The inaugural meeting of representatives 1977
The inaugural meeting of representatives from a number of local churches was held and the decision to sponsor a new community based organisation was formulated.
A Board of Management
A Board of Management was formed with representation from six local church groups.
Communicare was voted as the organisation’s new name.
Establishing Our Reputation
We began to establish our reputation in the community and the number of community members seeking our assistance increased.
The first ever services delivered included:
- Community Education and Research
- School Holiday Care
- Youth Care at a Drop-In Centre
- Family Day Care Scheme
- After School Care
- Individual Counselling
- Social Welfare Services
On the eve of our first anniversary we became an incorporated organisation. Our volunteer base increased to 180 pairs of helping hands.
Expansion of services
With an increasing volunteer base, our services expanded to also include:
- A Toy Library
- Community Aid
- Information and Advocacy
- Child Care
- Youth Work
- Employment Services
Our First Street Appeal
Our first Street Appeal raised $1,400 from local shopping centres, the Western Australian Institute of Technology and the Park Centre in Victoria Park.
First After School Care Centre
Fundraising initiatives and additional grants received enabled us to open our first permanent After School Care Centre in Riverton supporting families in living in the Langford, Lynwood, Parkwood, Riverton, Rossmoyne, Shelley and Willetton areas.
Our Inclusion Support Program
When the Commonwealth Government provided funding to facilitate the integration of children with disabilities into day care centres, we developed and introduced our Inclusion Support Program, providing Support Workers and equipment to support four local family day care and school holiday care centres.
A New Occasional Care Centre
Increased families in the area resulted in a new centre for Occasional Child Care services being established, enabling up to 560 families per fortnight to access the service.
Our Services Expanded
As services expanded so too did our facilities. In July, our ‘Regional Centre’ on Cecil Avenue, Cannington, was officially opened by Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Today this building is well-known as our Corporate Office with 16 programs still being delivered from this facility daily.
From Federal funding, our first Grant in Aid program commenced, providing recreational activities, domestic violence intervention and community information provision to support resettlement for Iranian families.
We launched SkillShare; a skills based training targeted to support the most disadvantaged through unemployment with services to help them gain employment or undertake further training to enhance their work prospects.
Refurbishment of Canning Council House
In August, nine young people from SkillShare were employed to refurbish a Canning Council house for the South East Aboriginal Development (SEAD) Group. Upon completion of the renovation, over 80% of these young people went on to achieve an apprenticeship with other businesses and the house recommenced the delivery of SEAD programs.
First Mission Statement
Our employees developed our first Mission Statement and a set of objectives to give guidance to the work we do. A second building was constructed at Cecil Avenue, named ‘Kevin Morris House’ in recognition of one of our longest serving voluntary Board Members.
The Enchanted Garden
New clients accessing our Financial Counselling service increased by 18% from previous years, leading us to promote our affordable child care services and opening ‘The Enchanted Garden’ which was designed to enhance and promote children’s imaginative and dramatic play skills.
Partnership With Foodbank formed
SkillShare assisted a total of 564 people (35.5% male and 64.5% female) with further assistance offered through a partnership formed with Foodbank allowing us access to purchase food items at extremely reasonable prices for Emergency Relief.
Hosted Our 'Cultural Car Park Carnival'
We hosted our inaugural ‘Cultural Car Park Carnival’ involving ten local ethnic groups participating in dance performances, music concerts, food tasting and information stalls to promote multiculturalism in the community.
'Building a Balance' service established
Our ‘Community Counselling Program’ expanded to include the new ‘Building a Balance’ service; a parent and adolescent counselling program emphasising skill development for parents and their 10-17 year old children who were experiencing difficulty maintaining functional family relationships.
Our 21st Anniversary
While celebrating our 21st anniversary; we were awarded the Federal Government’s new ‘Job Network’ employment services contract; offering job seekers assistance with job matching, job search training, intensive employment assistance and computer skills training. Known as ‘Communicare Employment and Training Services’, the program assisted almost 4,000 people in our first year of operation.
Support over the Years
In the last 21 years, 500 employees and over 1,000 volunteers have supported us to be “Leading the way….” in:
- Resettling 70 families through our Humanitarian Settlement Services
- Providing 2.1 million hours of child care.
- Supporting over 50,000 people through Emergency Relief.
- Assisting over 8,000 people to be trained or to find work.
Three new employment services sites were opened in Victoria Park, Belmont and Armadale; allowing us the capacity to better respond to the changing needs of the community, along with the commencement of the Work for the Dole scheme.
$95,000 in Support
During 2001 we provided approximately $95,000 worth of support in the means of:
- Counselling for 110 families (a total of 204 individuals) in addition to workshops for single mothers and parenting skills for reformed alcoholics.
- Job search training for 580 job seekers.
- Emergency Relief for over 500 clients, operated entirely by volunteers.
As we celebrated our 25th anniversary we experienced more organisational growth to meet the community’s needs, and saw a changing of the guard with Rev. John Morine joining us as our new incoming Chairperson of our Board.
Commencement of the 'Breathing Space Pilot'
We commenced the Communicare Breathing Space pilot in Perth’s south metropolitan; a first-of-its kind program for male perpetrators of domestic violence, allowing women and children victims to remain in the family home.
