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Published by Northern Settlement Services, 2019-11-20 22:01:29

NSS Annual Report 2018_2019


Annual Report


To be a leading regional
organisation working with
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
individuals, families and communities,
providing services that strengthen
and inspire people in an environment that is
culturally sensitive and responsive to

their needs and goals.



(page 18)

WELFARE (page 24)




TABLE OF CONTENTS …………………………………………………………………………………………..1
SERVICE COVERAGE AREAS………………………………………………………………………………….2
BOARD OF DIRECTORS .......................................................................................................................... 3
ORGANISATION ACHIEVEMENTS.......................................................................................................... 6
CHAIR’S REPORT..................................................................................................................................... 9
SETTLEMENT SERVICES.......................................................................................................................... 10
AGED SERVICES ................................................................................................................................... 18
WELFARE ............................................................................................................................................... 24
IMMIGRATION ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE ........................................................................................ 28
2018/2019 HIGHLIGHTS ....................................................................................................................... 30
FINANCIAL STATEMENT........................................................................................................................ 39




Vice Chair (to 21/11/18)
Chair (appointed 21/11/18)

Trudy Mills-Evers AM Chair, Public Officer (resigned 21/11/18)

Ewa Korczynski Company Secretary (to 21/11/18)
Vice Chair (appointed 21/11/18)

Christine Jordan Treasurer (resigned 21/11/18)

Zachary Ekandi Director (to 21/11/2018)
Treasurer, Public Officer (appointed 21/11/18)

Sania Young Director (to 21/11/18)
Company Secretary (appointed 21/11/18)

Father Nicholas Zervas OAM Director (resigned 21/11/18)

Anna Bailey Director 3
Zoran Vasiljevic
Christine Warrington Director
Andreena Kardamis
Director (appointed 21/11/18)
Cr Barney Langford
Director (appointed 21/11/18)
Cr Carol Duncan Resigned 3/5/2019
Cr Emma White
Co-opted Member, Lake Macquarie City

Co-opted Member, Newcastle City Council

Co-opted Member, Newcastle City Council


We wish to acknowledge and thank all of our funding bodies and stakeholders for
their continued support of the many and diverse programs delivered throughout the
past year.



Lulu Katie Kerry Kathy Natasha Henriette
Tantos Sewell Blades Rowarth Holliday de Jong

CEO Operations Finance Manager Finance Finance Migration
Manager Agent

John Violeta Ameneh Sharlene Julie Mills
Pattey Klements Sheibani Huber
Senior Administration Administration Administration/ Officer Central
Administration Officer Officer Finance Officer
Central Coast Coast


Alex Debbie Lydia Rose Lena Tonkoh
Burns Carstens Manusiu Oku Alameddine Kamara

Settlement Team Settlement Team Senior Settlement Settlement Settlement Youth
Manager Manager Worker Newcastle Worker Hunter Worker (Arabic) Worker
Newcastle / Outreach Volunteer
Hunter Coordinator


Marie Michael Nellie Lance Amalin Abby
Zawadi Freund Srisurapon McNamara Sundaravej Tinlin

Settlement Worker Volunteers Settlement Worker Settlement Settlement Settlement
Newcastle Coordinator Central Coast Worker Worker Worker
Armidale Tamworth

Natalia Pari Claire
Meliendrez Batha Hicks

Multicultural Multicultural Playing Around
Community Community the World
Development Development Facilitator
Central Coast Central Coast
Central Coast


Rasa John Stefanie Lupe Tima Irene
Bajalis Biswas Maier Fonua Oto Lupish

Aged Sector Support Home Care Home Care Multicultural Community
Services and Packages Packages Social Support Visitors Scheme
Manager Coordinator Coordinator
Development Coordinator Coordinator


Dongmei Katie Marilín Kellie Natalia Kathy
Zhang Livingstone Pérez Cabrera Matterson Meliendrez Karimodini

Chinese Multicultural In Multicultural Social Multicultural In Multicultural Community
Social Home Respite Support Central Home Respite Social Support Visitors Scheme
Support Coordinator Coast Coordinator Central Coast
Central Coast Coordinator
Coordinator Central Coast




Petrona Miza Juanita Elena Zeni
Kelly Torlakovic Loli Ferguson Edmunds

Welfare CALD Family Multicultural Multicultural Brighter Futures
Team Worker Family Support & Family Support & Coordinator

Manager Welfare Welfare




911 clients:

673 Newcastle
123 Central Coast
66 Armidale
49 Tamworth

Delivering over 2,570 sessions with 8,600 attendances

4 Homework and Learning Centres in Newcastle with 77

6 child/young people accessing 113 sessions.

