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VASS Chairman’s Report

On behalf of the Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS), I wish to welcome you to our site, and hope we may be of assistance to you. I am glad you have found your way to our organisation.

I am so proud of the achievements that VASS has made since its establishment in 1986. In the beginning VASS had no place of its own, having to share offices with other, bigger organisations. Now we have several locations across Victoria, many successful programs, over 20 paid staff and dozens of dedicated volunteers. VASS is now the one providing assistance and support to smaller up-and-coming organisations through grassroots community development.

VASS aims to improve the social and cultural wellbeing of the ASB community in Victoria through improved access to services, decision-making and civic participation. VASS provides a wide range of services and activities which included:

  • Projects that strengthen community harmony
  • Family Support Services
  • Aged Care and Disability Social Support programs
  • Settlement support programs
  • Youth Services
  • Leadership courses
  • Individual casework
  • Cross cultural training

This year has seen an expansion of VASS services physically and to an increasingly diverse client group, as well as many new programs and activities. One new beginning that I am very delighted about is VASS’ Registered Training Organisation – VASS College of Vocational Education (RTO No. 40936). I am excited at the opportunities that the College will present to VASS, individuals, and the community as a whole.

I would like to thank our major supporters, without whom we could not do all they work that we do today. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Department of Social Services (DSS)
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Human Services
  • City of Casey
  • City of Hobson’s Bay

I hope you enjoy reading about our achievements and programs, and hope that you will continue your support of our work and all we have contributed within the broader Australian community.

Thank you once again,

Ali Mustapha,

VASS Chairman

ENTEMAA

VASS’ ENTEMAA project aims to promote social inclusion and wellbeing to isolated as well as newly arrived ASB families in the City of Hume, mainly those residing in Broadmeadows, Jacana, Dallas, Coolaroo, Craigieburn and Roxburgh Park.

The program offers a broad range of services and operates in a flexible way to adapt to the complex and changing needs of families involved. There were a variety of activities undertaken in this program, including: Parenting Group/ Parenting Information Sessions, assistance with settlement transitioning and engagement with schools, the School Holiday program, and short one-on-one case work. ENTEMAA has a collaborative approach to service delivery and works in an integrated service system approach working with families and linking them to a range of service providers, educational workshops and social and recreational activities to promote social inclusion, belonging and personal development.

ENTEMAA works towards ensuring that children have the best possible start in life by focussing on well-targeted early intervention approaches that bring about positive outcomes for vulnerable young children and their families. It empowers ASB families to become further engaged within their local community and broader Australian society through increased knowledge of the services and supports available to them, and by facilitating collaboration between parents, children and their schools.

In Hume, the School Holiday program will be running in mid-late January.

The School Holiday Program is open to school-aged children of Arabic Speaking Background, but places are limited and fill up fast, so please contact Laila Taha on laila.taha@vass.org.au, or call VASS Head Office on (03) 9359 2861 if you are interested!

For more information on the ENTEMAA program overall, contact Maliheh Saeedi at VASS Broadmeadows (Head Office) on 9359 2861 or email maliheh.saeedi@vass.org.au.

Win Back Your Life

Gamblers and their Families Support Program 2014 – 2015

Introduction and project Background

Win Back Your Life program will support the development and initiate culturally appropriate activities for isolated and marginalized youth and their families who are problem gamblers or at risk of becoming problem gamblers due to their family and social environments.

Win Back Your Life – VASS will recruit role models and mentors from the social environments of the client group to participate in positive activities with them and act as role models to ensure the long term benefits of the program/ the interventions offered to problem gamblers.

Win Back Your Life – VASS will include training to build the capacity of VASS staff to respond to community problem gambling issues; improved physical, emotional, social and mental health of the target group and increased participation in a locally based and culturally appropriate activities as an attractive alternative options to gambling.

Win Back Your Life – VASS will provide individual level of counselling on financial and emotional counselling and skills to deal better with gambling behaviour and habits including building bridges with specialist services and programs for all family members affected by the gambling behaviours.

Target Group

  • Young people of Arabic speaking backgrounds inclusive of Assyrian, Chaldean, Kurdish, Iranian, Horn of African and Turkish communities
  • Groups who are most at risk at developing problem gambling habits, specifically, the unemployed and underemployed members of all ages from and within the Arabic community in councils of Hume, Moreland, Darebin, Hobson’s Bay, Dandenong and Whittlesea.

Project Management

VASS has the legal responsibility for the project administration and Management.

In addition to being qualified in a range of areas relevant to the project, including psychology, social work and community development, VASS Win Back Your Life counsellors have undertaken project-specific training provided by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation in 2014 and so are highly skilled in this area.

Related links:

http://www.responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au/

http://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/?gclid=CjwKEAjw4PCfBRCz966N9pvJ4GASJAAEdM_K4RB6wdhABFSHGfuJE9GxJjgSo7Frp21dHqn1siIKVRoC-fjw_wcB

Is gambling becoming a serious problem for you?

Take our quiz: www.responsiblegambling.voc.gov.au/awareness-and-prevention/betregret/self-assessment-quiz

For more information on or referrals to VASS’ Win Back Your Life project, please contact Reta Ando, Shereen Issa or Kirsten Gordon on (03) 9359 2861, or email mail@vass.org.au

Referrals can be made by other services or by individuals themselves. Please download and return the referral form below via email (mail@vass.org.au); fax: (03) 9359 2899 or by mail to C1, 1 – 13 The Gateway, Broadmeadows

Family Service Referral Form