Wanting to learn some new cooking skills, learn how to plan meals, how to budget, eat seasonally, connect with others over a delicious meal?

Come along to Cook Chill Chat facilitated by Healthy Cities Illawarra, a weekly 3 hour cooking and social group that goes for 8 sessions beginning Thursday the 20th of October, from 10:30am-1:30pm.

But make sure you get in quick–this popular group books up fast!!!

Food and Housing

Connecting over Fair Food 2022 + Crop Swap

Join us for an inspiring, encouraging and nourishing evening with Clarence Slockee, local speakers, expo stalls and a bustling crop swap!

In a world of growing complexity and uncertainty, we are gathering to explore how we can together build a food system that is more sustainable, stronger and resilient here in the Illawarra.

These complex and systemic challenges require proactive and intersectoral action, but where can we start as a community?

In a conversation guided by local goat herders / cheesemakers Fiona Weir Walmsley and Adam Walmsley from Buena Vista Farm, you will hear from those who are actively working within our food system and explore ideas around building food resilience in our community.

With key note speaker Clarence Slockee

Clarence is a Cudgenburra/Bundjalung Aboriginal man with a long family history of bushmen, farmers and fishermen growing up in the lush Tweed Valley.

Clarence intertwines his love of plants, education, culture, design and the arts into his role as Director of Jiwah. He is a graduate from the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Dance College and has gained experience across a broad range of performance mediums, but his passion remains with his farming roots and ensuring the biodiversity of native species.

Clarence has over 20 years of experience in environmental and cultural education, including roles with the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and more recently as Director and founder of Jiwah, a 100% Aboriginal owned company that delivers a range of collaborative projects including urban native species green space.

For the past 10 years Clarence has been a familiar face on television screens across the nation as a presenter on ABC’s Gardening Australia. With regular segments on the TV series, he continues to educate people about medicinal, cultural and edible native plant species unique to the Australian landscape.

A graduate of UTS Business School, Clarence is currently working with a broad range of collaborators to incorporate Indigenous cultural perspectives into green space urban design.

Food and Housing

What is the End Street Sleeping in Illawarra Collaboration?  

The End Street Sleeping in Illawarra Collaboration is a group of local community organisations and government organisations working with the End Street Sleeping Collaboration to ensure no one should have to sleep rough in Illawarra.

Over the past three years Illawarra has seen a steady increase in the number of people sleeping rough. These numbers have increased from 11 in 2020 to 57 in 2022.

We believe street sleeping is solvable and everyone has the right to access safe and sustainable housing.  Finding the right information about who is sleeping rough and why is vital to developing effective strategies.  

In Illawarra this information will be collected during Connections Week (5th September in Wollongong /12th September in Kiama/Shoalhaven).

Their stories will be entered into our By-Name-List database enabling local services to triage the most vulnerable and collaborate across organisations to providing housing solutions and continued support services to ensure ongoing tenancy.

The goal of the End Street Sleeping in Illawarra Collaboration is to halve street sleeping in Illawarra by 2025 and end it by 2030.  Our work aligns with the Premier’s Priority commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2025*

Who is part of the End Street Sleeping in Illawarra Collaboration?  

The following organisations are supporting the Collaboration: 

  • DCJ                                        
  • Wollongong Homeless Hub
  • Neami National                
  • St Vincent de Paul
  • NSW Health                       
  • Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation (IAC)
  • Age Matters      

What is Connections Week?   

During Connections Week, trained volunteers and community sector workers connect with people sleeping rough to conduct an internationally recognised survey and understand their housing and health needs. It is a week to focus on the stories and needs of people sleeping rough in our community.    

From the survey data and personal stories collected a database called the By-Name List (BNL) is created. This is a real-time database of all people experiencing homelessness in our community. The data collected helps to coordinate support services, inform policy innovation, and create systems change.   

Understanding this information enables the community to respond in real time.  

The BNL is based on the principle that every person sleeping rough has a story to tell and that we know them by name. A story that allows them to be assisted out of homelessness, a story that can help us understand what leads people into homelessness, a story that can help us identify strategies that can prevent homelessness.   

