Wesley Packaging Services prepares and packs the audience participation kits for the Sydney Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.
Wesley Mission’s Reach Out 2000 program is a series of activities organised around the Sydney Olympics. These include choirs, dance groups and providing guides and drivers. Former Olympic track and field gold medallists Carl Lewis and Joe DeLoach (the only runner to beat Carl Lewis in an Olympic competition) and Chandra Cheeseborough spoke on Wesley Mission’s television show Turn ‘Round Australia about their faith while visiting Sydney for the Olympics.
Lifeline eyes Sutherland
The New South Wales Government and local businesses rally to support Wesley Mission’s plan to establish a new Lifeline telephone counselling service in the Sutherland Shire. The service opened the following year.
Wesley Mission employees and volunteers visit the tiny island of Rotuma in the Pacific to build a library. Their visit marks 25 years of ministry by Wesley Mission to the Rotuman people.
A towering achievement
Wesley Noreen Towers opens at Ashcroft in response to the high rate of homeless families with children in the Liverpool area. Working with the Department of Community Services and the Department of Housing, Wesley Mission creates an innovative community that combines access to family accommodation with family support and group work services. The Rev Noreen Towers from Wesley Mission receives the Order of Australia for her work with homeless people.
New care initiative
The Peter Beaumont Wing for Eating Disorders opens at Wesley Hospital Ashfield, offering pioneering care in an area closely associated with our work among people with mental health issues.
The Rev Keith Garner from the United Kingdom is appointed as Superintendent. His vision is of a city church that reaches to the edges of society.
That year Wesley Mission’s Rise and Shine TV show makes its debut, replacing Turn ‘Round Australia which had screened for 27 years. It is broadcast on the Nine Network and the Australian Christian Channel.
RJ Williams Lodge wins a Federal Government award for providing outstanding employment opportunities for its residents with disabilities or injuries.
Wesley International Congregation visits Thailand to provide relief to tsunami victims.
In the tradition of the Rev Samuel Leigh and his door to door research in the 1820s, Wesley Mission launches The Wesley Report series to raise awareness and recommend action on social problems in the areas of mental health, homelessness, financial stress and children and families.
A trusted voice
The Wesley Report: Living with mental illness identifies a much higher incidence of mental illness in the community than previously thought. A 21-point reform plan to help address the crisis is released.
Wesley Institute, has its largest graduating year ever with 117 graduates. The Wesley Institute choir also wins first place in the International Youth Music Festival in Vienna.
Wesley Mission launches the Blacktown/Baulkham Hills Early Intervention Program for youth and also opens the Wesley Brighter Futures Nepean office to assist local families.
Wesley Church in Pitt Street introduces a new worship service—Pulse: Heart of the City. This contemporary worship service attracts more than 130 people each week.
Setting the agenda
The Federal Government’s Housing Minister endorses the findings and recommendations of The Wesley Report More than a bed, promising action to address many of the issues identified.
The Rev Keith Garner takes part in the Federal Government’s highly-publicised 2020 Summit, being invited to participate in discussions on strengthening communities and families.
Keith Garner is presented with a Doctorate in Divinity by the Evangelical Bible Seminary in Burma. The Doctorate is awarded in recognition of the Rev Keith Garner’s contribution to world mission, in particular his commitment to the mission of Christ in poorer countries.
Lifeline celebrates its 45th anniversary, taking more than 16,000 calls that year and 800,000 since it opened.
Congregations ministering to special groups experience considerable growth, including to singles, couples, men, the Chinese fellowship and the Samoan Sunday school.
Our services continue to expand. A new Wesley Brighter Futures program for children and families is launched in the Cumberland area. Wesley Vocational Institute receives approval to run courses for new migrants to improve their employment prospects.
Standing up for the bullied
The Wesley Report Give kids a chance highlight the prevalence of the problem of bullying, its long-term impact and the need for early intervention.
Wesley Mission launches a new Alcohol and Other Drugs initiative to broaden the reach of its counselling and rehabilitation services via outreach workers.
Wesley Disability Services is selected to provide emergency respite to children and adults in western Sydney for 12 months, specifically targeting those who are homeless or in insecure accommodation.
Dr Jim Pendlebury retires as an Officer and is replaced by Mr Mark Scott AO, Managing Director of the ABC, joining David Greatorex as a Board Member of Wesley Mission.
Advisor to government
Wesley Mission is invited to participate in high level New South Wales Government initiatives to combat homelessness. The Rev Dr Keith Garner is appointed the Deputy Co-chair of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Homelessness. He also joins the Board of the Community Council for Australia (CCA). CCA is a peak body of not-for-profit organisations that aims to enhance the role they play and change the way governments, communities and not-for-profits interact.
In Newcastle, our Wesley StreetSmart van hits the streets to visit areas where young people congregate and to offer advice and support for problems such as addiction and unemployment. Wesley LifeForce also hosts its first Wesley LifeForce Suicide Memorial Day in Tasmania.
The internet plays an expanded role in Wesley Mission’s evangelical work, with increasing numbers of people accessing sermons from our website.
