As winter sets in…a timely call out for help

St. Pat’s launches their winter appeal next week
Senior case workers will be on hand to give updates about St. Pat’s programs and to give you information on the various ways you can assist St. Pat’s over the winter season.

Join me and like-minded community members as we come together to support Freo’s most vulnerable through the winter.

When: Wednesday, 7th of June 5:30-7pm
Where: St. Pat’s Day Centre,12 Queen Victoria Street, Fremantle


Sleep Out Under the Stars 2017

Come on down to the beautiful surrounds of the University of Notre Dame for one of Freo’s favourite fundraisers.
Sleep Out Under the Stars is a very special evening, hosted by St. Patrick’s Community Support Centre and the University of Notre Dame to raise funds and awareness for homelessness.

Join us for an evening of live music, kids’ activities and community spirit…you can then opt to stay over in the gorgeous Malloy Courtyard or Prindiville Hall…or you can head home to your own bed 🙂

Musical acts this year include the soulful jazz stylings of Lois Olney, folk songstress Ezer Eve and of course the fabulous Starlight Hotel featuring clients from St. Pat’s.

Soup provided by Empyrean and crusty bread from Bread in Common.

This ia a family-friendly event…no alcohol permitted.

This is a wonderful way to start a conversation with your friends and family around homelessness…but it’s also a lot of fun too. Hope to see you there!

Saturday May the 6th from 5.30pm at University of Notre Dame Australia

19 Mouat Street, Fremantle

Wayne’s Story

I just read this story about Wayne, one our newest employees at the City of Freo in the Parks team and thought it was a nice way to start the week:

Wayne’s story |

“I love to work for the Council… they’re a very, very friendly team.” You might see Wayne happily working in the City’s green spaces as one of two new staff with disability in our Parks team.

He secured the job through a partnership between the City and his local Disability Employment Service (DES) Biz Link. “I was unemployed for a couple months and then Biz Link got in touch with me and they said to me – we’ve got another job for you at Fremantle council.”

Wayne has tried a number of jobs since he was in an accident 20 years ago. While he hasn’t enjoyed all of these roles, he was still motivated to find fullfilling work. “If you don’t work and you haven’t got many friends you can’t really communicate. But you come to work and you’re talking to people you work with and that’s really good.”

If you or someone you know with disability is looking for work, start today by contacting a DES provider such as BizLink, Community First, Forrest Personnel and EDGE Employment Solutions.

City of Fremantle workplace achievements

All initiatives are developed as part of the City of Fremantle Access and Inclusion Plan (AIP) 2016-20 which provides that people with a disability have the same opportunities as other people to obtain and maintain employment with the City of Fremantle.

This is to be achieved by:

  1. ​People with a ​disability will be encouraged and supported to apply for roles with the City.
  2. City workplaces will be accessible and safe for existing and new staff.
  3. The City will create, develop and customise employment opportunities and roles for people with a disability.

Achievements to date

  • Successful appointment of two people with disabilities via a targeted employment approach.
  • Successful grant funding application which will see the hire of a young trainee with a disability in the new financial year.
  • Successful grant funding application for on-site training which provided vision awareness training and will deliver training in deafness awareness and mental health awareness training targeting customer facing staff as well as ELT and EM’s.
  • Developed and implemented an online disability awareness training program available to all staff via LMS and which is mandatory for new employees as part of the induction program.
  • Attainment of salary budget which will be used to create customised position opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Securing of a 12 month partnership agreement with job access which delivers specialist support and expertise to the City on disability employment including free training for recruiters of the organisation.
  • Changes to internal recruitment processes such as offering access assistance when inviting for interviews and offering documents in alternative formats.
  • Built relationships with the local disability employment providers and implemented a process whereby all vacancies are disseminated to the providers.
  • Placed two people with disabilities into work experience opportunities.

We have more work planned over the next year which will see out recruitment processes and practices as ‘best practice’ for disability employment and achieve the City’s strategy of being an accessible and inclusive organisation.

Fremantle Foundation Impact100 Launch Night for 2017

This Fremantle Foundation event is a good one to put on your calendar for the end of this month

The details are 6.00pm on Thursday 30th March 2017 at Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle

Here the Fremantle Foundation is having its Impact100 Fremantle Launch Night 2017

It is a great opportunity learn more about the Impact100 Fremantle experience and hear an inspiring update from their 2016 major grant recipient Night Hoops..

For those of you that haven’t heard of Impact100 Fremantle it is a great way to come together and make a positive difference in our local community. The strategy includes making one primary grant of $100,000 each year – a game changing grant – empowering a local charity to dream bigger. Donors at an annual Grant Awards Dinner choose the grant recipient collectively.

The more the merrier so please bring your friends, family and colleagues and help launch Impact100 Fremantle. All are welcome.

The bigger our circle grows, the greater the impact we can have.

