WHO WE ARE
Zoe Support Australia is a not-for-profit Community Service Organisation that has operated in Mildura, VIC and surrounds since 2013. We are dedicated to the benevolent relief of social isolation, poverty, ill health, destitution and distress of young mothers (aged 13-25) and their children in order to re-engage mothers in education, employment and social programs. We offer a culture of Connecting, Inspiring, Learning.
Our staff and volunteers will support you on your journey into motherhood and education. We believe that when you are connected and inspired you can learn and achieve great things.
Our services and programs are open to all clients in celebration of race, language, marital status, country of origin, cultural background, political affiliation, religion, sexual and gender identity, disability, or those involved with the criminal justice system, except where specific service and/or program criteria are established.
Zoe Support Australia’s primary objectives are for mothers to break cycles of welfare-dependence, increase mother-child attachment and family stability, improve mental health and physical wellbeing, decrease incidents of family violence and substance abuse, engage in higher education, and find employment.
Zoe Support Australia offers clients a wraparound, holistic and place-based service. We provide advocacy, practical support, and assistance to enable higher education and employment outcomes and develop confidence, self-esteem and personal skills. Our services aim to increase social connection, inspire mothers to achieve their goals and create opportunities for learning.
COMMITMENT TO CHILD SAFETY
Zoe Support Australia is committed to promoting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people whom the organisation services. Under the Children Youth and Families Act (2005), Zoe Support Australia provides supports to vulnerable children, young people and their families.
We want children to be safe, happy and empowered
We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers
We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children
We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures
We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously
Zoe Support Australia is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.
Zoe Support Australia has robust human services and recruitment practices to reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing board members, staff and volunteers.
Zoe Support Australia is committed to regularly training and educating our board members, staff and volunteers on child abuse risks.
We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from culturally and or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability.
We have specific policies and procedures in place that support out board members, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.
COMMITMENT TO CULTURAL SAFETY,
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Zoe Support Australia is committed to ensuring cultural safety, diversity and inclusivity are embedded throughout our organisation for the benefit of all clients, volunteers and staff.
We believe our people are our greatest asset and by supporting and incorporating their culture, diverse talents, knowledge, perspectives and experiences, we can strengthen our relationships with the communities we work with.
Our focus is to create a more just society which means eliminating discrimination in the services we deliver and the workplace we provide. Being a diverse and inclusive organisation goes to the very heart of our work, and supports our strategic intent to transform the future of vulnerable children and their families.
Why embracing cultural safety, diversity and inclusion is important to Zoe Support Australia
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are the oldest living cultures in the world. Cultural factors, such as identity, language and spirituality, as well as connection to Country, to family and to community, can positively impact on the lives of Aboriginal people.
Providing a culturally safe environment supports all clients, volunteers and employees to feel safe and to be their authentic and true self.
Supporting diversity and acknowledging that our differences in relation to age, sex, gender, race, national or ethnic origin, religion, language, political beliefs, sexual orientation or physical ability helps develop strong and sustainable relationships.
Equality and equity are upheld by implementing policies, procedures and guidelines that ensure that our clients, volunteers and employees are offered opportunities and are supported with exercising their rights.
Understanding that where clients, volunteers and employees may belong to a number of diverse groups (i.e. religion, gender, sexuality, age, physical ability, cultural heritage), that this intersectionality can pose additional challenges that we need to be responsive to.
Encouraging consultation and collaboration helps us to gather feedback that guides improvement in our services and work environments to ensure we are meeting the needs of clients, employees and volunteers.
Providing awareness training for employees and volunteers facilitates self-development and strengthens our workforce capability.
This commitment enables us to gain a better understanding of one another, cultivate greater respect and nurture deeper connections to strengthen our services and workplace and ensure we are inclusive.
Finalist HESTA Team Excellence Awards in Community Services
Finalist Learn Local Pre-Accredited Program Award
Winner HESTA Impact Awards – Outstanding Organisation
Winner Community Achievement Awards for Regional Victoria - GOTAFE Community Education Award
Winner VicHealth Victorian Health Promotion Award – Driving Health Equity category
Winner Victorian Early Years Awards 2021 – Supporting Parents to Build Their Confidence & Capacity
Winner in Family Day Care Australia Excellence Awards - Regional Educator, Simone
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gary has a strong commitment to improving outcomes for young people and schools. He has worked in the education sector for over 30 years in various roles since completing his Education degree, including principal for over 20 years. He has been State Councillor with the Victorian Principal Association, and Chair of several other Principal Associations. He was the Youth Coordinator for Mildura Rural City Council and coordinated the FLO Connect Reengagement Centre. He is now semi-retired and became the Chair of the Zoe Support Australia Board in March 2022.
Will is passionate about community development and access to appropriate services for all community members. He was employed at Department of Human Services predominately in the Community Services field for over 10 years. Recognising that education is often the factor in improving people’s lives and the key to broadening choices and opportunities, Will transitioned to the Department of Education and Training and worked within the Adult Community and Further Education area for 4 years based in Bendigo. He then moved to Mildura to take up an opportunity with SuniTAFE before transitioning back to the Department of Education and Training as the Jobs Skills & Pathways Manager for the Mallee. Will has a strong social justice focus with a particular interest in gender equity and indigenous affairs. Will has sat on many Boards and is currently also a member of the Community Advisory Committee for Bendigo Health ensuring the Mallee’s perspective is considered.
Philip is a specialist general medical practitioner who has worked in a family practice in Mildura for more than 40 years. Philip brings extensive governance skills and medical and community knowledge to the board. He has served on several NFP Boards, as a Director and Chair, and on Audit and Risk Committees. Philip is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently appointed to the Credentialing Committee for Mildura Base Public Hospital. Philip was the inaugural Chair of Zoe Support Australia Board from 2012-2022.
Jenny has significant business, community and regional development experience through leadership positions held in local, state and federal governments over the last 25 years. She has also been involved in many Board positions and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jenny’s qualifications include an Executive Masters in Public Administration and she is a Fellow CPA.
Bethany has been working with Zoe Support since 2013 in a volunteer and behind-the-scenes capacity. As a qualified creative, she has designed each logo concept, brochure, pamphlet, website and photography that underpins the Zoe Support brand identity. More recently, Bethany completed her law degree at Deakin University and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria as a lawyer.
She has strongly supported Zoe Support from the organisation's beginning and continues to do so as a director.