Imagined Futures sets its priorities for 2024

The Imagined Futures Leadership Group recently came together to plan its work for the coming year.  The group not only agreed key focus areas, but also identified how the partnership can foster catalysts that will increase our collective impact across all the priority areas.

To read the Plan click here

 

Uniting to tackle homelessness: Launch of the South Metropolitan Regional Homelessness and Housing Plan

Leaders from across the Southern Metropolitan corridor – spanning Fremantle down to Waroona – came together last Tuesday to launch a joint Homelessness and Housing Plan for the region.  Local partnership Imagined Futures[1] spearheaded the development of the plan.

As in other parts of the State and indeed the rest of Australia, the South Metropolitan region of WA is experiencing record low post-pandemic housing vacancy rates coupled with the challenges driven by increasing inflation and cost of living.

Speaking about the need for a regional plan Chair of the Imagined Futures partnership, Michael Piu said:

“A challenge of the size and complexity of homelessness is beyond the capacity of any single organization to solve.”

“This is precisely why a plan such as this one is needed to guide collective efforts; and why it is heartening to see such wide spread commitment to it. These are both necessary preconditions for achieving success – we all need to be singing from the same song sheet.”

It is fitting then that the Mayors of Cockburn and Fremantle, state parliamentary colleagues, public servants and leaders from the not-for-profit sector joined with Minister McGurk, who launched the plan, to demonstrate their commitment to working together to effectively address the challenge of homelessness.

During the launch Mr. Piu acknowledged the even greater array of people who contributed to the development of the plan.

He said “This plan reflects the expertise and knowledge of many people from all parts of the community. Their collective insights have resulted in an ambitious, yet achievable road map that will be a practical tool for aligning efforts and maximizing resources to benefit those most in need.”

“The launch of this Plan is an exciting milestone of course, but only the start of the journey. I look forward to the important work across communities in the South Metro region that will take the Plan forward.”

[1] Founded in 2014, Imagined Futures is a collective impact partnership auspiced by St Pat’s Community Support Centre. The partnership brings together human service agencies (government and not for profits), businesses, philanthropists, and community members to tackle complex social issues across the south west metropolitan region.

Photo  Lto R: Andrew Geddes, Regional Executive Director, Department of Communities, Michael Piu, Chair of Imagined Futures and CEO of St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, Gerrard Shaw, Local Elder and member of the Leadership Group, Hon Stephen Pratt, MLC, Member for South Metropolitan Region, Mrs. Magenta Marshall, MLA, Member for Rockingham, Hon. Klara Andric, MLC, Member for South Metropolitan Region, Mayor of Fremantle, Hannah Fitzhardinge, Mr. David Scaife, MLA, Member for Cockburn, Minister Simone McGurk MLA, Member for Fremantle, Mayor of Cockburn, Logan Howlett, Leigh Sinclair, Executive Officer, Imagined Futures, Allan Connelly, Co-Chair WA Alliance to End Homelessness

Building the capacity of front line workers to support people at risk of experiencing Family and Domestic Violence

The Imagined Futures Community of Practice held its third networking/ capacity building event for human service providers in the South West Metro region today.  This time the group chose to focus on offering a workshop on Understanding Family Domestic Violence in line with the 16 Days in WA campaign’s theme – stopping family and domestic violence: play your part.

The workshop aimed to empower service providers and community workers to play their part by teaching them how to better identify and support clients at risk of family and domestic violence.

In a sad reflection of the increasing incidence and impact of FDV in our communities, registrations for the workshop filled fast soon reaching the 30-person cap, with another 20 people on the waiting list.

On the day 32 people came together from 18 different organisations representing commonwealth, state and local governments, and a wide range of community agencies.  It is heartening to think of the reach of this training with each attendee able to take back their new found knowledge to their organisations.

Brilliant! Loved it! More please!  – is one of several positive comments made about the day and sums up how timely, relevant, and well-pitched the session was.

The success of these events is a true reflection of the calibre and commitment of the Community of Practice members*, which is ably led by Sue Nickisson from Communicare.  The workshops are put together on an extremely small budget because each of the members’ contributions are largely in kind – for example the facilitation of the workshop and the venue costs. In this case generously provided by Communicare and the City of Melville respectively.  Each of the CoP members worked together to organize logistics and promote the event. Imagined Futures contributed to the catering costs through the Where is the Door? Project funding.  The St Pat’s Community Store donated the door prize – a self-care package which was won by the wonderful Shan Nicholas from the City of Cockburn.