Become an Impact100 Fremantle member

For more info:


Josh Wilson on Community Legal Centre Funding

As much as we miss him in the Fremantle Council  Chamber, I think we are fortunate to have Josh Wilson representing Fremantle in Federal Parliament.  I especially appreciated his advocacy on the Fremantle Community Legal Centre funding this week and thought it was worth sharing what he said about the good work they do and the threat that state and federal funding cuts pose:

JOSH WILSON (Fremantle) (10:55):

Last year the National Association of Community Legal Centres held their annual conference in Fremantle, and it was a privilege to be in the company of people from around Australia who undertake such vitally important work.

 If the test of a lawyer or paralegal or tenancy advocate is the depth of their contribution to the greater good, to the welfare of their fellow men and women, then community legal staff are the best of the best. That is why the government’s decision to cut funding to CLCs by 30 per cent on 1 July this year is really hard to believe—even from this Attorney-General.

The cut, first of all, represents a relatively small amount of money in the context of the Commonwealth budget. It is about $10 million per annum. We have to understand that that money pays for justice. It provides access to fair legal process for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community. You cannot say that you care about the rule of law or that you care about the equality of people before the law and at the same time support these cuts. Those positions are incompatible; they simply cannot be reconciled.

The Fremantle Community Legal Centre does essential work in my community. It supports people dealing with eviction, bankruptcy and domestic violence. Seventy-two per cent of its clients earn less than $40,000 a year; 21 per cent have mental health issues or are people with disability; 27 per cent are single parents; and 10 per cent are Indigenous Australians. Over the last three years the number of clients with family or domestic violence issues has increased, but, as a result of previous funding cuts, the number of clients the centre can assist has fallen by 17 per cent, and that is now going to get significantly worse.

Even if you do not particularly care about the effect these cuts will have on the fabric of social justice in this country, you cannot ignore the economic good sense of saving vulnerable people from a deeper crisis. The Productivity Commission has found that every dollar invested in CLCs delivers $17 of community value. You would be very, very hard pressed to find another kind of public expenditure that delivers that kind of return.

Previous studies have shown that every dollar invested in CLCs saves a further $4 being pushed onto another part of the social safety net. So, if for whatever reason you did not understand the necessity of proper funding for community legal services as a matter of basic social justice, you cannot get away from the cold hard fact that every dollar you cut from CLCs costs the public purse another $4. Make no mistake: these cuts are mean; they are senseless.

In Western Australia we copped the double whammy. We have had cuts to financial advice services from the Barnett government and we now have the Turnbull government intent on cutting a full third of existing funding to CLCs, even though this will do harm to both individuals and the budget bottom line. It is bad government, plain and simple. Community legal services should be properly resourced. They should be recognised for their enormous and vital good work in our community. These cuts should be abandoned today.

This Sunday is new Freo Men’s Shed Open Day

The new Freo Men’s Shed in Beaconsfield  on looking pretty good and this Sunday it is having a public open day. You might even be able to pick up a tool or two at a bargain price.16996534_10210640648105892_6726535149256811162_n

Homeless Ousted?: Fremantle Herald a Long Way From Reality on this Story

The Fremantle Herald’s Homeless Ousted article this week on St Pats and the Stan Reilly site was frustratingly inaccurate and misleading. The article starts by saying “THIRTY TWO homeless people are to be kicked out of the Stan Reilly centre in Fremantle to make way for temporary council offices.”

So to correct the record NO homeless men currently residing at Stan Reilly on South Tce will be “ousted”, “kicked out” or thrown to the street as a result of the City of Fremantle’s redevelopment of the site.

In contrast, these men (who normally stay there for around 3 months) will however be assisted to find more permanent accommodation, and rehoused if necessary.  The City of Fremantle CEO and I have been working closely with the St Pats CEO and staff in recent weeks to make sure we have a plan that ensures that these guys are looked after. As part of this the City of Freo is looking to either build them temporary accommodation or to fund a transition plan to put them in alternative accommodation provided by St Pats and other community housing organisations. This doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges in the transition but we are doing our best to do the right thing.

The Stan Reilly site housing was always provided on a temporary basis (month by month mostly) to St Patrick’s Community Care as the City of Fremantle explored  redevelopment options for the site. But now we are at the point to of starting the first stage of re development I want to make it very clear that the City of Fremantle takes seriously the need to make sure that St Pat’s clients are looked after properly.

Can I finally say of the Fremantle Herald, this story was especially disappointing because the journo (Stephen Pollock) was in the Fremantle Council Chambers and heard the debate. He knew full well kicking them without regard for their welfare out was not on any of our agenda but he still chose to write this sensationalist story (or perhaps it was sub-edited this way). While I can correct this I still feel for those gents at Stan Reilly who did read the Herald over the weekend and were made to feel unreasonably insecure about their housing future. The Fremantle Herald should be more responsible than that.