World AIDS Day Walk | Monday 1 Dec @ 5.30pm | FREE event

Join Kildonan UnitingCare Diversity Project and help raise awareness about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS – gather out the front of Aquamoves @ 5.30pm and enjoy a family-friendly walk to KidsTown for a free BBQ dinner @ 6.00pm. Depart KidsTown @ 8.00pm for a return to Aquamoves by 8.30pm

Location: SPC Ardmona KidsTown
Time: 5.30pm – 8.30pm
Contact: Kildonan UnitingCare, Damien Stevens on 0437 134 625

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Wear It Purple Day in the Maude Street Mall | Fri 29 Aug 2014

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Please join us for Wear It Purple Day – drop by, say ‘Hi’, grab a purple wristband (& some info/posters) and show your support for rainbow youth.

Visit us in the Maude Street Mall (Shepparton) between 10am – 3pm on Fri 29 Aug.

Wear it Purple has a simple message:
You have the right to be proud of who you are.
Who you love and how you define yourself does not change that.

Wear it Purple is a student run, not-for-profit organisation that exists to support young people who identify as sexuality and/or gender diverse (i.e. rainbow).

Wear it Purple seeks to raise awareness about the issues faced by these young people and the need to eradicate bullying based on sexuality and gender diversity. We aim to help create a world that is safe for all young people, within which they are free to learn, grow and belong. Wear it Purple believes that everyone has the right to be proud of who they are, and we aim to empower these young people to be able to.

More info @ http://wearitpurple.org/

MEDIA RELEASE – Kildonan / Cutting Edge merger

MEDIA RELEASE
25 June 2014​
Kildonan / Cutting Edge merger

Two UnitingCare community welfare agencies, Kildonan UnitingCare (KUC) and UnitingCare Cutting Edge (UCCE) have confirmed their organisations will merge as of July 2014.
The merger of the sister agencies will create a stronger community welfare organisation able to deliver better services to more clients, with a geographical reach extending from metropolitan Melbourne through to Northern Regional Victoria.
The Boards of the two like-minded agencies made the decision to merge to ensure the new body will be best placed to respond to the needs of its communities, as the welfare sector faces significant policy shift and reform.
The new organisation will adopt the Kildonan UnitingCare name, and will be led by Stella Avramopoulos, whom has been at the helm of Kildonan for the past six years.
‘The visions of Kildonan and Cutting Edge are strongly aligned, and our coming together provides significant synergies for both agencies – but more importantly, for the communities our agencies serve.’ said Kildonan CEO Stella Avramopoulos.
‘Both agencies have a reputation for delivering innovative, proactive and relevant services that have been helping communities get ahead of their problems for years.
’Together, we will be able to deliver better services, more effectively, to more clients,’ Ms Avramopoulos said.
UCCE Acting CEO Ronni Druitt added, ‘This is a natural step in the evolution of agencies within the church. We have carefully selected our partner to merge with ensuring our good work in the communities in which we operate can continue.’
Kildonan UnitingCare is one of Australia’s oldest community organisations dating back to 1881. Over the past five years it has more than doubled in size and been gaining a solid reputation for delivering some of the most proactive, responsive and relevant community services in Victoria. Based in Melbourne’s north and north-eastern suburbs its programs target the issues that lead to financial hardship and personal or family breakdown – tackling issues upfront, before problems take hold or worsen.
UnitingCare Cutting Edge (formerly Cutting Edge Youth Services) was established in 1996 to address the underserviced needs of youths in Victoria’s Goulbourn Valley. Over the last 18 years, UCCE has continued to strengthen its reputation in the region as a capable provider of services that empower individuals, support families and strengthen communities. Ronni Druitt will remain at the Shepparton office in her role as Business Manager while overseeing the operations until the new organisational structure is in place.
The UnitingCare network is one of the largest providers of community services in Australia, employing 39 000 staff, supported by 27 000 volunteers and operating across 1600 sites.

For more information contact Jane Calvert, 0403 603 125.

Diversity Project re-funded for another year…

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• Victorian Coalition Government $215,000 investment in reducing the risk of suicide among GLBTI young people
• Diversity Project delivered by UnitingCare Cutting Edge has made a valuable contribution to suicide prevention in the Shepparton area
• Coalition Government is building a better supported Victoria

The Nationals Member for Shepparton, Jeanette Powell today announced the Diversity Project in Shepparton has received $215,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government to allow its work to continue for 2014-15.

Mrs Powell said the Diversity Project delivered by UnitingCare Cutting Edge works with the community and relevant services to provide respectful and safe environments and improve the health and wellbeing of same sex attracted, intersex/gender-diverse (SSAIGD) young people, aged 10-25 in the Greater Shepparton region.

“The Diversity Project has provided much needed assistance in the Shepparton area,” Mrs Powell said.

“In the past three years it has provided high level consultation to over 20 schools/organisations in Shepparton and Mooroopna, become a member of the Sexual Health & Reproductive Health and Sexual Health Networks and joined the GV Primary Care Partnership working group, among many other groups/organisations.

“It has provided individual support and counselling to over 275 young people and partnered with over 30 service providers in the district.

“Diversity Project members have reported positive outcomes from contact with local media outlets and have hosted many media events which have resulted in reduced stigma of SSAIGD young people.

“Group members have also been involved in increasing community awareness of the impacts of bullying and discrimination on the health and wellbeing of SSAIGD young people.

“The Project is closely aligned with the statewide Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) Project and the additional funding will allow both projects to run concurrently,” Mrs Powell said.

Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge said that Victoria has a reputation for being an inclusive state, and the fact that there’s support for GLBTI young people to improve mental health and reduce stigma for themselves is an achievement to be proud of.

“We want all young people to live free from harassment and violence and to feel supported to access health services that are welcoming and sensitive to their needs,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“These projects deliver innovative approaches to address and support the mental health of GLBTI young people.”

Mrs Powell said the funding has been provided to the Diversity Project on the understanding that a transition plan will be developed to ensure the gains made are embedded into the regular youth work of UnitingCare Cutting Edge.

“This will enable GLBTI young people in Shepparton to continue to benefit into the future.”