What information is being gathered and how?   

The information gathered from people sleeping rough uses a survey tool – the VI-SPDAT – which combines elements of the Vulnerability Index (VI) with the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT).    

The VI-SPDAT examines factors of current vulnerability and future housing stability. It is considered by the Institute of Global Homelessness to be the world’s best practice collection tool.   

All participants will be required to sign a consent form and their private information will be strictly protected.  Participants will be able to decline participation altogether or may choose to decline responding to individual questions only.    

In accordance with Privacy Principles an individual may request to have their information removed at any time.   

How will the information be used?

The End Street Sleeping Collaboration is an independent, sectorled and run entity and will hold the BNL and its data on behalf of local services. The BNL will be used in two ways: to immediately help individuals and to help change systems.    

Organisations can use the collective, de-identified data to advocate for the change and resources needed to end homelessness in our community.   

The information collected will be used as evidence to support policy and systems changes to better help those who sleep rough, and to reduce the number of people sleeping rough in the future.   

Further information:                                     

End Street Sleeping Collaboration, Graham West – CEO                                                       

Phone: 0419 330 029, Email: graham.west@endstreetsleeping.org       

End Street Sleeping in Illawarra Collaboration, Mandy Booker – CEO Wollongong Homeless HUB

Phone:  02 4228 0955, Email:  mandy@wefh.org.au

End Street Sleeping Collaboration, Katie Feeney – Community Impact Manager

Email:  katie.feeny@endstreetsleeping.org

Media enquiries:

End Street Sleeping Collaboration, Jonathan Melrose-Rae

Phone: 0447 847 886, Email: Jonathan.melrose-rae@Endstreetsleeping.org

Natural disaster payments

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) is a lump sum payment to help if someone has been significantly affected by a disaster in a declared Local Government Area (LGA).

Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) is a short term payment to help you if a disaster directly affects your income in a declared LGA.

There’s versions of both DRP and DRA for New Zealanders adversely affected by this emergency event.

More Local Government Areas (LGAs) may be declared eligible for these payments in the coming days. For up-to-date information, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster

Please find attached two factsheets for AGRDP and DRA that can be provided to customers and community groups.

Food and Housing

Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW

The Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) is the NSW government approved dispute resolution scheme for electricity, gas, and some water customers. Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON).

EWON’s services are free to customers and their advocates. We are independent, that is, neither an industry or consumer advocate. We investigate and resolve complaints based on laws, codes and regulations, and good industry practice to achieve fair and reasonable outcomes.

In addition to complaints management, EWON identifies, investigates, and resolves systemic issues arising from complaints and, as a result, influences government and regulator policy development through engagement and formal submissions. We also have an extensive community outreach program and conduct other awareness raising activities

These activities help us educate consumers, their advocates and community workers about energy and water issues, such as rebates, changing retailers, saving energy, payment plans and their rights and responsibilities. They also provide us with an opportunity to learn about the issues affecting consumers firsthand.

We are currently offering virtual information sessions about energy and water, which cover support available for those experiencing financial difficulties and other issues generally or in relation to the COVID-19 situation.

Please let me know if a tailored information session would be helpful for your organisation

  • How EWON can help
  • What rebates and concessions that your clients may be entitled to?
  • How to shop for the best price or change retailers
  • How to be energy efficient
  • What are your responsibilities and what are the energy providers responsibilities?
  • Where to go for help or advice (EWON).

If your organisation produces a newsletter, we have developed a series of basic energy and water articles to assist consumers understand their rights and what to do if they are having difficulties with their energy and (some) water retailers.

The articles are written in a basic easy to understand format and cover high and estimated billing, payment issues, where to go for help and energy and water savings and much more etc.

If you would like these articles sent to you each month for your newsletter, please respond to this email and we will facilitate this.

In addition, you can subscribe to our newsletters or order publications from this link Publications and submissions (ewon.com.au)

Julie Bye | Community Engagement & Investigations Officer

Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW

0448 106 682