Monday, July 23, 2012

Sydney van is on a new mission in Central Australia

Mission Australia staff have driven 2800kms over 3 days from Sydney to Alice Springs to give their service vehicle to the tenancy support programs that Mission Australia’s Alice Springs office delivers.

The vehicle, which was formerly used by the Sydney Mission Australia team to provide support services to people sleeping rough in the Sydney CBD, was packed with toys, playstations, sporting equipment, sheet sets and blankets to be donated to Alice Springs accommodation centres and families in need.

Missionbeat Manager Daniel Strickland said he was wrapped that they could pass on the van to the Central Australian support service and this was a great opportunity to take it personally to Alice Springs.

“This visit has been extremely worthwhile,” he said.

“The Alice Springs team and I have been able to share stories and ideas on the challenges in working with homeless people and the contribution we can make regardless of an urban or remote setting.

Most of the Alice Springs work is in supporting people to sustain their government housing. Mission Australia helps people with the myriad of enquiries and challenges that come from moving into Territory Housing and becoming good neighbours and happy tenants,” he said.

Alice Springs Operations Manager, Lyanne Kerr said she welcomed the new addition to their services.

“We assist our tenants learn how to deal with rent and money management, home care and maintenance of property, all vital stepping stones to keeping their homes so that they can have the stability most of us take for granted. Once you have stable and long term housing you can plan for the future – getting the kids to the local school, learning skills and training, receiving regular mail and eventually gaining employment.

We are so grateful to our NSW colleagues for supporting us and taking time from their busy schedules to come to Alice Springs and help us with the valuable work we do here. It really is a team effort and together we can be a real force for good,” Ms Kerr said.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Urban Quest finalists shine on The X Factor Australia

Two finalists from Mission Australia’s Urban Quest are through to the next season of The X Factor Australia.

Singers Shiane Hawke, 14, and Peter Rautoka, 19, are the first Territorians to make it through to the TV auditions for  popular Channel 7 program.

Shiane, who sang Duffy’s Mercy, left X Factor judges speechless at the TV audition -  the same song which earned her a Mark Holden seal of approval at the 2011 Urban Quest finals concert.

This year, the Dripstone Middle School student was second runner-up at the Mission Australia finals event.

Peter Rautoka also received Holden’s trademark touchdown at the 2011 Urban Quest finals concert with his rendition of Hallelujah.

The young Territory hopefuls, who auditioned at Darwin and Cairns earlier this year, were flown to the Gold Coast for the TV auditions earlier this month.

“It was an amazing experience,” Mr Rautoka said.

“It was pretty scary singing in front of the four judges - Mel B, Guy Sebastian, Ronan Keating and Natalie Bassingthwaighte - and about four thousand people, but it’s given me a whole new confidence in myself and my singing.”

NT Mission Australia Operations Manager Jillian Smith said she was very proud to see the Urban Quest finalists doing well on the big stage.

“Mission Australia is very proud to have seen these talented young singers shine at Urban Quest, and continue to grow and follow their dreams,” Ms Smith said.

“Urban Quest is a celebration of young people, which aims to improve confidence through music. Hopefully the mentoring they both received from Mark Holden helped them believe in themselves and realise their true potential.

“I encourage everyone to support Shiane and Peter on their X Factor journey.”

Territorians will have to wait and see if the young Territorians make it past The X Factor Bootcamp in Sydney and onto the live TV show.

The next season of X Factor airs on Channel 7 in the coming months.

A sneak peek of Shiane’s TV audition can be seen here:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vista Gold Australia invites local community to come say hello

Vista Gold Australia invites the Katherine local community to come say hello to staff from the Mt Todd Gold Mine project at the Katherine Show tomorrow and Saturday.

Ray Iacono, Vista Gold Australia Director said that the Show provided a great opportunity for the company to keep in contact with the community.

“We welcome people from Katherine and beyond to visit our stall at the Show for an update on the project.

Both the Environmental and Site Managers will be available to talk to the community and answer questions on the progress of the project to date,” he said.

Vista Gold recently announced that the company had revised the scope of the Feasibility Study on the Mt Todd gold project to incorporate a larger processing facility, a redesigned open pit and plans to recover gold from the existing heap leach pads.

The Company is now targeting the release of the Feasibility Study in late 2012 or early 2013.

“If you have ever wondered what the gold actually looks like in the ground, come and have a look at our display. Our mining experts will have a drilling core sample on show and be able to answer questions of how the gold is processed,” Mr Iacono said.

“Community sentiment has been very supportive of reopening the mine, it is very important to us to stay in contact with the community so that we have a clear understanding of the issues that are matter to them.”

Vista Gold’s Mt Todd display will be located in the Commercial Building at the Katherine Show.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Mission Australia swamped during the dry season

An influx of teenagers are roaming the streets of Darwin, Mandorah and Adelaide River these school holidays.

More than 32 students aged between 10 and 18 years are seeing the sights of the Top End after Mission Australia's school holiday program booked out.

Running to the end of July, the teens are attending activities and tours that include the Adelaide River Queen Cruise, Lake Leanyer, Duck-About-Tour to Mandorah, Palmerston Water Park, Fishing Charter and Crocosaurus Cove.

Youth Service Manager Adrian McCann said the activities help young people build confidence and connect with their local community.

"We've had a great response to the program and are really pleased with some of the outcomes," he said.

"I believe this is a great way for students to be active within the community and encourage all young people in Darwin and Palmerston to get involved in our programs."

Mr McCann said parents should get in early for the wet season school holiday program.

Activities offered as part of Mission Australia's school holiday programs are organised by local staff who encourage and inspire the young teens to make informed lifestyle choices.

"We provide a safe atmosphere for them to grow and learn important life skills," Mr McCann said.

Mission Australia contributes heavily to the lives of young people across the Darwin and Palmerston region with several programs for teenagers to be more involved with their communities.

Anyone interested in Mission Australia's school holiday program is encouraged to register their interest by calling 08 8935 0900.