Welcome to Home-Start Family Services Australia


Here is a competition for those in the Cowra, Canowindra and Weddin areas:  



Meet Teresa (centre) - it was a joy to have her in Newcastle for coordinator training.



Home-Start National has been recognised for our Volunteer Home Visiting Program as part of the Outstanding Organisation Award.  Marilyn Barnes worked for many years to build Home-Start National and her influence has brought us to the point where we are considered an outstanding organisation. So we dedicate this award to her.



Join us for a night of fun, friendship and laughter at Home-Start's Fundraiser Trivia Night. Saturday 27 October 6.30 at Adamstown Bowling Club, Glebe Road Adamstown. Call Anita 0412343127 or Val 0414547781.  All proceeds will go to the Home-Start Newcastle Volunteer Home Visiting program.  

Home-Start Friendship Award 2018 
Shirley Pinkstone from Kempsey was presented with the 2018 Home-Start Friendship Award. Shirley has volunteered for the Home-Start Kempsey Program for 18 years in a variety of capacities. Her support, commitment and reliability have been an amazing support to the Home-Start Co-ordinator – Sheri Foster.  Shirley has been linked with many families but in more recent years she has helped Sheri with administration, family visits, catering and event management.
A presentation and morning tea was held at the Old Bank Café in Gladstone to celebrate Shirley’s contribution to Home-Start. The morning was attended by service providers, volunteers and friends.
Attention Tumut and Goulburn residents! 
Home-Start has been selected as the local donation partner of the NSW Government's Return & Earn Scheme. 
Anyone who returns an eligible drink container through the reverse vending machine will be able to donate to Home-Start Family Services (between 31 May and 26 August 2018) 
Machines can be found at Woolworths in Tumut. 
In Goulburn at Woolworths, 12 Verner St, and Budget Petrol 53 Sydney Road. 
Donations over $2 are tax deductible and can be printed at the machine. 
For more information please visit https://returnandearn.org.au/ or phone 0414547781 for further information. myTOMRA Australia



to Bridgid, Pam, Maurissa, Pam and Janet, our latest graduates from the volunteer preparation course. 
Well done ladies. 
We look forward to working with you.


We would like to thank Mittagong RSL and Newcastle Harbour Rotary Club for your recent donations.  More families will be helped because of your generosity.


Home-Start has received an important award from the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN). The award reminds families that it is OK to ask for help, we all need to support each other, if we are to build a brighter future for children.  
This "Play Your Part" Award recognises the significant contribution that Home-Start volunteers make, working alongside parents, to ensure the safety and well being of children.   For children, all positive experiences and relationships - no matter how small - help to positively develop the child's brain and build strong foundations for better health and development outcomes.  
Andrew Johnson, the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People presented the award to Michelle McDonell, CEO Home-Start National.

Check out this great newsletter from Sherise in Tumut: 
Click on the Pack N Stack link.  Pack N Stack

Congratulations to these latest volunteer graduates in Newcastle.

Four volunteers graduated from Home-Start National Australia in Goulburn after successfully completing their family support training.  The graduation, which took place on Wednesday morning at the Worker’s Club, included graduated volunteers, current volunteers, family and friends.

Speeches from CEO of Home-Start National Michelle McDonell, Southern Tablelands Patron Greg O’Keefe and Coordinator Jennifer Brown were heard. 

The six week course covered strength based programs, stress life programs, child protection and domestic violence subjects to prepare volunteers for their partnered families.  With a total of 12 members in Goulburn, each volunteer spends two hours with a local family every week.

Ms Brown praised the presence of Home-Start National in Goulburn and highlighted the positive influence the volunteers have.

“They walk alongside the family and support them in their parenting roles,” she said. “The impacts and positive outcomes are tremendous.”

Kelli Hoffman, one of the four graduated volunteers, presented a speech on behalf of her peers. (see speech below) Ms Hoffman, who previously sought out Home-start in her time of need, is now a proud volunteer.

CEO Ms McDonell ended the graduation and described the volunteers as hidden treasures.

“Like our company, you don’t continuously advertise the way you help the community,” she said. “But you are definitely a treasure, for the families and the community.”

