News & Events

From the Executive Officer

November 26, 2021

All I want for the festive season this year is for it to be a safe and happy time for everyone. One where we are surrounded by family and loved ones, and without having an endless conversation about COVID-19. And for the women and children we support, one where they are free from violence, tension and filled with smiles. I am sure that I speak for all of us.

There is little doubt that 2021 was another challenging year for us as an organisation and as individuals. We have been up and down in lockdown throughout the year, each time seemed to be harder and more exhausting than the last. In between, many of us have been fearful of coming out of our front doors while others have made the most of it.

What 2021, as in 2020, has shown me is how kind the Emerge community is and how resilient and resourceful we are. Whether it has been our volunteers and staff connecting in different ways through lockdown to the women and children, through to the occasional breaks in lockdown where women in outreach and our housing have been able to come together in our gardens, arts therapy or for a communal meal– everyone has found something that has brought them meaning.

Emerge has had a successful year supporting more children than ever before, finding new ways to connect and work, and making the most of every opportunity amongst what has been an incredibly challenged and unprecedented time.

We were thrilled this year to receive full accreditation for the next three years. The Quality Innovation Performance reviewers were impressed with the staff’s passion for their work, the breadth and depth of services provided, and the new 24/7 refuge that opened in May 2020.

We know that we have been in the middle of a family violence pandemic, made worse by COVID-19. Since opening, the refuge has been operating at full capacity within COVID-19 restrictions Our crisis and transitional homes are also full, and we continue to work collaboratively with the government and other services to access housing.

While we have not been able to carry out as much face to face counselling and arts therapy as we would normally, a regular distribution of care packages and arts and crafts packs to families in our crisis and transitional housing, has enabled our arts therapy and outreach teams to keep connected. The therapeutic team continued to deliver individual counselling, parenting support as well as therapeutic groups all online via Zoom during all the Victorian lockdowns which we are immensely proud of.

I take this opportunity to thank the staff for the passion, commitment and resilience they have shown throughout the year; our volunteers who work tirelessly to support our staff; our Board, seven extraordinary women who bring a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to Emerge; and above all, we are inspired by the women and children whom we support Their courage and determination is inspiring It’s the reason we do the work we do.

May you all have a peaceful and safe festive season. Go carefully, stay well, open the windows and keep COVID-19 safe.

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