An organisation that is about collaboration with caring Newcastle citizens to involve refugees in social and vocational activities received much-needed funds today from proceeds raised through the 10th Annual Newcastle Lord Mayor's Prayer Breakfast.
Zara's House, the inspiration of Sister Diana Santleben O.P., provides a safe place where refugee women can have fun with Australian women, sharing time and talent while learning English and settling into their new home and culture.
Sister Di accepted a cheque for Zara's House for $14,000, which was raised by business, community and church groups who attended the breakfast at West Leagues Club, New Lambton this morning.
"The City of Newcastle is honoured to be able to support such a wonderful cause," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"This year Zara's House was selected as the beneficiary owing to the great support provided by Sister Di and the volunteers to women and their families acclimating to their new lives in Newcastle.
"The monies raised from this morning’s breakfast will assist Zara's House to continue their great work of promoting a more harmonious, inclusive and welcoming city. The City of Newcastle and our partners for the 10th annual Lord Mayor's Breakfast are very grateful for the huge turnout at the breakfast and the generosity shown."
This year's event marked 10 consecutive years of the community event, and well over 400 people attended from 70 different organisations - churches, charities, businesses, schools and community groups - who came together to celebrate the strength of partnership, community and relationship in all spheres of influence and life.
Previous recipients of funding from the annual prayer breakfast include DALE Young Parents School, Girl Friday and the Hunter Women's Centre.
Sister Di was previously recognised by City Of Newcastle as the 2017 Newcastle Citizen of the Year.
"Sister Di is a tenacious, forthright and fierce advocate for social justice, fairness and equality, and we are deeply appreciative of her constant and ongoing contribution to our community," said the Lord Mayor.
Zara's House runs programs to help participants to make friends, share culture and learn skills in a safe and welcoming environment.
Refugees become familiar with the local area of Newcastle while they also discover and access services and opportunities within the Australian community.
The not for profit organisation relies upon the personal commitment of volunteers, fee free professional services when needed, monetary donations and the products of Zara's House Women's Enterprises.
There are many ways that individuals and groups can assist Zara's House. More information can be found at zarashouse.org.au.