Meet the 16,000 children left behind by our government.

The Refugee Council of Australia are asking you to support a key campaign calling on the Federal government to ensure that children and their families seeking asylum aren’t left destitute as a result of COVID-19.

There are currently around 16,000 children in families seeking protection in Australia. Many people seeking asylum have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, as they often work in the service sectors worst affected. People seeking asylum are not eligible for the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments, like many other workers. They have been left with nothing. It will be hard for them to re-enter the workforce, especially in the current economy. 

There are serious concerns that many families seeking asylum have been left in a situation where they have no work, no income, and no way out. Demand on emergency relief at asylum agencies has in most cases trebled, with unprecedented demand for food, medicines and rent relief.

A coalition of educators, carers and students are working to put pressure on the Federal government to ensure adequate support is provided for people in this situation. COVID-19 does not discriminate, and neither should access to a safety net or assistance during this time. We are in this together and there must be support for all who need it, regardless of visa status. 

We are launching a petition in support of those educators and want to invite you to sign it in support of them!

Sign the petition here!

The page above has two ways you can sign on – either as an educator or a member of the general public. I encourage you to sign the appropriate action and then share it to your networks.

We know that if we can get a significant number of educators standing in solidarity with those children and families left behind by the Federal government, then we can achieve change. We’ve seen this approach work with the Kids Off Nauru campaign, and we can see it work again.

Sign and share the petition here

Only with people like you can we ensure that the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston, hear a deafening call from the public. We need them to hear that leaving children and families behind at this critical time is unacceptable, and we will not stand for it.

People seeking asylum, teachers, students, parents, child-care workers, refugees, community service organisations, unions, principals and the general public. We stand together in calling for #NoChildLeftBehind

In solidarity,
Kelly, for the Refugee Council team


P.S – After signing the petition here, can you help us amplify this amazing interview on The Today Show that campaign ambassador Dorothy Hoddinott AO did this week by tweeting it to the Prime Minister and Minister for Social Services?

Future of myGov – Multiple Languages

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) have built a Beta website to trial new myGov content and collect feedback.

The Beta website is called Welcome to the future of myGov and was released on 14 June. 

An exciting feature of the Beta website, is the ‘select language’ option that offers users a choice to view the website in over 100 languages.  Users must access the website via their personal device or using Google Chrome to use this feature. 

Presently, the beta website offers myGov users information about government services and payments, based on events in their life. The ‘select language’ option allows customers with limited or no English to access all of this information in their preferred language.

During the beta stage it is important that the website is trialled and feedback is received so changes and enhancements can be made to improve user experience in later stages.

As such, we encourage you to promote this feature to customers and CTPOs to trial out and provide feedback.  Feedback can be left on the myGov beta website by selecting Feedback from any page. The user will be prompted to go to a link where they can provide their feedback. 

This is a great opportunity to help ensure this exciting new feature is functional and fit for purpose.   

More information

Check out the myGov beta website at beta.my.gov.au.

To access the ‘select language’ feature, go to beta.my.gov.au using Google Chrome or from a personal device, scroll to the bottom of the page and it will give you the option to select a language in the bottom left hand corner.

Employment and Training

Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (Re-Advertised)

The Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (ACLO) is responsible for coordinating and delivering a range of community development and capacity building initiatives such as reconciliation and NAIDOC events, developing strategic plans and policies, supporting the Aboriginal Advisory Committee and advising on Aboriginal culture and heritage and social justice matters.

We offer:

  • Full time, 35 hours per week, with access to flexi-time
  • Salary up to $1549.50 per week, plus 9.5% superannuation
  • Long Service Leave after 5 years

For further information about the position, click here for the position description.

If you have already applied for this position you do not need to reapply.

Food and Housing

Bushfire Housing Assistance – Southern NSW and South Coast

The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) has now transitioned bushfire housing assistance in Illawarra Shoalhaven and Southern NSW to our local Housing team, and the dedicated Bushfire Housing Assistance Response Team (BHART) has finished up, having assisted over 350 households since January. Those clients needing continuing assistance or support have been handed over to DCJ District Housing staff or a Bushfire Recovery Support Service.

