Batemans Bay bushfire support

Marie Weatherall (left) from St Bernard’s Batemans Bay with Sr Marie McAlister rsj.

More counselling for the Mogo Hub, family workshops at Bermagui and a ‘Women’s Medicine Garden’ at Bega … these are some of the projects to receive support from a new Catholic bushfire recovery fund.

A total of 15 community organisations will share in $110,000 from Catholic Emergency Relief Australia (CERA) which was established in February.

Marie Weatherall, the pastoral care coordinator at St Bernard’s at Batemans Bay, helped Josephite Sister Marie McAlister with her application for more support for the “Counselling and Well-being Service Hub” at Mogo.

Sr Marie runs the St Joseph’s Spirituality Centre at Batehaven.

“The Hub provides a safe space for people and families to connect, chat over coffee and have access to free professional counselling,” Marie Weatherall said.

“Given the demand for the service, the committee needs to extend counselling from one day to two.

“We are delighted this CERA finding will go directly to support this ongoing service.”

As well as the Batemans Bay project, three of the other 14 successful organisations in the first grant application round are in the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn.

Those projects are:

  • Bermagui preschool: family workshops and a support group,
  • Southern Women’s Group Bega: a ‘Women’s Medicine Garden and Meeting Place’, and
  • South Coast Aboriginal Elders Inc: mentoring program for families and young people.

CERA brings together Catholic organisations including the national bishops’ conference, education and social services peak bodies and St Vincent de Paul.

Chair Susan Pascoe said much, but not all, of people’s immediate needs were addressed by government and non-government organisations in the days and weeks after the fires.

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“What will take much longer is the spiritual, emotional and psychological recovery,” Susan said.

A total of 24 organisations sought $400,000.


Wordpress (1)
  • Joseph Quigley 4 years

    Good to see the Coastal Deanery on the ball. It might be described as Paradise by the Sea but but bad things can happen in great places. Counselling and Well Being Service Hubs can be part of the ongoing care required by those who are still suffering.