Community Spotlight on Jan Schatz

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Spotlight on Jan Schatz, Manager – Family, Child & Youth Service, Community Northern Beaches. Jan is an integral part of our team and this is an overview of the programmes she runs… Mondays: In conjunction with Raise Foundation, Jan mentors the Bump program supporting young mums and pregnant teens. Wednesdays: Raise Foundation In-school Mentoring at Cromer High School. Thursdays: Supported Playgroup at Brookvale Community Centre. Held weekly during school terms, this group is for families who need a little extra support with their children due to delayed learning or behavioural issues. Fridays: Community Yoga (weekly during school terms). Jan is also Area Co-ordinator for the Love Bites Program (Educating teens regarding respectful relationships and sex). Jan is responsible for sourcing, recruiting and training facilitators to run the program which will start again in

September at Forest High School, October at Killarney Heights High School and November at Mosman High School.

Jan also established initiatives such as the Mums & Daughters Self Protection Workshop to be held next on the 19th October. This is a free violence prevention and empowerment workshop for local mothers/carers and girls (aged 10-17 years)with Mel Thomas from the KYUP! Project. Jan is Wellbeing Facilitator for “Ready For Life, Ready For Success” with Relationships Australia for kids in Years 5, 6, 7 & 9 across different schools. These whole day programmes are run once per month and topics include identifying and managing emotions, friends, self-esteem, myths about relationships, and unhealthy vs healthy relationships. Jan also assists with general welfare, family support and crisis case management. Her targeted early intervention work is the cornerstone to our FACS funding so it is important to recognise how much she does.

Community Spotlight on Adele Heasman, President Community Northern Beaches

Adele Heasman has been a member of the Management Committee of Community Northern Beaches since 2002 and was nominated as President at the recent Annual General Meeting. As well as being a wife, mother and President, Adele also works in the Office of James Griffin MP for Manly as Senior Electorate Officer. We asked Adele to share a little about herself.

Q: Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Adele Heasman addresses the recent Community Northern Beaches’ Annual General Meeting

Adele Heasman addresses the recent Community Northern Beaches’ Annual General Meeting

Adele: “I have lived in the Manly area since starting at Balgowlah Heights Public School in year 1 after my parents built their home in the new land release in the early ‘60s. Growing up with the bush as my backyard was idyllic – as kids we loved the flannel flowers and indigenous rock carvings which we considered our very own to look after.

My husband and I have made Manly our home since 1984 (he also grew up in the area) with our 3 now grown-up children. In many ways, my love for the area was my reason for running for Manly Council as a Councillor in 1999. My new role here in the Electorate Office is really an extension to that – without me being at the forefront!”

Q: What is your role at Community Northern Beaches and responsibilities does this role have?

Adele: “In 2002 I was elected to the Management Committee of the Manly Community Centre (now Community Northern Beaches) – having seen their work from afar since the 1970s. In the early days of being on the Committee, I was probably a quiet observer although I certainly took part in any roles that were asked of me such as helping with the Manly Corso stalls, fundraisers, projects and undertaking Vice President duties.

I was first elected President in 2014 and last year stepped aside for 12 months after serving for the statutory 4 years. This year I was delighted to be once more asked to run as President. Community Northern Beaches has seen so many changes these past few years, I feel that the staff and volunteers could do with some stability in the leadership and I am happy to assist with that.”

Q: What motivated you to choose a volunteer position in social services?

Adele: “I guess I like to see people’s lives change for the good. A lifetime ago I was working as a legal secretary for a senior partner in a prominent Sydney Law Firm – I then had a sea change and left to complete an Associate Diploma in Social Welfare at the Institute of Western Sydney. Now my life revolves around the provision of social welfare – I’m not a good counsellor! But in my role at Community Northern Beaches, and certainly at the Electorate Office, I am in a position to advocate for social services provision in and for my community.”

Q: Tell me about a particularly memorable moment during your time at Community Northern Beaches?

Adele Heasman pictured with John Kelly

Adele Heasman pictured with John Kelly

Adele: “Memories of volunteers working together to raise money for Community Northern Beaches, Jacqui’s farewell after some 37 years, and who could forget attending the moving funerals of Ellie Hunt (the first President and founder with us of the Manly Women’s Shelter) and Pat Boydell (the long-time chair of the Northern Beaches Mental Health Support Group), but also more recently meeting John Kelly (our new Centre Manager) and being amazed that we found someone who loves Community Northern Beaches as much as we all do!”

Q: What do you believe makes Community Northern Beaches special?

Adele: “I think its’ innate ability to ‘draw you in’! Once you see what the work is that we do and whose lives we change, there’s no getting out! I’m immensely proud of the reputation Community Northern Beaches has, not just within the local community, but with the levels of Government (Federal, State & Local) as well as our relationships with the Police and other stakeholders. Community Northern Beaches has been the driving force in the establishment of NGOs that are now thriving independently of us, such as Pioneer Clubhouse and of course the Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter (formerly Manly Women’s Shelter) which now has formed Women’s Community Shelters and has 6 Shelters in NSW!”

Q: What would your advice be to someone looking to reach out for help but doesn’t know where to start?

Adele: “If a person comes into the electorate office we are fortunate as we can just walk people down to the other end of the street to Community Northern Beaches! I often suggest Community Northern Beaches as it’s a hub and the staff are really adept at summarising a person’s need and referring them to the best service to assist them. If people are capable, I suggest googling Community Northern Beaches and looking at our wonderful website to get an idea of how we can help.”

