Update on SJA activities

We would like to bring some items to your attention please .

1. Timor Leste choir is being brought to Australia by the Bega advocates .
After three years sustained determination we are all so looking forward to this cultural exchange .
Thanks to those involved for the massive work entailed with this project.

Dates and venues for us soon – see our SJA facebook page and previous emails

2. Climate group continues to support the Friends of CRUNCH initiative to fight the development of forest land at Tura. We are funding their initiative and meeting fortnightly in support .
There are other solar and climate initiatives in the pipeline through collaboration.
We are partnering with the CEFE group to bring Solar power to our Bega crisis homeless units .
Awaiting approvals and final agreements- watch this space .

3. The support for youth is extending now to collaboration with LIONS groups in Merimbula and Pambula and support with the shire to apply for funding to support a youth worker to engage our young folks and introduce them to many organisations and activities in the community.
This project emanated from an FRRR forum for Not For Profits held recently through the Bega Valley Shire Council.

4.  It has been decided to offer the SJA arts grants to the four secondary schools in the coming term .
$500 grant to a student(s) from each of the four secondary schools chosen by staff to assist in the pursuit of their arts passion .
We are also offering these scholarships to the three young people organising the CRUNCH drive (see 2 above). They have made a brilliant poignant film which you can find on ‘Youtube’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypRUfpmMWeA  ‘CRUNCH time – saving Tura Beach Biodiversity’
and are about to develop another on their pilgrimage to other impacted Zombie development sites .

5. We have decided to donate to the starving Somalians fleeing famine and terror .
This is exactly the same matter we supported as our very first advocacy through SJA in 2011 .
Housing  and homelessness were the other matters attracting our advocacy. We placed $54,000 directly into a trust fund for single mothers ostracised through being victims of rape in their own country to support micro businesses
We refurbished toilet blocks at a school for disadvantaged to support those children damaged by the war in Somalia
Deja vu for us all and still seeking person / organisation to enable this donation of $15,000 to be placed directly into Somalian camps as happened in 2012 .

6. We have met with the chairs of the Bega and Eden Local Aboriginal Land Councils to discuss our position on the VOICE and have received complete support and agreement form these Elders .
Remember Pastor Elder Ossie Cruse and his grandson went to Uluṟu and Elder Ossie is a signatory.
We are meeting with folks up the coast to co ordinate a precise and succinct YES awareness campaign throughout our shire .
We have documents , brochures , information leaflets and bumper stickers for all interested to share our support for the VOICE .

7. We have just purchased two more caravans to meet the ever increasing demand from our homeless crisis.
We have started to investigate the possibility of grants to support this program into the future, this through an expression of interest from a recently arrived  member of our community .
The new vans are also to support individuals exiting our unit as required when rental are so scarce AND expensive .
We are using a local planner to develop a DA for our seventh It’s Up To Us campaign caravan unit .
We are still tackling the inflexibility of the legislation pertaining to caravans and moveable dwellings in our shire and its deleterious impact on our progress to address and support our Bega Valley homeless.
The AHIG (Affordable Housing Implementation Group) of the shire has written to the new state government seeking support toward some of the housing strategy initiatives. More lobbying to come and very desperately needed .

8. We thank Cayce Hill and team for the wonderful and vibrant multicultural festival held last month . Great to see support again from Yvi Henderson and John Gunn who helped us set up what is now the Bega Multicultural centre .
We continue to directly support the Bega Rotary Club with its housing and furniture needs for our migrants arriving to work in our shire .

What can I do ???  How may I help ???

Mick Brosnan with Gavin Bell
Co chairs .