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Byron Shire
December 8, 2022

Women celebrate making the SHIFT

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Mayor Richardson speaks at the launch of the SHIFT projects website and fundraising event. Photo Simon Haslam.
Mayor Simon Richardson speaks at the launch of the SHIFT projects website and fundraising event. Photo Simon Haslam.

Over 80 people gathered at Beach Byron Bay last Wednesday to attend a fundraising luncheon to celebrate International Women’s Day by launching the website for The SHIFT Project Byron.

SHIFT was established in 2015 by Anne Goslett to provide an educational platform for women to transition into the community after dealing with a situation that had caused displacement.

The Project is privately funded and receives no government funding and a house in Byron has been gifted to be used as a space for wellbeing programs.

Last Wednesday saw the SHIFT Project raise over $12k towards operational costs, more than $2k over their target figure.

Anne Goslett has worked for 30 years in the community sector and has given 90 hours a week voluntarily to set the program up and was inspired by the support the community have shown for SHIFT.

‘My hope for the future would be to impact on how our society views poverty and homelessness’ says Anne, ‘and that for the participants, having been engaged in the project, they could recommend this project within the wider community, rather than keep their experience as a shameful secret.’

It’s the model that shift uses that makes the SHIFT Project so exciting.

SHIFT’s public officer Julie Wells says, ‘Many welfare models have a focus on what is wrong, not working and broken.

‘At SHIFT we have an emphasis on what it is that we do well. Even if its a moment in the day and that went well. We celebrate that. Building on our strengths supports positive change.

‘Using neurobiology as a foundation, we can change our brains, and in turn change our experiences.’

The Women’s Day luncheon marked two years since the SHIFT Project first started.

Providing an ongoing program for four women at a time, with one respite spot, the women engage in volunteer work at the Liberation Larder, paid newspaper distribution for The Echo (which subsidises their rent) and numerous workshops and life affirming skill building experiences.

The idea of the project is that as women start to share their skills and move on while still providing support and inspiration to other women.

It’s a model that Anne and Julie would like to see extended to families and to men.

The SHIFT project have just launched their new website where you can make regular on going donations, or get in contact to share your skills with the program.

The SHIFT project would be keen to find a new member for their committee who has marketing and PR experience.

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