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Useful Organisations

Scroll down for these organisations and ideas, 
listed in alphabetical order (more or less):-

CERES, Concessions Information Line, 
Critical Mass, Carlton Youth Program, 
Dental Service, Dole Army, Grasslands, Ethical Investment,
Fairwear, Financial Counsellors, 
Fitzroy Carlton Community Credit Co-op, 
Good Shepherd Buying Service,
Housing for the Aged Action Group, Job Watch, 
LETS, Marrn-Ak, 
Neighbourhood Houses (inner urban), 
New International Bookshop, Older People's Groups, 
Optometry Clinic, The Big Issue, Welfare Rights Unit, WIRE, Workers Occupational Health Centre
Willing Workers On Organic Farms - Click on WWOOF to go to their web site.

Alphaline 9419 7427 For young people who are in trouble with the police and who live, work or study in Fitzroy, Collingwood, Richmond, North & East Melbourne, Brunswick or Carlton.

Bike Map
The City of Melbourne has produced a nice bicycle map, which would be useful for travelling by bike or tram or walking in the city of Melbourne. The maps are free. Look for them at bike festivals or information places. Further information 9658 9658.

Bear in Mind is a self-advocacy and community education group run by people with acquired brain injury. It aims to support people with ABI to develop skills, self confidence and well being and develop community awareness of the issues faced by people with ABI. 9639 7222 

A community farm and environment park, CERES is a nice place where you can enjoy being among the trees and animals and there's no charge for admission. There's lots to see in the way of recycling, alternative energy, etc. It's at Lee St, Brunswick - a short walk from the end of the no 96 tram line. It's also right on the Merri Creek bike path. Adm free.

Centrelink Disability and Carer Customer Reference Group
This is a group to provide feedback on the quality of Centrelink services to people with disabilities and carers. Phone 02 6244 5289 Fax 02 6244 1819 email:   New phone number for Centrelink enquiries about payments connected with disability, sickness and carers is 13 2717.

Critical Mass
A huge pollution free traffic jam caused when hundreds or thousands of cyclists ride home together on the last Friday of each month. Now organised in over 60 cities around the world. Critical Mass is a celebratory vision of a car free city and shows how much fun it can be to peddle in the opposite direction from the carcinogenic, car -congested chaos confronting us every day. Meet outside the State Library, Swanston St at 5pm.

Concessions Information Line 1800 658 521

Support Line 9654 0622 or 1800 077 374 Admin 9654 0327 Mon -Thu 9.30-4 For Single mothers, women parenting alone. CSMC is run by and for single mothers. It offers self-help, support, advocacy, information, referral, social and political action by and for women rearing children alone. Issues worked on include housing, Centrelink and income security, child support scheme, and other related issues.

Dental Health Services Victoria Hotline 1300 360 054
North Yarra Community Health Centre
Our Dental Clinic at the Fitzroy Centre provides low cost general treatment, dentures, specialist referrals and health advice and education. Although there is a waiting list for both general and denture treatment, appointments within 24 hours are available in an emergency. Costs are $20 per visit, up to a maximum of $80 for a treatment course (this does not include the cost of the dentures). In cases of financial hardship we can consider exemption of the co-payment. To be eligible clients must be current holders of either a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card. Phone the Fitzroy Centre on 9419 5266 for more information.

Dole Army
Dole Army aims to deliver information for millions of Australian Welfare recipients. This website is designed to bring together the unemployed, students and low paid workers so that we can exchange information, connect and end our social isolation. We want to make it easy for you to explore your options, know what questions to ask and scam your way out of stupid programs such as Work for the Dole and Mutual obligation. So, please checkout the site and feel free to offer feedback at any time. Browse our links page and post your personal experiences on our message board or feel free to send us some information on anything relating to welfare so it can be published on this site for the benefit of all. The Dole Army is a collective of individuals who submit information so it can be shared. WE NEED YOUR HELP ! get involved in building a truly informative site and submit something today.

Fairwear coalition working to end exploitation of outworkers


Thanks to Carlton Fitzroy Financial Counselling Service for this article.
MONEY PROBLEMS ? If you're juggling bills, meeting credits commitment and dealing with financial problems it can help to know your rights and options.