236 driving lessons

1,907 instances of volunteer support


856 instances of providing information and referrals in one month


Playing Around the World:

51 Parents and children Wyong

42 Sessions with 536 participation instances Blue Haven

42 Sessions with 984 participation instances The Entrance


18 of 18 Home Care Common Standards achieved during Audit
from Aged Care Quality Complaints and Safety Commission
Hunter has 22 volunteers supporting 45 clients making 799 visits and
travelling 13,112kms
Central Coast has 14 volunteers supporting 52 clients making 239
visits taking 365 hours

17 years of delivering Home Care Packages


150 group sessions with 3,500 individuals and families attending
1,954 instances of support to individuals and families
Heavily involved in supporting Multicultural Playgroups at various
Participated in Harmony Day, Riverlights Festival, White Ribbon
Breakfast, “You’re Kidding Me” Expo, Multicultural Expo and Unity
in Diversity


Large number of Syrian refugees arrived
Assistance with applications for citizenship and visitor visas
continue to increase
Decision made to cease providing assistance for skilled visas and
refer onward to other Migration Agents



Jon Chin

It is a great pleasure to present my first during the year as detailed in the
Chairperson’s Report on behalf of the following pages of this Report. The
Northern Settlement Services Limited Board will continue to provide
Board. 2019 has been a very continued support to ensure the
challenging year personally for me. I achievement of our stated mission:
was elected as Chair at the AGM held
on 21 November 2018 and the following “to be the leading organisation
week I had emergency double bypass
surgery which saw me on medical working with CALD individuals, families
leave for four months. I thank the
Directors and especially Vice Chair and communities (and) providing
Ewa Korczynski, for taking care of the
organisation until my return in March services that
strengthen “Change is the law of
This is a time of great change and and inspire life. Those who look only
competitiveness in nearly every sector them in an
of the Australian economy. For us
especially in the settlement, environment to the past or present
immigration, aged care and welfare
services, I feel it is imperative we learn, that is are certain to miss the
and learn quickly to embrace the culturally future.”
challenge of this ever changing sensitive and
environment under which we operate.
As John F Kennedy said, “Change is responsive to 9
the law of life. Those who look only to
the past or present are certain to miss their needs
the future.”
and goals”.
I am pleased to see the changes
already taking place within our Board. Our special gratitude goes to all the
Directors are now expected to play a funding bodies for their valued support
more active role in monitoring the which allows us to continue providing
organisation’s performance in relation a range of services to our clients,
to the government-funded services we including migrants and refugees.
provide. The recruitment of
appropriately qualified Directors I would also like to acknowledge the
together with the introduction of term wonderful contribution that has been
limits for Directors will greatly assist in made by our many volunteers during
bringing a fresh perspective to the the year in helping to make the lives of
Board. some of the most disadvantaged in
our community change for the better.
The Board appreciates the work
performed by our dedicated staff Last, but not least, a personal thank
you to my fellow Directors for their
continued dedication and service. I
look forward to their continued
support in 2020. This will be the start of
a new decade full of new
opportunities to be embraced by
Northern Settlement Services Limited.




Debbie Carstens

The Settlement Team encompasses three distinct programs – Settlement Services
across all the NSS regions, Multicultural Community Development on the Central
Coast and Communities for Children on the Central Coast. It has been a period of
significant change for all of our programs with changes in staffing, funding and
program frameworks.


Settlement Services Program (SSP, 2018) and Settlement
Engagement and Transition Support Program (SETS, 2019)

Funded By migrant and refugee backgrounds in 11
their first five years from arrival
Department of Social Services through
the NSW Settlement Partnership led by Highlights and Achievements
Settlement Services International (SSI)
This has been a year of significant
Team change for the Settlement Program.
July to December 2018 saw the final 6
Settlement Team months of our Settlement Services
Program (SSP) contract and also the
Staff retirement of long term serving NSS
Settlement Team Manager Alex Burns
Alex Burns, Lydia Manusiu, Nellie after more than 30 years of service to
Srisurapon, Tonkoh Kamara, Rose Oku, settlement work in NSS and regional
Michael Freund, Lena Alameddine, communities in northern and western
Amalin Sundaravej, Lance McNamara, NSW. His wisdom, experience and
Abby Tinlin, Marie Zawadi, Ruth historical knowledge is sorely missed.
Anagnostis and Julliet Kwizera Abby Tinlin also left NSS after great
contributions to settlement youth work
Project Target Groups and volunteer programs.

Newly arrived people from migrant, In January 2019 we commenced our
refugee and humanitarian new 3 ½ year contract under the
backgrounds in the first five years of Settlement Engagement and Transition
their settlement in Australia Support (SETS) Program through the
NSW Settlement Partnership led by
Project Geographical Regions and Settlement Services International (SSI).
Areas SETS brought a new, expanded
framework for our work and reporting
Newcastle, Hunter, Central Coast and framework as well as a significant drop
New England in funding which was also experienced
across Australia in the settlement
Project Brief sector. This led to a re-structure of our
Team and the loss of three further
Supporting the settlement of newly highly valued team members – Senior
arrived people in Australia from

