From the desk of Mike Williams, General Manager

By Anglican Family Care | Posted: Wednesday March 31, 2021

E ngā hau e whā, tēnā koutou katoa

As we head into the Easter break there is much to reflect on from the first quarter of 2021. Amazing in the first instance, to think it was a year ago that we were living in a locked-down Aotearoa. It certainly feels like a lifetime ago from where I’m sitting. The arrival and gradual rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine will be welcome news for many, and I certainly hope a first step toward easing the necessary but restrictive safety measures many in our world are living with at the moment.

Some things have not changed. There continue to be challenges in our communities - shortages of housing and accommodation, uncertainty around job security, mental health and addiction issues, family harm, inequality. But in the face of these issues, there is a very real willingness for those of us tasked with supporting at-risk whānau and tamariki to band together - a strong sense of our collective responsibility to constantly strive for better. He waka eke noa.

Image by: Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Anglican Family Care is one of many agencies working in the communities across Otago to help whānau tackle the problems of day-to-day living they are facing and make positive and sustainable change; we’re really pleased to have recently committed to some partnerships, particularly in the family harm space.

  • In the Clutha District, our team have joined forces with Tokomairiro Waiora to build workforce capability, capacity, and responsiveness to family harm in the community. It’s an exciting relationship that has seen our respective teams come together to share time and grow their knowledge.

  • In North Otago, we have joined with Presbyterian Support Otago Family Works and Mid-South Island Women’s Refuge & Family Safety to do the same, and we look forward to progressing this relationship to benefit the communities of Oamaru and the Waitaki.

  • We are also delighted to be a part of the Accelerator programme, which is currently underway in Dunedin. A coming together of as many as 10 Dunedin social services, all supporting the development of workforce capacity in our city. Credit for the development of the programme belongs to others, but we are certainly very happy to have the opportunity to play our part. The financial backing of the Otago Community Trust for this year has ensured the programme can get up and running, and we look forward to the many benefits this will bring.
Pictured are Dawn Rangi-Smith (Mid-South Island Women’s Refuge and Family Safety Services), Carmen Batchelor (Presbyterian Support), Jane Hutton (AFC) — Image by: Anglican Family Care

Amidst this work, we are taking the opportunity to tell our story. On Tuesday 27 April we will be launching “Southern Service: The First 50 Years of Dunedin’s Family Care Centre”. This book has been written by Wellington author and historian, Julia Stuart, and is the product of many years of meticulous research, investigation, and interviewing. It traces our history from our inception and first 35 years as the Anglican Methodist Family Care Centre through to the current Anglican Family Care Centre.  As Julia puts it: “An extraordinary story of vision, innovation, risk-taking, occasional crises and sheer hard work.”

Numbers for this event are limited, to reserve your place go to (search Southern Service) — Image by: Anglican Family Care

The book brings to the fore the dedicated work of so many - the initial steering committee who had the foresight and readiness to respond to the need, the Anglican and Methodist Church communities, the many wonderfully passionate and skilled people who have been a part of our staffing and governance groups and of course a community of willing supporters, funders, and donors - too innumerable to mention here.  All of which further impresses upon me the great responsibility we each carry in the ongoing pursuit of our vision: Strong, connected and thriving whānau and tamariki. “Mā mua ka kite a muri, mā muri ka ora a mua: Those who lead give sight to those who follow, those who follow give life to those who lead”. A humbling but appropriate thought to end on.

Ngā mihi o Te Aranga


Image by: Image by Pixaline from Pixaby