Each year during the first full week of July, Australia celebrates NAIDOC Week. A week dedicated to observing and celebrating the history, culture and achievements of our First Nations People.
We are often reminded about the dismissiveness with which Aboriginal culture is treated, respected and indeed celebrated in Australia. Turning to very recent examples such as the WAM clothing flag dispute and the renewed influx of tourists rushing to climb Uluru against the wishes of traditional land owners, it is emphatically clear that there are still significant strides to be made towards a more widespread and wholistic respect and appreciation for one of the oldest and most enduring cultures that exists on this earth of ours.
As NAIDOC week draws to a close, Pure Community is getting behind IndigenousX, an Indigenous owned and run, independent online media platform with a vision to create a media landscape that shares the diversity of Aboriginal peoples, their knowledge, opinions and experiences.
Founded in 2012 by Gamilaroi man Luke Pearson, IndigenousX was created to provide a platform for the indigenous voice and cut through a national dialogue that was characterised by a consistent lack of awareness, understanding and respect for Indigenous people.
The vision was to create a way for Indigenous people to share their knowledge, opinions and experiences with a wide audience, and in doing so, actively challenge stereotypes often placed on the Indigenous community. It is hailed as one of Australia’s leading online platforms featuring true representations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.
Each week, the platform publishes stories from a range of indigenous hosts including actors, activists, authors, academics, politicians, teachers, doctors, and uni students. IndigenousX offers an incredible insight into the diverse perspectives and experiences of Indigenous Australians and if you haven’t already, spend some time there.
As we move towards closing the gap and bringing an Indigenous voice to parliament, it is so important that we take the time to stop and listen. Every human experience is valid.
IndigenousX is predominately self-funded through outside fee for service work, but also from their Patreon base. You can help IndigenousX as they amplify the voices of our diverse First Nations people by becoming a Patreon-supporter here.
Alternatively, you can make a one-off, or monthly donation here.
*Pure Community and Pure Finance have no direct affiliation with the organisations and causes listed on this page, we simply appreciate the work that they do, and choose to show our appreciation by contributing to them.
‘We are hurting in the face of unprecedented drought, extreme heat, environmental pollution and the destruction of country and culture. It’s time that we look to the leadership of Indigenous people who are building strong, sustainable, self-determining communities.’- SEED
Whilst climate change is an issue that affects everybody, its impacts are not evenly dispersed. Often, it’s those that contribute the least to the causes of climate change that are set to face its most severe consequences.
In Australia, people on low incomes, communities of colour, women, youth, and in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, are the communities that are often hit first and worst, not only by the impacts of climate change but also the impacts of extractive, polluting and wasteful industries.
To coincide with #reconciliationweek this month, Pure Community is donating to SEED, Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network. Working alongside the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, SEED are committed to just solutions to the climate crisis, addressing systemic inequality and working in solidarity with those who are the most impacted. Their vision is for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have lived sustainably off their land since time immemorial. Protection of country is at the very core of Indigenous culture and they have strong songlines across the country that connect them to each other, to their culture and to their land.
SEED are calling on the government to rule out any Federal Government investment, subsidies or royalty-free periods for any new coal or gas projects, that will devastate the country and further the negative effects of the climate crisis.
You can add your voice and support SEED as they fight to protect their land, culture and communities from fossil fuel extraction and global warming. Sign the petition here!
Don’t frack the NT
After an inquiry that ignored oil fracking risks last year, the Northern Territory Government reneged on their promise and scrapped the fracking ban in April. Since then, Origin Energy have doubled down on their efforts to begin drilling in the Beetaloo basin, 500 km south-east of Darwin. It is reported that the project could release four to five times as much greenhouse gas emissions as the proposed Adani Carmichael mine. Worse still, fracking can have catastrophic effects on people’s health and the environment.
In the US, fracking fluid, which can be contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic and other known human carcinogens, has found its way into local waterways and polluted the ground and drinking water. It is also reported that people who live near fracking wells have a heightened risk of developing cancer, asthma, and other serious ailments associated with inhaling or ingesting the toxic chemicals involved in the fracking process.
In fact, fracking is so dangerous, it has been banned in several countries due to its hazardous health and environmental effects.
It’s pretty clear that the concerns of traditional land owners and Indigenous communities in the NT are being ignored. They, along with SEED, have a hugely important battle on their hands, and they need as much support as possible.
You can pledge your support, and tell Origin Energy to ‘frack off’ by signing the petition here!
If Origin is your current energy provider and this doesn’t sit right with you, we encourage you to let them know! You can find Origin’s Facebook page here.
Indigenous Youth Declaration for Climate Justice
Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth are a part of the oldest continuing culture in the world. A culture and a people that have lived in harmony with the land for generations.
Right now, climate change is disproportionately affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with rising sea levels in the Torres Strait, loss of sacred country and diminishing food and water accessibility.
SEED’s vision is for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities. They are calling for climate justice which means transitioning away from fossil fuels and moving towards safe, clean, renewable energy.
Will you stand in solidarity with SEED for a just and safe climate? Sign the Indigenous Youth Declaration for Climate Justice here!
It’s incredibly disheartening to see even now, how deep the roots of systemic inequality still run for Indigenous people in Australia. In all our country’s talk of climate change, our national debate on its legitimacy, as well as its looming disastrous effects, the magnified threat it represents for our indigenous peoples is rarely, if ever, factored in to the conversation.
SEED are fighting for a cause that they had no hand in the creation of, and for that, we ask that you please support them in any way you can.
You can donate to SEED here.
Or you can become a volunteer, here.
