SHIFT Project lunch

The crowd at last year’s SHIFT project fundraiser.

This International Women’s Day (IWD) marks three years since The S.H.I.F.T. Project launched. To celebrate their achievements, they are hosting a fundraiser luncheon at Beach, Byron Bay.

The IWD theme for 2018 is Press for Progress. The S.H.I.F.T. Project supports women who are vulnerable in our community and at risk of homelessness. They believe that when it comes to social progress, service and advocacy go hand-in-hand, and that as a community we have the power to press for progress, requiring us to keep igniting the conversations that urgently need to be had.

Joining this conversation is guest speaker Fay Jackson, a strong advocate of systemic and community change pertaining to inclusion, mental health and wellbeing. Fay, who has appeared on the ABC’s One Plus One and Q&A programs is the general manager of inclusion at Flourish Australia, CEO of Vision In Mind, and also deputy commissioner of the NSW Mental Health Commission.

All of Fay’s positions within her mental health career are designated as ‘lived experience’ positions. This means that Fay uses her experiences of having mental health issues and recovery to support others. She has achieved this despite of psychiatrists telling her, in effect, ‘You will never work, and you will never be a valuable member of society’.

The changes Fay made in her life have given her a recognition that we are far more likely to achieve changes and contribute to our family and community if we have support, friendship and mentoring. We are also more likely to achieve changes if we have opportunities to support and mentor others. Reciprocity, mutuality and affirming relationships can positively change lives, communities and the world.

These values are shared by The S.H.I.F.T. Project, a local transitional program that functions on a residential and educational basis with a focus on: skill-based learning, practising wellbeing, preparing for education or employment pathways and giving back to the community. S.H.I.F.T. offers a framework, a structure to live by until the individual has the strength to start building their own. Through living, working and learning together, women are able to experience their emotional selves in good company rather than in habitual isolation.

The S.H.I.F.T. Project is funded by donations from our generous community and this event is S.H.I.F.T.’s annual fundraiser. Moneys are raised via amazing auction items and raffle all donated by community business, partnerships and individuals. This year Mandy Nolan, our tireless local advocate for women’s rights, will again act as MC and auctioneer. Tunes will be provided by Irish-born Australian-dwelling singer/songwriter Aine Tyrell.

S.H.I.F.T. invite you, your friends and friends of friends, to join them for lunch in Byron Bay. Tables can be booked by calling Beach.

More info: S.H.I.F.T. fundraising lunch at Beach 8 March 12–3pm. Ph 6685 8445.

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