Financial counsellors can provide free expert advice about debts, budgeting and the debt recovery system. They act as negotiator with creditors and provide para-legal advice on credit, debit and bankruptcy. Financial counsellors are located throughout suburban Melbourne and regional areas of Victoria. It is generally required that persons wanting financial counselling attend the service local in their home, work or place of study. For a comprehensive listing of the contact details for all financial counselling services in Victoria, look up this web site: . Alternatively, the following agencies can direct you to the appropriate local service.
Financial & Consumer Rights Council 2nd floor, Reid House 347 Flinders Ln, Melbourne 9614 8433
Community Information Centres (CABs) Listed under C in the White Pages.
Consumer Credit Legal Service 1st floor, 11-19 Bank Place, Melbourne 9670 5088
Credit Helpline Advice and support on financial matters is also only a phone call away. Credit Helpline is a telephone advice services that provides the public with free, independent telephone advice and referrals to financial counsellors and consumer advocates on debts and credit-related problems. Tel: 9602 3800 or 1800 803 800 (toll free for country callers)
Trouble with Centrelink ? If Centrelink is on your case, or you can't get the action you want from it, there is a specialist community legal centre that may be able to provide you with information about your options. Welfare Rights Unit 155 Easy Street, Collingwood Tel: 9416 1111, 2-5 pm Tue-Fri.


The FCC Co-op was formed by a community of low income people working with supportive welfare advocates, agencies and other Credit Unions. In 1972 the Brotherhood of St Laurence funded a project called the 'Family Centre'. The Centre aimed to provide sixty families with a guaranteed minimum Income. To give them some control over their financial future by giving them (1) power over resources, (2) Power over relationships, (3) Power over information, (4) Power over decision making, the Family Centre demonstrated the strength of it's local community and its ability to work together for mutual benefit.

In 1975 the Centre opened to other low-income people and became the Action Resource Centre. ARC started a very small Savings and Loans scheme and a Christmas club for its members. It became apparent that the members needed more financial services and the BSL asked the ARC bookkeeper to investigate the possibility of starting a Credit Union for Low-Income people. In 1977 ARC's Board of Directors approved the establishment of a Credit Union, and the Fitzroy & Carlton Community Credit Co-operative was formed.

For the first four years the FCC was completely run by volunteers. The BSL made a building available for FCC, and in 1981 funded a full-time Manager. Today we are still assisted by the BSL because we continue providing services for Low-Income people. The 1994/95 grant to us from the brotherhood was $100,000. Many of the original families of the Family Centre are still involved with both the BSL and FCC, and we are committed to retaining this community identity and Spirit.

Today, membership is open to ALL members of the community, regardless of income or social status. We have over 200 community groups and small business banking with us and over 5000 members.

Fitzroy & Carlton Community Credit Co-operative 145 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. 9419 4533

Fitzroy Legal Service 124 Johnston St, Fitzroy (near Brunswick St) 9419 3744

Consumers of Victoria public mental health services in financial difficulty can apply for assistance through the Psychiatric illness and Intellectual Disabilities Donations Trust Fund. For recorded information call the Mental Health Branch on 9616 8000. Applications are made through 'case managers'.

Good Shepherd Buying Service
Assists low income people (with health Care Card) with lowest prices on household appliances, furniture and health appliances. 9417 4666.

HOUSING FOR THE AGED Action Group offers free and confidential advice to older people renting their home. There are three main service s offered: *Tenancy Advice *Housing Options *Outreach Service - Care & Housing. Interested tenants are encouraged to join Housing For The Aged Action Group - Pensioners no charge. Phone 9654 7389 or 1800 637 389 (Country Callers). Address: 2nd Floor, Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

A consumer watchdog in employment and training, Job Watch assists people experiencing exploitation at while or while looking for work. Job seekers can fall into traps, so be wary.

