The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is inspired by its work with people in need to seek justice for them in our communities.

We provide immediate support and build trusting relationships with the people we serve. This trust helps us to uncover the causes of disadvantage and offer a hand up to people in need.

Building on the legacy of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s founder, Frederic Ozanam, we also speak out against social injustice. A leading thinker and social activist, Frederic fought for social rights such as the right for a natural wage covering all necessities of life, and for a just distribution of wealth amongst citizens.

Today, we continue to raise our voice, with the people we assist, to challenge the circumstances that stop people from enjoying the full life they, with us, should enjoy.

Currently, Vinnies NSW social justice work focuses on:

We also support our First Nations Peoples’ Uluru Statement from the Heart, and work towards equity under the guidance of our Reconciliation Action Plan.

Within these focus areas, our current major campaign, Build Homes, Build Hope, calls on the NSW Government to build 5,000 additional social housing dwellings every year for the next ten years, so that everyone in our community has a place to call home.

No matter your experience, location or availability, we have meaningful ways for you to get involved in social justice advocacy:

  1. Join our Statewide Social Justice Network – Our network is a community of people committed to building a more just and compassionate NSW. Together, we take actions like collecting signatures for petitions, visiting our MPs, and hosting community events.
  2. Join your local social justice network – Local networks are opportunities for Society people to connect with others in their area, support the local implementation of campaigns, and to identify, discuss and respond to social justice issues locally. We currently have social justice networks in Broken Bay and Parramatta diocese. Email us for more information about an existing network, or if you are interested in being part of a new network in your area.
  3. Become a Social Justice Representative – Social Justice Representatives at the Conference, Regional and Central Council levels work together to build empowered communities who speak up and advocate for change. If you are interested in becoming a representative, read the role description, and email us to connect with existing representatives in your area.
  4. Attend an event – Our regular social justice events provide opportunities for our members, volunteers, employees and supporters to come together to engage on key social justice issues. While physical distancing restrictions are in place, our events will take place online.

 

Social Justice Newsletters

To receive regular, current updates and opportunities to take action, as well as upcoming Social Justice dates and events, subscribe to the Social Justice newsletter .

Previous Social Justice Newsletters

Social Justice Diary 2020 – resources for Members

This content is available for members who would like to raise awareness of a particular Social Justice day, and share with their Parish and community the actions taken by Vinnies members in addressing Social Justice issues.

World Migrant and Refugee Day 27/09/2020
  • Summary for inclusion in Parish newsletters (short and longer version)
  • A 3 minute talk for anyone wanting to talk after Mass
  • A fact sheet
  • A link to 2 webinars being held on Migrant and Refugee Sunday by JRS.

 

  1. Newsletter – Option 1 (shorter)

Migrant and Refugee Sunday (27 Sep) provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the approximately 16,000 children and young people seeking asylum in Australia, who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of whom have no access to a financial safety net or Medicare.  In response, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW partnered with Jesuit Refugee Service Australia as part of the No Child Left Behind campaign.  From the 6-12 September 2020, we invited schools across New South Wales to raise awareness and take action in a National Week of Solidarity.  To add your support to the campaign, go to https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/nobody-left-behind/.
Visit https://socialjustice.vinnies.org.au/issues/refugees-and-people-seeking-asylum/ for more information on Vinnies Social Justice statement.

2.  Newsletter – Option 2 (longer)

On Migrant and Refugee Sunday (27 Sep) we reflect on the thousands of people who cannot live safely in their own country because they are at risk of serious human rights violations and persecution.  These people seeking asylum feel they have no choice but to leave and seek safety elsewhere because their own government cannot or will not protect them from these dangers.  The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is proud of the role we have played helping to make our communities places where people seeking protection have been able to rebuild their lives, care for their children, prosper and thrive.  Vinnies have submitted recommendations to both the NSW and Federal Governments, to support people seeking asylum and refugees.  Our Members continue to support newly arrived refugees settle into community, navigate new systems, and develop a share purpose and sense of belonging.  We help families build the skills, knowledge and community connections they need in order to become self-reliant, fostering more vibrant, diverse, and cohesive communities.

