Brotherhood blog

Welcome to the Brotherhood of St Laurence's blog.

We aim to tell human stories and offer an 'on-the-ground' insight on the challenges involved in achieving an Australia free of poverty.

Christmas is a time for fun and laughter, but there are many families who just can't afford to buy toys or books for their children during the festive season.

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This week is MoneySmart Week which, in many ways, exemplifies the Brotherhood's mission for an Australia free from poverty, where Australians on lower incomes can be provided with increased opportunities.

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Single unemployed people are entitled to $35 a day to pay for food, clothing, transport and bills on the Federal Government's Newstart allowance. Could you survive on this?

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My name is Frances and I'm from the Brotherhood's Financial Inclusion team. I have recently embarked on a new and exciting pilot project, the Aged Care Financial Health Worker Project. It takes a fresh approach to helping older Australians deal with their financial circumstances.

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Job opportunities in the aged care sector are burgeoning as Australia's population ages. The Brotherhood's Carlton Work and Learning Centre recognises this and is helping connect disadvantaged jobseekers with opportunities in the industry.

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Ahoy, I'm Thomas and this year I participated in the Brotherhood's youth transition program in Laverton, Connecting Young People to Real Jobs.

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Wendy Pearce reunited with 'the Collins stick'

The mysterious wartime keepsake, dubbed 'the Collins stick', that was discovered amid tonnes of donations at the Brotherhood's Brunswick sorting centre, has been returned to the family.

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Obsa constructing a pine picnic table

Nineteen-year-old Ethopian man, Obsa, wanted to become an electrician, but lacked the skills and qualifications to get a job in the industry. Without this basic foundation, Obsa struggled to capture the attention of employers seeking new apprentices. To gain the necessary skills and get a foot in the door, Obsa joined the Brotherhood's Given The Chance program.

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Cath Sanderson from the Brotherhood's sorting facility with the mysterious stick

The Brotherhood's Community Stores receive tonnes of donations from the public each week, but no donation has left the workers so intrigued as the mysterious item they dubbed, the 'Collins stick'.

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Harriet Mwandila works at her desk

Harriet came to Australia from Zambia at the age of 18. After she arrived she worked hard to complete a university degree in commerce with the dream of a career in accounting and finance, but a serious car accident left her struggling with trauma and financial issues.

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The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

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.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes