News & Events

From the Executive Officer

October 12, 2021

There is certainly a sense of hope about now that the Roadmap to emerging from lockdowns has been unveiled. It was encouraging that this week that we reached 80% of vaccinations for all eligible Victorians aged 16 and over, enabling minor easing of restrictions.

We are all acutely aware that vaccinations, together with masks, fresh air, social distancing, are the way out of lockdown.

Here at Emerge, I am proud that our staff have either had both vaccinations against COVID-19, or are waiting until they can have their second vaccination. We are very mindful of the need to protect not only ourselves and our families but also the women and children we support.

I am also delighted that we have partnered with Glen Eira Council and their public health team to ensure as many of the women and children who are living in our refuge, crisis and transitional housing are vaccinated.

Finding solutions to what appear to be enormous challenges is what sets Emerge apart from many organisations. This is in part due to our being a small yet effective team, and because of the lessons we are taught every day from women and especially children. By listening closely, we find solutions which work.

One of these solutions was to develop care bags for the children who normally come to arts therapy at our refuge. During lockdown, this has not been possible. Rather than seeing it as all too hard, the care bags together with virtual online workshops have been delivered to children – and the joy on their faces, even by zoom, had to be seen.

I recently attended the two-day virtual National Summit on Women’s Safety. The main reason for the Summit was to generate discussion and share learnings that will inform actions within the next iteration of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children. The current National Plan ends in mid-2022.

As you will read in this newsletter, there was much hype beforehand which was tempered by a lack of consultation and involvement of those with lived experience, the specialist family violence and sexual assault sectors, and diverse and marginalised communities.

That said, we must remain solutions-focused and continue to advocate for centering the voices and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with lived experience expertise, people from diverse communities and those working in services, such as Emerge.

We shall keep you informed.

With warm wishes, go safely,

Paula

 

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