Every day around Australia, 13 families have their lives turned upside down when they find out mum has cancer. For Mummy’s Wish founders Bernadette Vella and Gayle Richardson, it’s a feeling they know all too well. Just 14 weeks into her second pregnancy, Bernadette was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For Gayle, her diagnosis came at a mere 12 weeks after the birth of her first child.
Surviving cancer treatment is difficult for anyone. As Bernadette and Gayle both now, trying to survive it as a mother to young children is nearly impossible, particularly without an extensive support network of family and friends. Driven by their own cancer journeys, the pair founded Mummy’s Wish, a non-profit organisation that delivers unique and critical support for mothers with cancer, refined and developed following their own personal experiences. The work they do allows mums undergoing treatment to cope with their illness and meet the physical and emotional needs of a young family.
Because a mum with cancer is still a mum.
How Mummy’s Wish can help
Over the past 10 years, Mummy’s Wish have supported more than 3000 Australian families by providing practical, immediate and non-means tested support while mum is receiving treatment for cancer. While they can’t change the outcome of a mum’s cancer journey, they can help to minimise the negative impact on the family unit.
What type of support and assistance do mums receive?
Once registration is completed (either from a health care professional or a self-referral) each mum is assigned a Support Coordinator who will work with them to navigate a practical pathway through their cancer treatment.
Mummy’s Wish understand that every family is different and the support and information provided will be tailored specifically to each mum’s needs, with consideration given to their diagnosis, existing support network, age of their children and, most importantly, what they feel comfortable with support-wise. This can include things like:
· a friendly chat with someone who understands the challenges that come with trying to juggle a young family and cancer treatment
· provide resources to help you talk to your kids about your illness and treatment
· housecleaning and housekeeping services
· arranging delivery of nutritious family meals during treatment
· hospital car parking vouchers
· referrals to other support agencies best suited to the family’s needs
· memory making tips for terminal mums
Each mum’s Support Coordinator will keep in touch with them throughout their treatment, checking in from time to time, to help minimise the distressing impact a cancer diagnosis can have on a family.
Dealing with Cancer: A guide for mums
Through their own comprehensive guide, Mummy’s Wish are able to provide mums with some of the basic information they need to know including how to cope with their diagnosis; tell their children about their cancer diagnosis and what it means; how to ask for help; and ways to enjoy time with their kids, even when they’re unwell. The guide is available for download here.
How you can help
Mummy’s Wish would not exist without the generous support of the community and there are many ways you can get involved and help them to continue their important work.
Their goal is to deliver their service to every single mum that receives a cancer diagnosis while caring for young children by the year 2025. That’s 5000 mums. Every year.
*Pure Community and Pure Finance have no direct affiliation with the organisations and causes listed on this page, we simply appreciate the work that they do, and choose to show our appreciation by contributing to them.
“Hunting and gathering are in my blood. But I've lived long enough to witness a diminution in the seas, and to notice a fragility where once I saw - or assumed - an endless bounty.” - Tim Winton
As occupants of the largest island on earth, it’s hard to deny the love affair that exists between Australians and the ocean. From the powder-white shores of our West Coast, to the dazzling celebrity of our Eastern beauty Bondi, our oceans and the wildlife that inhabit them make up an undeniable part of our national identity.
Though not just a thing of beauty, our oceans and waterways are fundamental to the health and survival of our planet, and of us. Covering more than two thirds of the Earth’s surface, our they play a pivotal role in the regulation of our climate and absorption of carbon dioxide. They provide us with air to breathe and food to eat. They are critical in sustaining our everyday lives and now, more than ever, the protection of our marine ecosystems is vital.
Which is why for the month of April, Pure Community is donating to the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) and supporting them as they work tirelessly to protect Australia’s precious waterways and marine life.
AMCS is one of the oldest conservation groups in Australia, and the only conservation group dedicated solely to protecting Australia’s marine ecosystems and wildlife.
Back in 1965, a group of marine scientists and ocean conservationists came together to discuss their concerns about overfishing and coastal pollution, and to pledge a commitment to do something about it. Since then, AMCS has been advocating for real, evidence-based solutions, based on the best available science, to help combat the ever-growing list of threats affecting Australia’s oceans.
Currently, our oceans and waterways are under attack from the effects of climate change, with the heating of our oceans contributing to the killing of the coral homes of fish and turtles. Industrial scale fishing threatens the future of our fish stocks and is killing our threatened and endangered animals - including dolphins, turtles and sharks. Every single day, toxic plastic pollution flows into our oceans at ever-growing rates, choking our marine life.
Driven by passion, AMCS provides a voice for Australia’s oceans, and through tireless campaigning, has helped facilitate some truly incredible outcomes for our waterways across their inspirational 50-year history.
Since 1965, AMCS has been unrelenting in their fight for the health and survival of our oceans and marine life. Here are just a few of their achievements…
· Prevented mining on the Great Barrier Reef
Known then as the Queensland Littoral Society, AMCS contested and defeated a proposal to mine limestone on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in the 1960s. They then went on to lead the public campaign to protect the Reef from mining and oil exploration.
· Sustainable Seafood revolution
Launching their highly successful Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, AMCS revolutionised the way Australians view seafood and the fishing and fish farms that provide it. The guide is available in paperback, and as a dedicated consumer website and iPhone app which includes Greenpeace’s Canned Tuna Guide. More and more Australians are recognising their part in protecting our oceans by choosing their seafood responsibly.
· Secured the Great Barrier Reef as a marine park
AMCS led and built the campaign, which eventually involved numerous groups, and secured the Reef through the declaration of the Marine Park in 1974. It was later recognised as a World Heritage Area in 1982. Working alongside their conservation partners, AMCS secured the public support that led to full protection of 33.4% of the Reef in ‘green zones’ in 2004 and helped secure a profitable future for the Reef’s thriving ecotourism industry.
