News & Events

November 2018 Newsletter

Christmas Lunch

Our Christmas Lunch for the visitors is not far away. We have booked the conference room at the Rise for Saturday November 24th. Thanks to the Mayor and Councillors, the City of Bayswater has waived the fee for the hire of the conference room for the Christmas Party and also the need to pay for the refundable bond fee.

I am very appreciative of the support of the schools and the extra help we have received from a number of volunteers in helping Rosemary with the preparations. Thank you.


As you are aware, as we transition into the new year we will no longer have access to the old convent in Seventh Ave which we have been using as our storage facility for food, toiletries etc. We have begun to remove all of the bags, canned food, toiletries, etc out.

Our storage shed at The Shopfront will be used only for food that we can distribute as part of our food hampers.

Once our Christmas party is over, we will need to remove all of our items and what we are not able to store will need to be given a new home.

A Place to Call Home

Each year in September the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference release a SOCIAL JUSTICE STATEMENT. The 2018-19 statement is entitled: A Place to Call Home: Making a Home for Everyone in Our Land. We are reminded in the statement that housing and the need to feel included as part of our society is central to Catholic Social Teaching.

“Australia needs to become more a community willing to address both the causes and the consequences of homelessness. We need the social, economic and political resolve to address this crisis.” The challenge of homelessness can seem overwhelming. This year’s social justice statement by the Bishops challenges us to ask “what more can I do. Am I welcoming and how and when do I offer a helping hand.” We are asked to “reflect and pray for those of us with warm houses and comfortable beds that we not be lulled into complacency and forgetfulness.” It is not just our Australian Bishops calling us to be open and accepting. In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis highlights the vital importance of housing to our human dignity.

Looking to the Future

Over the past year, working in consultation with the Committee of Management of the Shopfront, I have been reviewing all operations of the organisation. This work has culminated in the CoM over the past three months working on and completing the Strategic Plan of The Shopfront for the 2019 / 2020 period.

The focus of the mission of The Shopfront is to create a place where we the respect and equal dignity of every person. The role and function of The Shopfront is to offer practical assistance, fellowship and hospitality.

Our lunchtime operations will continue to offer sandwiches and hospitality from 11.00am to 1.30pm Monday to Friday and our work in partnership with St Vincent de Paul will operate Monday to Thursday 11.00 to 1.00pm

We plan to continue the relationship with Orange Sky Laundry and Homeless Health Care.

We will no longer be able to keep any clothing or other items in our shed as our focus will be on ensuring that we have adequate food for our hampers.

2019 will see a change to our evening service. We will no longer be opening multiple nights for an evening meal of soup, sandwiches and cake. Rather we will continue to provide an opportunity for our visitors to receive fellowship and hospitality with soup and a cuppa each Tuesday evening from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. The focus of the night will be on engagement as the volunteers sit with, chat, socialise and offer hospitality to our visitors.

End of Year Dates

The last evening meal for the year will be Wednesday 12th December
Our last day for this year Wednesday 19th December Reopen Wednesday 30th January 2019 for our lunches Weekly social evening each Tuesday commencing 5th February 2019

Damien Walsh – Director

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Shopfront Nov newsletter

May 2018 Newsletter

Mother’s Day

Our Christian tradition for centuries has recognised the month of May as being dedicated to Mary – the mother of Jesus. The wider community has recognised the importance of motherhood over the past one hundred years and on the 2nd Sunday of May each year has celebrated Mother’s Day. There are only a handful of easily identifiable common factors amongst all human beings, one of which is: we all have a mother!! If you are not a mum yourself – we remember your mother and the gift your mother gave us —- YOU. To all our visitors, volunteers and supporters we say “Happy Mother’s Day”.

What is a Mother Poem 

In the Newsletter link

UWA Social Work

During the first semester of last year we developed an arrangement with the Social Work Dept at the University of Western Australia, following which we had two students in the second semester last year. From the beginning of February we have had Le Long with us for his 16 week full time practicum placement. Long’s time with us will finish at the end of this month. Thank you Long for your wicked sense of humour, friendly smile and always going that extra ‘mile’.


The supporters of The Shopfront are legion and all are LEGENDS! Quite a number of individuals and groups have given us so much this year. During the first school term Trinity College provided a large number of tinned foods & toiletries; John XX111, Sacred Heart, Chisholm, Newman and Santa Maria Colleges and OLGC Karrinyup gave so many frozen meals we were almost swamped. Fantastic support: thanks and well done to so many students and staff.

Shopping Bags

A reminder that as of July 1st all single use plastic bags will no longer be available in WA. Some Woolworth’s stores have already announced that they intend to stop their availability as from the end of May. We presently use these bags for our visitors to take away bread, frozen meals and the fruit & veggies etc. We are looking at an alternative however it may mean that the visitors will need to provide their own bag. We are open to suggestions.

Question re Opening

Our primary duty is always the safety of our volunteers and visitors. Some of the volunteers have been asking is there a policy about the minimum numbers of staff & volunteers. The answer is yes: we must have a minimum of 3 + 1. This means that there has to be at least three volunteers + a person in charge. If we do not have this minimum then we cannot open the doors and there cannot be any service or assistance provided that day or evening. Having only three volunteers is a minimum and ideally we need at least 4 each session we are open plus of course someone to take the responsibility for the day or evening activities.

