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.


Estelle Vale knitting with kindergarten student Yusuf and Indiah

Estelle Vale, 79, is a wiz at knitting. And she loves giving gifts.

The ever-smiling Estelle has been a resident at Rathdowne Place, an aged care home and partner of the Brotherhood, for over a year.

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Marica Cindric at the BSL Coolibah Ball

They may not be young but they can still shake it out on the dance floor.

Last Friday night the Brotherhood’s Coolibah Centre, a community centre for seniors, held its annual ball in Fitzroy.

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Maggie teaching in her weekly belly dancing class at the Coolibah Day Centre

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, 32-year-old Maggie has been belly dancing since she was two. 'Every time I dance, I am a new person. If I'm sad, it makes me happy. Dancing is my life,' she says.

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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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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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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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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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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