Dialog Box

CatholicCare Victoria

New Children’s Contact Service launched

Yesterday on 25 July we officially launched our new Children’s Contact Service and site in Wangaratta!

We were joined by local service agencies, funders and community for this special occasion, and we were awed by ceremonies and performances from Uncle Dozer, Senior Cultural Advisor at Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation, and the Damanu Dance Group. It was such an honour to witness traditional Bangerang song and dance, as well as a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony.

We are delighted to partner with Villa Maria Catholic Homes who share our new office site, and we look forward to working with them to support the Wangaratta community.

Traditional Bangerang smocking ceremony and dance.Images from top left clockwise: Smoking Ceremony by Uncle Dozer, Senior Cultural Advisor at Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation; Damanu Dance Group youth; and Damanu Dance Group performing traditionan Bangerang song and dance.

Our Children's Contact Service (CCS) will support separated families in the region, by providing parents and carers with supervised visits at a safe and neutral venue with the children they do not live with. The service will also provide facilitated changeovers, to enable children to move smoothly between their separated parents/carers.

This service is already up and running, and is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays. Appointments must be made to access this service, and community members can call 1800 123 228 to enquire. Our ParentsNext program and Family Dispute Resolution will also be offered from our Wangaratta Children's Contact Centre.

CatholicCare Victoria CCS launch eventImages from top left clockwise: Agnes Sheehan, CEO CatholicCare Victoria speaking; Ross Castle, Chair of the CCV Board speaking; Agnes Sheehan with David Williamson, CEO of Villa Maria Catholic Homes.

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the CCS team, with Jason Amendola as Team leader, and Simone Brown and Karla Daly as CCS Practitioners. Sharon Collier is the Manager of the Children's Contact Service, with Kathryn Lyons as Senior Manager and Deanna Davis as General Manager – this service sits in the Community Wellbeing stream.

The CCS team have done amazing work in setting up the Children’s Contact Centre to be a warm and welcoming space, and have made strong networks with local community.

The team have already opened their doors to the community by hosting a Queermas in July event, run yearly by the LINE Wangaratta Pride Hub for gender diverse teenagers to come together in a safe space. On the weekend the group cooked a roast meal together and watched Queer Christmas movies in our Children’s Contact Centre. This was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the Pride Hub and we thank Alison Winters, President of LINE Wangaratta, for also joining us at our CCS launch.

CatholicCare Victoria staff sitting on couchImage: Members of the CCV Children's Contact Service team, Sharon, Kathryn, Simone and Jason.

On this note, we would like to thank the Attorney-General's department for funding this service and for the Department of Social Services (DSS) for administering these funds to CatholicCare Victoria. DSS have been a great support to us as we implement our new Children’s Contact Service in Wangaratta. The Wangaratta community and local services have also been a great support to our CCS team and will play an integral part in referring separated families in need of support.

Thank you to everyone who has made both our new Children’s Contact Service and the launch event a success!

Learn more about the Children's Contact Service here.

CatholicCare Victoria and DSS staff standing outside togetherImage: CatholicCare Victoria team with members of the Department of Social Services.

Liz Gellel | Manager, External Marketing and Communications

26 July 2023
Category: News