Community Spotlight on Anona Le Page (Nonnie)

Anona Le Page (Nonnie) is the Welfare and Domestic Violence Worker at Community Northern Beaches (CNB) . Nonnie has occupied this role for 6 years, and works closely with external and internal services to provide help and support for individuals whom have experienced domestic and family violence.

Nonnie’s job varies immensely, no situation is the same, some cases are more traumatic and complex than others, but they are all require urgent support.

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“On one extreme I receive phone calls from women feeling they are in an unhappy marriage, but are unsure if their situation is identified as domestic violence to the other extreme – receiving a call from a women at Woolworths borrowing someone’s phone, who needed to be picked up as she had fled the house in her bathrobe.’”

Every client has a different and unique story, and requires an individual support plan to meet their specific needs. Nonnie provides face-to-face assistance, and also refers to external counselling and legal services.

Before working for Community Northern Beaches, Nonnie worked for several years in Cape Cod USA as a Case Manager for an organisation called Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) . This organisation delivered over 20 programs ranging from drug and alcohol rehabilitation, homeless shelters, crisis accommodation and home weatherisation for the tough winters there. Nonnie has been committed to working with people who need support for many years and has not lost compassion or motivation, appreciating the human connection that is developed with clients.

The statistics around domestic and family violence in Australia are alarming. Violence can take many forms such as sexual, emotional, financial, physical and psychological abuse. “The effects that psychological abuse can have on the victim can be just as damaging and traumatising for survivors as physical violence can be, sometimes more so.” says Nonnie.

With only one domestic and family violence worker at Community Northern Beaches, Nonnie is constantly busy. She admits it’s sometimes hard to shut off from her work, as she goes home she is often left wondering about the women who she has seen and helped that week. Nonnie states that one of the best parts of her job is when someone is able to escape a crisis situation and contact her to let her know they’re ok.

“I received a text last Sunday around 6am from a client who told me she’d escaped to a safe place with her children. She was texting to tell me that she had made it and was safe and unpacking. It gave me goose bumps, it honestly made my day.”

Looking forward to the future Nonnie says the centre needs better free legal representation for survivors of domestic and family violence. Many domestic and family violence survivors don’t qualify for free legal services as their name can be legally tied to financial documents, even though they have no access to that money or assets. “Even just five hours of free legal services to these women would help them navigate what is a very overwhelming process.”

Community Northern Beaches also offers a support program called ‘Building Blocks’ which is designed for women in the process of, or who have recently left, situations of domestic and family violence. The workshop is run 4 times per year and runs for approximately 6 weeks, free of charge. For more information on this workshop, or to access any of our services please call 9977 1066.

If this article or any issues surrounding domestic and family violence has resonated with you, or you think that the information could be beneficial to someone you know, please share.

Our door is open and support is always available from Monday- Friday, 10am-3pm at 12 Wentworth St Manly.

Click below to find out more about Community Northern Beaches services

Community Spotlight on John Kelly

John Kelly, Manager Community Northern Beaches

What is your role?

My role is incredibly varied, I’m called upon to do everything in a real “all hands on deck” environment. I have a strategic and business focus to manage today and into the future to ensure we can continue to deliver services to the community. Building partnerships and relationships with government, corporate and other NFP’s is critical. We have managed to build the largest community hub on the Northern Beaches with 18 accommodated services in-house plus a number of other partnerships supporting programmes off-site. There is also mundane parts of the role like changing light bulbs, emptying rubbish and any heavy lifting! That helps me stay grounded in the role, as you can’t be precious with the work we do.

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Can you describe a typical day in your life at the centre?

A typical day can be quite chaotic as I never know what might be around the corner. Our varied client base certainly keeps us on our toes. Of course in my role I can never escape the paperwork but this tends to occur around ensuring clients, customers and accommodated services are all properly looked after. People come before paper. My quiet time is before and after we open the doors, and this is the opportunity to write reports and respond to correspondence.

What motivated you to choose a career in community services?

I chose a career in community services after working in local government where I spent 14 years across four Councils. I wanted to be in an environment where I had the opportunity to explore new ways to do things. Working in smaller, more under resourced environments makes you think outside the box, act with agility and a strength of purpose to achieve outcomes for your clients who are all having a worse day than you are.

Tell me about a particularly memorable moment during your time at Community Northern Beaches?

There have been many memorable moments since starting my role at Community Northern Beaches. From an organisational viewpoint changing our name, logo and marketing was a terrific team effort and a significant way forward to take us across the Beaches.

Getting DGR/PBI* status after many years of knockbacks was sensational for Community Northern Beaches and particularly our team who work so hard. Also, last year we held the first ever Client Festive Celebration, it was a truly uplifting experience for not only our clients but staff, volunteers and our great supporters The Clontarf Sisterhood.

What do you believe makes Community Northern Beaches special?

I think what makes our centre special is the people involved and the effort that they put in. If this was mirrored across the whole of society, we would be in a better space as a community and a country.

What would your advice be to someone looking to reach out for help but doesn’t know where to start?

My advice to anyone looking for help who doesn’t know where to start is to look for a community organisation first. They may or may not be able to address your needs but they will definitely give you the time and attention you need to help you begin your journey. The compassion and empathy is there with staff and volunteers, and this is often what people seeking support need the most.

*DGR: A deductible gift recipient (DGR) is an entity or fund that can receive tax deductible gifts

*PBI: A public benevolent institution (PBI) is a charity whose main purpose is to relieve poverty, sickness, suffering or disability.

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Homelessness on the Northern Beaches

Daniel Peterson, Community Northern Beaches Homeless Outreach worker shares with us about people experiencing homelessness on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and what our centre is trying to do to help.

Click here to read the full story…?