12 Settlement Worker, Lydia Manusiu; women who are Master Weavers in
Arabic Speaking Settlement Worker Karen traditional weaving were happy
and Settlement Volunteer Co- to join a discussion around exchanging
ordinator, Lena Alameddine and skills.
Settlement Worker, Marie Zawadi. We
no longer have a specific Youth Work Armidale’s establishment as an official
or Hunter position in our Team with our Refugee Settlement zone moved into
two Volunteer Coordinator positions full implementation this year with lots
being rolled into one with resultant of implications for NSS in Armidale. Our
reduction in hours in Tamworth and the Homework Centre has become very
Central Coast. busy with a large number of Ezidi/
Yazidi students and a need for an
These changes have been a ever-growing number of volunteers
challenge adjusting to new roles and coordinated by Fay Paris. Fay is
new reporting frameworks. We organising a creative program to
congratulate all our staff for their huge engage the new learners. Term 2 had
effort in managing this transition while a ‘chicken’ focus with students
maintaining a high level of service to learning all they could about aspects
the newly arriving communities with of chicken life cycles and care. Many
whom we work. of the families have a coop with some
chickens residing in their backyard.
We worked with over 900 clients during
that period – 66 in Armidale, 123 on Lance McNamara established a
the Central Coast, 49 in Tamworth and Language Café at the end of 2018
673 in Newcastle where we have the which was very popular for Term 4.
largest team. We delivered 2,570 Since February 2019, Ezidi families have
sessions to individual or group services commenced their exit from the
with a total of more than 8,600 intensive support of the SSI
attendances. This included 286 group Humanitarian Support Program and
sessions and 2,467 individual sessions. referred to NSS for ongoing settlement
Tamworth has seen a small influx of support. By June 2019 we were
newly arriving Karen community working directly with nine families and
members moving from Sydney and more referrals are expected to follow
Adelaide and one family arriving shortly. We have commenced
directly from overseas sponsored by recruitment for a second Settlement
our existing clients with help of the NSS Worker in Armidale in response to the
Migration Agent. growing support required.

Tamworth has a high success rate in NSS have been active with the
finding employment for our client Community Development Team
group. In addition to regular working with the newly arrived
community activities like supporting community and participated in
CALD communities’ participation in running a successful Diversity Expo in
the Annual Fiesta le Peel in October June focused on Safety.
and the Karen group participating in
Clean Up Australia Day in March, NSS NSS ran four Homework and Learning
also organised a bus trip to Spring Centres in Newcastle this year. Many
Ridge which was not only a great thanks again to the Wests Group for
social outing but also turned into an funding this important Program
exchange of weaving skills. The group delivering great English learning
visited the Crofters Weaving Mill as support for our young students. A total
part of the excursion and two Karen of 77 children and young people

accessed the Centres with 113 sessions Our Afghan Women’s Group 13
delivered during this 12 month period. continued to meet monthly
throughout the year. The Arabic
Ruth Anagnostis spent a year with us Speaking Women’s Group ran until the
working part time developing an end of 2018 before re-starting in June
Employment Mentoring Program 2019. The Afghan Men’s Group met
assisting people with resume writing, monthly until March.
job search and other skills. Five
volunteer Employment Mentors with a Partnerships have continued to be key
range of professional experience were in our youth work. In addition to the
engaged to work with our clients on regular weekly Multicultural Youth
these tasks. NSS were also contacted Group; annual Youth Cultural
directly by some employers and Ruth Exchange; and the youth targeted
facilitated interviews for our clients with biannual Welcome Ride, in 2018 we
these employers. The funding for this piloted a successful Mini Youth Group
Project has ceased but we are for 8 to 11 year olds in partnership with
exploring other funding options to STARTTS and Tantrum Arts. Thirty-five
build on this important work. students participated in after school
sessions. They were very engaged and
Volunteers continue to provide positive about the creative, structured
enormous support to our Settlement program.
Program with 1,907 instances of
support for our clients delivered by Using Settlement Innovation Funding,
volunteers in Newcastle. Seventy-one NSS established a short-term
volunteers were involved in the Congolese Kitchen Party Project with
Newcastle Homework and Learning newly arrived Congolese families
Centres during that period, with a supporting them around
further 26 settlement volunteers housekeeping and parenting in an
involved in one- on-one support Australian context.
around driving supervision, English
learning, citizenship test preparation It has been a positive year of
and employment mentoring, and four engagement with the NSW Settlement
supporting group activities. Partnership. The partners have worked
through a range of issues in the
There were 236 driving lessons transition to SETS and supported each
provided by our team of volunteer other. It is certainly a case of what we
driving instructors, supporting 10 are doing as a whole is much more
people to get their driver’s licence than the sum of our parts. There is even
and other clients are well on the way greater potential in the partnership
towards achieving that goal. going forward.

