Moments That Matter - Winter 2021


MOMENTS That Matter | 1300 900 091 |

Moments That Matter | Winter 2021 2 Front cover: Robina Supported Independent Living Resident James in the kitchen with his Support Worker Kristie.


CEO Welcome Reconciliation Week Ballina Refuge Connecting Through Artwork Empower! Return & Earn Affordable Housing Project On Track House Upgrades Enjoy the Moment Noticeboard

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Tracey Mackie


and welcome to the winter edition of Moments that Matter. It has been an exciting and busy few months since you last heard from us. June was particularly eventful with the community embracing our National Reconciliation Events in Tweed Heads and Casino. The events were well attended and included a range of stalls from other local community organisations who also provide much needed services. Our very own Garry Kafoa, People and Culture Project Officer, wrote and recorded an upbeat and really positive song about reconciliation with his good friend Dan McCoy. You can listen in via the ABC North Coast website. I would like to thank our teams for putting together these fantastic events and confirming Momentum’s commitment to reconciliation. Another highlight in June was the launch of our Ballina Women’s and Children’s refuge fundraiser. The event was attended by local MPs Tamara Smith and Janelle Saffin and MLC Catherine Cusack. The fundraising is going strong so thanks to everyone who

has donated so far. If you would like to support the refuge or any of Momentum’s fundraising efforts please visit our website fundraising page. In our last edition of the newsletter, I mentioned that we had received approval to build eight new units of affordable housing in Casino. I am pleased to let you know that construction has begun and we expect the project to be completed early in 2022. In addition to boosting much needed affordable housing stock in the region, the project has also provided a boost to the local economy. Our stall at the Gold Coast Disability Expo was a great success. The Expo provides people living with disability with the opportunity to explore the services available in their area, and providers like Momentum to showcase their programs. Our new Supported Independent Living (SIL) program has begun in Loganlea. Thanks to a partnership with Adapt Housing, more people who live with disability are able to experience real choice and independence and are receiving support from our team.

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This month we highlight the achievements of our Empower! Program participants who are earning funds to pay for extra activities by returning recycled materials at their local depot. We also bring you news of a new gym that has been installed at one of our residential rehabilitation services thanks to a generous donation from the Seaton Foundation. We are currently working on our new Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and we recently held a competition to find artwork to

grace the cover of the RAP. We invited local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across the Northern Rivers to submit an artwork. I am pleased to announce that Patricia McGurgan, a Momentum Collective community housing tenant, won the competition. You can read more about her story in this edition of the newsletter. I hope you are enjoying the newsletter, please share with colleagues, friends and family! 5

SPOTLIGHT Community embraces Momentum National Reconciliation Week celebrations

Local communities gathered together at Momentum Collective events in Tweed Heads and Casino to celebrate and acknowledge National Reconciliation Week in June. Over 20 stall holders joined in the big event at the Jack Evans Boat Harbour in Tweed Heads to provide information to the crowds who came along to show their support for reconciliation. Momentum Collective’s Garry Kafoa performed a song he co-wrote with friend Dan McCoy, bringing some musical festivity to the event. The Tweed event included a welcome to country by Uncle Vic, a yarning circle, performance by kids caring for country and lots of music and information sharing. In Casino, the Momentum team combined celebrations for Reconciliation Week, Beef Week and Volunteer Week. Local stallholders provided information to community members who joined in the celebrations and local band The Backyard Country Gospel Band lifted the spirits of the crowd with some upbeat music. Local Mayor, Robert Mustow joined in the celebrations and congratulated Momentum for providing an inclusive and entertaining event in the local community.

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SPOTLIGHT Ballina Refuge Fundraiser Success

Local politicians from across the political spectrum joined comedian and Ballina Women’s Refuge campaign ambassador, Mandy Nolan last month at the Cove Restaurant to launch a fundraising campaign for Momentum Collective’s Women’s and Children’s refuge in Ballina.

“We appreciate the fact that our local MPs have come together here today to support the Ballina women’s and children’s refuge. It is the only safe harbour for women and children escaping family and domestic violence in our local community,” Ms Dybing said. “Like the rest of Australia, Ballina is experiencing a shortfall of affordable housing. It is vital for women and children in Ballina to have a safe and stable place to go when they leave a violent and abusive environment.” Ms Dybing invited local businesses and community members to get on board with fundraising events to help boost the campaign. “Every little bit helps us keep women and children safe and allows us to support families to overcome the trauma and upheaval brought on by domestic and family violence.” Donations to the Ballina Women’s Refuge can be made via our website or the QR code on page 9.

