In late October the Centre celebrated its 101st Annual General Meeting with 120 representatives from across the community sector.
The meeting recognised a number of significant achievements made over the past year, with special presentations made by the Hon Mary Wooldridge MP, Residential Carer of the Year Louisa Reilly-Grima and Aidan Stevenson; a young man that has recently transitioned from foster care.
Minister Wooldridge spoke about some of the major projects initiated during her time leading the community services portfolio. This included her proudly describing how a particularly at-risk family has benefited from the new Services Connect system, which streamlined their access to numerous services and ultimately is delivering positive outcomes. The Minister went on to provide a broad overview of the themes we could expect from Professor Shergold’s final report, which was released in the week following the AGM.
Following the Minister, 2013 Residential Carer of the Year Louisa Reilly-Grima shared some moving stories about her experiences working at CARA, while offering a carers perspective of the Residential Care Learning and Development Strategy. It was wonderful to hear about a young carer having so much success with a creative approach the role, and the ways she has offered the young women in her unit a nurturing and supportive care environment.
Aidan, who has been in foster care since the age of six, spoke last about some of his experiences in the Victorian out-of-home care system. Aidan is now 18 and continues to live with his foster family, while maintaining a close relationship with his agency, Anchor Inc. His strength and resilience was incredibly powerful and had the audience transfixed, while drawing emotional responses from many.
Thank you to Minister Wooldridge for her keynote address and sharing her perspective on some of the important work being undertaken by her department. Also, thank you to Aidan and Louisa for making our AGM so special and providing so much to feel positive about amongst the challenges we encounter daily.
Formal proceedings followed the presentations by our three special guests, with the Centre's constitutional ammendments approved by the required majority of members present.
The Centre’s 2013 Annual Report is available online here.
Commissioner for Children and Young People Bernie Geary with former foster child Aidan
As the Victorian child and family peak body, the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (the Centre) welcomes increased investment across several key areas that affect our member