Multicultural Community Development Program

14 Funded By Further Targeted Early Intervention (TEI)
Implementation was progressed with
NSW Department of Family and negotiation of a new work plan under
Community Services – Central Coast the TEI framework. This will be finalised
in the next financial year together with
Team new Service Level Agreements. Family
and Community Services have
Settlement Team responded positively to our request for
casework to be recognised in our work
Staff plan due to the heavy demand from
the CALD community. However, it will
Pari Batha, Natalia Meliendrez remain only a small element of our
Project Target Groups
A new weekly Spanish speaking
CALD children, youth, families and Playing Around the World Group was
their communities on the Central established at West Gosford in
Coast October 2018 as an outcome of the
community consultation undertaken
Project Geographical Regions and earlier in the year. More than 25
Areas mothers and children from 11 Spanish
speaking countries participated with
Central Coast two of the mothers taking on
leadership roles. There were 24 sessions
Project Brief with 149 instances of attendance in
the year.
Facilitating the engagement of CALD
children, youth, families and The Russian Speaking Playing Around
communities in the wider Central the World Group continued with
Coast community by building on their fluctuating numbers as a result of
strengths and supporting them to children growing older. A significant
address challenges Women’s Day event brought Russian
women together with and without
Highlights and Achievements children, to celebrate and talk about
how they can support one another
The year began with a change of staff outside of the playgroup context.
for the Program due to the retirement
of long-term Multicultural Community Many thanks to the women from these
Development worker, Pari Batha. Pari two groups who have volunteered
and her wealth of experience and their time to help run the Group and
connections have been sorely missed. participate in training and planning.
She was recognised for her many
years of service to the CALD For the first time this year, NSS
community through the Central Coast participated in the Family and
Council Australia Day Award Community Expo organised by Blue
Ceremony earlier this year. Natalia Haven Public School where we were
Meliendrez was appointed to the able to engage with families and
Multicultural Community Development school age children to promote our
role which she had been sharing with services and to support the School to
Pari since October 2018. work together in future programs.

Another highlight was NSS’ support to
Erina Library to establish its pilot
“Reading Around the World” Project
with monthly reading stories to
children in other languages. The
Project was recognised with an award
at the end of the 2018. Some other
events were undertaken in partnership
with the Communities for Children
Program and are reported separately.

A snapshot of the month of May 2019
gave a sense of the volume of
information giving and referrals made
by the Program – there were 856
instances of providing information and
referral to our target group in one
month alone with the largest
proportion (80%) being via email and
others in person and by phone.


16 Communities for Children as she gained full time employment in
childcare. NSS also acknowledges the
Funded By significant work Natalia has
undertaken in training and supporting
Department of Social Services through Sarah and the new Facilitators.
the Benevolent Society
Fifty-one parents and children
Team engaged with and participated in our
Playing Around the World Group.
Settlement Team Wyong had 26 children (0-6) and 25
adults. Blue Haven held 42 sessions
Staff with 536 instances of participation. The
Entrance held 42 sessions with 984
Natalia Meliendrez, Gina Ratcliffe and instances of participation including the
Claire Hicks large Harmony Day event.

Project Target Group Two significant events in the PAW
calendar were Harmony Day and
Children 0-6 and their families with a Refugee Week. This year they were
focus on CALD community delivered in partnership with the NSS
Multicultural Community Development
Project Geographical Region(s) and Program.
The Harmony Day Event on 21 March
Central Coast had an attendance of 264 people at
The Entrance Community Centre. The
Project Brief children and families from The
Entrance PAW Group were joined by
Supporting and enhancing early aged care clients from NSS
childhood development and Multicultural Social Support Services
wellbeing for children on the Central (MSSS); children from The Entrance
Coast Public School; families from all of the
NSS Playing Around the World Groups
Highlights and Achievements including the Spanish Speaking and
Russian Groups from Gosford; and
Staff changes were a significant local community members.
feature of the year with long term
project facilitator Natalia Meliendrez It was a fantastic Harmony Day with
moving to a different role. Gina lots of interaction, craft activities and
Ratcliffe took up the facilitator role information flyers and materials for
from November to March bringing people to take home. The day started
new ideas and skills from her many with a Welcome to Country and an
years working with children with indigenous dance group. Children
disabilities. Unfortunately, Gina was enjoyed going around the tables and
unable to continue due to family participating in activities with their
commitments. We welcomed Claire “passports” including obtaining
Hicks to the Playing Around the World stamps, craft, playing games and
(PAW) Facilitator role in May. It is very rolling orange play dough. NSS ran the
important to acknowledge the successful event with lots of support
excellent work performed by Sara from a range of partners: Communities
Sherwood, long term childcare worker
with the Playing Around the World
Program who carried the Program
during the periods when there was no
facilitator. We farewelled Sara in June

for Children Partners (Women’s Health PAW sessions and has been well
Centre, Yarran, Uniting, The Glen), The received by parents and children.
Entrance Hub, Ability Links, Central Thanks to our great volunteers who
Coast School as Community Centre, support the running of the playgroups
Central Coast Multicultural Children each week and who are also active at
Resource Centre, Central Coast our larger events.
Council, the Central Coast Council
Libraries, PCYC and TAFE students 17
together with volunteers across all

More than 28 countries were
represented by the participants
including Portugal, Poland, Spain,
Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia,
Mexico, Argentina, Italy, Philippines,
Malaysia, Germany, Netherlands,
Austria, Greece, Samoa, France,
Russia, Ukraine, England, Egypt,
Denmark, China, Taiwan, Korea and

NSS worked in collaboration with The
Entrance Hub Coordinator and the
Benevolent Society to organise a
Refugee Week Breakfast for
Communities for Children workers. A
young woman guest shared her
journey as a refugee who came to
Australia from Burundi, recounting her
life from her family fleeing with her as a
newborn; life in refugee camps;
settling in Australia and engaging with
school and community. Thirteen
workers attended the breakfast and
provided great feedback about their
increased understanding from such a
powerful and candid story.

