On 1 July, employees and volunteers from 24 separate Church entities officially came together as one organisation under the Uniting banner. Merging as one organisation is a significant milestone for the delivery of community services by the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.
Staff and volunteers from the founding agencies are celebrating the occasion with numerous local events scheduled to take place across Victoria and Tasmania in the coming days.
Uniting Harrison unveiled a wall at a celebration event this morning at their Wantirna South office – a wall painted in the vibrant hue of Uniting purple to bring their new identity to life. Staff received show bags with Uniting lanyards, lollies and cupcakes.
Harrison CEO Sharon Wolstenholme thanked them for their dedication and hard work with UnitingCare Harrison and spoke of the impact they will continue to have under the Uniting banner.
Many staff members said they were excited about having a united strengthened voice in the community service sector. “
The change from UnitingCare Harrison to Uniting is for a very good reason,” Robyn Morris, Uniting Harrison transitional support worker in homelessness services, said.
“Our services need it in order to survive and thrive.”
Uniting lifeAssist staff were addressed joined by Uniting general manager –transitional services, Tracey Gibson as a wall depicting the organisation’s major milestones was unveiled.
“Today we gathered to pay our respects to the past, acknowledging the many achievements of lifeAssist, and to welcome in the future as Uniting” she said.
“We are truly uniting the combined wisdom and expertise of all the founding agencies to inspire people, enliven communities and confront injustice.”
At the first of Uniting Wesley’s celebration events this week, staff from their central office and Lifeline Melbourne gathered to reflect on Wesley Mission Victoria’s rich history. Gavin Blakemore, Uniting Wesley director of mission spoke of the positive change they can bring about as Uniting.
“We began as Central Methodist Mission 124 years ago providing services to meet needs in our community, and we have continued under different names to serve our community ever since. Let’s be inspired to keep doing great work now as Uniting,” he said.
Anne-Marie Drummond, Uniting Wesley leadership and management program specialist, captured the feeling among founding agency staff in paraphrasing Greek philosopher Aristotle: “The sum of us is greater than the one of us. There’s strength in numbers – we can do more together.”.