Not all people deserve the same

by Samuel Murray, Organisational Lead – Practice & Support


A Fishy Quote About Equality

Albert Einstein was rumoured to have once said: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Whilst Einstein never actually said those words, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a good quote all the same.

What these words are trying to highlight is equality, or “treating everybody the same”, is exceptionally flawed and at times can even cause far more harm than good.  Just take another look at the image above – taking a uniquely traditional view of fairness and equality will often give some people more than they need, at the same time as leaving others left with little or nothing at all.

At Jewish Care we have any number of examples where we most definitely do not treat people the same or equal, and for very good reason too.

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The Two of Us

by Fross Driscoll, Corporate Receptionist and Marilyn Kraner, Individual & Family Support Manager

November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

On this International Day, a familiar face shares her story.

Fross and Marilyn

Fross Driscoll, Corporate Receptionist

I was very young when I first got married. I was 16 and both of us thought that we were totally in love. He was incredibly generous and loving, but looking back now I can see the dishonesty and lies as well.

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Disrespect – let’s call it out

by Cassandra Barrett, Team Leader – Healthy Communities

Call it out

“Doing the dishes is women’s work.”
“Boys are just naturally better at sport.”
“Women never make good leaders, they’re too emotional.”
“What did she expect, dressed like that? She was asking for it.”
“Boys will be boys.”
“Stop acting like a girl.”

Most of us would agree that violence against women is unacceptable. However, what many often don’t realise is the relationship that exists between violence and disrespect.

Violence against women does not occur in a vacuum. It begins with the beliefs and attitudes that we develop as children.

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A Reflective Piece of Chocolate Cake

by Samuel Murray, Organisational Lead – Practice & Support

choc cake

The balancing act of risk and duty

Have you ever let your mind drift away to the idea of a delicious piece of chocolate cake? Not just any chocolate cake, but ‘that one’ from Boulangerie Murciano on Rue des Rosiers in Le Marais, Paris…the layers of delicate mousse, the candied walnut praline, the decadent dark chocolate wafer. Exactly! Your mouth is salivating at the very thought of it. Hold that thought for now…I’ll come back to it shortly.

Supporting a person’s right to make decisions and explore risks while considering one’s duty of care has been an issue for community service providers for some time. Handling both concepts together successfully needs:

  1. open and honest conversations (that include your line manager),
  2. strong and clear organisational policy positions (that provide direction and support),
  3. detailed individual documentation, (for legal purposes) and
  4. bravery (to professionally challenge those that might be using cotton wool)

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Intersectionality…umm, inter-what?

by Samuel Murray, Organisational Lead – Practice & Support
and Cassie Barrett, Team Leader – Healthy Communities

intersectionality image 3

A philosophy for change, not a label.

Mental Health Month was in full swing at Jewish Care during October, and as we work towards the Rainbow Tick accreditation, it has me reflecting on the connections between people’s lived experiences and the impact this can have on mental health – a complex, but important, issue that is faced by many.

So for this week’s blog, we are exploring the concept of intersectionality.

It’s a word that is being used more and more nowadays, but for many of us it can be tricky to make sense of.

So what is intersectionality and why does it matter?

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Who’s The Boss?

by Samuel Murray, Organisational Lead – Practice & Support

Who's The Boss

You don’t need a title to be a leader.

FUN FACT: There are anywhere between 12 and 70 official theories of leadership!
Okay, perhaps this fact is not exactly fun, but it does raise a few questions about which leadership styles are most effective…and more importantly which are not.
You will all have heard of at least a handful of different leadership styles, such as: servant, democratic, paternalistic, visionary, narcissistic, transactional, transformational, laissez-faire, collaborative yada yada yada. The reality is it doesn’t really matter which one you lean towards. Every single one is weak and biased.

That’s right, every single one.

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Are We Ageist?

by Samuel Murray, Organisational Lead – Practice & Support


Ageism appears to be the last socially accepted “-ism”

The stereotyping of ageing and the discrimination of a person based on age is called ageism.  People will experience ageism when assumptions are made that they are “too old” for something – perhaps an activity, a particular outfit, or a relationship – instead of finding out who that person is, who they see themselves as, and what they are capable of.

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Who Lives Here?

by Marilyn Kraner, Manager – Individual and Family Services


They call it the Great Australian Dream: a safe, secure place to call home. It’s a dream that many, if not all of us, share.

However, as the cost of housing continues to rise, home ownership becomes more out of reach for the average Australian and the issue of social housing has now hit the mainstream.

Insecure housing has historically been identified primarily as a welfare issue; a problem that was thought to affect mostly single men who were ‘down on their luck’, with street-based homelessness stereotyped as the result of substance use or severe mental illness. This is no longer the case. As our population continues to rise, the lack of affordable housing is having a direct and far-reaching impact on the average Victorian, including those in our own Jewish community.

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Reflections from StreetCount

by Cassie Barrett, Team Leader, Healthy Communities

rough sleeper image for blog article

One icy morning in June, my alarm went off much earlier than usual.

At 3am, the world outside was pitch-black, the temperature a chilly 3 degrees. I winced as my feet hit the cold floor as I climbed out of my warm bed and bundled up into a coat.

As I headed into the CBD, from the comfort of the heated taxi I chatted to the driver about StreetCount, the biennial homelessness census I was to volunteer for that morning.

“I’ve been driving taxis in Melbourne for 30 years,” he said. “I’ve never seen it this bad.”

The “it” he referred to was rough sleeping, or street-based homelessness.

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When Will it be Enough?

By Cassie Barrett, Team Leader, Healthy Communities

Warning: This article contains content that may be distressing for some readers.

ImageRemembering the victims of male violence. Clockwise from top left: Jack and Jennifer Edwards; Amanda Harris; Qi Yu; Larissa Beilby; Eurydice Dixon. All 6 were murdered in the past month. 34 women have died as a result of male violence so far this year.

Still reeling from the tragic and senseless deaths of two teenagers at the hands of their father on Thursday 5 July, the weekend brought yet more news of devastating brutality.

In a single day, three women were murdered by men they allegedly knew.

On Saturday 7 July:

  • 76-year-old Jan Garret of Raymond Terrace was killed in a house fire; a man believed to be her carer has been arrested;
  • Amanda Harris, a 36-year-old mother of three, died in Cranbourne North after being stabbed and set on fire; a man believed to be her partner has been arrested;
  • An unnamed woman was murdered in Hampton Park; a man believed to be known to the victim has been arrested.

Three deaths – in a single day.

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