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Vinnies there for the long haul


It’s been a baptism of fire for new Vinnies chief executive Louise Miller Frost who joined the organisation just as COVID-19 was tightening its tentacles around Australia.

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“It certainly isn’t how I had planned to spend the first few weeks in my new role,” the former CEO of Catherine House said.

“But we are all adapting to this new world order, and the commitment and passion of our members, volunteers and staff has been incredibly inspiring.

“We’re doing all we can to keep these essential services going, because we know that for many of the people we assist, Vinnies is all they have.”

Ms Miller Frost said the organisation was also planning for the expected avalanche of people reaching out to Vinnies, as the community starts to feel the full effect of job losses, predicted to be more than 2 million.

She said the effects of the coronavirus had been all-pervasive, from loss of personal freedoms to loss of livelihoods, and the ultimate loss, that of life.

“Governments are showing real leadership in providing stimulus payments for individuals and businesses, but we know there will inevitably be people who fall through the cracks.

“With the support of those in the community who are in a position to do so, Vinnies plans on being there to catch them.

“Now, more than ever, people need their community, they need Vinnies.

“They need a trusted organisation that has supported people through wars, droughts and bushfires, along with the day-to-day struggles of living at or below the poverty line.

“They need an organisation that knows how to roll up its sleeves and fight with, and for them, just as it did recently by distributing more drought relief funding to regional communities and helping people to pick up the pieces after the bushfires.”

Ms Miller Frost said the Vinnies bushfire appeal had amassed more than $1.6 million from a generous public, and a generous Catholic community in particular. While 100 per cent of the donated funds was being re-directed to those who lost homes, other buildings and equipment, the recovery would take years.

“And Vinnies will be there for the long haul, just as it has been for 135 years.”

To help Vinnies respond to the growing need in the community, donations can be made by calling 13 18 12, or visiting


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