In a show of support NSW MLC Catherine Cusack and MPs Tamara Smith and Janelle Saffin all pitched in to help launch the Ballina refuge fundraising campaign. Mandy Nolan, the ambassador for the Ballina refuge campaign, said domestic and family violence is an issue that concerns the whole community. “Violence is not a women’s issue, it is a whole of community issue. It is particularly difficult for women and children in regional areas to find safe space when they are moving away from violence. We know this is the time they are most at risk. This is why places like the Ballina Women and Children’s Refuge are so important. It provides the support and protection that women need so that they can start to rebuild their lives.” Momentum Collective’s Service Director Sarah Dybing said the campaign launch demonstrates that domestic and family violence is everybody’s business.

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We need your help

The Ballina Women & Children’s Refuge provides a safe place for over 130 women and children escaping domestic and family violence each year. The refuge needs funding to deliver accommodation and vital services. We invite local businesses to get on board with fundraising events and ask the community to help us by donating. Every little bit helps us keep women and children safe and allows us to support families to overcome the trauma and upheaval brought on by domestic and family violence. 1300 900 091 9

SPOTLIGHT The pathways connecting community revealed in prize winning artwork

When Momentum Collective put out a call across the Northern Rivers region for local Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander people to create an original art work for their upcoming Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) the response was overwhelming. The winning submission, titled Safe Connections, by Lismore based artist Patricia McGurgan captured the spirit of community and connectedness that Momentum aspires to achieve through a broad range of services and programs to assist people in need at a local level. “I’m a Ngemba woman from Brewarrina in NSW but I have lived in Bundjalung country since 1972 from a very early age,” Patricia says. “I have always been an artist but I didn’t continue with my art once I had children to care for. I joined an Aboriginal Women’s group through the YWCA in Lismore a couple of years ago and that encouraged me to get back into my art.” Patricia, a Momentum Collective Community Housing tenant, says she found out about the art competition from one of the Elders at the YWCA group. “Aunty Jacqui Williams is part of the group and a mentor for me - she let everyone know about the competition. I thought, ‘I can do this’. I already had a connection with Momentum Collective so I felt like I understood what the organisation stood for,” she says. “I’ve been with Momentum for a while as a tenant in Lismore. I’ve always had a good rapport with my tenancy manager. I have

been in this house for about eight years, I can’t fault Momentum – they have always been good to me.” Explaining the meaning of the artwork, Patricia says she called it ‘Safe Connections’ because Momentum assists people to navigate different options to ensure they can be safe and connected. Patricia says she was excited and shocked to hear that she had won the Reconciliation Action Plan artwork competition. “I was blown away when I found out I had won. I enjoyed the process and I was excited to work on a project that was connected to Reconciliation. I don’t recognise colour in people – I am very supportive of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. The main thing is to be respectful of each other and treat each other well – that is how I was raised.” With her art work gaining recognition, Patricia is keen to continue to work on projects for individuals and community organisations. “I really enjoy the process. Art is a kind of therapy for me. I like to work with a brief – if people tell me what they want it helps. I have created some art work for Social Futures and for the Far North Regional Land Council. Some of my artwork has also gone overseas. I had an American lady interested in my Bundjalung Dancing Sisters picture – she said it reminded her of her own sisters.” Patricia is on Instragram via @arikaarts and is available to work on commission.

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Patricia McGurgan pictured with Momentum Employees Tammy Johnson and Garry Kafoa. 11

SPOTLIGHT Empower! fundraising with Return and Earn

Late last year clients of Tweed Heads’ Empower! Disability Outreach program suggested that as a centre they start collecting bottles and cans for the Return and Earn container deposit scheme. Community Support Manager Vanessa Riggs says she thinks it was Lindsey Scaysbrook, one of the regular day clients, who first suggested it. Although Lindsay’s sister Kerry Scaysbrook, also a client, says the idea came from the whole group.

they all “love it”. “Clients and staff bring containers from home,” says Vanessa. “The staff at the Allied Health centre next door have started bringing them in. We’ve all just jumped on it.” In barely a couple of months they had returned 3,000 containers – and raised $300. Containers are stored in bags at the centre until they are returned – Lindsey and Kerry usually go with staff to deposit containers. “When it’s full , we take them down, we scan the containers, and put them in the chute. Then we come back and do it all over again,” says Kerry. The refunds go towards purchases for the centre, but it’s the clients who decide exactly what is needed. “They chose things they’ll get joy from. It’s always about what our guys want,” says Vanessa. So far the centre has purchased a karaoke machine, lava lamps, gardening supplies and more. Vanessa says an advantage of using Return and Earn for the centre is that it naturally ties into life skills programs like budgeting, and even growing food and cooking. “We have a gardening program, so we’ve spoken to clients about how recycling helps the environment,” says Vanessa. “Container refunds have paid for the garden beds and some seedlings.” Lindsey says they grow “little red tomatoes” and other vegetables and herbs that are used in the cooking sessions the centre runs.

