Rev. George CapsisRev. George Capsis

COMMUNITY OUTREACH MINISTRIES

TFF is proud of its alliance with Community Outreach Ministries Inc. We support George in all his undertakings to deliver a variety of community based education projects that promote mental health and wellbeing within his local communities.

Community Outreach Ministries was established by Reverend George Capsis O.A.M. in 1987. In 2006 George received the Order of Australia Medal for his service to the community through Community Outreach Ministries.

The charity was formed to assist troubled youth and people suffering family dysfunction. Today it continues to support people disadvantaged by mental illness, homeless; drug abuse, suicide and family crisis.

George is co-founder of Sports Chaplaincy Ministry.

Men are one of the key sectors of the community being targeted by the Government’s new initiatives. Community Outreach Ministries is placed in a key position to bring about substantial change in that sector of the community.

TFF is delighted to have developed this key alliance.

 

 

Dr. Jennifer FarndenDr. Jennifer Farnden

FAMILIES4FAMILIES INCORPORATED

Dr Jennifer Farnden is the founder and manager of Families4Families Incorporated. The direction of Dr Farnden’s life changed forever on 13 May 2008 when her partner, Michael, sustained catastrophic injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by a Kangaroo. Michael sustained a severe brain injury, lost a leg and sustained multiple other injuries resulting in Jennifer becoming his primary Carer. Due to her unwavering support Michael has made a significant recovery and regained many elements of independence – even being able to regain his Driver’s License and volunteer in a number of important community roles. While Michael was still in the acute stage of his recovery process, Jennifer became acutely aware of the need for greater public education and advocacy in the area of Health and Disability, in particular the primary cause of acquired disability in our communities – Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).

This insight, and their own success in developing a circle of support to create the infrastructure that has enabled Michael to build resilience and maximise the quality of life and wellbeing, led to her desire to help other families on their ABI journeys. Volunteering inordinate numbers of hours she developed a grant application and Flinders University support as its auspicing agency and this was accepted by the Julia Farr MS McLeod Benevolent Fund in 2012. The grant project enabled her to establish the peer based community network called Families4Families Incorporated (ABI Support Network) in South Australia in 2012, officially launching programs in January 2013 which are ongoing and highly successful and effective. This not for profit network is a direct result of Jennifer’s passion and dedication to help others experiencing the same challenges. The rate of growth, attendance levels, ongoing feedback received as well as third party evaluations illustrates the success of Families4Families – now with over 230 families.

To ensure the efficacy of the program Jennifer sought research expertise to ensure third party, arm’s length, ongoing assessments and evaluations – thus ensuring a best practice focus throughout the Network. This role is undertaken by an expert Flinders University research team, with publications and presentations already occurring nationally and internationally by the team. The design of Families4Families support programs has been based on the findings from the research team and carefully woven into the successful package by Dr Farnden, using her unusual combination of expertise in program design, evaluation, accounting, consulting, management and her most important, and challenging to acquire, asset – her brain injury lived experience. A passionate management committee has been developed ensuring the peer support Network is managed by people with ABI and their families FOR people with ABI and their families. Professional experts in brain injury rehabilitation, case management, legal issues following ABI, business consultants and researchers have become members of Families4Families’ Advisory Panel, ensuring leading edge oversight of the management and research teams.

Dr Farnden is unique in the disability sector given her usual combination of passion with expertise, professionalism with lived experience and ability to connect with both professionals as well as with people who have been forgotten within our communities. Jennifer’s approach to her own life trauma has been to work to change the systems she found unsuccessful for consumers, and to direct her voluntary energy toward real social change. As noted by Margaret Mead, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’

“Sharing Our Experiences Will Benefit One Another”