Mission Australia staff in Victoria will be able to better support the community thanks to a new and improved state office in Dandenong.

The office will officially open on 20 February with an event attended by City of Greater Dandenong Mayor Cr Lana Formoso, Mission Australia State Director Victoria Nada Nasser, Mission Australia Executive Community Services Ben Carblis, Mission Australia staff and clients.

The new Dandenong office will allow Mission Australia to enhance the delivery of services and programs in the greater Melbourne area, while at the same time providing a base to expand services in Victoria.

The new office is home to a variety of Mission Australia programs and services such as the Community Chaplaincy Program, which sees a chaplain embedded in the local community, and the Better Futures program, which supports young people aged in their late teens until their 21st birthday, helping them to successfully transition from out of home care to independence.

The office also serves as a base for a range of other services including youth case workers, disability employment services, and youth crime prevention.

Aileen Lacey, Mission Australia Area Manager, Victoria, said the new office would allow Mission Australia to support more people in the community.

“Our new office is in a central, location that’s accessible to the community,” Ms Lacey said.

“We are excited to have a space that meets our service requirements as we continue to expand our presence in Melbourne and Victoria more broadly.”

As part of its expanded offerings in Victoria, Mission Australia has recently purchased a block of units to establish a supported housing program for young people engaged in the Better Futures program.

“Young people need safe and secure housing to thrive,” Ms Lacey said.

“By integrating the support that we already offer through the Better Futures program with the provision of housing, we can offer young people holistic support as they transition into adulthood.”

The Dandenong office is also hosting the Women’s Weaving Yarning Circle Workshops, a 10-week program facilitated by the Mission Australia community chaplain in collaboration with local Aboriginal organisations.

Participants in the workshops will learn how to create a weaving mat using traditional methods and will take part in different discussions each week.

“The Weaving Yarning Circle Workshops are an example of how we are using our Dandenong office to build connections with the local community,” Ms Lacey said.

“The workshops foster bonds between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous community members and allow for the sharing of Aboriginal cultural practices.”

“We want to be a welcoming space for every member of the community, and with this new office, we can live up to that vision,” Ms Lacey added.

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