· Ningaloo Reef saved
Along with their Patron Tim Winton, AMCS and allies protected Ningaloo Reef, WA (Australia’s largest fringing coral reef) from a major marina development. With overwhelming support from the public, they further succeeded in securing 34% of the Ningaloo Marine Park in green zones, and most recently World Heritage listing in 2011.
· Moreton Bay protected
Their long track record of success in Moreton Bay includes stopping coral mining on Peel and Mud Island, banning sand mining on Moreton Island and advocating for its protection as a national park. More recently, AMCS worked with the community to increase the green zones from less than 1% to 16% protection in critical areas of coral, seagrass and rocky reefs.
· Marine Wildlife protected
AMCS have reduced the number of sharks that can be fished in the East Coast Inshore Finfish Fishery, protected all seahorses and relatives (33 species) in NSW waters, secured (endangered) grey nurse shark critical habitats in Queensland and saved turtles from fishing nets and crab pots. They have also worked with their partners to stop fisheries killing dolphins and sea lions off South Australia.
A full list of AMCS achievements can be found here.
AMCS are independent, and staffed by a committed group of scientists, educators and passionate advocates who have defended Australia’s oceans for over 50 years.
Their ability to undertake key projects, to raise awareness around marine conservation issues, and advocate for the marine environment is dependent on the financial support of the business community and individuals who are passionate about our oceans and want to help make a real difference.
Currently, AMCS are running a number of important campaigns to bring about positive and effective change for our marine life and ecosystems. You can find them here.
Alternatively, you can make a one-off or monthly donation to AMCS, which will go towards ensuring that Australia’s coasts and oceans remain healthy and free for tomorrow’s generations. Donate here.
*Pure Community and Pure Finance have no direct affiliation with the organisations and causes listed on this page, we simply appreciate the work that they do, and choose to show our appreciation by contributing to them.
Carrying on from International Women’s Day celebrations earlier this month, Pure Community is donating to The Global Women’s Project (GWP), a non-profit organisation whose vision is to create a world where every woman has choice, independence and the power to create change.
Around the world, women are still not equal members of the global community. They are frequently denied the chance to live the life they want. Their voices are suppressed, and their rights are denied.
GWP has one sole purpose - to give women around the world the tools and resources they need to build better lives for themselves, their families and communities. They provide women with access to:
- Information - so they can know their rights and how to access them
- Skills - so they can start and grow their own businesses or find jobs
- Resources - so they can grow their businesses
- Community - so they can lean on each other and have somewhere to go when they need support
For GWP, it comes down to equal opportunity. When women are given a chance at an education, to learn skills, to access resources to grow their businesses, to develop leadership qualities and be part of a support network, they are set up to thrive. And their communities will thrive too.
Since 2013, GWP have been working hard with limited resources to make the biggest impact for women that they can. In that time, they have:
- Helped 1,079 women develop skills, access information and business resources, and have provided assistance via their Women’s Hub resource centres
- Provided emergency relief to over 65,000 people after the Nepal earthquakes, including countless menstruation packs and shelter and care for 578 pregnant women, new mothers, their babies and family members
- Spent 265+ days working with partners in Cambodia and Nepal, along with four years providing remote support
- Sent 83% of funds raised directly to program partners. GWP work towards spending 70% revenue on programs, 18% on raising more funds, and 12% on their own operations
5 YEAR PLAN
Having helped better lives of over a thousand women so far, GWP plan to take that number to ten thousand women in five years. This inspirationally ambitious plan includes:
- Expanding their geographical reach and taking on four new grassroots partners across the world. One per year from 2019, reaching 10,000 women
- Connecting 60,000 women from their global support base to women impacted by their work, in order to scale programs that are changing lives, like their Women's Hubs Resource Centres in Nepal, and launching new ones
- Integrating a leadership component across all programs, fostering thousands of women to take on positions of power and lead change in their communities
- Exploring how technology can help build smarter, more effective, cutting-edge programs, including how it can better support women to access information, services and financial products all over the world.
- A commitment to learning and growing, keeping women's own needs, challenges and aspirations at the centre of everything they do
- A focus on forming collaborations and strategic partnerships to help get there
GWP is proudly independent and relies on generous donations to do their incredible work. A donation to GWP will go towards putting practical skills and resources in the hands of women around the world who need them most.
To donate, or for more info, head to: www.theglobalwomensproject.com.au
As Sydney once again prepares to celebrate Mardis Gras this month, we thought it only fitting for Pure Community to acknowledge and support the incredible work of Twenty10, a Sydney based organisation that provides a range of specialised services for the LGBTIQA+ community, including: housing, mental health, counselling and social support.
With a vision for people of all sexualities, genders and intersex status to live in a society without oppression, persecution or violence, Twenty10 (working in conjunction with GLCS; Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW) are helping to ensure positive health outcomes for gender and sexuality diverse communities across Sydney and NSW through their range of support and training services which include:
An unstructured social space, Drop In is designed for those aged 12-25 to have a safe space to hang out and socialise.
Based in Parramatta, Out West is a fortnightly social group for LGBTIQA+ young people aged between 12 – 25, where they can connect with new friends, have fun and access support and relevant information.
Men’s and Women’s Group Support
Twenty10 provide access to Men’s and Women’s social support groups, which are centered around an informal, confidential discussion and are a safe, non-confronting way for attendees to meet others with similar experiences. Ages 18+
Twenty10 also provide stable, affordable, medium-term accommodation for young people who are struggling to find permanent accommodation and are ready to live more independently. The service can also include case management, which can help young people to develop living skills, get into an educational course, find employment, and address barriers that may be preventing them from moving forward in their lives.