*Imagined Futures Community of Practice is comprised of Sue Nickkison, Communicare; Sakina Bindahneem, Fremantle Women’s Health Centre; Evie Devitt-Rix, City of Fremantle; Sian Brown, City of Melville; Linda Walker, City of Cockburn; Kriz Brander, Library Connect (St Pat’s/ City of Fremantle) with backbone support from Karen Silverthorne, Imagined Futures.

Kambarang Connections Day for Aboriginal Children in Care

Last Friday, Imagined Futures partners came together to host our fourth connecting Aboriginal children in care event.

The purpose of these events is to deepen connections to sources of enduring natural support – family and culture. To do this, a feature of these events is that they are held regularly so that connections can be built upon over time.

These events are part of a broader project that was conceived by Aboriginal Practice Leads and the Cultural Committee from the Fremantle District child protection office, @Department of Communities. Their staff are the heart of these days and the project leverages off their expertise and relationships with children, carers, and families.

The Imagined Futures partnership then provides an organising mechanism which brings the Department together with a wide range of stakeholders and community members. This enables everyone to identify opportunities to contribute their resources and knowledge toward achieving a coordinated approach to a common goal – enhanced connection to sources of strength for Aboriginal children in care – family, community, and culture.

This time around it was City of Cockburn’s turn to host. Their Len Packham facility provided a great combination of access to a sports oval while also being able to get some respite from the heat inside.

Stephen Michael Foundation Ltd. once again generously provided four wonderful staff to teach and play a range of traditional cultural games with the children. The staff are fabulous role models and the children loved playing the games, with many saying it was their favourite part of the day.

Neami National’s suicide prevention coordinators have been involved with this project since the beginning. Their support has ranged from providing funding for most of the first event, to ongoing provision of carers packs and contributions to the children’s goody bags, as well as being present at every event to help out.

Much respected local Elder and member of the Imagined Futures Leadership Group Dr Gerrard Shaw provided the Welcome to Country. And, once again All Good Grub put on a great lunch inspired by traditional Aboriginal flavours.

Students from The Studio School designed and printed the goody bags, a student from St Hilda’s sewed 30 bean bags to include, with another wonderful community member sewing the remaining 20. The State Library donated books. And, the event was part funded by philanthropic donations.

It takes many threads to weave a blanket!

Imagined Futures Annual Story 2022

Imagined Futures is delighted to present its Annual Story 2022.

The impressive array of achievements delivered over the course of the year is a demonstration of the dedication of the Imagined Futures partners to collaborative working, even against the headwinds of demand in their primary sphere of work. Together, we have achieved so much throughout 2022, however it has been particularly gratifying to see the increasing connection with the broader community.

We often hear the aphorism that the answer to many of the challenges facing us require a “whole of community response”. It is hence reassuring that, in our place-based way, we are providing a mechanism as well as building the capacity of the community to engage constructively in addressing some of these challenges.

Investing in the business of relationships

Imagined Futures Executive Officer, Leigh Sinclair, presented to the WACOSS conference on the importance of investing in the business of relationships as a way of tackling some of the toughest social challenges impacting our community.

In her presentation Leigh argued that creating conditions that allow relationships to flourish is a purposeful endeavour in and of itself. In recent times we have seen this knowledge begin to translate into practice. Funders are realising that if we are to move from an outdated transactional approach to a contemporary relational one then they must invest in mechanisms that drive this change. We have seen such an investment in relationships deliver dividends in the South West Metropolitan Region of Perth. In this community three of these mechanisms come together to focus their collective efforts on same geographic community. The Fremantle Rockingham Family Support Network (FRFSN), the Suicide Prevention Coordinator program (SPC) and the Imagined Futures District Leadership Group all have different but intersecting remits, yet they all have the business of relationships at their heart. Over the turbulent pandemic years, they have leveraged their relationships to unlock the strength that exists in the community. They have worked together to deliver several collaborative projects including: improving support for people experiencing depression, enhancing connections for Aboriginal children in care to their family, culture, and community, and testing innovative ways of connecting people new to seeking support to the right support at the right time. Their experiences are a heart-warming testament to the collective power of community to rally together to tackle the most complex of challenges.

Davis Park Recipe Book

The Davis Park project is run by Imagined Futures who have been operating in Davis Park since 2014. Imagined Futures work with the community to create a community where residents feel safe and supported; where children and young people are engaged in educational, vocational, and recreational activities. We work together to create a good place to live.
A sausage sizzle has been held at Davis Park for several years, providing a place and time for residents to meet and connect. It is at these gatherings that local community matters are discussed, problems and joys are shared. In 2022, we came up with the One Pot Wonder idea – where we would cook up a healthy, affordable, and yummy meal once a week that could be cooked in one pot. Each week, we come together to prepare and cook a one pot wonder to share. We love our Fridays in the park and we hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we have! Our recipe book can be found here!