Wesley Gambling Counselling continues to add more clients to the list of clubs referring problem gamblers to it for help. Wesley Mission’s International Congregation continues to thrive, each week consisting of more than 750 people from Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and 20 other nations.
On the money
Supported by St George bank, Wesley Mission launches a new financial literacy program, In Charge of my Money, to assist people to better understand their financial situation and make informed decisions about their spending and borrowing. The Rev Dr Keith Garner spends 10 days visiting and preaching to congregations in China.
Construction begins on major additions to Alan Walker Village at Carlingford, including a new dementia wing. The new accommodation—to be called Wesley Rayward Carlingford—is recognised as the Most Outstanding Aged Care Housing Design at the Australasian Over 50s Housing Awards.
Wesley Mission takes over the operations of respected child mentoring charity Aunties & Uncles, now called Wesley Aunties & Uncles.
Wesley Mission’s Easter Mission receives unprecedented coverage, being broadcast on 152 radio and TV stations nationally. Wesley Mission’s Rise and Shine TV show is renamed Wesley Impact! TV.
Wesley LifeForce begins offering suicide prevention training to an Aboriginal community in East Arnhem Land.
Celebrating 200 years
Wesley Mission celebrates 200 years since the first Methodists began their pioneering care in New South Wales and later went on to found the organisation that became Wesley Mission. Special projects for the celebration include a film about the life of John Wesley and a commemorative book about the history of Wesley Mission.
Spotlight on suicide prevention
As the Government makes changes to the way organisations like Wesley Mission are funded, steps toward Incorporation begin that will better position Wesley Mission to take advantage of funding opportunities.
A new facility for Wesley Seniors, Wesley Rayward Carlingford, opens. Featuring 74 units and a unique 14 bed dementia unit, the development demonstrates Wesley Mission’s commitment to caring for older people and ability to meet the changing needs of Australia’s ageing population.
Wesley Mission celebrates Lifeline’s 50th anniversary. From humble beginnings, Lifeline was an innovative idea originally conceived by Wesley Mission that soon spread globally, saving an untold number of lives of those years. Also in suicide prevention, Wesley LifeForce has another year of consistent growth, expanding services to even more communities across Australia.
Wesley Foster Care Services’ tireless work to help displaced children and young people is recognised with the award of a large contract for foster care services, enabling Wesley Mission to nearly double the number of children and families assisted.
Wesley Mission also recognises 120 years of caring for children and young people through Wesley Dalmar and begins plans for a celebration event to take place early next year to mark the milestone.
Through Wesley Haircut for Homelessness, Wesley Mission breaks a Guinness World Record for the most haircuts given by a team in eight hours with 409 haircuts officially recorded. The highly publicised event helps to raise the issue of homelessness in the community.
This year also sees the final steps to closure for Lottie Stewart Hospital after 65 years of remarkable service and care to people in the community.
Meeting changing needs
Wesley Mission expands mental health services in the community, launching an innovative new early intervention program for young mothers dealing with mental illness, Mums and Kids Matter.
A new program for young people, Wesley Youth Hope, is launched. Based on the Wesley Brighter Futures model, Wesley Youth Hope is an early intervention program for nine to 15 years olds and their families where there is an identified risk impacting the child’s safety, welfare or wellbeing.
Always ready to embrace innovative ideas and sustainable practices, Wesley Mission makes major adjustments to a range of services, including Wesley Homeless Services, Wesley Carer Services and Wesley Help at Home Services. These services are bolstered by additional Government funding and are tailored to meet current needs and reflect Wesley Mission’s holistic person centred approach to care.
Wesley Mission also holds celebratory services to mark 120 years of serving children and families through Wesley Dalmar and 40 years of the Aunties & Uncles mentoring program which became part of the Wesley Mission family in 2010.
Also in milestones, Wesley Mission celebrates 25 years of the Wesley Chinese Congregation which grew from humble beginnings and is now one of the few large Chinese congregations in Sydney’s CBD with services delivered in Mandarin each week.
Innovation, thanks and the future
In looking at the life of Wesley Mission throughout 2015 we see a year filled with events, openings, achievements and growth.
Adding to our range of services, Wesley Mission opened the doors to the Seniors Social Hub in Fairfield in 2015 and launched the Wesley Young Healthy Minds and Wesley Take Charge of Your Life programs. These innovative approaches illustrate Wesley Mission's continuing commitment to stand with those in danger of slipping through the cracks.
Broadcast widely across the globe, Easter was a time of remembrance and joy and the celebrations didn't stop there. During 2015 Wesley Mission celebrated the 20 years of Wesley LifeForce, the 200 year anniversary of Samuel Leigh's arrival, a newly renovated Wesley Centre and the inaugural Gordon Moyes Lecture, given by Federal Treasurer the Hon Scott Morrison MP. Wesley Mission supporters also came together at the annual events, Sports United and Wesley Doves, to raise money for our work.
As we move in to 2016 and beyond, Wesley Mission is ready for growth with a streamlined leadership team, passionate staff and a committed CEO and board.