TWENTY10 + QLIFE
Twenty10 also provides telephone and webchat support, as the NSW provider for the national QLife project. QLife provides anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
QLife services are free and include both telephone and webchat support, delivered by trained LGBTI community members across the country and services are for LGBTI individuals, their friends and families, and health professionals. Both the phone and webchat services are available from 3pm-midnight every day.
Twenty10 + GLCS also offer inclusivity training and consulting for organisations and service providers across most sectors, with an aim to assist other organisations in becoming more welcoming and inclusive. Their one-day practical workshop (PRISM) will aid organisations to:
- Unpack the LGBTIQA+ acronym and the differences between gender identity, sexual orientation, and intersex status
- Recognise ways people who are LGBTIQA+ experience marginalisation and its impact on their health and wellbeing
- Identify and proactively challenge low-level social violence including cisgenderism, heterosexism, heteronormativity, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, intersexphobia and microaggressions.
- Identify strategies for building equity and cultural appropriateness into their work practices
- Identify resources and services to use with clients and workers
- Develop a plan to transform learnings into action
A donation to Twenty10 + GLCS will be used to directly improve the lives of vulnerable or marginalised LGBTIQA+ people and will ensure that this important organisation can continue its empowering, and sometimes life-saving, work.
With the new year well and truly in full-swing, Australia will once again prepare to celebrate its national day this month. But for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, January 26th is also a day that represents the start of violent conflict for their people, as well as the denigration of their culture and way of life. The effects of which are still being felt throughout Australia’s indigenous population today.
For the month of January, Pure Community is getting behind The Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address ongoing trauma caused by the disruption and mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the past 230 years. This includes actions like the forced removal of tens of thousands of children from their families, known as the Stolen Generations.
A report released in November 2018 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) estimates that 17,150 members of the Stolen Generations are still alive today and that they experience higher levels of adversity in relation to almost all of 38 key health and welfare outcomes.
The Healing Foundation works closely with members of the Stolen Generations who have not had an opportunity to heal from ongoing distress and, through a collective healing approach, they are increasing their focus on reducing the impact of Intergenerational Trauma. The foundation focuses almost 40% of its investment on Stolen Generations, 30% on training and education, around 20% on key healing initiatives (including strategies to address intergenerational trauma and men’s healing) and just over 10% on its healing centres.
The Foundation is also leading the charge around research into Indigenous healing and are combining traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural healing tools with western practices, to achieve the best results. Key elements include: The reconnection with culture and identity, restoring safe and enduring relationships, and understanding the impact of trauma to find healing pathways.
Most importantly, the foundation works with communities to create a place of safety, providing an environment for Indigenous people and their families to speak for themselves, tell their own stories and be in charge of their own healing.
Since 2009 The Healing Foundation has:
- assisted more than 45,000 people in their healing journeys
- funded almost 170 community-based healing projects and forums
- provided nearly 500 organisations with grants for local commemorative events
- established an impressive body of evidence with over 30 evaluations and publications that show the impact of trauma and how to make healing work
- built the nation’s healing capacity through the release of specific training tools to build trauma knowledge amongst people who provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and create a framework for working with victims of sexual assault
- supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to build healing centres and create more effective and integrated services
- helped to shape future policy through a range of forums, from federal and state health bodies to Royal Commissions
Through their incredible work, The Healing Foundation have seen advances at the individual, family and community level for indigenous Australians, proving that investment in the right healing programs will create change and reduce the burden on public funds.
Each year, as December rolls around and brings with it that collective air of enthusiasm that only Christmas time can evoke, the world gears up for a festive season spent with family, friends and of course, food.
But for 37,715 homeless people in NSW (3,963 of which are children) Christmas is often a lonely and difficult time, which is why Pure Community has chosen Sydney’s Wayside Chapel and their ‘Donate a Plate’ program, as this months donation recipient.
Last year in December, around 800 homeless men, women and children walked through the doors at Wayside Chapel, in desperate need of food and support. Located in Potts Point, Wayside has been providing crucial support and services to Sydney’s homeless since 1964 and places dignity, respect and love at the heart of its approach. Their community services centres (they have another location in Bondi), outreach programs, cafes and shops provide support to all who visit them and see everyone as a person to be met and not a problem to be solved.
‘Donate a Plate’ this Christmas…
To keep their kitchens cooking over the Christmas period, Wayside are currently running their ‘Donate a Plate’ program, to help raise much needed funds so that they can continue to provide food, love and support for Sydney’s homeless community during the holidays.
In addition to their year-long programs, each December they provide a ‘Christmas Day Street Party’ for Sydney’s homeless which includes a free Christmas lunch (with all the trimmings), entertainment and dancing to ensure that no one doing it tough has to be alone at Christmas. This year, Wayside will host two free Christmas celebrations, and for the first time, will include a Christmas day BBQ at the Bondi Surf Life Saving Club, in addition to the celebrations in Potts Point.
For just $25, you can provide a meal with all the trimmings for a homeless person living on the streets. $50 will feed a couple, $100 will feed a family of four and for $250, you can provide a free, Christmas lunch for a table of 10 people doing it tough.
You can also make a donation on behalf of a friend, family member or colleague, which can be an excellent gift alternative to the old ‘socks and undies’ that are often given at Christmas time (because you couldn’t think of anything else…again.) Wayside will even post you a blank, paper plate ‘gift card’ to give to the recipient, and their name will be written on a plate at the Christmas Day Street Party in recognition of the support provided.
A donation to Wayside Chapel will not only provide a Christmas meal for people in need but will also provide a sense of belonging and inclusion, at a time when it is often needed the most for those doing it tough.