Policies and housing products and services for bushfire-impacted clients remain unchanged, as does their access to support through DCJ and other bushfire recovery services. Referral pathways for housing assistance via Service NSW, the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line, the Housing Contact Centre, Local Housing Offices and DCJBHART@facs.nsw.gov.au mailbox remain unchanged for clients and service providers in Southern NSW and the South Coast.

The key number for referrals for housing assistance is the Housing Contact Centre 1800 422 322 or via your local  DCJ Housing or Southern Cross Housing office.


Abuse of an Older Person or Adult with Disability

We are currently arranging for the stickers to be printed and looking at creating signage and banners with the designs. Over the next year we will expand the campaign, raising awareness of different types of abuse and their impacts.

Please feel free to circulate and share the poster with services / schools / organisations who would find this information beneficial.

Any comments and feedback for future designs and materials would be greatly appreciated.

Emma Brown – Community Safety and Crime Prevention Officer

T 02 9707 9212   M 0456 925 142

E Emma.Brown@cbcity.nsw.gov.au

Sexual Health

Unpack the Sexual Health & Relationship Kit Webinar with NSW Health is now available on YouTube.

The 44 minute webinar demonstrates how to use The Kit as a teaching tool to run health education sessions and focus groups by giving participants the opportunity to unpack and discuss the information around sexual health and healthy relationships in an open and respectful manner. Click image below to play.

Click HERE to start or copy the URL into your browser https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iU4-qmosYY&feature=youtu.be

For hard copies of the Sexual Health & Relationship Kit please contact us.


Sofia Lema is of Colombian heritage and works for Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) Multicultural Health Service. She holds a double degree in Social Science and political science as well as a Masters of Social Development from UNSW. Since moving to Australia in the mid 1990’S, Sofia has developed a cultural curiosity in terms of social cultural dynamics and how this groups interact with one another. Most recently she’s interested in enabling people and services to be aware of their own unconscious biases and how these can have an impact on Culturally and Linguistically Diverse clients when accessing service delivery.

Maddison Stratten is a health promotion officer with the ISLHD HIV & Related Programs Unit and also works part time with non-government organisation Healthy Cities Illawarra. Maddy has a Bachelor in Public Health major in Health Promotion (UOW), Master of International Public Health (USYD), and a passion for breaking down barriers, empowering marginalised communities and promoting a positive approach to health. As a co-leader for NSW Playsafe Programs International Students, Maddy has enjoyed developing resources and education sessions for international students. Maddy is interested in working alongside the CALD community to connect people with consistent messages around safe sex and healthy relationships.

Naomi Viret is a senior health promotion officer with the ISLHD HIV & Related Programs Unit and has worked in the field of sexual health for the past 10 years. For 5 of these years Naomi was also a sexual health counsellor. Prior to her current role, Naomi worked in Canberra for the Department of Health and Ageing in Family Planning and Aboriginal Health. Naomi’s qualifications are in Psychology and Population health, holding a Master’s degree in Public Health. Naomi has worked extensively with the youth sector and with Aboriginal communities in both NSW and the Northern Territory. Naomi is passionate about education and empowering communities to take a positive approach to all things sexual health and relationships.

Registrations are now open for the Confidence, Clarity & Contraception Webinar

Wednesday 29th July -10.00-11.30am.

Contraception is an important and necessary part of life for many. Now more than ever, there are options available to suit everyone for every stage of life. We will unpack the Contraception Kit from Family Planning NSW which contains barrier methods, hormonal, non-hormonal and long acting reversible contraception.

Once you have registered we will post you a pack containing an  O-cube, which has been specifically  designed to demonstrate the internal condom and a banana penis, which  is used  to demonstrate the external condom along with some other goodies.

