From the CEO
I hope this update finds you well. This past month has presented challenges for all of us. This year’s National reconciliation Week slogan In This Together could not have captured the sentiment from the past month more accurately. It has been a big month. From the ongoing challenges of Covid-19, to National Reconciliation Week to the release of Filthy Rich and Homeless which showcases the crisis of homelessness felt in Australia, NRW2020's slogan could not have captured it more perfectly.
In other exciting news, WAGEC will be featured in the third season of TV series Filthy Rich and Homeless, which airs on SBS 8.30pm Tuesday 9 June, Wednesday 10 June and Thursday 11 June. Produced by award winning production company Blackfellas Productions, the series details the crisis of homelessness that is being felt in cities and regional areas across Australia. It follows five high profile individuals, one of which sleeps two nights in WAGEC’s single women’s crisis refuge in inner city Sydney. The series features WAGEC’s inner city refuge, Malachite House and our Practice Manager Morgan Bennett and two WAGEC clients who provide their own personal experience of becoming homeless. We hope you watch and join the conversation around homelessness in Australia! #FilthyRichandHomeless.
The Covid-19 period has brought many challenges to client services however as restrictions begin to lift, we are expecting to see an even greater increase in the need for support from our community and in particular women and children living with violence and in unsafe homes. In response WAGEC has is developing a new online service which will support and offer resources to women affected by domestic violence. The new project is set to launch later this month and is called; Here for You.
To finish, I will address what has been on the mind of all of us at WAGEC during this past week which is the death of George Floyd and moreover what it has meant to for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait community in Australia, who were in the same week of Floyd's death, celebrating and acknowledging reconciliation in Australia. At WAGEC we acknowledge that Aboriginal sovereignty was never ceded and that we work, live and profit on stolen Aboriginal land. We acknowledge the enormous discrimination Aboriginal people face every day, we acknowledge the overwhelming numbers and representation of Aboriginal men, women and children in custody and we acknowledge the injustice that is felt by Aboriginal people as a result of our government policies and police. There hasn't been a better time to listen and learn from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders. There is so much work to do. We need to hold the energy of the present moment, to educate ourselves and others, to participate in the movement and to advocate in our conversations with friends, family and community.
This time last year WAGEC celebrated the launch of our Reconciliation Action Plan, endorsed by the Reconciliation Council of Australia and today, I want to affirm WAGEC’s deep commitment to reconciliation with our First Nations people, our acknowledgement of the impacts of invasion, of their absolute right to and need for self-determination and the resilience and strength of culture that has continued to this present day. For the 432 black deaths in custody since 1991, the tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who were the stolen generations and many generations who have suffered institutionalised racism, discrimination, police brutality, displacement and poverty due to government and social policy, we are sorry. Sorry means you don’t do it again, and we will stand with our First Nations communities to right these wrongs and contribute to a just society.
Please continue to look out for one another, stay safe and take care.