This day also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the approximately 16,000 children and young people seeking asylum in Australia, who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of whom have no access to a financial safety net or Medicare.  In response, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW partnered with Jesuit Refugee Service Australia as part of the No Child Left Behind campaign.  From the 6-12 September 2020, we invited schools across New South Wales to raise awareness and take action in a National Week of Solidarity.  To add your support to the campaign, go to https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/nobody-left-behind/.
Visit https://socialjustice.vinnies.org.au/issues/refugees-and-people-seeking-asylum/ for more information on Vinnies Social Justice statement.

 

3.  A talk after Mass :

On Migrant and Refugee Sunday (27 Sep) we reflect on the thousands of people who cannot live safely in their own country because they are at risk of serious human rights violations and persecution.  These people seeking asylum feel they have no choice but to leave and seek safety elsewhere because their own government cannot or will not protect them from these dangers.  The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is proud of the role we have played helping to make our communities places where people seeking protection have been able to rebuild their lives, care for their children, prosper and thrive.  Vinnies have submitted recommendations to both the NSW and Federal Governments, to support people seeking asylum and refugees.  Our Members continue to support newly arrived refugees settle into the community, navigate new systems, and develop a shared purpose and sense of belonging. We help families build the skills, knowledge and community connections they need in order to become self-reliant, fostering more vibrant, diverse, and cohesive communities.

There are currently around 16,000 children and young people seeking asylum in Australia, and their families have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic – economically, socially and emotionally. Many people seeking asylum work in highly precarious, service-oriented sectors, and we have seen huge job losses among this group.  There is a huge need in our community, as people are forced into destitution, including being unable to buy food, medicines or pay rent. Families seeking asylum are embedded into the communities they live in, particularly through children attending local schools. Teachers, principals and parents are seeing the direct impacts of the government’s policies in their schools with some of their students becoming completely destitute.

In response, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW has participated in a number of different advocacy initiatives. Many of these initiatives have been Catholic-led, working closely with our friends at the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney’s Justice and Peace Office, House of Welcome, Jesuit Refugee Service and the Diocese of Parramatta.

In April 2020, alongside other Catholic leaders and Catholic Refugee Organisations, Vinnies NSW signed a joint letter to key decision makers, asking for better care and support for people seeking asylum and refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was in addition to Vinnies NSW joining with more than 180 organisations, signing onto Refugee Council of Australia’s #NobodyLeftBehind Campaign, asking that the government ensures no one is left behind during this health crisis. We thank the many Vinnies members who have been writing letters and meeting with their Federal MPs, advocating that everyone living in Australia deserves a financial safety net and access to health care during COVID-19.

Vinnies NSW is committed to learning from the experiences of people seeking asylum and subject-matter experts. During Refugee Week in June 2020, the Vinnies NSW Social Justice Team hosting a webinar called “People Seeking Asylum: Protection and the Pandemic”. This webinar provided members, volunteers and staff with the opportunity to learn more about the challenges that people seeking asylum were experiencing in the community, the importance of refugee-led advocacy and lived experience guiding our work, and the practical contributions that Vinnies have been making locally and nationally.

This September, Vinnies NSW has partnered with Jesuit Refugee Service Australia as part of the No Child Left Behind Campaign. From the 6-12 September 2020, we invited schools across New South Wales to raise awareness and take action in a National Week of Solidarity.  Students at schools took part in a Circle of Silence.  The Circle of Silence movement originated in 2007 among the Franciscans of Toulouse, France as a peaceful way of raising awareness of the plight of refugees and showing solidarity with them. Since then, the movement has spread across the globe, bringing empathetic people together to express solidarity with people seeking asylum, refugees, and migrants facing injustice and harm.

More information on the Vinnies Social Justice statement on refugees and people seeking asylum is available on the Vinnies Social Justice website.

 

4.  A fact sheet and where to go for more information:

https://www.vinnies.org.au/icms_docs/312426_Refugee_and_People_Seeking_Asylum_Social_Justice_Statement.pdf

https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/nobody-left-behind/

 

5.  Link to the 2 JRS webinars being held on Migrant and Refugee Sunday

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/jesuit-refugee-service-australia-30173699664

World Mental Health Day 10/10/2020

Content coming soon.

Anti-Poverty Week 12/10/2020 - 19/10/2020

Content coming soon.

NAIDOC Week 08/11/2020 - 15/11/2020

Content coming soon.

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