Open Family, VIC
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Why do we exist ?
Open Family Australia is a national community organization that currently operates in Victoria, New South Wales, and the ACT. We have been working with young people who have high and complex needs, including problematic drug issues and those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, since 1978, providing personalized “on the street” support services.
Open Family’s core service is street outreach work, where we engage with young people on their terms and in their environment, offering ongoing support and reconnecting them to appropriate community agencies, drug treatment services, employment and training programs, schools, and families.
What do we do ?
As a Beanbag centre, we provide equipment and a space for you people to Job seek, write resumes, look for courses, search for accommodation and rental properties, chat with one another, including other young people in Vietnam, downloading music, emails, and Centrelink requirements. Thanks to the equipment supplied through the Beanbag network we also provide digital video and photography training and multimedia poduction faciliites.
What opportunities do we have for young people ?
Back to School Program, NSP services, and a doctor and Centrelink worker visit weekly. The centre also provides a comfy, welcoming environment for young people to drop-in and a safe place to catch up with friends. The young people we work with come from a range of culturally and linguistically diverse communities, with the majority of South East Asian background.
The movie made for the Beanbag Kick Arse film festival has been a great tool which we have given to some of our government funding bodies, and have shown at our annual Open Family conference. The film is now heading overseas for a much bigger audience, as There's Always Dreams has been accepted to screen in the Film Fest at the 17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm to be held in Vancouver from April 30 to May 4, 2006. This year, the conference organizers are expecting up to 1,500 delegates from every corner of the harm reduction community around the world, and our little film will show just one perspective on drug use and rebuilding lives that can add to the global discussion around these themes.