First Purpose Built After School Care
We continued our commitment to providing quality child care to school aged children by building the first purpose built Out of School Hours Care centre in Australia in preparation for the new National Quality Assurance licensing and accreditation process.
The 'Harmony Project'
Our Harmony Project wrote and published a book of stories about migrants, refugees and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in Western Australia. The project aimed to highlight the rich cultural, ethnic, social and religious diversity on offer in WA.
Launch of Christmas Appeal
We launched our first annual Christmas Appeal with Target at Whitford City Shopping Centre. With support and donations from Target Whitfords customers, the Uniting Church Appeal and Lotterywest, we were able to support over 380 families with food vouchers and gifts for children.
Delivered the VIP Plus @ Communicare program
We expanded our Youth Services to also deliver the VIP Plus @ Communicare program, providing training to young people through three key initiatives; Back on Track (for severely at-risk young people aged 16 to 19); the Young Parents Program (for pregnant young women or young parents in need of access to quality child care) and; Track 2 (for young people in YIRRA’s substance abuse program).
In addition to this, we also became a Recognised Training Organisation (RTO) and commenced providing certificate qualifications to job seekers in a number of vocational fields.
Commenced Our Family Day Care Village
We purchased land on Hamilton Street, Cannington and commenced building the design of our Family Day Care Village; offering a unique entrepreneurial opportunity for parents who wished to train as a Carer and operate their own business.
Our 30th Anniversary
We celebrated our 30th Anniversary; estimating that we have been able to assist the community with family and employment services for in excess of 750,000 families and 30,000 people in that time.
Offical Opening of Family Day Care Village
The Communicare Family Day Care village officially opened with up to five apartments available in a specially designed setting to promote parents who want to manage their own Family Day Care business.
An additional children’s service - Communicare Active Together (CAT) was also officially launched on Harmony Day with a soccer match marking the occasion.
Commenced 'Job Services Australia' Model
We commenced the new Federal Government’s Job Services Australia model and expanded our operations to New South Wales to deliver employment services in Rozelle, Marrickville and Newtown.
'Corporate Claus' Campaign
To meet the ever-increasing demand for support at Christmas, we launched a new ‘Corporate Claus’ campaign; encouraging businesses support our annual Christmas Appeal by seeking donations of gifts for children through their workforce and networks. The highly successful campaign resulted in 20% of all gifts donated coming from our Corporate Claus donors.
Awarded the 'Humanitarian Settlement Services' Program
We continued our commitment to multiculturalism; having been awarded the Federal Government’s Humanitarian Settlement Services program contract to assist humanitarian clients to economically and socially resettle in Australia.
We also commenced an auspice arrangement with Sister Kate’s Home Kids Aboriginal Corporation; supporting them to deliver cultural healing to generations of Aboriginal people from the area.
Youth Services Expanded
Youth Services expanded to develop specific Education Services to support disadvantaged young people to re-engage with education. The ‘Communicare Academy’ was accepted as a registered independent school and the construction of a purpose-built school on Royal Street in Kenwick commenced in April.
Melissa Perry appointed as CEO
CEO, Martine Pitt, retired after a 32 year tenure and Melissa Perry was appointed her successor.
Opening of the CBS Transitional Accommodation Facility
We officially opened the Communicare Breathing Space (CBS) Supported Transitional Accommodation facility to provide additional ‘after-care’ for CBS residents upon completion of the residential program to support their integration back into the community.
Our New Brand
We unveiled our new brand which underscores our commitment to community inclusion and community safety and is a reflection of our aspiration, purpose, values and commitment to Creating Futures.
Farewell Rev. John Morine
After 24 years influencing our organisation, characterised by innovative ideas, strategic thinking and tireless efforts to increase our profile, we farewelled retiring Chairperson Rev. John Morine.
Celebrating 40 Years
We celebrated 40 years of Creating Futures.
We Become a White Ribbon Australia School
Our Communicare Academy is accredited for completing 'Breaking the Silence' - a program for principals and teachers to learn foundational knowledge, tools and strategies to implement respectful relationships and domestic violence education in schools.
Accredited as a White Ribbon Australia Workplace
We are accredited as a White Ribbon Workplace that engenders a whole of organisation commitment to stop violence against women, meeting 15 criteria under three standards to create a safer and more respectful workplace. Our organisational commitment builds on existing gender equality and diversity initiatives, providing our people the tools to strengthen a culture of respect, accountability and gender equality at all levels of our organisation.
Lotterywest Grant Supports Prioritising the Safety of Women and Children
We were extremely thankful for our successful Lotterywest grant application to fund a range of business improvements across our Communicare Breathing Space facilities in Calista and Maylands.
Opening of Second Communicare Breathing Space
The WA State Government's election promise was fulfilled with the opening of our second men’s residential behaviour change program. Communicare Breathing Space, Maylands opened its doors in July 2019, enabling us to extend our specialist intervention services to more men who have been abusive in their intimate partner and family relationships and; increasing the safety of all women and children and creating a safe and inclusive community for all.
Acquisition of White Ribbon Australia
A contract of sale to acquire White Ribbon Australia's intellectual property and remaining assets is finalised; further enabling our long-standing commitment to eliminating violence against women and children. Our focus is to re-engage with the tremendous network of people and organisations committed to reducing gendered violence; working alongside communities and stakeholders around the country, highlighting the need for boys and men to be engaged in what is a major national issue.