Presenters are Health Education Officers, Kaitlin Middleton and Maddison Stratten from www.caddyshackproject.com

Click HERE to register.

This event is free & you can cancel up to 24 hours prior to the event.

Please call 0421 098 342 or email Jennifer.Farinella@health.nsw.gov.au if you need to cancel.


Contraception-which one are you?

We’ve recently had some fun creating a series of Facebook posts on contraception inspired by 1800 My Options on Instagram, who provide information about contraception, pregnancy options and sexual health in Victoria.

Please use these where you can and if you need us to convert these into electronic posters for use at your service, please let us know.

Have fun spotting which one you are!

Last few weeks to go into the draw to win this beautiful surfboard!

You can still go into the draw to win this surfboard from anywhere in the Illawarra Shoalhaven by texting ‘Take Blaktion’ and your postcode to Jen on 0434 568 233. You will get a reply text confirming from Jen your entry.

Winner will be drawn 21st July 2020.

Shout out to board creator Lani Balzan for your fantastic Sea Eagle artwork watching over us all. Which we really need right now.

Young People

Are you looking for high-quality virtual youth engagement program?

Videos for Change is launching an online program, which will engage, empower and inspire your young people through an interactive virtual experience, run by High Resolves professional facilitators.

Videos for Change is a real-world, youth-led, project-based social advocacy project in which young people create one-minute videos on issues they feel passionate about. 

In a time of isolation and uncertainty, young people are looking for an opportunity to influence positive change. The 2020 Australian National Videos for Change competition will launch in May, asking Australian high school students to consider the question, “What does ‘community’ mean in a crisis?”

The Videos for Change Online Program will empower the young people you support to get involved and contribute to a national conversation on issues that affect us all.  

Videos for Change Online Program

  • fully digital, end-to-end experience run by High Resolves facilitators to guide young people through the Videos for Change experience in partnership with youth workers or teachers
  • Online project-based learning that can be aligned with the Australian and state-based curriculum of English, Humanities and Media or can be embedded as part of a Wellbeing Program
  • Hear what teachers have to say about Videos for Change

Videos for Change is brought to you by the award-winning Citizenship and Leadership Program, High Resolves

Now in its 19th year, the Mission Australia Youth Survey continues to be the largest annual survey of young people of its kind in Australia. 

The Youth Survey enables young people to share their values, challenges and ambitions and to ‘speak up’ about the issues that they care about. It is widely used by Governments, NGOs and community groups to develop policies and youth programs.

Click HERE to start or copy this URL https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5367839/YouthSurvey2020


Waminda on Compass- watch now on ABC iView- available until 14th July 2020

Click  HERE to watch or copy URL into your browser https://iview.abc.net.au/show/compass

Follow Waminda: https://www.facebook.com/WamindaSthCoast/

Waminda aims to empower and support Women and their Aboriginal Families of the Shoalhaven to make decisions about their own health and reduce the high rate of ill health among Aboriginal /Torres Strait Islander women in the Shoalhaven Community.

Please feel free to drop in and have a yarn, tea or coffee, change your baby or relax with friends while you are in town.

Our organization provides a free service for all women and their Aboriginal families of all ages.


In celebration of Refugee Week 2020 (14-20 June), Shellharbour City Council will be offering the screening of a refugee themed movie and will host a Refugee Week themed children’s storytime via Shellharbour City Libraries, Library at Home online site.

The film, Cast from the Storm tells the story of a group of teenage refugees who share their extraordinary stories when they join Treehouse Theatre, an after-school theatre group. Alongside this is a pre-recorded introduction to the movie by the film’s director David Mason, specific to this screening event. Viewers are invited to engage online to continue the conversation or share ideas on how their community can show support for refugees.

The gorgeous storybook Room On Our Rock, with themes of acceptance and inclusion, will be read via the storytime portal.

See the movie here: http://www.libraryathome.shellharbour.nsw.gov.au/refugee-we…

Visit children’s storytime here: http://www.libraryathome.shellharbour.nsw.gov.au/story-time.