You can give to Wayside’s ‘Donate a Plate’ Christmas program here, and for those wanting to donate on someone’s behalf, be sure to head to the ‘perks’ section of the page. You can read more about the Wayside Chapel and the incredible work they do, both at Christmas time and all year round, here.
This month, Pure Community is switching its focus towards RestoringVision, who’s mission it is to empower lives by giving the gift of sight to millions of people in need.
According to RestoringVision, vision impairment is one of the World’s biggest but least known health issues (a fact that we only became aware of very recently). Approximately 2.5 billion people worldwide suffer from uncorrected vision impairment. 544 million of those affected only require something as simple as reading glasses to correct their vision impairment, but have limited or no access to such.
The positive benefits achieved though corrected vision not only impact the wellbeing of the person receiving the glasses, but also their family, community, and indeed the world at large (according to RestoringVision, the lack of access to glasses results in an annual loss of $202 billion to the global economy).
That said, you don’t need us to tell you how expansive the benefits of corrected vision can be. Instead, the message we’re trying to convey is simple:
The lack of access to glasses is the main obstacle preventing a huge number of people from correcting their vision.
That’s it. Contrary to many of the other causes we love and support, who often rely on nuanced and complex approaches to solve the issues they are facing, RestoringVision’s goal of helping 20 million people see clearly by the end of 2020 is easily achievable.
Having celebrated their 15th anniversary recently, RestoringVision have already made huge strides towards this goal, having supplied over 10 million pairs of glasses to people in 127 countries.
If you’re interested in joining us in contributing towards RestoringVision’s mission, you can donate to them directly here, where your donation will be converted into glasses and distributed to qualified clinics. To give you an idea of how far your donation goes, $50 can help to correct the vision of 67 people.
Alternatively, there are a number of great businesses who will match your purchase of their glasses with a donation to Restoring Vision. If you’re anything like us and spend a big part of the day behind a screen, we’d recommend checking out someone like Australian locals Baxter Blue, who’s glasses help alleviate digital eye strain (we’ve tried and tested this claim and can’t recommend them enough). In fact, it was their donation matching ‘Gift of Vision’ program that introduced us to the wonderful work of RestoringVision in the first place.
If you want to get involved and help support RestoringVision, you can find them, and information on their donation partners, here:
Earlier this week, international humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) was forced to terminate its provision of medical aid to refugees and asylum seekers on the island of Nauru.
There are approximately 900 asylum seekers and refugees to Australia currently awaiting processing on Nauru, an estimated 95 of whom are children. Experts from the Refugee Council of Australia have affirmed that these individuals are ‘some of the most traumatised people [they have] ever seen.’
In response, this month Pure Community is getting behind Gifts for Manus and Nauru Incorporated, a local organisation that works to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of those being held in offshore processing centres through the provision of essential services and material aid.
Gifts for Manus and Nauru Incorporated run a monthly crowdfund drive to raise the funds necessary to provide mobile phone credit for approximately 1,100 people on Manus and Nauru, the cost of which for October is estimated to be $37,000.
Access to mobile phone credit ‘provides vital support for physical and mental health by allowing regular contact with family, as well as allowing access to crisis and trauma counselling, access to education and language materials, entertainment, and contact with supportive friends who offer much needed emotional support and connection when it is most needed.’
In addition to mobile credit, Gifts for Manus and Nauru Incorporated also provide those in offshore processing centres with smart phones, care packages, access to medical and dental support, professional trauma counselling through their free service Therapy4Refugees, while also operating a referral program to other medical and legal aid groups.
Following MSF’s expulsion from Nauru and in light of an overwhelming number of calls to evacuate refugees from international bodies such as the UNHCR and Amnesty International, the services provided by Gifts for Manus and Nauru Incorporated are growing increasingly imperative.
We encourage you to join us in making a contribution towards Gifts for Manus and Nauru Incorporated in any way you can.
All of the organisations operational costs are covered by its committee, which means 100% of donations received are used for providing essential support.
To find out more head to giftsformanusandnauru.org.au, or give us a call on: 1300 664 603.
Today in Australia, more than 45,813 women are homeless, with children making up 27% of the homeless population.
Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre (WAGEC) is a non-government, not-for-profit charitable organisation that delivers a range of crisis and early intervention accommodation and support services to women, transgender people, children and families who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness and/or domestic and family violence.
Operating across inner City Sydney and the inner west for 40 years, WAGEC are committed to helping end homelessness by working holistically with their clients to find creative housing and support solutions that meet their needs and empower them to take control of their own lives.
In collaboration with their partners, WAGEC provide the right kind of support when it is needed most, underscored by a strong commitment to core values of respect, support and partnership.
Located in Redfern, the central support office is often the first point of contact for clients connecting to WAGEC and is overseen by experienced staff and case managers who provide a comprehensive assessment of the presenting client’s situation and determine which services and programs will best meet their housing and support needs.
WAGEC operate three short term crisis accommodation facilities for women and families, providing a total of 90 crisis accommodation beds on any given night.
Access to safe and secure accommodation is paramount as the majority of the women and children residing at the refuges have experienced domestic and family violence.
Here clients are able to work with their case manager to obtain sustainable housing outcomes, link in with other support services, and re-build their self-esteem and capacity to live their lives to the full.
Supported Transitional Housing Program
WAGEC provides 34 transitional properties for families and a large ten-bed transitional property for single women, which offers women and families the stability of affordable housing before they transition to long term tenancies.
Clients living in these properties also benefit from ongoing support from their case manager, who assists them in setting goals for long term housing, employment and education, and to build connections within the community.
Being not for profit, WAGEC relies on generous donations to support its core services, and to continue to provide women and their families with the support they need.
