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The Creative Accountant

This Sunday, 30 March Team Goodman will be taking ­­on Lifestart’s K­­ayak for Kids challenge, a unique paddling event over a 17.5km course in Sydney Harbour, from Lavender Bay to Clontarf.



Su Zen Lai, Anthony Mullane, Ken Ku-Chih and Rob Zhang (pictured above) along with Nat Farrell and Chris Mullan will take to the water.



The team are well on their way to meeting their fundraising target, but would really appreciate your support to help them get over the line. You can sponsor them by clicking on the link below.



All funds raised support the amazing work of Lifestart, who provide early childhood intervention and school age services to children living with a disability or delay.


Sponsor Team Goodman 
https://kayakforkids2014.everydayhero.com/au/ken-ku-chih
This Sunday, 30 March Team Goodman will be taking ­­on Lifestart’s K­­ayak for Kids challenge, a unique paddling event over a 17.5km course in Sydney Harbour, from Lavender Bay to Clontarf.



Su Zen Lai, Anthony Mullane, Ken Ku-Chih and Rob Zhang (pictured above) along with Nat Farrell and Chris Mullan will take to the water.



The team are well on their way to meeting their fundraising target, but would really appreciate your support to help them get over the line. You can sponsor them by clicking on the link below.



All funds raised support the amazing work of Lifestart, who provide early childhood intervention and school age services to children living with a disability or delay.


Sponsor Team Goodman 
https://kayakforkids2014.everydayhero.com/au/ken-ku-chih
This Sunday, 30 March Team Goodman will be taking ­­on Lifestart’s K­­ayak for Kids challenge, a unique paddling event over a 17.5km course in Sydney Harbour, from Lavender Bay to Clontarf.



Su Zen Lai, Anthony Mullane, Ken Ku-Chih and Rob Zhang (pictured above) along with Nat Farrell and Chris Mullan will take to the water.



The team are well on their way to meeting their fundraising target, but would really appreciate your support to help them get over the line. You can sponsor them by clicking on the link below.



All funds raised support the amazing work of Lifestart, who provide early childhood intervention and school age services to children living with a disability or delay.


Sponsor Team Goodman 
https://kayakforkids2014.everydayhero.com/au/ken-ku-chih
This Sunday, 30 March Team Goodman will be taking ­­on Lifestart’s K­­ayak for Kids challenge, a unique paddling event over a 17.5km course in Sydney Harbour, from Lavender Bay to Clontarf.



Su Zen Lai, Anthony Mullane, Ken Ku-Chih and Rob Zhang (pictured above) along with Nat Farrell and Chris Mullan will take to the water.



The team are well on their way to meeting their fundraising target, but would really appreciate your support to help them get over the line. You can sponsor them by clicking on the link below.



All funds raised support the amazing work of Lifestart, who provide early childhood intervention and school age services to children living with a disability or delay.


Sponsor Team Goodman 
https://kayakforkids2014.everydayhero.com/au/ken-ku-chih

This Sunday, 30 March Team Goodman will be taking ­­on Lifestart’s K­­ayak for Kids challenge, a unique paddling event over a 17.5km course in Sydney Harbour, from Lavender Bay to Clontarf.

Su Zen Lai, Anthony Mullane, Ken Ku-Chih and Rob Zhang (pictured above) along with Nat Farrell and Chris Mullan will take to the water.

The team are well on their way to meeting their fundraising target, but would really appreciate your support to help them get over the line. You can sponsor them by clicking on the link below.

All funds raised support the amazing work of Lifestart, who provide early childhood intervention and school age services to children living with a disability or delay.


Sponsor Team Goodman

https://kayakforkids2014.everydayhero.com/au/ken-ku-chih

The House of Welcome - It’s About Humanity

The chaps at House of Welcome say it better than I ever could; the assylem seeker issue is a humanitarian one not a political one.

Please support them and the great work that they do:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” <head> HoW Supporter Newsletter
Summer Newsletter 2014 at the House of Welcome
All drawings by Graham English.
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Summer News 2014
It’s About Humanity!
 
As I was thinking about a theme for this Quarter’s newsletter the now classic quote from President Clinton’s re-election campaign kept coming to mind: “It’s about the economy, stupid!” Of course, the policies currently faced by asylum seekers cannot be attributed to the new governments drive for fiscal responsibility. The sad reality is that our current government is on an unashamedly relentless push to ‘stop the boats’ and to ‘choose who comes to this country.’  In short, they don’t want the poor, the destitute, the desperate. They want those who can pay substantial visa fees and who will integrate seamlessly into Australian society (in their opinion).
 
