News & Events

From the Executive Officer

June 19, 2021

As we head out of the most recent lockdown to stem the rise of COVID-19 once again, I am reminded of what a peculiar world we are now living in.

Our usual approach to our work is about overcoming isolation, building connections and creating an inclusive community. Instead, we find ourselves in the situation of enforcing isolation, keeping our distance and wearing masks for most of the time.

But not everything is gloomy. Thanks to the resilience that the women and children we support have, the commitment of our staff and volunteers, and our agility at stopping-and-starting, we can adjust rapidly to whatever the virus throws at us.

We have found new ways of connecting families through zoom, which has surprising benefits. Rather than families come to us, our volunteers and staff are now beamed directly into our families’ sitting rooms or kitchens. We can see what is happening, and can keep the connection.

Our playground in our refuge kept open, too, with ongoing cleaning and sanitising, proving a wonderful drawcard for children and a way for mums to meet – from a safe distance of course. The sound of happy laughter and a garden being put to great use cheers the soul.

For me, lockdown is a staunch reminder of the importance of our work. Not only are we able to offer direct support to those who seek out safety from family violence, but we are also able to work with mums and their children to find an independent, more stable future. This future is centred on having a safe and secure home, a connected community and adequate resources to support us through these challenging times.

The past month has seen the release of both the Federal and State Budgets, and we join with other organisations across the sector in reflecting on the impacts for the women and children we work with.

Although touted as a ‘Women’s Budget’, targeted gender investment made up less than 1% of total investment of the Federal Budget. The Victorian State Budget offered a more specific response to the issues facing women, including a welcomed focus on Gender Responsive Budgeting and ongoing investment in preventing family violence.

Emerge is supported in much of our work through government funding; however, there are still many gaps. We rely on our generous supporters and philanthropic trusts as we partner with women escaping family violence to build the futures they want for themselves and their families.

If you can, please consider responding to our End of Financial Year Appeal to enable us to buy a Toyota Rav 4 to help women and their families move into their new homes.

 

Take care, keep safe.

 

Paula

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