Donations go towards:
Increasing the capacity of support services, as well as therapy and lifestyle classes
Specialised skills courses
Tutoring for children
Refurbishment of communal areas in crisis accommodation for client comfort and security
Purchase of critical equipment for clients, such as secure phones, common-use PCs and educational laptops for children
Along with financial donations, WAGEC benefit greatly from the donation of specific items, such as toiletries, clothing and household cleaning products. For a full list of items that are currently needed, click here.
To find out more about WAGEC, or to donate, head to: www.wagec.org.au
Or get in touch via: firstname.lastname@example.org
We believe in supporting those who meaningfully contribute to our community.
This month we are getting behind the National Art School (NAS) as part of their annual fundraising drive.
Almost 175 years old, the National Art School, now located in the old Darlinghurst Gaol, has fostered the development of artists, and the promotion of the arts in Sydney and beyond for generations.
One of the most unique aspects of NAS’ approach is its focus on the teaching of artists by artists and is one of the few places left in the word where this antique practice remains. The school also promotes practical development by providing each of its students their own studio for a year at a time.
One in five winners of the esteemed Archibald Prize have been NAS alumni, which is a testament to the efficacy of the school’s approach to teaching.
A contribution to community
For almost 65,000 years, Art has helped us to open our minds to new perspectives and inform our understanding of the world around us. It is a unifying force that connects us to one another and indeed to something bigger than the collective us.
We see artists themselves as storytellers, whose work has the unique function of transcending culture, race, gender, class, sexuality, religion and nation, while at the same time acting as a vessel for transmitting ideas and encouraging conversation about all of these things. It inspires, enriches and enlightens.
NAS is currently running their annual fundraising appeal, seeking contributions that this year will go towards enhancing the studio spaces, contributing to the library and research centres, and the participation of students and alumni in professional development opportunities.
As Australia’s independent fine art school, NAS has historically benefited from the generosity of the community and continues to do so. If you would like to support them as they support our artists, you can contact the NAS development team on:
(02) 9339 8765
For more info, you can also visit their website:
“Don’t keep history a mystery. Learn. Share. Grow.”
National Reconciliation Week took place earlier this month, coinciding with the 26th anniversary of the landmark Mabo decision, through which native title was first recognised in Australia by the High Court, and the unique connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples share with the land was acknowledged.
If you were educated in Australia the chances are you studied the Mabo decision at some point, but how much about it do you remember? In fact, how much can you comfortably say you know about the histories, cultures, perspectives and experiences of First Nations People?
According to Common Ground, this month’s Pure Community donation recipient, 85% of Australians believe it is important to know about the histories of our First Peoples, but only 42% believe they have a high-level knowledge of that history.
An aboriginal-led organisation working closely with First Nations People, Common Ground seeks to help Australians build a foundational level of knowledge about the diverse histories, perspectives, and experiences of the oldest living cultures on earth. They achieve this through storytelling and by providing online access to engaging and trusted educational content that allows all Australians to lean about, and connect with, our First Australians.
Common Ground’s work emphasises the importance of the role education plays in the building of genuine and respectful relationships with one’s local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. These relationships are key to promoting reconciliation and with governments legislating to create Aboriginal treaty frameworks, the type of education offered by Common Ground is as important now as it has ever been.
We also encourage you to check out ‘Deadly Questions’, a brilliant Victorian State Government educational initiative that promotes dialogue and provides the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal Victorians by asking anonymous questions. Here you will be able to ask or find the answers to questions you may have never asked for through embarrassment, fear of causing offense, or simply because you’ve never had the chance.
As we move closer to achieving self-determination and Treaty, we are grateful for the amazing resources available that allow us to expand our understanding of First Nations People, their histories and cultures, and the unique challenges they face upon this common ground we share.
For more, head to:
To quote Dr. Seuss: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
This principal sits at the core of the philosophy of this month’s Pure Community donation recipient.
Foster Care Angels keep a watchful eye over the NSW Foster Care system, from the children entering through to the teenagers leaving, and even the carers themselves. And with over 20,000 children living in Foster Care across NSW, Foster Care Angels have their work cut out for them.
They are committed to ensuring that these children feel respected without discrimination, while promoting dignity and self-respect, especially in times that are often full of trauma and distress. This is achieved through a range of programs:
Care packages & Bed-in-a-bag
Foster Care Angels recognise that children entering Foster Care often do so with little or no possessions. So, to help with the transition they started packing and distributing a range of personal items which are designed to give these kids a sense of self-worth, belonging, ownership, and independence during their transition away from their biological parents or into a group home.
These Care Packages are backpacks which have been individually tailored for kids and contain essentials such as school supplies and toiletries, as well as toys, books and a comfort item. Similarly, the Bed-in-a-bag program was created to provide those being placed in a group home their own personal bedding which includes a quilt, towel, sheets, and pillows to help promote independence and a sense of self-worth.
After identifying a high-level of placement breakdowns, Foster Care Angels began to provide relief support and respite for the carers who work so hard to provide stability in the lives of these children.
Foster Care Angels arrange ‘Recharge Retreats’ for carers to help prevent them from burning out. These retreats provide carers with the opportunity to have a weekend away in holiday accommodation with other carers. This facilitates an opportunity for them to recharge and to also network with other carers, helping to reduce feelings of isolation.
Counselling & Education
Foster Care Angels understand the importance of positive mental health. For young people aged between 15 and 24 they operate the A-Maze-In Mind program which helps to develop and promote mental health and wellness skills.
For the bigger kids, Foster Care Angels offer a scholarship program through the University of Western Sydney. This is available to students facing financial hardship that have been, or are currently, in out-of-home care. If you know of anyone who could benefit from this, spread the word and encourage them to apply!
