Somerville staff attend specialist disability services training

15 of our core Disability Services Team recently attended a ‘Person-Centred’ training program, arranged by National Disability Services (NDS) NT.

Over two days they learned about ‘Person-Centred Approaches’ - sets of values, skills and practical tools for getting to know the people we support, discovering what they find important and understanding what they want out of life.

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle Fundraiser

Who doesn’t love a sausage sizzle? Fortunately, Northern Territorians do!

Somerville staff and volunteers recently held a fundraising barbeque at Bunnings in Darwin. There were charred snags with onion, wrapped inside a slice of bread with drippings of sauce… yum!

Lots of people called in for a soft drink and a sausage for the chance to quell the morning and afternoon hunger pangs in the knowledge they helped Somerville in the process.

Thank you to Bunnings for their support and, of course, a big thank you to our staff and volunteers. 

Congratulations Allison O’Connor!

Allison O’Connor (Somerville Financial Services and Special Projects Manager) recently completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. The course provides a framework that can be immediately applied to improve Board performance and decision making. Congratulations Allison on gaining formal qualifications as a Company Director!

Alison receiving her award from Minister Styles

Somerville Annual Golf Day 2016

Each year Somerville organises a number of social activities for our staff; not only for the enjoyment on the day, but also as a way of building on our great family atmosphere and creating an enjoyable work environment.

This goes a long way in maintaining our dedicated professional workforce and, ultimately, results in a high quality service offering to our clients and service users.

Recently staff took part in the Somerville Annual Golf Day. It was a great way of helping the team re-charge their batteries after the end of the 2015/16 financial year.

Enhancing young family relationships through the Kids FAST program

As part of our mission to impact positively on the quality of life of Territorians, we partnered with Gray Primary School to help implement and facilitate the Kids FASTTM (Families and Schools Together) program.

The Kids FASTTM program is designed to encourage parents to become increasingly involved in the lives of their children through family relationship management, improved parent-child bonding, and stimulating parental encouragement. By empowering parents to be the primary protective factors for their own family, the program helps make lasting changes.

Getting ready for tax time with Tax Help training from the ATO

Each year we provide a free service called Tax Help to the Darwin and Palmerston communities, aiding low income earners to complete and lodge their tax returns.

With the Tax Help program commencing at Somerville shortly, we held a Tax Help training session for volunteers participating in the 2016 program. The session was run by Stanley Gibbs, a Community Education Officer from the Australian Taxation Office.

Last year the Tax Help program helped over 200 low income earners prepare their returns.

Somerville welcomes a special visitor from UnitingCare Australia

This week we welcomed a visit from Kate Gainer, Senior Policy Officer at UnitingCare Australia. Kate is currently responsible for national policy on homelessness and is working on establishing a national network of providers to combat such a prominent social issue.

Kate met with Somerville staff to discuss homelessness, and the housing issues faced by those living in the Territory, which currently has the highest rate of homelessness in Australia.

The 2016 Margaret Somerville Award goes to…

We are proud to announce that Financial Counsellor Vicki Borzi is the recipient of the 2016 Margaret Somerville Award.

Vicki is highly committed to her work and possesses a work ethic that is aligned with the Somerville mission. She goes the extra mile for her clients and the team, has a “can do” attitude and displays an empathetic approach to her work.

The Annual Margaret Somerville Award, named in memory of our namesake, was established to recognise exemplary service and acknowledge outstanding performance of our staff members.

International Childhood Trauma Conference

It was a privilege for Somerville staff to attend the 2016 International Childhood Trauma Conference in Melbourne recently. This biannual conference is run by the Australian Childhood Foundation – their vision being that “all children are safe from the trauma of abuse, violence and neglect.”

The conference highlighted key innovations around supporting and protecting vulnerable and traumatised children, young people and the adults who look after them. The theme was “Tracing new developments in relational, body-oriented and brain-based approaches to recovery and change.”

2016 National NILS Conference

Somerville attended the National NILS Conference that was held over two days in Adelaide this month, with Dr Christine Nixon AMP and Adam Mooney amongst the keynote speakers. NILS is a community-based program enabling people living on low incomes to access credit to purchase essential goods and services.