We were very excited to receive the
donation of a Sensory tent by Ability
Links early in 2019. This is a fully
portable “Sensory Kidzspace” kit for
indoor or outdoor events that creates
an inclusive and comfortable space
for children experiencing sensory
processing needs to retreat to and
relax. The kit includes a tent, soft
blankets, and noise cancelling
headphones, fidget toys and books.
This has been set up each week at




Rasa Bajalis

Funded By Project Geographical Regions and 19
Department of Health
Hunter and the Central Coast Aged
Project Care Planning regions

Community Aged Care Services Project Brief

Team NSS is funded by the Department of
Health to deliver services to three main
Aged Care Team program areas: Home Care Packages
(HCP), Commonwealth Home Support
Team Manager Program (CHSP) and Community
Visitors Scheme (CVS).
Rasa Bajalis
The Commonwealth Home Support
Project Scope program includes:

NSS is a leading not-for-profit provider  Multicultural Social Support
of culturally tailored in-home support Program (Newcastle and Central
services that empower and enable Coast).
individuals to continue to live
independent and fulfilling lives in their  Chinese Social Support Program.
own homes.  Multicultural Flexible Respite

The NSS Aged Care Team delivers a Program (Newcastle and the
range of programs and supports to Central Coast).
assist people over 65 years and their  Hunter Multicultural Respite
carers to participate in the local Service.
community, and make social  Sector Support and Development -
connections that enhance their health Multicultural Access Project.
and well-being.
2018 /2019 was another busy year for
The focus for the Aged Care Team is to the Aged Care Team.
inspire and support culturally diverse
communities to reach their full The most important event was the visit
potential. We understand cultural from the Aged Care Quality,
identity should be considered foremost Complaints and Safety Commission in
and cultural needs directly integrated March. NSS met 18 of the 18 Home
with care requirements. Care Common Standards. This was an
excellent outcome from the Aged
Project Target Group Care Team.

People over 65 years and their carers The audit reviewed the Home Care
inclusive of all cultures. Package Program and the
Commonwealth Home Support
Program. We extended our client
record management system E-tools

20 into the Commonwealth Home Sector Support and Development
Support Program. This has enabled Officer – Multicultural Access Project -
greater transparency and ease of John Biswas
client record keeping and service
delivery. The main advantage is that Our MAP worker actively raised CALD
information can be uploaded to Data issues of unmet needs of older
Exchange for the required reporting. Australians from CALD background at
various consultations and forums in
The first Wellness and Reablement relation to Aged Care issues.
Report was submitted to the
Department of Health. This is an SSDO MAP worker presented a paper
innovative measure by the at the 5th International Conference on
Department to observe qualitative “Ageing in a Foreign Land” covering
measures and outcomes of the issues of elder abuse awareness at the
Commonwealth Home Support Flinders University Adelaide in June
Program. 2019.

Aged Care welcomed a The Project participated and
Scheduler/Admin Clerk to the Team. supported sector development
This has been a wonderful support to through proactive contribution to
the coordinators, care support staff Multicultural Access Project Network,
and care recipients and has provided Hunter Central Coast Regional
a pathway for more efficient service Mainstream CHSP Sector Support and
delivery leading to greater client Development Officers’ Network and
satisfaction. NSW Sector Support and Development
Network and the Hunter Central Coast
NSS continues to recruit care support Elder Abuse Collaborative. The Project
staff with 80% being bi-cultural and was also successful in facilitating a
valued additions to the Team. CALD Community Reference Group
Feedback from our care recipients on Elder Abuse.
continues to be positive.
Contributions were made to various
NSS continues to strive for innovative, aged care related submissions through
sustainable and efficient services while NSW Multicultural Access Project
keeping clients informed and Network. Another highlight of
educated on changes occurring due collaborative work was the CALDWays
to government reforms. NSS works with Conference held in March 2019 for
clients to deliver the services they Senior Citizens from multicultural
traditionally continue to embrace communities in Newcastle and the
whilst enhancing client experiences Hunter organised by PICAC and NSS
with new and exciting opportunities. Multicultural Senior’s Festival.

A huge thanks to the Aged Care Team Ongoing aged care sector changes
consisting of 28 staff and 70 volunteers pose many challenges but immediate
for their care, compassion and hard issues for the MAP project are:
work. Regardless of its many
challenges, receiving meaningful  Outreach and education of
feedback from care recipients and communities about access
their families and seeing the pathways to aged care.
meaningful differences the programs
make to their wellbeing and lives  Cultural responsiveness of the
provides a great deal of job aged care sector with ongoing
satisfaction. education work.