Job Watch is a community legal centre that provides a free and confidential telephone information and referral service. If you are suspicious about a job advertisement, an interview situation or any other work related problem, ring Job Watch and check it out.
28 Queensberry St, Carlton Phone: 9662 9458

A group for people who have a physical disability. Providing support and interaction with people who have similar experiences. The group meets for social outings every second Thursday from 1 to 3 pm. At the Darebin Community Health Centre 42 Separation Street Northcote. For further details contact Edward Manuel on 9484 2312 

National Coalition Against Poverty

Neighbourhood Houses
Carlton Contact has a range of low cost activities for members of the local community. Some of the things on offer are English language classes, ranging from English for Beginners to English for Further Study, a writers workshop, painting and drawing, and a course on "Making the Most with Less", a guide to living on a low income. Ring 9347 2739 for further details. Carlton Contact is at 20 Princes St North Carlton.
Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House
Food for Life Wednesday nights 6-7.30pm Hare Krishna's free vegetarian meals for health care card holders and students. Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House, corner of Liardet and Nott Streets. 9646 2824.
Cafe Lunch on Wednesdays for $3. Bookings essential.
Free child care Wednesday afternoons 1-3pm
Drop in Mon to Wed for tea/coffee by donation, newspapers, information, fireplace, friendly volunteers and conversation. Free wheelchair available for short term borrowing. Backyard project - tool shed, vegie garden.

New International Bookshop
at Trades Hall, cnr Victoria and Lygon Sts, Carlton. Enter from Victoria Street.
The bookshop has writers talking about their work. Free talks. Also a cafe which is good value.

For anyone over age of fifty Network of support. Aiming to promote a positive view of being older. Networking with other groups to enable representation to policy makers on issues relating to older people. Discussion group on Tuesdays 10.30 -12. 9650 4709

OLDER PEOPLE - More information on the Dept of Human Services Aged Care Branch site,

OLDER WOMEN'S NETWORK Provides support and friendship. Lobbies for a fairer deal, encourages discussion and action about social issues, ageism and sexism. Promotes appropriate policy in areas of income security, housing, health, home, community care, transport. 9654 4388

Optometry Clinic
The Melbourne Optometry Clinic is part of the Victorian College of Optometry and provides eye examinations and glasses at low cost for low income people.
You are welcome to attend the Clinic if you are a permanent resident of Victoria and - 1. Hold a Pensioner Concession Card in your own name and your dependents under the age of sixteen years. 2. Have held a Health Care Card continuously for at least six months. The clinic provides primary optometry care through its General Clinic, which is staffed by optometrists and optometry students under the supervision of registered optometrists. All aspects of your visual function are investigated. A copy of any prescription is available at the end of the consultation or glasses are available through the Clinic. To make an appointment call 9349 7455. Please allow at least 4-6 weeks for an appointment. The clinic is at the corner of Cardigan & Keppel Street Carlton is part of a campaign by the Victorian government to ensure that the benefits of online technologies are shared across the community. It is targeted at technologically disadvantaged groups, including women, people in isolated places, people with disabilities and people from non-English speaking backgrounds. There are also projects for older people, young unemployed and training available in various languages. centres are located in Neighbourhood Houses, community centres, libraries, schools and other places. They provide training and access. To find the nearest centre, call 1800 629 835 or 9669 9818

Squatters handbook online

Union of Australian Women

Campaigns for equal pay and opportunity, child care, adequate housing, actions for peace. Newsletter. Local groups in Preston, Sunshine and Chelsea. Weekly program on 3CR. UAW started in 1950. 9654 7409

Lobbies for cheap and efficient public transport for everyone. Newsletters on public transport developments and campaigns. Extensive library on transport related issues. 9650 7898

The Big Issue
The Big Issue is an independent magazine sold on the streets by long-term unemployed and homeless people.
* A chance to have your stories or poems published in a national magazine
* At least $1.50 from every sale
Call 9663 4733 or visit us at 148 Lonsdale Street, City (Behind the Wesley Central Mission) . THE BIG ISSUE IS TRAINING EVERY DAY AT 12 PM . YOU CAN START EARNING TODAY

Welfare Rights Unit
Free and independent information and advice on social security matters. If you're having a hassle with Centrelink, give Welfare Rights Unit a call on 9416 1111 between 2 and 5 pm Tue to Fri

The Women's Information and Referral Exchange is a free telephone information, support and referral service for the women of Victoria. WIRE has information on many different organisations and subjects. These include support groups, accommodation, health, abortion, legal matters and many more. Having information about what the choices are is the first step to making changes and taking control. Phone 1300 134 130 Monday to Friday (or 1800 136 570 outside Melbourne).

Workers Occupational Health Centre
A good place to go if you want to see a doctor who specialises in work related injuries and health problems. At Trades Hall, Victoria St, Carlton 9662 4820

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