Home-Start National has been offering support services to Goulburn for the past 14 years

“Hello everyone!
Thirteen and a half years ago and six months pregnant with my fourth baby in five years, I was not in a good relationship and experiencing isolation among other things. As I read an article in th
e local newspaper about a service that supports families with children 0-5 years, I decided to call the number listed. In a short time I was paired with a Home-Start volunteer called Colleen. Colleen became a part of my family, so much so that my children affectionately called her "nanny C". We shared many things and our memories never fade. Colleen is not with us anymore........ she has gained her 'Angel Wings', but the moments we shared will live on.
I think Colleen would be proud to know I completed that Degree, that my eldest will sit her HSC in two weeks and go on to University, my second daughter has become a talented cricketer (Colleen loved cricket), my son a then shy and quiet three year old has grown into a kind and respectful young man and the baby- she is growing up strong and independent, a go-getter. This would make Colleen smile, an independent and strong lady in her own right.
A few weeks ago the new volunteers and myself began a journey. A small group but strong in our own compassion, desire and commitment to help others, we share with you today, our graduation!
Thank you Jennifer and Michelle for guiding us through training and sharing your wisdom. Thank you to the guest speakers who provided us with further knowledge and information and thank you to our family and friends who share today with us.
As we continue our journey I think about what Home-Start means. A service that really embodies the concept of family. Supporting mums and dads with young children, showing us that family does not always have to mean being related by blood but that it also can mean, a person caring, giving and understanding. Most importantly a person who walks alongside those families knowing that none of us as parents get a book on "how to", and that sometimes it can be tough in the journey of parenthood.
As we celebrate our graduation as Home-Start Volunteers, we look forward with enthusiasm to continue our journey alongside families to INSPIRE, EMPOWER and SUPPORT, guiding them in the knowledge that being a parent is never easy but with FAMILY............. the HOME-START family............ it will be that little bit easier along the way.
Thank you."
More wonderful Home-Start volunteers ready to be linked with a family.



            Home-Start volunteers at their training.  

Subjects covered were Child Protection, Domestic Violence, Confidentiality and Boundaries, Baby Massage, Early Brain Development and The Importance of Play.  

Our Volunteers thoroughly enjoyed their preparation course and can't wait to be linked with their first Home-Start family.


To all the wonderful people who donated - they did it! 10.5km fun run along beautiful Lake Macquarie. They ran, walked, danced and laughed the whole way.

Thanks Kerrylee from JB Hunter Technology for joining the Home-Start team and to the support team of Paul, Steve and George. 
Babies, children and parents needing help will get the support they need.  
It's not too late to donate, if you forgot and you'd still like to... go to the link below and follow the prompts to give online via credit card. 

Home-Start is a charity so all donations over $2 are tax deductible which means you'll get 20-30% back. A receipt will be sent for every donation.



Michelle and Val from Home-Start in Newcastle  are taking part in the Lake Macquarie Running (Walking) Festival at Warner’s Bay on 30 August to raise funds for Home-Start Australia.

Click on Michelle or Val’s names to donate….  Or both :)    



We believe that we all need a helping hand sometimes, and that every parent should have the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life. All Home-Start services are free to families.

Home-Start Family Services is a non-profit, non-government organisation that has been working with families and children in Australia since 1989. Home-Start provides Volunteer Home Visiting Services, as well as Family Workers, Parenting Support Services,  Navigating Fatherhood ProgramsTriple P Parenting Programs, Circle of Security Parenting Programs, Early Literacy Programs, New Parents Groups, Supported Playgroups, Family Wellbeing & Nutrition and many community programs and events for families and volunteers.

Home-Start National Inc. establishes new Home-Start schemes and maintains a close relationship with all local Home-Start schemes throughout Australia.  Home-Start operates in 26 countries around the world Home-Start Worldwide 
If you would like more information about how to establish a Home-Start scheme in your area, we would be happy to hear from you. 
Please call (02) 49529488 
Email ceo@homestartaustralia.org

EAT MOVE LIVE       http://www.eatmovelive.com.au    

This is to certify that 'a sound home start in life is without doubt the most fundamental feature in family survival.  Home-Start volunteers should be attached to every new mum/parent that needs or wants a mature, experienced, empathetic ear to assist them in getting off to a good start.  A good home start means a good start to life and it is these volunteers that in many ways take the place of the extended family and neighbourly advice of yesteryear.

I would encourage every government at every level and every political persuasion to treat this community initiative with enthusiastic respect and support' 

Dr John Irvine,  National Patron    Home-Start Australia

Consultant Psychologist and Author of “Who’d be a Parent”, “A Handbook for Happy Families” and “Thriving at School”.