Good Shepherd's vision is to create a world where women and girls can feel emotionally, economically and physically safe. The only sure way to achieve this is by disrupting the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage for women.
That means providing services that do more than simply help a woman improve her immediate circumstances. It means providing services that give women the skills and the strength to make sustainable improvements in their lives.
This is where our innovative Doyle Program comes in. This cutting edge new program recognises that women seeking our support often have a number of issues to overcome in order to achieve long-lasting success and happiness. The Doyle Program therefore aims to tackle all those issues at once.
"It's very rare for people suffering real hardship to be only dealing with one particular issue," says Jade Blakkarly, Manager of Women's Services here at Good Shepherd. "It's usually a combination of factors that have caused their disadvantage."
The Doyle Program has been designed to help women address all the issues in their life by setting a series of short term goals which lead to larger, more significant ones. Women in the program will be assigned trained volunteer mentors to help them make plans and carry them through.
"A large focus of the program will be getting the women into education, employment or both," says Ms Blakkarly. "We hope that by setting the goal of finishing a course, or getting the right job, they can then work on the smaller steps that will make those goals achievable."
Being able to focus on their studies might mean seeing a mental health counsellor to address the trauma of past family violence. But to do that, they might need to organise childcare. And to do that, they might need to set a household budget.
"It's all about little goals, feeding into other little goals, leading to more significant objectives and more important outcomes," says Ms Blakkarly. "And a job or a tertiary degree could help these women move from a place of precarious disadvantage to a more stable future."
The program will offer financial assistance for women to do a tertiary course. Yet at this stage, it is unfunded, which brings us to our cocktail event in May. The event, Oh What A Night, aims to raise crucial funds for women to break the cycle of disadvantage through a tertiary education.
Why not come along? You can help young women be empowered through education. You can help break the cycle of disadvantage for young women who might otherwise never have the chance to achieve their full potential. And you can have some fun doing it.
When: Thursday 15 May, 6-9pm
Where: Richmond Town Hall
Tickets: $95 each (more than $50 from each ticket sale will go directly to the Doyle Program)
Refreshments and entertainment provided.