Connecting Communities in Australia

Mary MacKillop Today’s Community Grants Program partners with organisations to improve the lives of Australia’s most vulnerable and marginalised people through education in all its form.  Since 1995 our Community Grants Programs has invested in over 600 life-changing projects, including the House of Welcome, run by St Francis Social Services in NSW. The House of Welcome exists to welcome, shelter and empower refugees and people seeking asylum, including providing training and work opportunities with their catering social enterprise.  Last year Mary MacKillop Today assisted with the House of Welcome’s efforts in supporting the need for social interaction and mental well-being for those living in a new country and new community, with limited resources.  One way this was achieved was through a day trip to Kiama, where a group of local volunteers were connected with refugee and asylum seeking families.

It was a wonderful cultural exchange opportunity which included a lovely lunch and afternoon tea. The group also visited local attractions giving many families, who are often isolated, the chance to connect and experience a very warm Aussie welcome, all of which was very gratefully received.