2011 Blog Posts

The Faces and Voices of United Way 2011

posted by United Way, 18 Dec 2011


Volunteer Strategy Call to Action

posted by Geoff, 05 Dec 2011

Tanya Plibersek, the Minister for Social Inclusion and Minister for Human Services, yesterday launched the National Volunteering Strategy at the Volunteering Australia Conference. The development of this strategy is the culmination of consultation and research overseen by Minister Plibersek and previously, Senator Ursula Stephens. A key element to the consultation was a National Volunteering Strategy …read more


Getting business brains out of the office

posted by United Way, 12 Nov 2011

Sometimes I think that businesses leave their brains in the office. Sounds a little harsh but so often I see businesses with the best of intentions, not apply their business brains to their work in the community. Business leaders know that they operate in a dynamic world in which the market is ever-changing with new competitors launching new …read more


Inspiring Social Innovation in my garden

posted by United Way, 17 Oct 2011

A few weekends ago whilst weeding in the garden I listened to a program that talked about one of the most impressive Social Innovations I have heard of for a long time. Read more


NSW: Good Beginnings Helping Before the Problems Show

posted by United Way, 12 Oct 2011

To address the issue of young people disengaging from school and instead helping them strengthen their capacity for the future, UWA formed a coalition with Good Beginnings and invested in key school programs. Good Beginnings provides practical, community-based parenting support programs to ensure children get the best start in life. It targets children in vulnerable …read more


SA – Jumping beans to help kids catch up? CanDo4Kids thinks so.

posted by United Way, 11 Oct 2011

CanDo4Kids has developed a movement assessment and early intervention program for children between the ages of 3 and 16. It is used to identify children who are significantly behind their peers in motor development – the skills needed to carry out tasks like tying shoelaces, writing, balancing, catching a ball, walking and jumping. The younger …read more


VIC: Good Beginnings

posted by United Way, 10 Oct 2011

Like in NSW United Way has also partnered with Good Beginnings in Doveton (Victoria) where we support their ‘Let’s Read’ program. Let’s Read has been incorporated into the existing parenting groups that Good Beginnings helps and offers ongoing early childhood learning support and parenting education and encouragement to disadvantaged families. As a result of our …read more


WA: The Boost Program – Help your Child to Read and Spell

posted by United Way, 07 Oct 2011

In Perth, United Way has collaborated with CLAN Midland (Community Links and Networks) and the Dyslexia- SPELD Foundation to deliver key education initiatives. UWA supports a number of CLAN Midland programs including Families and Schools Together (FAST), Baby FAST, Let’s Read and Parental Guidance Recommended and Food Cents – all which involve engaging and working …read more


United Way Australia Helping Children Reach their potential

posted by United Way, 06 Oct 2011

The Issue: Good literacy, numeracy and social skills are essential for children to be in the best position to start school. Without them, they can experience difficulties that have life-long impacts. Impacts like: not completing school, leading to unemployment or fewer job opportunities developing behavioural problems or mental health issues, resulting in social integration difficulties …read more


NSW – Creating financial stability and independence for young people

posted by United Way, 05 Oct 2011

The Beacon Foundation provides best practice programs that engage local business to provide more opportunities for volunteer work, site tours and student mentoring – giving students an insight into and inspiration for life after school. We’ve formed long term partnerships with these schools and in 2011 we are funding The Beacon Foundation’s programs working across …read more


QLD – Goodna State School and the Step into Prep Playgroup

posted by United Way, 04 Oct 2011

The Step into Prep Playgroup was launched to better prepare pre-school children for their first day of school and create positive, worthwhile and meaningful childcare experiences for them and their families. Goodna Integrated Family Support, Noah’s Ark, Edmund Rice Camps and United Way have formed a coalition to further develop early education strategies and programs. …read more


NSW – Improving young people’s wellbeing

posted by United Way, 03 Oct 2011

We have formed a Health Coalition with Weave and The Inspire Foundation to focus on the needs of young people suffering from mental health disorders. Our work includes: focusing on a project called Reach Out, a digital story-telling program which develops stories that positively inform and support young people with managing mental illness and sexual …read more


Unusual Suspects get results for 70 Rough Sleepers

posted by United Way, 14 Sep 2011

During National Homelessness Week, Pru Goward (NSW Minister for Community Services) announced that her government had agreed to fund the Platform 70 Woolloomooloo Homeless Project – an initiative to house 70 of the most vulnerable homeless people in Woolloomooloo, an inner city suburb of Sydney. This will be achieved using a Housing First model which …read more


Sydney as 100 People

posted by United Way, 14 Sep 2011

As part of the Common Cause research report that United Way has released in conjunction with the Centre for Social Impact United Way has produced a video which captures a sense of what Sydney is really like. For more information go to www.commoncause.com.au


Is Australia on the right path to education reform?

posted by United Way, 25 May 2011

Like America, Australia has an embarrassingly widening gap in education standards between students from socially and economically advantaged and disadvantaged backgrounds.  Something that United Way Australia knows well from conducting research with the Centre for Social Impact in 2009. Both countries have talked a lot about education reform…See the Sydney Morning Herald’s blog for discussion …read more


5 cents added up to over $9000!

posted by United Way, 17 May 2011

As the campaign draws to a close, United Way WA are thrilled to announce that over $9000 was raised and would like to thank everyone who donated and acknowledge the terrific efforts and support of the organisations that made it happen – community partners, The West media and Sonshine FM, HBF and Westpac, Linc Integrated, …read more