The most tragic part of this policy shift has been the blatant attempt to de-humanize asylum seekers. Messrs.’ Abbott and Morrison have astutely realized that by removing the human (read: humanitarian) element of asylum seekers arriving by boat you just might be able to take the sympathy and empathy of the Australian population out of the equation. This is illustrated most clearly by the government’s directive to all service providers to no longer call asylum seekers in held or community detention ‘clients’ but instead to refer to them as ‘detainees.’ Furthermore, they are not to refer to detainees by name, but by their assigned number in written reporting.
 
Perhaps the most dehumanizing policy of this current government though has been to remove the constant reporting on the situation of boat arrivals in our waters. This is nothing more than a clear attempt to erase the very real human element from the public’s psyche. We occasionally hear that some boats have been turned back, but no numbers related to the amount of people, their race, origin, etc.
 
Well, we couldn’t really make the theme of our newsletter: ‘It’s about Humanity, Stupid!’, so we went with the title at the top of the page instead. I think it still carries the message we want to express. Possibly more than ever before, at least in recent history, what we face as Australian’s is an issue of humanity. The people coming by boat and plane into this country are HUMAN. Whether they are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Congo, or Pakistan, they are HUMAN. Whether Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or other, they are HUMAN. Whether their claim for protection is legitimate or for ‘economic’ reasons, they are HUMAN. When that is accepted then the great principle naturally arises that humans have rights that are indivisible, universal and inalienable. This includes access to humane treatment and to the legal protections afforded and decreed under numerous conventions that this country is a party to. When these rights are removed barbarous, inhumane acts committed against others become far too easy.
 
In this newsletter I hope you will find a celebration of humanity. A celebration of the PEOPLE we have the awesome privilege to meet, share our lives with and walk this, at times treacherous, journey of seeking asylum with. They are real PEOPLE, with hopes and dreams, and with much to contribute to our already diverse and multi-cultural society.
 
As always, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all who continue to support our work. Whether financially, through in-kind donations, volunteering, or through your thoughts and prayers, everything you contribute makes a difference and continues to be a wonderful encouragement to us and those we are privileged to serve.

 
Paul Botrill
Executive Officer, House of Welcome
Donate Now »
An Idle Curiosity
It began following the September 2013 election when the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison limited the release of information to weekly briefings, thus breaking a tradition in which immigration sources release information about asylum seeker arrivals as they arrive. Since then the release of information regarding arrivals, transferrals and day to day conditions in offshore processing centres has gradually ground to halt. We the public it seems are meant to accept that this is an issue of national security, hence the reliance on the military in ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’.
This reliance is not merely on military personnel but equally on military discourse to justify the emerging culture of secrecy. Recently Prime Minister Abbot likened the government’s struggle against people smugglers to a war. “If we were at war” Mr Abbott articulated on a Channel Ten interview “we wouldn’t be giving out information that is of use to the enemy just because we might have an idle curiosity about it ourselves”.
Two questions arise here: Is this a war? And is our interest in this issue “idle curiosity” or a very human response to the suffering of some of the very vulnerable? Defining war can be a problematic objective as it has evolved in recent decades away from traditional conceptions. War in the traditional sense involves the utilisation of military forces to force a political outcome upon an opponent, and constitutes “the ultimate political act”. It is an act which in the traditional sense is defined against a specific enemy. However more contemporaneous understandings of war propose that it is an act defined against a series of audiences, of which the adversary is but one. In this context the polarity between opposing sides is not as coherent as in traditional understandings of war.*
What is apparent however is that even though the military is involved as an integral component of Coalition’s policy platform, it cannot be said that the nation is at war with disparate people smugglers from Indonesia. Thus it is inappropriate to implement actions which though accepted in times of war, are unacceptable in times of peace.
The second question, whether our interest in this issue and asylum seekers is mere “idle curiosity” or something more is more subjective. However regardless of how Australians may feel about asylum seekers, the nation as a body has international responsibilities which it cannot shirk from. These include being a signatory to the Geneva Convention, and subsequent United Nations (UN) Conventions. Under the UN Refugee Convention it is not illegal for someone to seek asylum in another country, or to enter that country by any means possible in order to seek asylum. Thus Australia has an obligation to allow individuals and families to seek asylum, process their claims and to take appropriate and humane action dependent on the resolution of the claim. It is alarming in this context then that the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Adrian Edwards should express concern with the Coalition’s policy of towing boats back to Indonesian waters.
Australia therefore has international obligations to refugees, and the Australian public has an interest in seeing that these obligations are met. Thus it is patronising of the Prime Minister to brand the community’s concern about the treatment of people seeking refuge as “idle curiosity”. This is more than a political issue, it is a human issue and it demands a transparent human response, not blatant politicking and militarised discourse.

