Thursday, 20 June 2019

Tzedek joins SECASA

By Saihini Naidoo and Jessica Wooley

Tzedek is an organisation dedicated to the prevention and control of sexual abuse within the Jewish and broader community.  At the end of 2018, Tzedek became a program provided through SECASA.

Joining SECASA, saw Tzedek become the first Jewish not-for-profit to receive funding from a Government organisation.

“SECASA is pleased to have Tzedek as a program providing us with improved involvement with all parts of the Jewish communities, including the orthodox denominations” said Carolyn Worth, Manager at SECASA.

Tzedek Board President, Danny Schwarz, said that the transition would deliver “ongoing financial security and ensure the continuity of Tzedek programs in the Jewish community”.

The support, education and advocacy services provided by Tzedek will be under the management of SECASA, but will remain unchanged.

The organisation will also continue to be a support service for the Jewish community for the ‘National Redress Scheme’, which provides support to people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

“This won’t change our programs or the way they are delivered in the Jewish community” said Tzedek CEO, Michelle Meyer. “Tzedek will continue to operate from its current office location in Elsternwick where it is most accessible to those in need and retain its existing phone number and website”.

Dr Meyer confirmed that the transition will deliver access to a broader range of resources including education material, training opportunities and the potential for joint research initiatives between Tzedek and SECASA.

Tzedek will continue to operate its own advocacy service and maintain links to the Jewish community by way of a Tzedek Advisory Committee to SECASA.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

School’s Program Success, but a work in progress

By Saihini Naidoo

SECASA’s Schools Program is designed to educate young people on important issues that relate to their bodies and their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Hayley and Elizabeth run this program and visit different Primary and Secondary Schools across the South Eastern region. This program raises greater awareness on subjects such as: protective behaviours, bodily autonomy, respectful relationships and online safety.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Specialist assessment

By Jessica Wooley

Specialist assessment is not counselling, as it is a more structural approach constrained by time. A specialist assessment will generally be used to assist Child Protection’s investigation.  Specialist assessment is a process to clarify allegations of concern around sexual abuse. CASAs conduct specialist assessments for children up to 17 years of age.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Duty team update

By Jessica Wooley

CASA duty teams are made up of especially trained and qualified sexual assault and family violence counsellors. Each CASA has their own duty worker who will answer crisis calls during business hours. After hours these calls are answered by the Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL) 1800 806 292. This service is provided free of cost.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Protective behaviour education

By Jessica Wooley

‘Protective behaviours’ is an education program aimed at children who receive counselling services from SECASA. It teaches them what it means to be safe and unsafe, in their own behaviour and the behaviour of others.

This education program provides an opportunity to understand boundaries. The definition of ‘safe’ is explored thoroughly, looking at safe places, safe people and warning signs that a person or activity is unsafe. Usually the child has been in an unsafe situation in the past which has led them to becoming a client at SECASA.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Community Health Nurses in MDCs

By Jessica Wooley

Community Health Nurses (CHNs) offer free and confidential health support to individuals who have experienced sexual assault, as well as their family members.

Sexual assault and family violence are linked to poor outcomes, such as poor mental and physical health. CHNs aim to minimise poor outcomes through education and support. They undertake an initial general health needs assessment of the client, providing health information, assisted referral and education for all health matters.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

AWARE Program Highlights

Dandenong MDC
By Saihini Naidoo

SECASA’s AWARE Program provides assessment and treatment of sexually abusive behaviour (SAB) and problem sexual behaviour (PSB) in children and young people, whilst providing support to their parents and carers in the southern region of Melbourne, Victoria.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Making Rights Reality

By Courtney Beaumont

The Making Rights Reality program provides extra support services for clients with disabilities, acquired brain injury and complex communication needs. SECASA counsellor Dagmar was inspired to start Making Rights Reality after working with survivors of assault who had disabilities.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Training and Community Education

By Courtney Beaumont

Many organisations are eager to know the best response to the disclosure of sexual assault. Training external communities on how to deal with sexual assault and family violence is a vital part of SECASA’s mission. For the last 12 months Mary has been leading these educational sessions as a part of SECASA.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Sexual Assault Report Anonymously (SARA)

By Jessica Wooley

In 2013 we launched our first phone application called Sexual Assault Report Anonymously (SARA).

The idea for SARA came after a particularly awful crime in Melbourne where a woman named Jill Meagher was stalked, raped and murdered in 2012. Her assailant was on parole at the time of the attack. This man had harassed other women in the same location but these had gone unreported.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Online communications team


By Jessica Wooley

SECASA is the only CASA with 2 workers dedicated to providing an online outreach service. Because of this we have a large online presence which includes five web sites, feeds on Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube and 4 other social media platforms.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Workforce Development – Sexual Assault workers


By Jessica Wooley

What is Workforce Development?

