There’s a giant bunch of sunflowers on our kitchen table, put there by Terrie Barton, who was our first employee nearly 25 years ago, and remains the heart and soul of Lighthouse. She said she wanted to celebrate the arrival of spring and the end of a bitterly cold winter in Melbourne. With so many of our team and young people suffering through colds and flu in recent months, we’re all hanging out for more sunshine and warmth.
Spring continues to be a time of transition for our wonderful Lighthouse young people, as several have made the brave step into independent living in the past couple of weeks. This is an exciting time, but sometimes when the new routines have settled in there can be some hardship and disappointment. That is why it is important that our young people stay connected to their Lighthouse family home and feel welcome to return for weekly dinners and family meetings. We all feel very proud of them as they continue to study or to work within companies that are helping them launch a career.
In the Youth Resource and Administration Centre in Richmond, these young people are always welcome to come in to use the computers, catch up with friends, and grab some lunch. If they hit a troubled patch, we can organise counselling sessions as well as practical help with housing and other challenges. Just like any family, sometimes it takes a few false starts before our children are fully on their feet and living independently.
We have seen some really positive outcomes with several of our young people who remain connected to us through our Outreach Program. We are a big family, and the relationships between the Lighthouse team and the young people truly does transcend the period of working here or staying in one of our homes. Recently I saw the wedding photos of a person who had been with Lighthouse around six years ago, and I was happy to see two grinning past staff members from that time posing with the bride. Another very special young man, who transitioned to independence three years ago, continues to let us know his exam results at uni every semester. We are immensely proud of him and have high hopes for his future.
With Terrie’s bright sunflowers on the table for the next couple of weeks, it’s a good time to pop in to 13 Adolph Street to visit us if you are ever nearby in Richmond. The Lighthouse family will be very happy to have a cuppa with you, especially on Wednesday afternoons at 2.30pm when we have something yummy for afternoon tea together.
Keep looking after each other, and looking out for each other.
Susan Barton AM
On a clear, chilly morning in July, a brave team of Lighthouse staff, supporters and young people kitted up in their finest orange outfits and gave Run Melbourne a go. Thanks to a particularly strong effort from the Community Committee supporting our Kensington home, the team raised over $8000!
Feeling a bit left out of all the fun, our CEO Kane Bowden has decided to take on 15km in the City 2 Sea, coming up in November. We’ve set our sights on raising $25,000 and we need your help.
Join the team
Sign up for the 5km or 15km and run with us for Lighthouse. View or download our handy cheat sheet on how to enter and set up your fundraising page online.
Sponsor our runners
Visit the Team Lighthouse fundraising page and make an online contribution to show your support.
We are enormously grateful for their commitment support Lighthouse. Our corporate partners’ generosity is critical to achieving our mission of ending youth homelessness together. Family breakdown and associated trauma is a key reason why children and young people become homeless. With support from our partners, we can extend our work with some of the community’s most vulnerable and help them begin to recover and break the cycle of homelessness.
Can you imagine never having received a gift with your name on it? For many young people at Lighthouse, the holiday season is especially bleak, and it is our goal to ensure that each of them receives a special gift with their name on it. That’s why we’re partnering with local businesses to help with our annual gift drive.
How it works
Lighthouse provides tags that double as decorations for your office tree, each with a gift requested by one of our young people.
Generous supporters can then choose a wishing tag, and leave the requested gift under the tree (unwrapped) for that lucky young person.
Or, supporters may donate funds that will help us purchase the gifts on our young people’s wish lists.
Lighthouse will collect the gifts from your workplace, wrap them to give our young people on Christmas Day.
If you’re interested in having a wishing tree at your workplace, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 9093 7500 for more information.
Lighthouse acknowledges the passing of a great friend in Fr Frank Martin. Frank passed away recently after a long battle with illness.
Fr Frank was renowned for his impact on Australia’s education system, having negotiated the funding of Australian Catholic Schools. He and Anne O’Brien were the driving forces behind the establishment of the Lighthouse home in Cheltenham. Frank also looms large in our CEO Kane Bowden’s family history as a mentor to the Bowden family, particularly Kane’s father Michael. He had many other achievements and will be remembered for his warmth and ability to make others feel welcome, together with his love of music, horses and the Carlton Football Club!
Frank’s extraordinary life was celebrated by hundreds of people at St Therese’s Church in Essendon this morning. Like any of Frank’s own services, it was full of warmth and good humour, and was a moving tribute to a much-loved man.