The amazing and deeply important work of Foster Care Angels doesn’t stop here. In order to help them keep it up, we encourage you to find out more and to please give if you can:
We are expanding our commitment to Kiva!
This month Pure Community is increasing the pool of funds we lend through the microfinance platform Kiva.
Kiva is an international non-profit organisation with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Their platform facilitates microfunding, which allows anyone to provide small cash loans to low-income entrepreneurs and students in over 80 countries across the globe. Lenders can fund loans entirely themselves or pool their funds with other likeminded people in order to provide larger loans.
Generally, the recipients of Kiva loans don’t have access to the more traditional means of lending such as bank-funded loans and thus stand to benefit significantly from the generosity of others. Part of what makes Kiva unique is that unlike many other forms of goodwill it is structured in such a way that those who give can often expect to be repaid over time. This means that through Kiva you can give and give again with a single contribution!
To provide a snapshot of the ways in which Kiva loans can help, here are the stories of two people we are currently lending to:
Samson, a father of three, operates a retail business in Kitale, Kenya where the average annual individual income is $1,800 USD. He sought a loan of $150 to help expand his rurally-based business which is built around the purchase and distribution of milk from local farmers. Not only does the growth of Samson’s business have a direct positive effect on himself and his family, but it also stimulates the local economy.
Asma of Lahore, Pakistan applied for a loan on behalf of herself, her husband and their children. Prior to the funding Asma’s husband was labouring for a small firm for daily wages that barely covered their household expenses. Asma sought a loan of $275 to allow her husband to gain autonomy in his employment and start a distribution business for local produce, buying corn from local farmers and supplying it to retailers. Similarly to Samson, the positive effects made possible by Kiva loans such as this extend from an individual level, to the local community and beyond.
To date, Kiva has facilitated the lending of over $72 million in Kenya, $26 million in Pakistan and over $1 billion worldwide.
Improving the lives of others comprises the core of Kiva’s mission as they celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
We’re committed to continuously growing the amount we lend through Kiva and strongly encourage everyone to get involved. The power to directly and positively contribute to the lives of others has never been so easy.
What if social enterprises could change the game for people with disability?
This is the question this month’s Pure Community donation recipient is asking and, helping to make a reality.
Fighting Chance is working to change the climate for people living with a disability by creating disability-specific small businesses that offer real employment opportunities. They offer work, training and skill development opportunities to young people with disability, which helps create a feeling of social justice and inclusion and also creates meaningful employment for young people who traditionally would not be able to find it – even with the help of existing disability specific services.
Created to harness the time, skills and abilities of people with disability, The Avenue is a retail distribution and marketing business, created by fighting chance, that brings social and ethical brands to the world. It was created to enable people with profound and severe disability to access work skills, with the support they need to achieve their goals, as well as support the employment of people with disabilities in developing countries like Nepal, Cambodia and India, who are highly skilled in crafting home wares, accessories and toys from natural and recycled materials. This places an emphasis on the importance of having access to vocational training and purposeful work, and creates a huge range of work for the people who need it most.
The enterprise sells unique, hand-crafted products made by artists with disabilities from Australia and all over the world and engages a diverse team of individuals with varying abilities to run the business, from administration through to sales and distribution. Products are available from the online store and community markets.
100% of proceeds are reinvested in their staff and everyone is remunerated for their contribution fairly and in a way that suits their circumstances.
Another enterprise created by Fighting Chance, Jigsaw provides digitisation services to the corporate and government sectors in order to generate award-paying jobs training and pathways to mainstream employment for people with disability. It was developed in response to the high rates of unemployment faced by people with disability and specialises in outsourced data entry, document auditing, social media management and paperless office services. Proceeds from Jigsaw’s commercial activities are used to promote the interests of people with disability in Australia by a) perpetuating employment opportunities for a demographic group who are chronically under-employed and b) by contributing to Fighting Chance.
School Leavers Employment Support Program
The School Leavers Employment Support Program also runs out of Jigsaw, which is a specific learning program, designed to provide school leavers with real skills, working within a real business. The program usually takes people on for two years immediately after leaving school and provides the potential for ongoing employment upon completion. The program also assists recipients transition in to the mainstream workforce or onto further education and training.
Fighting Chance is currently seeking financial and non-financial support and partnerships to develop existing social enterprises. Both Jigsaw and The Avenue offer work experience opportunities and Fighting Chance also provides support for people trying to navigate the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). If you need any advice about what the NDIS means for you, how to prepare for the transition to NDIS or how to navigate the new system of funding once you have transitioned, they are available to share their experience with you, and offer support, which is free and accessible to everyone.
If you want to get involved and help support Fighting Chance, you can find them (and their social enterprises) here:
This month Pure Community is celebrating Mardi Gras!
The last few months have been huge for LGBTI rights in Australia with the passing of the Marriage Amendment Act in December allowing same-sex couples to (finally) marry. We’re looking forward to the celebrations carrying over into this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras, which also happens to be turning 40 this year!
To show our support we are getting behind ACON, who do a significant amount to promote the health and wellbeing of the LGBTI community. ACON was established in 1985 as a response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and has continued to grow and increase its scope ever since.
ACON provides HIV support to over 12,000 people in NSW who live with HIV and is aiming to end HIV transmission by 2020. In addition to their focus on sexual and mental health, ACON promote the safety and inclusion of LGBTI people in the community, while also providing alcohol and drug support, and support for those who have experienced, domestic and family violence.
On top of this ACON plays an important role in researching HIV and LGBTI health related issues. By working with and educating legislators, policy makers and services providers, ACON promotes an understanding of the needs of LGBTI people and people with HIV, facilitating the circumstances in which these needs can be addressed in a meaningful way.