Making comms tools to make children smile

posted by United Way, 09 May 2011

Learning resources are greatly needed by organisations such as Pathways Early Childhood Intervention (ECI).  Pathways ECI provides play-based early childhood intervention and family centred programs for children with delays in their development.  They work with families to develop individual programs for each child. The centre at Marrickville offers families flexible and responsive choices like practical training programs for parents, …read more


Update on 5 cents for 5 senses campaign

posted by United Way, 04 May 2011

Since launching this campaign we have received some fantastic local coverage in WA with articles in The West and The West Weekend which has really helped raise the profile of the issue. The campaign has now ended but people can still donate their 5 cent coins at Westapac and HBF branches til the end of this week. …read more


Using rubbish to create engaging opportunities

posted by United Way, 01 May 2011

Movies, ten pin bowling and family trips are enjoyed by many children during the school holidays in Sydney  but not all children are lucky enough to have the opportuniy to participate in these actitivites. During the recent April school holidays United Way facilitated 2 corporate (AMP and BankWest participated) volunteer days with the children from Glebe Centipede who …read more


Josephite Community Aid – Refugee Family Fun Day!

posted by United Way, 19 Apr 2011

To kick off the school holiday period I was fortunate enough to work with the Josephite Community Aid (JCA) in Seven Hills and participate in their Family Fun Day which caters for the large refugee community in Sydney’s West. Pfizer sent along sixteen fabulous volunteers who brought enthusiasm and smiles which made for a day …read more


Local eyes

posted by United Way, 10 Apr 2011

Local Eyes community photographic competition and exhibition was a unique experience launched by United Way Queensland in September 2010. It gave young people an opportunity to explore the world of photography and capture a very personal view of their lives and their city. 18 young storytellers from United Way Queensland’s community partners took up the camera …read more


5 cents for 5 senses update

posted by United Way, 05 Apr 2011

Following on from my last blog about the 5 cents for 5 senses campaign, we got some great coverage in The Weekend Post WA which is raising awareness and $ support for the issue. We’ve already received some great feedback about the campaign e.g. “The 7 year old from next door came over with a plastic bag of …read more


The issue – 92% of kids in care have low literacy skills

posted by United Way, 29 Mar 2011

Found out something this morning…92 % of kids in the care system, such as children in foster care, have below average literacy skills, I never realised it was so high. But there’s organisations like the  Pyjama Foundation in Queensland that help address literacy problems.  There’s plenty of interesting information in this report about the problems facing …read more


Lunch with the girls

posted by United Way, 22 Mar 2011

I spent the day today with some year 10 girls at Plumpton High School and our Community Impact partner, Beacon. The focus of the day was about young people having choices in life and we as mentors, shared our hard-earned experience and achievements to (hopefully!) motivate and inspire the girls to persist with their studies and recognise their talents and …read more


Innovation and Collaboration – addressing Australia’s biggest issues

posted by United Way, 14 Mar 2011

At United Way Australia, we are focusing on a new strategy for addressing large-scale social problems that we call “Community Impact”.  The idea is to create a network that links numerous organisations — including those in government, society and the business sector — and  we help them to systematically align and coordinate their efforts around …read more


5 cents for 5 senses – a little goes a long way

posted by United Way, 09 Mar 2011

Children suffering the loss of one or more of their senses will be the big winners from an innovative fundraising campaign launched today by United Way WA. The 5c for five senses campaign (running throughout April) is calling on people across Western Australia to scour their homes, workplaces and vehicles for ‘unwanted’ 5 cent coins that …read more


big school

posted by United Way, 07 Mar 2011

My daughter started primary (“big”)  school this year. She attended a good pre-school and had lots of opportunities to have the positive cognitive, social and emotional learning experiences to put her in the best place possible to get a great start… simple learning experiences leveraged from our family’s everyday life. Things like playing with friends and …read more


Angels in Pyjamas

posted by United Way, 02 Mar 2011

When did you last lose yourself in a good book – one you really couldn’t put down? For my daughter, it was this morning, whilst she was brushing her teeth. Mess and delay aside, I can’t really complain as her obsession (including reading by torchlight under the bedclothes) has given her a reading level well …read more


Send them to the circus

posted by United Way, 01 Mar 2011

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a group of volunteers to participate in a day of circus training at the Westside Circus in Melbourne. (www.westsidecircus.org.au) We were joined by a group of young people variously described as “Disaffected”, “At Risk”, “Disengaged”, “Lowered Social Capacity”, “ADD” or just plain “Problem Kids”. You can choose your …read more


Save the antelope

posted by United Way, 24 Feb 2011

I went to the FIA Conference in Melbourne today and was inspired by one of the speakers, Ken Burnett. He talked about charity workers making ‘the ask’ to donors and volunteers and used this video as a great analogy – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib163t5lFok If we, the askers, are seen to be going above and beyond ourselves for …read more


Western Australia stats highlight the issue

posted by United Way, 21 Feb 2011

Did you know that in areas of primary education of the City of Swan (WA), 48% of children are vulnerable in basic numeracy compared to the average WA school of 13%. Did you also know that in a disadvantaged pocket of the City of Swan, a senior high school only has 2% graduates going to University? This …read more


One Day rolled out to Mac Tel

posted by United Way, 21 Feb 2011

On Saturday I spoke about our One Day campaign at an event with 350 employees from Macquarie Telecom – a partner of ours for the past 15 years. I reflected on the picture we have of kids starting school- we tend to imagine school as the great equaliser in life and a child’s success in school dependant upon …read more


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