 Implementation of CALD Action Volunteers who visit groups in Aged 21
Plan to support older Australians. Care Facilities have made a marked
contribution, particularly with other
Community Visitors Scheme - Irene residents expressing their interest in
Lupish (Hunter) and Kathy Karimodini joining in.
(Central Coast)
Volunteers have been encouraged to
Hunter - During the reporting period bring and share their creative ideas for
we have welcomed 7 new volunteers. mindfulness activities with other
To date CVS has 22 volunteers of volunteers through any kind of
which 18 are active and 4 are volunteer gathering such as training
awaiting matching clients. These and the Appreciation/Christmas lunch.
volunteers visited 45 clients, making
799 visits and travelling 13,112kms. Multicultural Flexible in Home Respite -
Katie Livingstone (Newcastle) and
Clients come from 15 different Kellie Matterson (Central Coast)
backgrounds including Italian,
Ukrainian, Chinese, German, Dutch, This Program has just completed its
Latvian, Australian, Russian, second year of service delivery. Both
Indonesian, Polish, Belorussian and Newcastle and the Central Coast
English. have recorded an average of 375 to
425 hours of outputs per month. The
CVS volunteers are a very dedicated, Multicultural Flexible in Home Respite
reliable and wonderful Team. During Service grew at a rapid pace over
the reporting period NSS had 2018/2019 providing services to CALD
Volunteer Week celebrations with a and non-CALD carers and care
trip to Port Stephens as our recognition recipients. The feedback has been
and thank you to the volunteers. As in very positive. The flexibility of the MIHR
previous years, training sessions were Program suits many carers and care
organised in Cultural Differences, recipients as the service is tailored to
Laughing Yoga and Planning Ahead. suit their specific requirements on an
“as needs” basis.
CVS Newcastle Newsletter is published
and distributed to local CVS The flow of referrals from My Aged
volunteers. It covers relevant Care is greater than our capacity to
information regarding training commence services due to the back
opportunities, welcoming new log in assignment of Home Care
volunteers and articles of special Packages. Both areas effectively
interest. manage a wait list.

Central Coast – CVS has 14 active The Respite Team Leader has
volunteers who supported 52 clients (in facilitated the regular training of the
home/Residential Aged Care Facilities) 14 NSS Care Support workers in key
through 239 visits taking 365 hours. competencies at quarterly meetings.

The number of CVS clients referred to Both Newcastle and the Central Coast
NSS by Home Care Package providers carers celebrated Carers’ Week and
has increased in the last year showing were honoured with a special morning
greater interest in maintaining tea.
independence and reducing social
isolation. The Hunter Multicultural Respite Service
continues to support community
members to attend Centre Based Day

22 Care Centres and participate with the Chinese Social Support Program -
activities enabling social inclusion. Dongmei Zhang

Multicultural Social Support Service - Monthly social support groups
Tima Oto (Newcastle), Marilin Pérez continue to meet in three different
Cabrera and Kathy Karimodini locations – Jesmond, Charlestown and
(Central Coast) East Maitland. Activities across these
groups include English conversation
The Individual Social Support Program class, Tai Chi exercises, information
is growing with regular referrals from sessions and celebrations of special
My Aged Care. As this Program is cultural festivals combined with
supported by volunteers, careful outings. The topics of information
assessment of referrals is required to during this reporting period included
keep within the scope of practise. Centrelink updates, financial
Feedback is very positive with information services, Breast Screen
volunteers providing social support information, Digital Health, Diabetes
with shopping and GP appointments. NSW, Lake Macquarie City Council
NSS celebrated the contribution of services and Calvary Mater Hospital
volunteers during Volunteer Week with visit, etc. There were 53 clients and 10
a combined celebration at the volunteers registered with the Chinese
Merewether Surf House. The Newcastle Social Support Project.
Program continues to have social
gatherings with Spanish, Filipino, We continued to celebrate the
Vietnamese, Tongan and Samoan Chinese traditional festivals with our
seniors. Guest speakers from clients during the year. Chinese New
Centrelink, HNEH, Immigration, Elder Year, Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-
Abuse and the Heart Foundation gave Autumn Festivals are the most
information sessions at these events. important dates for Chinese people.
Independence Days were celebrated Traditional food was shared according
reminding us of individual cultural to the Festivals.
The annual bus trip continued to be
Central Coast Social Support enjoyed by the community members.
Community Groups continued to meet This year they visited Gosford Regional
regularly. They participated in sessions Art Gallery, Hunter Botanic Gardens
on Positive Ageing, Gosford Court and Walka Water Works.
Open day and RU OK day. Many
clients participated in the Wellness A highlight of the year has been my
and Reablement Program which had involvement with the “Speak My
very successful sessions on laughter Language” Project. Eight speakers
yoga and exercise classes with visits including two Allied Health
from the Department of Health and professionals and six community
The Body Shop. members from the Chinese community
worked together to finalise six podcast
Some community members attended topics related to Aged Care. The
the CaldWays Conference in topics included My Aged Care, Elder
Newcastle. In general, they are Abuse, Carers, Early Dementia, Future
excited to get together and catch up. Planning and Allied Health. Twenty-six
We have a wonderful group of cultural language communities
committed volunteers in both regions participated in this Project nationally.
who freely give their time and care.