After the suggestion was made, staff and clients visited the local Return and Earn Reverse Vending Machine to check out how the scheme operated. Vanessa says that as they watched people deposit containers, staff and clients talked about how they could make it work for their centre. It wasn’t long before container returns became a popular activity at Empower! Disability Outreach, and Vanessa says

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Centre Street project gains momentum

Momentum Collective affordable housing project in Casino has been approved by Richmond Valley Council and construction is underway. The development will deliver eight new affordable housing units on land in Centre Street Casino, including one disability accessible property. These new homes will benefit low and moderate income earners in key industries who often struggle to access rental properties in the local community. Momentum Collective Property Director Mark Edwards said the housing

development is intended to provide a welcome boost to affordable housing stock in Casino and create employment opportunities in the region. “We know that many people working in key industries in Casino are finding it increasingly difficult to access affordable housing in the private rental market,” he said. “Momentum Collective is committed to working on solutions to increase housing stock that is accessible to people on low and medium incomes. We believe that access to good quality, affordable housing is fundamental to people’s wellbeing.” 13

SPOTLIGHT New gym and meditation space thanks to Seaton Foundation

A recent donation of $5,000 from the Seaton Foundation has provided the residents of Momentum Collective’s On Track House residential rehabilitation service in Tweed with a new gym and meditation space. Trevor Shearn, Momentum Collective’s Mental Health Service Director, says the benefits of physical exercise and meditation are known to improve mental health. “This donation will allow the people who live at On Track House to improve their physical health which will have flow on benefits to their mental health,” he said. “We are very grateful for the support of the Seaton Foundation in allowing us to

purchase gym equipment and set up a dedicated space to benefit people living with mental health issues regain their fitness.” The gym is housed in a garage space and was put together by the Momentum team and residents working side by side. The gym is in demand with residents enjoying the physical challenge of a rowing machine, bench press, free weights and much more. If you are a local fitness or yoga instructors in the Tweed with an interest in providing volunteer sessions with our residents, please contact Momentum Collective on 1300 900091 and ask to speak to the manager of On Track House.

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• Ballina On Richmond Rotary Club • Bunnings Tweed • Bunnings Tweed South • Coles Casino • Coles Tweed Mall • CWA Ballina • Equal Investments • Norco Casino A special thank you for your recent donations and support: We are grateful for the ongoing support of our partners, providers, employees and volunteers.

• Selfish Fish N Chips • Tamara Smith MP

• The Cove Ballina • Tweed Escapes • Tweed Unlimited Arts Group • Westower Tavern • Woolworths Tweed Mall

Interested? Call us today 1300 900 091. Visit our website for details and other availabilities 15 t . r .


ENJOY THE MOMENT Out & about, or at home. Your moments, your life.

A trip to the outback! Empower! Tweed Heads spent a fantatsic night out at Outback Spectacular. #NDIS

Well done, Brogan! Congratulations to Brogan, a proud Kamilaroi man, who has started working at Lismore Big W. Brogan says he has been supported by Lismore SIL and Mental Health Outreach Community Support teams and Tash from AMP Employment Service, to achieve his goals.

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National Volunteer Week! Celebrating and acknowledging the amazing contribution of our volunteers. #ThankYou

Expos, expos & more expos! Our teams have been hard at work, spreading the word about what we do and how we can assist in the local community.

Celebrating Community Some of our amazing employees joined together

at the Casino Beef Week Ball. #Fun #CommunitySupport 17


Casino Neighbourhood Seeking Donations We are seeking non-perishable food donations at the Casino Neighbourhood Centre. Items such as tinned fish, soups, meals, instant noodles, long-life milk, nuts, cereal etc. are greatly appreciated! Please drop your donations into 138 Canterbury St, or call us on 02 6662 2898 to arrange pick up. Volunteers Wanted! The Recyclers Op Shop’s mission is to provide jobs for people living with disability. They are looking for a range of volunteer roles, including: • retail sales • merchandising • online marketing • sorting donations • furniture repairs and restoration • dispatch and deliveries. Come join the magic of op shopping while developing new skills and making a difference in a whole new way to your local community. Interested or want to find out more? Call Jenny on 07 5536 2537 or drop in to the Recyclers Op Shop at 3 Beryl St, Tweed Heads. Upcoming Events Mid-North Coast Nest Match Up When: 10am - 12pm, July 27 Where: 25 Buller St, Port Macquarie, NSW What: Bringing disability housing providers and people with disability together to chat, connect and match-up. Homelessness Week When: August 1-7 Where: Nationwide What: Homelessness Week aims to raise awareness of the impact of homelessness on Australia. Take a look at what’s happening in your area and how you can get involved at

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Big smiles from Momentum employees at our National Reconciliation Week event in Tweed Heads.

Send us ideas on what you’d like us to include in our next newsletter. Whether you are a client, community member, family, friends or working in the industry - we want to hear from you! Email We want to hear from you!

@MomentumCollectiveAustralia @MomentumColl E: T: 1300 900 091 W:

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