Paul Esber
Volunteer.
 
* Simpson, E. War from the Ground Up: Twenty First Century Combat as Politics. Scribe, London, 2013, pp. 1-5
Community Kitchen
The first stage of our Community Kitchen program has wrapped up with great success. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Newman’s Own Foundation for making this a reality. HoW was granted funds to purchase an oven, dishwashing machine, storage space, equipment and nutritious food. Over 20 different chefs/groups from asylum seeker backgrounds contributed healthy and tasty food from all corners of the world. So far the Community Kitchen has benefitted on average approximately 45 asylum seekers each week. We also conducted 6 cooking and nutrition classes. The program offers a space of welcome and community connection to asylum seekers, a platform for skills and cultural exchange and an opportunity for empowerment and engagement.
Support us
HoW healthy and fit?
The Honda Wellbeing Community Project
With the generous support of the Honda Foundation in partnership with Peter Warren Honda of Warwick Farm we are excited to announce our new gym! We are in process of securing equipment and a shed to provide asylum seekers and refugees with the opportunity to lead healthy lives, improve self-confidence and increase their participation in group activities.
Welcome Partners & Welcome Friends
Vigilance and mobilisation

As both major parties reach rock bottom in their treatment of asylum seekers one of the things made clear to me once more is that we ultimately cannot rely on governments to uphold the universal values of human rights. When governments do champion them they do so in seeking the favours of one section of the community to the detriment of the other. Governments regularly take away certain human rights under the guise of national security. This is compounded by dehumanising people and labelling them ‘illegals’ and ‘detainees’. Furthermore asylum seekers have their names stripped and referred to as the number assigned to the boat on which they arrived. This de-humanising treatment results in further human rights abuse. Is it any wonder then that suicide is the leading cause of death among detainees in Australia?

Once the de-humanizing process is complete then the government sees fit to treat them in direct contravention to the inherent dignity and inalienable rights that we are all born with. History records countless examples of how this same process has occurred time and time again resulting in atrocities. Post WW2 nations came together to create a universal declaration of human rights to begin the process of enshrining our inalienable rights. Australia was a founding member of the UN and was one of the eight nations involved in drafting the declaration. Australia is a signatory to and has ratified this declaration and other human rights covenants. We have a moral obligation to respect human rights.

In the declaration, Article 5 states that ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. Documents released under freedom of information requests reveal the traumatic realities for asylum seekers on Manus Island.  In fact the UN is currently investigating the allegations that asylum seekers were abused as part of latest Operation Sovereign Border actions.

Nor that Article 14, ‘everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution’ matters much either.

In fact these violations of human rights may be viewed as ‘crimes against humanity’ and Ministers of the past Labor government along with Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Abbott may have a case to answer and could be indicted in the International Criminal Court. Indeed Australia has already been found guilty of nearly 150 violations of international law over the indefinite detention of 46 refugees.

We should always seek to keep ‘the bastards honest’ and never shrink from holding the Australian government accountable as it contravenes international law on these matters but we should be mature enough as citizens to recognise a truth – human rights belong to the people and not to the political whims of government. Ultimately the responsibility to protect human rights lies with us, the people. Vigilance and mobilisation is key in bending history to universal human rights values. We are empowered to act through our activism and solidarity. We must never lose sight of our power to also overturn corrupt and inhuman governments and if so required, when all other avenues have been exhausted, then ‘by any means necessary’. One good portend that has arisen as a response to the many violations of the Australian government is that we the citizens are beginning to mobilise but we must always be vigilant and never give up defending and protecting our inherent human rights no matter who deems to govern in our name.

Will Martin

Funding and Development Officer, The House of Welcome

Good News

Gabirile’s Story
Nearing destitution, asylum seeker Gabirile’s mental health was deteriorating and further compounded with suicidal thoughts. Working together with a number of organisations who provided support we were able to assist him with housing, Casework, Foodbank and financial assistance. His mental health started improving just before Christmas. At this time Gabirile needed a break and so went away to Queensland with some friends. He came back to our drop-in centre a changed man. Gabirile had found work on a fruit farm in Cairns and was visibly thrilled with his future prospects. No longer needing our help we said goodbye to him for now. Gabirile, thank you for giving the House of Welcome an opportunity to help you and also allowing us to express our compassion. Best of luck!
Supporters Voices