Home Care Packages - Stefanie Maier, This year the Department required all
Linda Crockett and Lupe Fonua organisations to reflect a Pricing
Schedule on My Aged Care. As
NSS is in its 17th year of delivery of this previously discussed, the biggest
Program. Home Care Packages challenge has been the lengthy
continue to be delivered following the waiting period for consumers to be
Consumer Directed Care Model. The assigned a Home Care Package even
care recipient has an integral part to though they have been provided with
play in all aspects of the planning an approval.
process. This enables the package to
meet the synergy of needs and wants
for the care recipient.

Since the February 2017 changes to
Aged Care, we have been able to
successfully adjust our services to
respond to and meet the demands
across different service areas and
provide more complex home care

NSS is now able to provide continuum 23
of care enabling us to case manage
and coordinate higher care needs.
The average break up during the
reporting year has been:

HCP Level Client(s)
Level 1 1
Level 2 25
Level 3 7
Level 4 13

Crystal and her father Pengxi talking about My Aged
Care with Speak My Language Program




Petrona Kelly

Funded By with children aged 0–8 years. The 25
target group includes teenage
Department of Communities & Justice parents and parents with a
& Families NSW developmental disability and/or
parents with special needs who
Project Scope live in the Newcastle and Lake
Macquarie LGAs.
The Welfare Team delivers the Early
Intervention and Placement Key Service Specifications of these
Prevention (EIPP) Program and the Projects Include
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
(CALD) Family Support Project  Advice and referrals by providing
comprehensive information and
Project Geographical Region and advice to young people and
Areas families.

The EIPP operates predominantly in  Assessment and case planning by
Newcastle and Lake Macquarie with assessing the strengths and needs,
outreach services provided to including any risks, plan and
locations across the Lower Hunter, as coordinate a mix of services to
capacity allows, at Maitland, meet the needs of client/clients.
Cessnock and Port Stephens
 Home visits delivered to individual
Target Groups family homes or another location.

The Team targets low to medium risk  Parents Support Groups by
children, young people and families facilitating self-help/peer support
from CALD backgrounds for short term groups for parents.
support to identify issues and prevent
escalation of problems. The support Clients’ Countries of Origin
service model is structured to deliver
the following streams of service Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Tonga,
provision: Samoa, Fiji, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran,
Sudan, Somalia, India, China, Japan,
 Child and Family Support targets Nepal, Vietnam, Burundi, Indonesia,
families with children 0–12 years or Macedonia, Nepal, South Africa, New
expecting a child. Zealand, Malaysia, Germany, France,
South Korea, Sierra Leone, Pakistan,
 Youth and Family Support targets Syria, Bangladesh, Congo, Croatia,
young people 13 to under 18 years Bosnia, Ghana, Peru, Serbia, Burma
or families with young people in (Rohingyan) Brazil, Tibet and Australia.
this age range.
Highlights and Achievements
 The CALD Family Support provides
support to vulnerable, Group Sessions
disadvantaged families comprising
of first-time parents and families 150 group sessions with 3,500
individuals and families attending.

26 Case Management Hunter Multicultural Communities
in Waratah.
This year the Welfare Team provided  NSS Multicultural Parenting Group,
1,954 instances of support to Waratah.
individuals and families:  NSS Multicultural Playtime Group in
partnership with Multicultural
 Presenting issues were inter-related Neighbourhood Centre (MNC) at
and, on many occasions, a Lambton.
client/family presented a number  Russian Bicultural Children’s Group
of needs or problems including being conducted in Wallsend.
domestic violence, immigration,  Multicultural Playgroup in
homelessness, financial, mental collaboration with Lake
health, legal/court matters, health, Macquarie City and The Willows,
unemployment, social/emotional, Warners Bay.
material needs, education and  Afghan Women’s Social Group,
training, tenancy, housing and Jesmond Neighbourhood Centre.
accommodation, drug and  Multicultural KU Supported
alcohol, child protection. Playgroup in partnership with KU,
MNC, Mission Australia and
 Individuals and families were Community Services. After eight
assisted according to needs. years this group has now ceased.
Support was provided face-to-
face and through other means Participation in Events
such as e-mails, text and phone
calls. The Team participated in:

 Clients were provided information,  Harmony Day celebrations at Lake
options and advice relevant to Macquarie, Jesmond and
their needs and referred to Hamilton.
culturally appropriate services
either external or to NSS workers.  Riverlights Festival, Maitland.
 White Ribbon Breakfast, Wests
 Children with child protection
issues reduced and young Lambton (in support of DV
people’s level of safety and well- Committees).
being improved.  “You’re Kidding Me” Expo,
 Isolation and homesickness among  Multicultural Expo, Newcastle.
the women have been reduced  Unity in Diversity, Gregson Park,
with a sense of belonging, Hamilton.
camaraderie and self-esteem
increasing through participation in Staff Training
group activities.
Training, workshops and seminars were
Multicultural Playgroups/Parenting available for staff to attend to allow
the opportunity of networking with
In partnership with other organisations, other services providers from
the Welfare Team is heavily involved in government and non-government
supporting Multicultural Playgroups at agencies for awareness and
various locations such as: development. This included webinars
 MOMS (Mothers’ Obstetrics
Multicultural Support) in  Safety Planning, Domestic
partnership with Hunter New Violence.
England Multicultural Health
Services being conducted at  Domestic Violence Training.

