Fitzroy Learning Network Annual Report - Page 6

Students and members of the Middle Park Lodge No 206. FLN was very fortunate to receive a generous donation from Middle Park Lodge No 206 and the Board of Benevolence Freemasons Victoria. It allowed us to update computers in our classrooms that were 9 years old. These new computers with enough space to run teaching software, larger screens and good access to the internet have made a tremendous improvement to delivery by our ESL and computer teachers. About the Network The Fitzroy Learning Network is a community based Neighbourhood House that welcomes people from diverse educational, cultural and social backgrounds. FLN provides education, services, support and advocacy assistance for disadvantaged members of our community. Our clients are newly arrived refugees and migrants. FLN either leads or works with community members to ease and support their settlement issues, and to provide skills for living in Australia. Our aims are to continue to respond to the needs of our community and our clients, to ascertain these needs by listening and to provide services that will ease their transition into their new lives in Australia. We also strive to help build bridges within our community to reduce the level of segregation and inequality and create social cohesion. FLN has well developed links with other organisations who work toward the same ideals. FLN responds to each wave of new arrivals to inner city Melbourne, often being the first port of call for ESL lessons, information, advocacy and support. We made a difference to their lives, now they are making a difference to ours. A Personal Story An Afghani male of 21 years had been in Melbourne for only one week, when he found his way to the FLN refugee support program. He had been free from detention for four months and since his release he had spent time in both Adelaide and Sydney, searching for a place to settle. This man was suffering from depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress symptoms, including sleeplessness, nightmares, flashbacks, and a deep sense of hopelessness and fear for his safety. He was homeless, his centrelink payments had been suspended and due to his moving interstate he had disengaged from AMES support. Immediately, we went together to the Centrelink office to have his payments resumed. It took quite some time and many drop-in appointments, to build a trusting relationship with this man. However, eventually he gave consent to a referral for housing support at Homeground and to North Yarra Community Health Centre to see the doctor. After still more time, we were able to support a referral to Foundation House for trauma counselling. Despite his difficult circumstances this young man showed amazing determination and resilience. Thus, with the support networks put in place, only five months later he was in a much more stable and positive position. He was living in a transitional housing property, working in a factory and had applied for his family to come to Australia through the humanitarian program. He was still attending the FLN refugee support program frequently and having regular counselling sessions with Foundation House. 4 Fitzroy Learning Network Annual Report 2011/12 Students and members of the Middle Park Lodge No 206. FLN was very fortunate to receive a generous donation from Middle Park Lodge No 206 and the Board of Benevolence Freemasons Victoria. It allowed us to update computers in our classrooms that were 9 years old. These new computers with enough space to run teaching software, larger screens and good access to the internet have made a tremendous improvement to delivery by our ESL and computer teachers. About the Network The Fitzroy Learning Network is a community based Neighbourhood House that welcomes people from diverse educational, cultural and social backgrounds. FLN provides education, services, support and advocacy assistance for disadvantaged members of our community. Our clients are newly arrived refugees and migrants. FLN either leads or works with community members to ease and support their settlement issues, and to provide skills for living in Australia. Our aims are to continue to respond to the needs of our community and our clients, to ascertain these needs by listening and to provide services that will ease their transition into their new lives in Australia. We also strive to help build bridges within our community to reduce the level of segregation and inequality and create social cohesion. FLN has well developed links with other organisations who work toward the same ideals. 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