RELEASED: October 6, 2022
Social Futures, which delivers more than 20 community programs, has opened its new office in Lismore where participants can visit in person and Social Futures can provide face-to-face support.
You can see a video on the office opening HERE.
Social Futures CEO Tony Davies said his organisation delivers a diversity of programs, such as: homelessness supports, headspace youth mental health services, family and youth assistance and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“Social Futures has been here for the Northern Rivers community through the pandemic and after the twin-flooding disasters. We’ve had staff in the field working from mobile vans. We never wavered in our support of this region,” Mr Davies said.
“We know that people here are much in need of human contact, and that is why we are delighted to announce that we have a new office in Lismore in the existing building at 29 Molesworth Street.
“The new refurbished space means we can bring back 120 staff into Lismore’s Central Business District to meet face-to-face with community members in need of support.
“Having our own office again is important to the recovery of this area – Social Futures is determined to be there for Lismore. We want to see people in person.
“And by coming back into the CBD we are committing to the future of our region. There will be an extra 120 people visiting the CBD every week – buying lunch, shopping and enjoying Lismore’s cultural spaces.”
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said having a physical presence in Lismore will continue to allow Social Futures to play an integral part in the recovery for those affected by the floods.
“We are all working towards ensuring vulnerable residents have access to the services they need and are sufficiently supported as they rebuild their homes and their lives,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
Acting CEO of headspace Julia Smith said it was important young people in Lismore have access to in-person mental health support during the recovery phase.
“headspace is grateful to have a new space where we can continue our important work of supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing,” Ms Smith said.
“The time after a natural disaster is potentially very challenging for young people, and it’s important young people and their families in Lismore know they can seek support at headspace – when and where they need it most.”
Acting National Disability Insurance Agency CEO Dr Lisa Studdert said it is vital to increase the accessibility of support available to people with a disability, both on a day-to-day basis and in the event of future emergencies.
“Social Futures was an important element of the emergency response in Lismore, assisting people with disability displaced from their homes, and working with Resilience NSW to provide information and support across 15 flood recovery centres,” Dr Studdert said.
“The presence of services, such as Social Futures, helps disaster impacted participants to access essential disability related supports and facilitate repairs to damaged homes, vehicles, assistive technology and workplaces.”
Prior to February 28, Social Futures had five offices in Lismore, with four severely impacted by the floods.
Social Futures acknowledges the support of both the Australian and NSW governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
The new Social Futures office in the existing Westlawn Building, 29 Molesworth Street, is four metres above the February flooding peak.
The new building will be fully accessible to people with a disability with an occupational therapist being consulted for the refurbishment.
Across northern New South Wales and in south-east Queensland, Social Futures works with more than 20,000 participants.
PHOTO: Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg, Social Futures CEO Tony Davies, Social Futures Senior Manager Aboriginal Leadership and Engagement, and Bundjulung Elder Uncle Roy Gorgan.