 Settlement Stream Workshop for 27
those Working with Migrants and
Refugees, Lifeline (Mayfield).

 Data Exchange.
 NSW FACs Targeted EIPP.


 Intimate Partner Violence in
Australian Refugee and Immigrant

 Care for Children, Introductory
Strategies for Safe and Healthy

 Coping Strategies for Partners and
Children from CALD Background.

Although it has been another very
hectic year for the Team it has been a
satisfying one. It is a pleasure leading
the Welfare Team. Their hard work,
commitment and cooperation create
a wonderful working environment from
which we all benefit. Warm thanks go
to each and every Team member.

On behalf of the Welfare Team, I
would like to extend our thanks to Lulu
Tantos, Katie Sewell, NSS Board of
Directors, Administration and Finance
staff and colleagues for their
continuing support and friendship.




Henriette de Jong

The last year has been extremely busy Others are forced into leaving due to 29
with the large number of Syrian family violence. There are provisions
refugees arriving in the Hunter region. under immigration law which enable
Understandably, many of the Syrian some visa holders to apply for
people who have been resettled here permanency in Australia despite the
have family members still living in Syria relationship having ended. We also
and other countries such as Lebanon assist this group.
and Turkey. These family members are
often in dire circumstances and also in A decision was made during the year
need a safe place. Unfortunately, to cease providing a service to people
most of the applications lodged by seeking help with skilled visas. Most of
family members were refused by the this work had been consultations only
Department of Home Affairs. This has but were time consuming to ensure
been due, in part, to the limited up-to-date and correct information
number of available visas. This has was provided. Given the amount of
been a cause of stress for many work involved, it was decided to refer
people. these clients to other Migration Agents.

While the majority of clients are from Currently there are long delays in
refugee backgrounds, we also work decision making in both the
with migrant and Australian born Department of Home Affairs and at
people on a range of issues. the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Applications for citizenship and for We try to assist clients as quickly as
visitor visas are common. However, the possible, however, we cannot
majority of the work in this area is for influence the speed of the process.
partner visas. Nowadays we are a This creates frustration for both clients
globetrotting nation and inevitably and workers.
meeting partners overseas. In these
circumstances, applying for partner While NSS helps many clients without
visas can be complex and it is vital cost we do have to ask for payment in
that the process is performed some cases. This enables us to
correctly. As a result, people come to continue providing this service.
the service for assistance. The cost
for a partner visa is also quite high
and non-refundable if refused so it is
important to get right.

Unfortunately, sometimes
relationships end for a variety of
reasons. It is very stressful to move to
another country and culture within a
new relationship without a support
network. Some choose to leave the
relationships and return home.

Henriette assisting an Immigration client



2018/2019 HIGHLIGHTS

NSS staff and volunteers attended a “RUOK Day” workshop 31

NSS Staff attended a "Domestic Violence Safety
Planning" Workshop

NSS Staff and Board Members attended a White Ribbon Breakfast function at Wests
New Lambton to help prevent violence against women

At the 2018 AGM, NSS farewelled long serving Board Directors Chair,
Trudy Mills-Evers Am and Father Nicholas Zervas OAM and Christine

Jordan as well as long serving staff member Alex Burns


Rose and Miza at the NSS Stall at Charlestown Square

Multicultural Seniors Week Celebrations 2019


During the NSW Seniors Week on 13–24 February 2019, Northern Settlement Services organised a
Multicultural Senior Celebration at Wickham Croatian Sports Club for our senior clients who are from

Chinese, Samoan, Filipino, Spanish, Tongan and Vietnamese backgrounds

National Volunteer Week this year was held during the 20-26 May 2019 and marked a
milestone in celebrating 30 years of National Volunteer Week.


Celebrating Harmony Day 2019 on the Central Coast


Congratulations to Geoff Nattrass on his two outstanding achievements this year: NSW 2018 Senior
Volunteer and Overall Volunteer of the Year (Hunter Region), awarded for his many successes in assisting
Syrian refugee women to learn to drive and pass their driving tests

NSS Volunteers, David Woodman, Samson Man and Joop de Wit enjoying a
coffee at the National Volunteer Week Celebration


Chinese Social Support services clients enjoying themselves on a day out on a social gathering

Above: NSS Homework Centre
students and Volunteers at
Waratah Technology


Left: Students and Volunteers at
NSS Learning Centre
Jesmond Public School

Below: Volunteers and Students at
NSS Learning Centre Heaton
Public School

Northern Settlement Services (NSS) has another great successful story for our Multicultural
Program. Darwich Sido, who is a refugee from Syria and NSS client started his own tailoring
and ironing business in Jesmond, Stockland Mall


Multicultural Social Support Co-ordinator Central Coast, Marilin,
presenting a prize at an Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea function










NOTE: This is an ‘extract’ from the full financial report.
Full financial report is available on request.





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