Mission Champions: Margaret and Graham

20 February 2020
Group photo of Sacred Heart Community residents and staff

Margaret cannot walk down the halls of Sacred Heart Community without being stopped every few metres by the residents who simply want to greet her as a friend, which is how they view her.

As the manager of Sacred Heart Community, her incredible efforts have now been honoured with the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) ‘Leading Practitioner Award’ at the CHP Victorian Homelessness Conference in 2019.

Margaret is best known at the Mission for steering Sacred Heart Community from being a low-care residential service to the award-winning, resident-directed model it is today.

Sacred Heart Community – a ‘home for life’

By transforming Sacred Heart Community into a ‘home for life’ for our residents, Margaret has changed many people’s lives, helping them to adjust to their new life in their first home.

“I’m very honoured and humbled to receive the award. I value the opportunity to support the residents, who are extraordinary people.

I do this with a wonderful team at Sacred Heart Community and the broader Sacred Heart Mission.”

A Sacred Heart Community resident summed up the culture Margaret has created best; “You can spend the rest of your life here. You won’t die alone and you will be surrounded by loving people.”

Resident representative Graham

Equally impressive, Sacred Heart Community Resident Representative Graham (sixth person from the left in the group photo, standing) took home a ‘Premier’s Victorian Seniors Award’ too. Graham is a much-loved resident at Sacred Heart Community and is renowned for making a huge difference at the Mission.

“It gives you a real funny feeling, a good feeling, and something I have felt really good about.”

“People don’t realise how easy it is to speak about something you love; I love Sacred Heart and it’s a great organisation.”

His work as a resident and member of the wider community has made a significant, lasting and invaluable contribution to the well-being of Sacred Heart Community residents and for many others who access our vital services.

Graham treats residents like family and regularly advocates for them by communicating their needs to the Mission. To shine a light on the importance of secure accommodation and how this can transform a person’s life, Graham also shares his personal story for our fundraising and advocacy purposes in the wider community. It takes a special someone to overcome adversity and then publicly tell their story for the greater purpose of creating awareness and giving back to the community they love.