Donations to ACON contribute to a range of services, such as:
- the assembly and provision of safe sex packs,
- helping people seriously affected by HIV to live independently in their own homes by providing access to home-based care and transportation service,
- helping financially disadvantaged LGBTI people access counselling,
- providing access to therapeutic support groups for people with alcohol and drug issues
- keeping ACON’s Violence Report Line operational to provide support for survivors of homophobic, transphobic, domestic and family violence.
If you’re interested in getting involved, you can give to ACON financially or as a volunteer by visiting their website.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is running from the 16th of February until the 4th of March. The full program is available online.
We’ll see you at the Parade on the 3rd of March!
The idea is simple: you buy a wholesome, delicious lunch that gets delivered to your door and an identical meal is delivered to one of one of two soup kitchens and eight domestic-violence shelters around Sydney.
Simple, but brilliant!
This month’s Pure Community initiative saw the team order their lunch from the ‘buy-one, give-one’ food initiative that is the Two Good Co, based in Darlinghurst in Sydney.
Created in 2015 by Rob Caslick and Cathal Flaherty (who were working as engineers at the time) the company aims to provide those living in a refuge with food that is clean and nutritious, and that just happens to be created by some of Sydney’s top chefs. Neil Perry, Kylie Kwong, Peter Gilmore and Matt Moran have all created recipes for the company, and in fact next week, you can jump on the website and order a sesame egg noodle salad with tofu, tamarind & bok choy that’s been created by Moran himself. Delivered!
In addition to providing much needed food to victims of homelessness and domestic violence, the company also employs women from the refuges they serve.
“One of the most debilitating things about domestic violence is that it strips someone of their self worth” says Caslick.
“We made a commitment to do the absolute most we could to show the women that we believe they are worthy. We collaborated with the best chefs we could find, we worked on making the packaging as beautiful as possible. Every decision we make, we asked the question - how do we maximise our social impact”.
If you want to get behind Two Good (and we recommend that you do!) you can find them here:
One of our favourite local organisations, the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (or AIME) has recently announced its plans to launch its initiative across the globe. After 12 years of resounding success at a domestic level AIME has grown from its humble beginnings of 25 volunteers into the largest volunteer movement of university students in Australia.
AIME was conceived to address issues of structural inequality experienced by Indigenous Australian’s within the education system. By connecting university student mentors with Indigenous high school kids AIME empowers those who in the past may have been left behind.
Over its first 12 years AIME’s program has facilitated the empowerment of more than 10,000 kids over educational inequality whilst promoting Aboriginal identity. As far as what this looks like, organisations such as AIME have noticeably contributed to the closing of the gap between young Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, particularly when it comes to year 12 attainment rates and post-school education, training or employment.
AIME’s global model seeks to expand the organisation’s scope to kids of all backgrounds who experience educational inequality by using the two key economic levers of university and high school to build a bridge between the powerful and powerless.
Please join us in backing AIME and the launch of its international program, working to create fairer communities by empowering our kids.
To get behind AIME you can find them here:
We acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional custodians, ancestors and continuing cultural, spiritual and religious practices of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation upon whose ancestral land we work.
Featured artwork by Anna Petyarre.
If you’ve never heard of Our Big Kitchen, they are a community run, non-denominational, industrial kitchen based in Bondi, where meals are prepared for distribution to needy people across Sydney.
They use rescued food that is donated to them by organisations such as SecondBite, who help redistribute surplus fresh food to community programs around Australia. This food is then repurposed by OBK into wholesome, nutritionally balanced, hot meals for those in need. So not only do they provide meals for those who need it most, but they are also contributing to the war on food waste, which sees Australia throw away $8 billion worth of edible food every year.
We had lots of fun getting hands on, and learning exactly how OBK helps make a difference in Sydney communities. They have several charities they support, however they also have a ‘no questions asked’ policy, and should anyone need food they can head to OBK and help will always be provided to them.
If you want to get on board, and help the legends at OBK, you can find them here:
Or call them on: (02) 8084 2729
Pure Community and Pure Finance have no direct affiliation with the organisations and causes listed on this page, we simply appreciate the work that they do, and choose to show our appreciation by contributing to them.
Good Shepherd are an Australian organisation that help to facilitate loans with very little or no interest for low income earning individuals and families, as part of their No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) and Low Interest Loan Scheme (LILS).
These loans are designed to provide safe, affordable, fair and dignified credit to low income earners who may be experiencing financial difficulty and need a helping hand, want to get a foot up, or simply seek to maintain their financial stability. Often, they are not for cash and instead go towards essential goods and services such as education costs, health aides and household items.
The NILS and LILS act as an alternative to expensive and risky payday loans which are often sought in desperate financial times and have an unfortunate history of creating more problems than they do solutions.
We’re all about helping people in the pursuit of their financial goals and love what Good Shepherd are doing to assist Australians in times of need. We can’t emphasise enough how important we believe the role Good Shepherd plays is in facilitating financial empowerment for individuals and families, helping them to lay the foundations for a secure future.
“It was the idea that maybe we can’t change the world, but if we could change the life of just one person it would matter."
- Premal Shah, CEO and Kiva co-founder
Kiva is an international non-profit organisation, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.
It allows people to lend money to low-income entrepreneurs and students in over 80 countries. The loans are generally small, but they are enough to make an impact in the lives of people overlooked by traditional lenders around the world. For entrepreneurs in the U.S., 72% of respondents to a Kiva survey reported an increase in business revenue after getting a loan, and of those, 40% said revenue doubled. On top of this, an average of 1.2 jobs were created for every Kiva loan.
Improving the lives of individuals remains at the core of Kiva’s mission as they celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
If you'd like to support someone in need through a Kiva loan, you can find them here: www.kiva.org