Interest rate hike moves more people into mortgage stress: here is where to get support

Increasing interest rates and the rising cost of living are close to the minds of Western Australians already worn thin by the pandemic years. With the Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers saying that inflation “will get worse before it gets better,” times are about to get even harder.

There is no doubt, there is a rocky road ahead. Many people will find themselves looking for support for the first time and do not know where to start.

Yet, the earlier people seek help, the more options are available and the easier it is to stop problems from worsening. Here are some local resources to try If you, or a loved one, are experiencing difficulties.

Financial hardship

When people are having trouble paying their mortgage, they often neglect other bills, such as council and water rates and home insurance, to keep making the mortgage payment.

Whatever the reason, if you are falling behind with bills or feeling overwhelmed, this is the time to make an appointment with a financial counsellor.

  • There is free confidential financial counselling available for all. Visit the Financial Counselling Network’s site (financialcounsellingnetwork.org.au) to find a list of local financial counsellors with immediate availability (scroll down to the bottom of the home page for this list).  They have an impressive range of resources on their site – keep an eye out for a helpful article on how to survive the increasing costs of living. They have also recently launched a Financial Coaching program, which aims to build long term financial wellness and resilience.  Contact the FCN website for enquiries and eligibility.
  • Emergency Relief Assistance is available to support you if you:
  • Are wondering how to pay the rent
  • Are struggling to put food on the table
  • Are facing overdue bills

Contact the Emergency Relief and Food Access Service on 1800 979 777 from 9.30am-5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) to help you in identifying and applying for help

  • The National Debt Helpline is a not-for-profit service (1800 007 007) that helps people in Australia tackle their debt problems and get their lives back on track.

Mental health

Ongoing uncertainty and financial pressures can impact mental health and there are increasing numbers of people reaching out for support.

A local Mental Health Support Resource makes it simpler to find mental health supports across the Local Government areas of Cockburn, Fremantle, and Melville for all ages including young people. The resource brings together details of crisis lines, local free face to face services, vetted telephone and online supports, and contacts for community connectors.

How to sign up to the resource:

  1. Text Wellbeing4Me to 0488 884 151
  2. You will receive a link to the app and resource via a text message
  3. Tap the link to access
  4. If you do not already have the Access My Community app, you will be directed to your application app e.g., Google Play or App Store
  5. Once the Access My Community app is downloaded, open it to see the resource: Mental Health Support

Or visit https://imaginedfutures.org.au/mental-health-support-brochure/

Family and domestic violence

When people are experiencing financial stress the rates of family and domestic violence increases.

  • The Yourtoolkitcom website provides a free step-by-step guide on personal safety support services for people facing family and domestic violence. This resource was developed in consultation with women who have experienced family and domestic violence, support workers and industry professionals who understand the needs of women and families experiencing abuse.
  • 1800RESPECT is the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service. Open 24 hours (1800 737 732) to support people experiencing at risk or impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.

It’s complicated…

Often life challenges do not neatly fit into boxes.  It is not uncommon to be experiencing several concerns at the same time and be confused about which bit to address first.

There are community navigators in our local area who can talk through the best way to access help for your individual circumstances.

  • Fremantle and Rockingham Family Support Network

Funded by the state government through the Department of Communities this service links families into a range of support services.

P. 1300 951 190

  • Library Connect – City of Fremantle, Walyalup Civic Centre

A walk-in service run by St Pats at Fremantle Library for advice, referrals, and support.

Available: Tuesday & Thursday 1pm to 7pm

Wednesday 9am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 2pm

  • PeerPathways

A service that has been set up to assist people find support for their mental and physical wellbeing. Trained peer navigators assist individuals, families, and Carers to navigate services across the State.  They can be reached on 08 9477 2809 or via their website www.peerpathways.org.au

Imagined Futures Annual Story 2021

The Imagined Futures partnership is pleased to present their Annual Story for 2021.

In launching the report Chair of the partnership and CEO of St Patrick’s Community Support Centre Michael Piu said:  “During a time when the COVID-19 pandemic continued to challenge the community, and in turn those providing support, I am particularly proud to note that these trying times served to galvanise the partnership even further.”

Over the course of 2021 more than 60 partners came together to respond quickly to coordinate efforts around issues such as “Tent City’ in Pioneer park and the Accelerating Aboriginal Vaccination Drive, while at the same time delivering its strategic collective impact projects through working groups.

“We are entering the 9th year since the Imagined Futures partnership was established.  Over this time, relationships have been cemented and trust developed.  It is hard to overstate the value of this foundation when working in a place-based way that seeks to deliver strong outcomes for our communities than what could ever be delivered separately” Mr Piu said.

To read the Annual Story click here