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Opening of new office brings increased opportunities to the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region

A new Wesley Mission office in the heart of Wollongong will provide increased services to people across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven region.

Representatives of Wesley Mission, the Department of Communities and Justice along with local housing and employment providers will join together to celebrate the official opening of the premises at Level 2, 65-67 Burelli Street, Wollongong.

Wesley Mission has long had a presence in the Wollongong area, opening employment services in early 2000.

“During this time we have forged a positive connection, understanding appreciation of the needs of people in the Illawarra region,” said Wesley Mission CEO, the Rev Keith V Garner AM.

The new, larger office will provide space for the co-location of community services including vocational training, home care, counselling, mental health support and suicide prevention along with the new Opportunity Pathways program.

“Bringing these services together under one roof is a new chapter in our support of people in the region: to give people greater access to our broad range of community services,” he said.

Opportunity Pathways helps people living in social or community housing assistance to access education, training and work. It is open to people aged 17 and over and provides flexible, tailored support.

Program participants discuss and set goals, developing a tailored plan with their Employment Coach to help them move closer to their dream.

“This program provides a unique opportunity for a person who is willing to challenge themselves. Maybe they have a specific goal in mind, or even if they know they want their life to be different but are not sure how to get there, that’s where Wesley Mission comes in,” said Mr Garner.

“We will walk alongside each person, to help them develop the skills that employers are looking for. We take a practical approach, including developing financial literacy, which will have a positive impact in many areas of people’s lives.”

There are 15 districts that Opportunity Pathways is operating in across NSW. Wesley Mission provides the program on the Mid North Coast, Hunter and Central Coast and in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions.

“When we experience a setback or trauma in our lives–whether through domestic violence, the experience of homelessness or unstable accommodation, or even the effect of intergenerational unemployment–it can impact our confidence and independence. Wesley Mission is here to provide that rare chance of a fresh start,” said Mr Garner. 

Official opening of Wesley Mission Wollongong office and launch of the Opportunity Pathways program:

Date: Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Time: 11 am-12.30 pm

Location: Level 2, 65-67 Burelli Street, Wollongong

Keynote speakers: CEO of Wesley Mission, the Rev Keith V Garner AM; Department of Communities and Justice Commissioning and Planning Area Manager, Jelena Mealey; and interviews with Illawarra locals and clients from the Opportunity Pathways program and Wesley Vocational Institute.

Welcome to Country: Auntie Bev Armer

Information about Opportunity Pathways

The Opportunity Pathways program is funded by the NSW Government. Opportunity Pathways is a program under Future Directions for Social Housing to help people receiving social housing assistance access education, training and work.

For more information, please visit the Opportunity Pathways program page.

Media enquiries:      

The CEO/Superintendent of Wesley Mission, the Rev Keith V Garner AM is available for interview.

Please contact:
Anne Holt
Senior Public Affairs Officer
0418 628 342 

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