“The way our government treats people who ask us for asylum is APPALLING and it makes me ashamed to be Australian. We should be the country of a FAIR GO. We signed on to various treaties and conventions. We should take them seriously. Our democracy is being eroded, and the more we stay silent, the more we are complicit in human rights abuse. Compassion is key.”  - Ali Read

“Fortunately, my father is a humanist. He led and taught me by exemplary behaviour, to always treat others with compassion, regardless of colour, race or religion. I also learnt very early that when another is oppressed, bullied, mistreated and dehumanised, to make a spectacular effort in fighting for their rights. I am grateful for these values for I believe for they make me a better human being. With the current inhumane and deplorable situation facing asylum seekers, I intend to do just that! Make a spectacular stand for their rights.” – Edit Adams

“Let’s just do what we said we’d do in the refugee convention, no more, no less. I do believe in a period of Asylum Seekers being detained. Because Australia is a great place. Some countries have been ruined by not great people. We need to know that the people coming here are going to keep us safe, not be running from criminal acts.  I would love to see a linking of the Skilled Migrant program and Asylum Seekers. I refuse to believe asylum seekers arrive here without skills Australia could use.  I want to see Asylum seekers given the right to find work as early as possible.”
– Fiona Pope. 

What would you like to see change in asylum seeker policy?  “1. Compassion / home-stay for asylum seekers & refugees instead of hidden remote & off shore concentration camps. 2. All children out of detention and being educated. 3. Mental health care for those suffering from the various forms of torture inflicted upon them by hostile & evil governments including our own.” – Martine Valentine

Holiday fun

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After much fun and learning we bring to an end our January School Holiday Program. Over 30 children from many different countries joined us for drumming, arts and crafts, sports, bowling, snorkeling, amazing race challenges, treasure hunts, movies and much more! Our volunteers and partners made it a unique experience that celebrated the skills of all the kids involved and gave them a boost of confidence to settle into new schools and make new friends. Congratulations to all participants!

 

Tasty treats

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We conducted our latest ‘Welcome Feast’ cooking classes at Mercy College Chatswood and Our Big Kitchen. 7 asylum seeker chefs showcased their talents and brought a personal face to raising awareness of asylum seekers to school kids - as well as providing world food that were deemed ‘tasty treats’!

Intern Hero
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Our new intern Katherine is a Social Work student. “I am at the House of Welcome to learn new skills, including how to help and serve the community effectively. I am passionate about helping people, and offering my skills and knowledge to those around me.
I love learning about different cultures and nations. I have visited Kenya, Hong Kong and Outback Australia, and served in communities through teaching and maintenance activities. I love encouraging people, and helping them see what is great about themselves, as well as empowering people to use their skills and passions to live life to its full potential. I believe all people deserve to have a friendly and supportive community around them, and hope that my time at the House of Welcome allows me to see this achieved for many more people.” Welcome Katherine!

 
Volunteer Mentors
Our Mentoring program kicks off soon with our volunteer mentors currently being sourced. We intend to support and encourage our clients to manage their own learning to maximise their potential, develop their skills and head towards the person they want to become.

 

Community Garden
Our green thumbed volunteers are busy conceiving our Community Garden. Our garden will provide opportunities for volunteering, growing food, compliment the work in our Community Kitchen and also add to our Food Bank. We can’t wait to clear the back of the drop-in centre to get going. Who needs lawn when you can grow food!

 

Nowruz

Nowruz is the beginning of spring and the new Persian year and we intend on celebrating it! Persians have been celebrating it now for over 3,000 years.

Keep an eye out for more details.

 

Drop-in Hero
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Josie helps out at our drop-in centre at Carramar assisting caseworkers and the housing development officer.
She is currently completing a Diploma of Community Services at Wenthworth Falls TAFE. “I have a strong interest in empowering other human beings as well as assisting in the processes some can often find daunting and filled with red tape”.
Her future endeavours include completing a Bachelor of Social Work and assisting the community.
"I have also given my time to the House of Welcomes school holiday program which helped me get to know the different communities and groups which utilise our services.

My hobbies include riding my bicycle and talking a lot!”.


 

 

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Carramar, NSW 2163
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Strategy Leads You

What Is Strategy?

Put very simply strategy can be defined as the way an organisation attempts to achieve it’s goals.

In questions where you are asked to appraise an orgainsation’s strategy just remember “Strategy Leads You” (LEADS U). This mnemonic will help remember some main concerns of strategy and so ideas/headings for your answer:

  • Long term direction, usually over a number of years
  • Exploiting resources and competences, what we’ve got and what we do well
  • Achieving competitive advantage
  • Dealing with external factors (the environment)
  • Scope - i.e. what the organisation should be doing
  • Understanding and delivering what stakeholders want

Read More