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.


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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an elderly man in a blue background

In an increasingly competitive global market for skilled older workers, Australia should significantly revise or remove entirely its age restrictions on workers (up until a couple of months ago this was 45, and now it has just been increased to 50 largely to accommodate the needs of the mining industry).

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Qualified health and fitness coach, Georgia, works with an elderly individual at the gym

My name’s Georgia. I’ve been asked to share with you my experience working within the Brotherhood and I hope that what I share is informative, inspiring and useful.

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Abraham Mamer with his award

I’m Abraham, Community Development Coordinator at the African Australian Community Centre in Footscray (know as ‘the AACC’). The AACC assists African Australians in Melbourne’s west by helping individuals and families to settle in the area and build a positive future for themselves. The AACC is a joint partnership between the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Anglican Parish of Footscray.

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My name is Aysun and I, like many people, have had difficulty saving money. That is until I joined Saver Plus seven years ago, a joint program between the Brotherhood and ANZ. I’m now employed as a Saver Plus Worker, helping others to save their money.

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Four point diagram, clockwise from the top shows, social capital, generational intelligence, sustainable adaptation and cultural innovation

The coming together of inclusion, notions of sustainable growth and population ageing creates an opportunity to re-think existing assumptions in social policy. Inclusive growth, for the purpose of argument outlined below, is taken to mean a form of cultural adaptation that maximises benefits to older citizens and the contribution of older adults to an intergenerational society.

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The Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO arrives at the Brotherhood's Coolibah Centre

On the morning of Tuesday May 15, staff and clients at the Brotherhood’s head office in Fitzroy were in a fashion flurry because a well-known style icon would soon be in their midst. 'She will definitely be wearing teal,' commented one employee with fervour. 'Not a chance' shouted another, 'she’s always in natural tones for these kinds of events. Do you think she’ll wear a hat?'

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Brotherhood CEO Tony Nicholson

The daily hardships of disadvantaged people rarely make the evening news. The quiet but critical stories of families going without are not as interesting as celebrity excess. Job-seekers trying yet again to find employment come behind reports of a Cabinet reshuffle, young people coping with dental problems so painful they can’t work doesn’t compete with a sporting hero’s latest win. The loneliness of the aged, disabled and their carers is always eclipsed by a major event.

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Hello there, I’m Simon Biggs, Brotherhood Chair at the University of Melbourne. I filmed this clip because I could not get to a conference in Dijon, France. It’s the first time I’ve sat at home and talked to the small camera on my laptop outside Skype, but the organisers for some reason thought I had something different to say.

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Hi, my name's Hilary and I started my own business, Dixon Appointments, 14 years ago. I got into recruitment at a young age and, for me, that was just a revelation. I found something I thoroughly loved.

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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