Poverty and disadvantage in Australia today has a strong geographic dimension. The focus of our work is increasingly on particular places as well as particular groups of vulnerable people, such as early school leavers or those who are unemployed or homeless.
Our approach is informed by the best available evidence. We also concentrate on the four life transitions considered the key to human wellbeing. These points of vulnerability are in childhood - 'the early years', the transition from school to work in adolescence, the shifts in and out of work in midlife, and retirement and ageing.
Our work in the community is varied: ranging from early learning, employment preparation and digital literacy programs to aged care.
We have also established initiatives to tackle the challenge climate change and environmental sustainability present for disadvantaged people.
Our Saver Plus program has supported thousands of low income earners to develop a lasting savings habit and is Australia's longest running matched savings and financial education program.
For more than half a century, we have also continued to help settle newly arrived migrants and refugees. Our flagship programs include Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers which supports asylum seekers living in the community, who have the legal right to work, to find jobs.
Our Given the Chance program is an initiative designed to assist marginalised job seekers into work. To learn more, view the list of current vacancies available through Given the Chance.
Our long experience in tackling poverty tells us that the best results are achieved when we join hands with others. Through partnerships with government and local community organisations we have a presence in cities and regions in every state and territory.
Through our early learning Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY), for example, our footprint spans areas along the Murray-Darling River, the eastern seaboard to far north Queensland, in the Northern Territory and across the Kimberly in Western Australia.
The services we deliver directly are in Victoria where our national office is based, including the Melbourne suburbs of Frankston, Craigieburn, Laverton, Melton, Carlton and Fitzroy and the city of Whittlesea in the city's north east. We are also working in the Victorian regional cities of Geelong, Shepparton, Ballarat and Moe.
Wherever we are, we believe it is essential that the voices of the people dealing with disadvantage in their communities are heard and considered.
Tony Vinson, leading social justice campaigner and reformer dead at 81 smh.com.au/nsw/tony-vinso… via @smh
Acknowledgement of country
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.