Earlier today Wesley Mission Brisbane executive director Geoff Batkin and superintendent minister Lyn Burden reported to 32nd Synod members on the organisation’s current state-of-health.
Geoff and Lyn opened their presentation with the origins of Wesley Mission Brisbane which began in Albert Street Uniting Church in the mid-19th century, rooted in the mandate of Matthew 25:35.
Today Wesley Mission Brisbane offers a wide range of community services that support over 100 000 people “of all ages and stages of life across south east Queensland and the Fraser Coast”. They also support more than 7000 members of the deaf community nationally.
Wesley Mission Brisbane employs 2400 staff and has 1500 passionate volunteers, who contribute “more than 220 000 hours of time to support our residents and clients.”
“Wesley Mission Brisbane is positioning for growth, change and innovation in response to community need and a dynamic and uncertain climate,” said Geoff.
Lyn added, “We continue to work for reconciliation, transformation and justice for all people. Living out God’s calling for the church as expressed in Micah 6:8.”
The report detailed that Wesley Mission Brisbane’s key achievement will always be, “the sense of growth, empowerment and hope that people living with disadvantage experience through their interaction our support services”.
Recent initiatives include the launch of Hummingbird House in May 2016 (Queensland’s only children’s hospice), Asher House in July 2016 (accommodation, rehabilitation support, respite care for special purpose needs), Clear Breeze apartments in October 2015 (accommodation for people living with mental illness), Youngcare supported accommodation in 2015 (24-hour high care support) and the continued operation of OzHarvest Queensland (redistributing surplus food to community groups in need).
Geoff cited the completion of Hummingbird House as one of the most fulfilling activities of his career. Members were presented with a video showing the impact of this service on some of the 3700 families the children’s hospice will support.
A young father shared, “There’s a whole disability world out there that unless you’ve been touched by it you really don’t know exists. It’s an amazing world.”