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Catholic Welfare call to action on poverty

As a matter of urgency, Catholic Welfare Australia has appealed to all Australians to make clear to political leaders that now is the time to implement a nation building project of poverty eradication and social justice.

The call came at the conclusion of last week's three day national gathering of community based workers in the social welfare sector, from every state and territory, representing the membership of Catholic Welfare Australia.

Participants at the Annual Conference reported on an Australia that is fast becoming a deeply divided nation with pockets and regions entrenched in grinding poverty. While Australia has been enjoying a decade of unprecedented growth and prosperity the most vulnerable have been left behind.

Of greatest concern are:

the levels of poverty, violence and ill-health in indigenous communities;
the plight of people who are long-term unemployed and the lack of opportunity in certain urban, regional and remote locations;
the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of children and young people in detention.

The meeting was clear in its conviction that now is not the time for tax cuts. Instead the participants sought "careful and targeted funding of anti-poverty measures for Australia's most disadvantaged individuals, families and communities."

Meanwhile Canberra's Marymead Child & Family Centre won the major Award for Excellence in Service (Organisational) in the Catholic Welfare Australia Awards, which were announced during last week's Conference.

The Centre won the Award for its Disability Support-Respite Care Service, which provides case management, planned and emergency respite care, after school care and community access services to young people with complex care needs, their families and their support networks.

The second major award - the Norma Parker Award for the Most Innovative Program - was won by Melbourne's Cyrene Centre, which provides counselling and support for families affected by substance abuse in the city's outer eastern suburbs.

The Perkins Award for Excellence in Service (Individual) was won by Joy Atherton, a Resource worker for Centacare Lifestyle and Accommodation Support Services, at Centacare in Brisbane. Ms Atherton works in a supporting role to a team of 20 staff in seven different households providing lifestyle and accommodation support to 16 people with intellectual disabilities.

The awards were presented by the General Manager of Catholic Church Insurances (CCI), Mr Peter Rush, during the Annual Conference Dinner on Wednesday evening. The three award recipients each received a commemorative trophy and a cheque for $750.00.

Catholic Welfare Australia
Catholic Welfare Australia

Catholic Welfare Australia
Marymead Child and Family Centre
Victoria dominates Catholic Welfare Awards nominations (29/9/03)
Catholic Welfare announces awards to promote work of member organisations (3/6/02)

7 Oct 2003