. 

Winners are now being contacted.

See a sample of the entries in this video.

Not So Pretty: Unmasking Domestic Violence


Date: Thursday September 27, 2018
Time: 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Where: John Halbert Room, Adelaide Oval War Memorial Dr, North Adelaide

The murder of Allison Baden-Clay at the hands of her husband shocked our nation and challenged the stereotypes of domestic violence.

Junction is hosting Not So Pretty: Unmasking Domestic Violence – an event to help business and the community recognise domestic violence in all its forms and empower action to end it. Key note speaker will be Vanessa Fowler – Chair of the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation and sister of Allison.

Ms Fowler will be supported by a representative from the MATE Bystander Program – a Griffith University initiative to help Australians be ‘effective bystanders’.

Tickets are $55 + EventBrite Fees per person including networking lunch.

Bookings are essential, with tickets available for purchase at EventBrite.

Registrations close on Friday, September 21, 2018.

Motivation More than Bricks and Mortar

Laura-Lovey-cropped.jpg#asset:2228Laura Lovey

Laura Lovey’s work centres on property maintenance – but people are always her priority.

Despite her role being housing-focused, Junction tenants are always at the heart of her planning.

This approach was key to Laura winning the Rising Star accolade at the PowerHousing Australia 2018 Awards announced in Canberra.

The category was one of the most contested with 12 nominations from across the country.

Junction CEO Maria Palumbo said Laura worked across the business “so the services we deliver to our tenants are connected.”

 “Anyone who knows Laura would agree – she is very deserved of this award,” Ms Palumbo said, “She’s a team player and a true professional.”

As part of the award, PowerHousing Australia will support Laura to travel overseas to gain knowledge and experience of how the community housing sector operates in other communities around the world.