After our first year as one “Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand”, we are very pleased to share our progress and stories with you.
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The Federal Government's announcement to commit $100M to providing a "safety net for women and children at high risk of experiencing violence" has changed the pace and tone of the national discussion about domestic and family violence.
It was an affirming moment in Good Shepherd history when Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand and Good Shepherd Microfinance, respectively, were called on to give evidence in the first week of public hearings for the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which began on 13 July 2015. This representation is testament that Good Shepherd is seen as a national leader in assisting women and girls who are in extreme need, vulnerable and marginalised.
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand is deeply concerned about the impact a proposed new restriction to free legal help may have on people’s access to critical legal services, and to justice. The proposed change to federal funding agreements will leave community legal centres with means testing as the only criterion for assessing people’s eligibility for free assistance.
Given the extent of our common wealth in a stable, prosperous nation we have the opportunity—and responsibility—to keep people from abject poverty, the margins of society and intergenerational disadvantage. And in every election cycle governments have the power to reframe attitudes toward wealth distribution and care for the vulnerable.
The first Andrews Government budget will bring practical help and hope to the many Victorians who are struggling to break the cycle of disadvantage and women who are fleeing family violence.
Bank of New Zealand, Good Shepherd New Zealand, Ministry of Social Development and The Salvation Army have launched the second stage of their successful Community Finance initiative–the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS).
Recent coverage of the extent and severity of family violence in Australia has brought to light shocking statistics of the terror and abuse so many adults and children experience within the home. One form of abuse, economic abuse, is often coupled with other forms of control and violent behaviours, yet is only marginally known or understood.