Partnering with Churches

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Partnering with Churches

This year has seen the ongoing strengthening of partnerships with Baptist Churches, including collaborative activity around domestic violence awareness, grants, pastoral care training, consultancy advice and supporting one another through a variety of activities that reinforce our relationship.

This infographic shows the details of this partnership, including 111 Baptist Churches registered nation-wide with our domestic violence awareness campaign, and more than 2,000 downloads of the awareness resources, which we provided in association with the Public Engagement Group (PEG).

Our Church Relationships Manager role, commenced in January 2018, is co-located between BaptistCare and the Baptist Association. The part time nature of this role sees much of the work around building relationships both at Baptist Ministry Centre and with Regional Ministers while strengthening some of the collaborative activities already in place. This has resulted in a noticeable increase in cross referrals between both organisations and adding values to each other’s endeavours.

The Baptist Gathering in May 2019 was also an opportunity to trial partnership in the way we developed the resources for the BaptistCare expo stand, themed 75 years of partnership, and as we connected with Pastors and Baptist Association staff who assisting us by telling their stories around partnership.

Northern Rivers housing goes live

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Northern Rivers housing goes live

Lismore locals struggling in the private housing market benefited from the completion of our 35 new social and affordable homes in March 2019.

Developed and operated by BaptistCare for the NSW Government’s $1bn Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF), the units provide accommodation for people over fifty-five and single-parent families who are currently on the social housing waiting list or in need of affordable housing.

Through the SAHF, tenants receive access to affordable accommodation with links to tailored support, to help households gain independence.
Former Minister for Social Housing, Pru Goward, visited the Lismore location and was on site to cut the ribbon, open the site and welcome in a new era of housing for the area.

“These homes are ecofriendly, modern and well designed, close to shops, the hospital and other vital services so people are part of genuine communities,” said Ms Goward.

“Our commitment to deliver more housing means that people in Lismore who are currently struggling to find a stable, affordable place to live will soon have a home of their own.”

Sydney’s ageing population

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Sydney’s ageing population

In May 2019, we partnered with the Committee for Sydney and Stockland, releasing a report finding that urgent attention must be given to public investment to support senior citizens in Sydney due to the lack of housing, transport and access to healthcare to meet the needs of a rapidly ageing population.

The report, Dignity and Choice: An inclusive future for our ageing population identifies the key challenges that need to be overcome to ensure Sydney remains inclusive and accessible for our senior population.

The report also contains over 30 different recommendations for federal, state and local governments to help policymakers prepare for a future where one-quarter of the population will be aged 65 or over, and 15% of the population will be aged 75 by 2056.

“There are few things so fundamental in life as feeling secure in your own home; this is true for us all, and especially so for older people. Many older Australians live dangerously close to the poverty line, at risk of losing their home, or in a home that no longer accommodates their changing needs,” said Mike Furner, BaptistCare’s General Manager Housing and Retirement Living.

HopeStreet unveiled in Windale

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Affordable Food


Meals provided


clients through our food shops


Food parcels distributed

HopeStreet unveiled in Windale

In September BaptistCare HopeStreet officially unveiled the first of its rebranded Community Centres, commencing in Windale with a special event featuring local graffiti artists Shane Kennedy and Faith Curtis from Up & Up.

The mural features the quote ‘Once you choose hope, anything is possible’ and celebrates the expansion of the HopeStreet story from its birthplace in Woolloomooloo to across NSW and ACT, where our community centres are safe and welcoming spaces for people to reach out for help.

Our revamped Windale centre offers support for people facing increasing disadvantage and marginalisation. Staff and volunteers provide practical assistance such as low cost groceries, nutritious meals, no and low interest loans, social opportunities, as well as tailored services including case work, skills-based workshops and educational programs.

Increasingly in demand, Windale’s low cost groceries are sourced from local food partners and include everything from fresh bread, cereal, fruits, vegetables and cleaning products.

Our centre offers regular meals including breakfast and lunches, and also provides food vouchers for use in its low cost grocery store, to ensure people have basic items to make a meal.

Vets helping pets

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Emergency Relief Vouchers


clients experiencing homelessness received support

Vets helping pets

For some of the most marginalised people in our communities, a pet can be the one safe and close companion they have in their world. Yet people who are experiencing homelessness or housing stress and living with limited finances, struggle when their furry friends become ill or injured and need expensive veterinary care.

Since 2016, our BaptistCare HopeStreet Inner City have been teaming up with the University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital and providing a free monthly pop up clinic to treat the community’s beloved pets.

In August this year, one of the lucky dogs to receive care at the HopeStreet Pet Clinic was Lobby, a Red Staffordshire Bull Terrier starred on ABC News Breakfast alongside her owner, Janine.

Through the BaptistCare HopeStreet Pet Clinic, Lobby was able to receive a diagnosis and treatment for her worn knee joint.

“Some people have to make horrible decisions to give up their pets or take out loans,” she shared. “I am so thankful for the service; the team at BaptistCare HopeStreet understand how important pets are.

You can support our HopeStreet social workers who facilitate the Pet Clinic and other services that strengthen the Woolloomooloo community with a donation hereherehere.

Pastoral carers provide comfort

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Pastoral carers provide comfort

Since September 2014, we have partnered with churches across NSW to support the delivery of volunteer training in pastoral care.