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Shopfront May 2018 newsletter.

March 2018 Newsletter

Easter Reflection

Easter is almost upon us. I am wondering what this means for you as a volunteer? What might it mean for our visitors? Easter is about life. It is the time when we remember that a person, Jesus, was prepared to give all so that we may have life. Easter is a time when I remember how fortunate I am. I have a happy marriage, employment and a faith that I find encouraging and supportive. Easter is a moment when I can take stock and realise that the person of Jesus gave up his life for me. The message of Easter for me is about hope. Jesus and his followers give me an example of how to live. Acting as justly and as honestly as I can, I am also aware of the many good people around me who despite the ups and downs of their lives keep smiling and striving to be the best that they can be. Easter is a time to say ‘thank you’ and be appreciative of the many gifts that life is offering me. For you, Easter means ?? … ??


Our evenings this year have seen a number of schools take on board an evening either weekly or fortnightly. Thank you to the staff of Mazenod College, Aquinas College, St Norbert’s College and St Peter’s Primary. The Bateman YCS have continued their monthly rostered night. To these groups we also have the Marist Youth Ministry team. These groups have brilliantly augmented the small but intrepid group of individuals who have been coming regularly for some time.


Over a period of a year or so, Savio (a seminarian) was coming regularly to offer haircuts to our visitors. As he was moving back to Geraldton to continue his ministry, towards the middle of last year a friend of his: Sam (Samantha) joined him on a few occasions. Since October and continuing on into this year Sam has been each fortnight. Thank you Sam.

Plastic Bags

As you would be aware the State Government has declared that as of July 1st the plastic bags that are used by the supermarkets will no longer be available. This will have an impact on us as we re-use the bags for the distribution of the bread, fruit and vegetables. I am open to suggestions as to alternatives that we will be able to use after the new legislation comes into effect. Any thoughts gratefully accepted!

The Homeless Jesus

Thank you to all our volunteers, supporters and visitors for opening your mind and hearts to each other. It is only ‘in the other’ than we truly find ourselves.

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March 2018 Newsletter

January / February 2018 Newsletter

Welcome Back … Bienvenue … Selamat Datang ????? ????????

Many thanks to our many ‘old hands’ and the newbies who have made such a great start to 2018.

Last year we had a little over 4600 visitors to The Shopfront of whom were new to the centre and we had over 23300 repeat visits. Our wonderful volunteers gave over 9500 hours of caring and sharing service.

The first indications based on the first few weeks of this year, it is looking very similar numbers wise to last year.

Changes as forecast last year

The new year has been slow in getting the slight changes as to how our services operate becoming consistent. The good news is that our visitors are quite understanding and things are on track.

We clearly let our visitors know that our meals are simple: sandwiches (+soup in the evenings) and if and when available cakes and some form of dessert. For some time the range of food / desserts etc has become more than simple with often a myriad of choices. We will continue to offer a range of ‘goodies’ as they are available however it is not expected each and every day or evening to have more than the basics.

We continue to be open Monday to Friday 11.00am to 2.00pm. All food services cease at 1.30pm. The final 30 minutes allow for clean-up, last coffees & teas and for people who are waiting for assistance.

Similarly in the evening the last 30 minutes, ie from 7.30pm to 8.00pm is to be set aside for starting the clean-up.

I am hoping that the slight changes to the hours are making life just that little bit easier for you as a volunteer. Thanks so much for all that you do for the Shopfront and our visitors.

Mea Culpa

In the last newsletter in December I did not mention a fantastic donation we received from Boronia Women’s Pre Release Centre. We were the recipients of their Big Gala Day. Many thanks to the women at Boronia and the organisers of the day and a big THANK YOU for their support.

Some New faces

Last year we were fortunate to have Master of Social Work students from UWA here on a full time placement for 13 weeks during the second semester. We have partnered with UWA again this year and Long Le, a second year Master of Social Work student is with us until June on a full time basis. The number of supporters for Shopfront is legion. In addition to Mondo Butcher, many cafes and bakeries, and so many others we can now, thanks to a discussion with St Vincent De Paul, announce that we have entered into an arrangement with the Parmelia Hilton Hotel.

During January a series of discussions took place with Orange Sky Laundry. Starting Tuesday Jan 30th for a four week trial Orange Sky will be here with their van providing washing and drying facilities for up to 6 washes per day.

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January February 2018 Newsletter

December Newsletter

October Newsletter Shopfront


Bishop Don Sproxton and Damian

Damian at the 2017 Catholic Bishops Social Justice Statement

Newsletter   August 2017






Extra Hands make light Work

Earlier in the year (2017) we had three 1st Year Seminarians (Nathan, Adam & Matthew) with us on a Friday for three months. Luckily for us a TAFE student (Anne) completed her 100 hours of practicum over three weeks. For the past seven weeks two UWA Masters in Social Work students (Ammar & Martin) have been with us full time as they complete their 13 week placement.

First Year Seminarians

Nathan Barrie                    Adam Quinlivan                  Matthew Tolczek
Diocese of Bunbury          Archdiocese of Perth          Archdiocese of Perth

Health and Safety

The wellbeing of all visitors and volunteers is paramount. We have updated our link on the website for new volunteers.   Volunteer Guidelines updated 2017.