Workforce development (WFD) is learning that staff must attend to increase their specialty knowledge. It is available to all clinical staff at CASA. There are 14 Centres Against Sexual Assault across Victoria and the Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL) after hours service. Topics covered in WFD this year included ‘Shame in the treatment of those who have experience childhood sexual assault’, ‘Compassion focused therapy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse’ and ‘A synergetic approach to working with pre-teens and teens in play therapy’.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

SECASA Art Group - week 2

A lovely little still life from the SECASA art group. Week two, having fun painting the small bowls made in week one.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

SECASA birthday

In 2017 SECASA turned 40! There were a number of celebrations, one being an art exhibition at Monash Medical Centre. The art was all produced but past or current clients. The event was attended by over 60 people and the art was on display for a month. 

Thursday, 21 February 2019

The SECASA Administration Team: The heart of everything


By Saihini Naidoo 


SECASA is a unique and multi-tiered entity. Each team within the organisation is responsible for its own important, specialised, duties and each Team carries out these duties with the utmost pride and passion.

In saying this, there is one Team in particular, who are the heart of everything…

The Administration Team, led by newly appointed Team Leader, Gihan, plays an integral role in coordinating the fluidity of SECASA processes. This efficient team is responsible for intake work, scheduling appointments and receiving and managing clients on SECASA’s client management system called ‘IRIS’. It is also responsible for the more mundane tasks such as: ordering printing paper, toilet paper, stationary, tea, coffee and various other items which are required to ensure the smooth running of the Dandenong, Seaford and East Bentleigh sites.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Student Placement at SECASA

By Jessica Woolley
Each year SECASA has taken students on placement. Most are social work students but there have also been students from other disciplines.
A highly rewarding program, the students are given the opportunity to be trained by counsellors and partake in the variety of programs that SECASA offers. They learn about the techniques, procedures and practice of trauma-informed counselling.

Monday, 11 February 2019

The Lion’s Club


President Cerise De Gelder


The Moorabbin Lions Club: An organisation dedicated to its community

Many people have heard about the wonderful contributions of their local Lions Club. However, only a few have an in-depth understanding of just how valuable the organisation is to the community.

Whilst SECASA acknowledges the value of the Lions Club as an entirety, it owes a great deal of thanks to the Moorabbin Lions Club in particular.

In addition to the 55 years of service that the organisation has offered to its local Moorabbin community, the Moorabbin Lions Club has donated over $15,000, which has funded the donation of items such as clothes and toiletries to SECASA since 2002.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Bayside Quilters: Where creativity meets compassion


By Saihini Naidoo


Bayside quilters donate over 200 quilts per year to SECASA which have on them a label ‘a quilt from the heart made with love for you’.  For many of our clients they have never been given anything that has been made especially for them.  Bayside quilters are absolutely wonderful to do this for our clients.  Our manager, Carolyn Worth, goes to their AGM each year to talk about the quilts and what a difference they make to the lives of our clients.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Volunteers and supporters


By Jessica Wooley



SECASA volunteers support counsellors and administrative workers. In 2018 we had Molly, who was based at the Dandenong office, Darlene at Seaford, Shannen at East Bentleigh and Ilo who volunteered at various SECASA locations.

SECASA’s volunteers assist in several key tasks. There is always photocopying of materials and incorporating this with printed material into information packages for community development talks. There are collating materials and helping counsellors with talks at schools and information sessions. They also play a key role in running activities and events.

Volunteer coordinator, Sheryl would like to extend her thanks to the volunteers, who are “a vital part of SECASA achieving our goals in the community”.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Tuesday Social Group - Seaford MDC


By Jessica Wooley



The Tuesday social group has been running at Seaford for 18 months. They gather once a week at the Seaford MDC for two hours, playing games, watching movies, participating in arts and crafts and generally catching up.

One of Seaford’s counsellors, Natasha, started the initiative when one of her clients wanted a safe space to play scrabble with other people. This client had tried to go to community groups to play, but found the other people took it too seriously and community spaces often required users to pay.

There is a core group of four to six women each week, and Natasha describes them as “such a lovely group of women who all support each other”.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Reflexology: A beneficial practice for SECASA survivors


By Saihini Naidoo



Reflexology is an alternate medicine that involves massaging the hands and feet to promote wellness in other areas of the body. Modern reflexology is based on the principle that the foot has ‘reflex’ points which correspond to the various structures and organs throughout the body. The process is designed to be very relaxing and is often an effective way to alleviate stress.

Sam Langridge is a Reflexologist and has been practicing in the industry for 18 years. She has been operating a private clinic for the past 15 years and runs a reflexology program for SECASA survivors with the help of fellow Reflexologist Jenny Rigby.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Art groups – creative minds and healing hearts


By Jessica Wooley



Providing a safe space for victims/survivors, artist Anne runs art groups at SECASA’s Seaford and East Bentleigh locations. The groups are held once a week for 12 weeks.

An atmosphere of creativity is provided, where participants are given the joy of learning artistic skills in a non-judgemental environment where they can use art as an avenue for self-expression.