In less than five years, over 50 courses have been delivered by BaptistCare as a trusted care provider, with a further 21 churches now equipped as pastoral care trainers through the scheme.

“The impact of the training in spiritual care has been profound on both the participants and the recipients of the care,” said Suzanne Wilson, BaptistCare Chaplaincy Manager Central.

“It has been a busy and exciting few years, with around 350 people trained through Baptist churches and well over a third of them going on to serve as Pastoral Care Volunteers with BaptistCare, visiting our customers and residents on a regular basis,” said Suzanne.

This year, the Pastoral Care Volunteer team grew to 164 volunteers and together these volunteers extend the work of our Chaplaincy teams, and provide support to our customers who are living in aged care centres and in their own homes.

Chaplaincy welfare fund

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Chaplaincy welfare fund

BaptistCare Chaplains have provided our clients with close to $20,000 over the 12 months through  “acts of kindness” for people who are in need and with access to limited finances.

Our Welfare Fund provides Chaplains with discretionary funds to support victims and family members in Australia of natural disasters, accidents, illnesses or disease, or people who are experiencing distress. Funds were provided from the Fred McMaster Chaplaincy Support Trust and from donations made to BaptistCare.

This year alone, an Illawarra-based pharmacy and petrol station were provided with funds, enabling BaptistCare’s homeless clients to afford their prescription medications and purchase petrol to drive their cars they may be living in.

Funds were also provided to the family of one of our staff member, who tragically passed away, to assist with day to day living expenses as they hosted family who had travelled from overseas for the funeral.

The fund enables our Chaplains to enhance their chaplaincy work as they minister to and share the love of Jesus with people who are in need through practical care and support.

The courses have been designed to deliver both foundational Chaplaincy skills as well as upskilling those already working as spiritual carers.

Dedication Services acknowledge First Nation’s People

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There to unveil the painting was special guest, Uncle Robby Bell, Wiradjuri man, Aboriginal elder, artist and poet. He is one of six Christian Aboriginal artists who collaborated on the piece.

Dedication Services acknowledge First Nation’s People

Hearts and hands were united through reconciliation at BaptistCare in February 2019, with the unveiling of a new piece of artwork created by the ministry team from Macarthur Indigenous Church, led by Pastor Michael Duckett.

Commissioned by BaptistCare, ‘Hope’ is an original Aboriginal artwork combining traditional symbols and contemporary elements.

A print of the finished piece was provided to all BaptistCare sites for unveiling at our annual Staff & Volunteer Dedication Services, where our local teams come together to commit the year ahead to Jesus, to our customers and to each other.

Inspired by the BaptistCare purpose of transforming lives through expressing the love of Christ, the painting also symbolises God’s sovereignty and the hope for reconciliation for all His children. It shares the message of inclusiveness and welcome to all who seek refuge and support through BaptistCare services.

“We do our paintings to bring glory to God,” said Pastor Michael Duckett. “When any of our mob walk into BaptistCare and see this painting, they will know they are welcome, and what excites me is that they also have a chance to see what God is about,” he shared.

The painting and an Acknowledgement plaque are now displayed at all BaptistCare sites as a symbol of reconciliation and a message of welcome to all First Nation’s People.

The original group training model saw participants attend sessions facilitated and led by a BaptistCare Chaplain in local communities.  We are now partnering with local Baptist Churches, enabling trained local pastoral care practitioners to run the program.  We have also developed an online option for volunteers who are keen to complete the training but do not have a local program available close by.

We now have 139 Pastoral Care Volunteers who have been trained, have graduated and are now active BaptistCare volunteers in our aged care communities.

New community housing commissioned

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New community housing commissioned

This year has seen the successful commissioning and tenanting of 82 new Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) dwellings at Goulburn, Newcastle, Springwood and Lismore, with housing accommodating seniors and single parent families from disadvantaged backgrounds and who at risk of homelessness.

Launched in 2017, the SAHF is a key initiative of Future Directions for Social and Affordable Housing in NSW, the State Government’s ten-year plan for social housing which is expected to deliver 23,000 social housing and 500 affordable housing dwellings over ten years.

“Our strategy is to provide housing and support services that extend beyond the boundaries of just accommodation,” said Mike Furner, BaptistCare General Manager Housing and Retirement Living.

“We’ve also used local contractors and local workers in the development and construction of the homes, which is important as it supports the local community. So far we’ve been very pleased with the quality and the way the projects have been managed,” he said.

BaptistCare will construct and operate 500 new dwellings by 2021, spread across eight locations in New South Wales, including metropolitan Sydney, as well as regional and rural areas.

Clinton Place expands with new housing

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Clinton Place expands with new housing

Twenty brand new units were added to our Clinton Place community housing location in Goulburn as part of the NSW Government’s decision to boost social and affordable housing.

Newly-elected Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman and outgoing Member Pru Goward met with local residents and BaptistCare staff to officially open the additional units in February 2019.

A resident of BaptistCare Clinton Place for three years, Anna Gould, was thrilled to know her local community would be a new home for further seniors very soon.

“We’re blessed to have a place like this to live in. It really is a lovely and supportive community,” Ms Gould said.

Tenants began arriving at Clinton Places new housing units in March 2019.