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Just Manna AGM

Just Manna is holding its AGM after church in the Meeting Room on 27 November 2016. If you are interested you are welcome to attend.

Just Manna:

With Christmas approaching and so many in our community in financial need, Just Manna, with your assistance, plans to distribute a combination of Christmas hampers and gift vouchers.
We welcome any donations of money (donations are tax deductible), Christmas food treats or personal hygiene items such as deodorants, perfume, soap, toothbrush and paste etc.
The Just Manna committee thanks all those who have supported us to carry out such vital assistance to our community in need throughout the year.
Joan or Laurel are available to receive donations.

Just Manna Incorporated St Paul’s AGM Annual Report June 2014


Just Manna Inc is a charitable organisation associated with St Paul’s Anglican Church, Beaconsfield. The Committee which is usually made up of representatives from the St Paul’s Church, meets monthly.


To provide direct relief of poverty, sickness, suffering, distress, disability or helplessness including financial & non-financial assistance to people in Australia. A particular focus is on assisting former refugees in the Australian community & others seeking residence in Australia.

Highlights Of 2013/2014:

Afghani Refugees:

On- going support for an Afghani family previously sponsored by Just Manna to settle in Australia.
In March 2014, Just Manna was instrumental in bringing their 16 year old daughter from Pakistan to Australia. Angela and Lyn were at the airport for the family reunion.


African Communities:

The support Just Manna has provided to members of the Sudanese community in Western Australia has continued & expanded to include other African communities.

This support has included:

  • provision of both financial advice & support
  • support with housing & household expenses
  • provision of house hold goods, clothes, and computers
  • provision of support and advice with a workers compensation dispute
  • emotional support
  • seeking advice on visa application
  • seeking social security support
  • family reunion for a Sudanese man with his mother
  • support with medical expenses
  • provision of bicycles
  • financial support for re-training
  • job seeking and CV writing

In addition Just Manna is working with a former refugee woman from Africa, now an Australian citizen whose 4 year old daughter went missing whilst living in a refugee camp in Uganda. This young child, now 13 years old, has been located living on the streets in Uganda. Steps are in place for Just Manna to assist in the reunion of this child with her mother in Australia.
This will become one of our major projects for 2014/2015.

Restorative Justice:

The provision of funds to assist a newly released prisoner to establish himself in the community.

Telstra Accounts And Other Utility Expenses:

Management and distribution of Telstra phone and internet vouchers to people in need.
Provision of financial assistance with other utility accounts.

Balgo And Halls Creek Aboriginal Community:

Provision of curtains.

Christmas Relief:

Just Manna provided over 40 food hampers, gifts and gift vouchers to families and individuals in need.           


Swimming Programme:

Just Manna has provided funds for swimming costumes and lessons for students with limited finances from the North Lake Senior Campus and Beaconsfield Primary School Intensive English Centre These students are new Australian residents and have come from backgrounds where swimming was not part of their life. Being able to swim assists these students to assimilate into the Australian culture & increases their water safety survival skills.


Through the generosity of a catering company, Just Manna receives freshly cooked frozen meals which are surplus to the company’s requirements. These meals are stored in the freezer in the St Paul’s kitchen and are available for distribution as required. The meals are distributed weekly to families experiencing financial difficulty as well as individuals in our community who are unable to prepare meals for themselves.
Requests for meals can be made to any Committee member.

School Camp:

Just Manna has established a strong connection with the Beaconsfield Primary School Intensive English Centre and has been delighted to respond to requests for assistance to cover school camp fees for 3 children from families experiencing financial difficulties. Additional funding provided by Just Manna made it possible to significantly reduce the cost of the camp and enabled all students to attend. Most of the children attending the camp have been in Australia for less than a year. The school group represented 17 nationalities, some of whom had come to Australia as refugees. The camp experience formed an important part of the process of adjusting to their new life in Australia.

Student Support:

Just Manna has provided numerous refurbished computers to enable students to participate in on-line studies.
Just Manna has provided financial assistance to three students participating in the Anglican Church Ordination programme.
Provision of bicycles.

Street Doctor:

Just Manna receives regular referrals for those in need via the “Street Doctor”. In visiting these clients, it was discovered that many are living without basic household goods, such as refrigerators, microwaves & washing machines. Just Manna has been delighted to provide these items as required.

Pastoral Care:

As a member of the St Paul’s Pastoral Care team, Claire Barendrecht, provides valuable emotional support to those in need.
Provision of a hospital bed for a palliative care patient in the community.


The work of Just Manna is expanding & the achievements of this year & the on going work is only possible through the generosity of the members of Just Manna & the St Paul’s community.

Special thanks:

To all those who have generously donated items of furniture, household goods & computers
To Chris Williams for making his vehicle available for transporting furniture etc
To Michael Jessup & Don Barendrecht for their time & effort in being the “removalists”
To David Gibson for his assistance in refurbishing the computers
To Amy Jessup for the provision of meals
To Gillian Loffell & her “Line Dancers” for their on-going financial support
To all those who are the “eyes & the ears” of our community & for informing us of those in need
To all the Committee members & especially to our office bearers, Laurel Ellis, Treasurer &
Robin Coopes-Williams and Chris Williams for secretarial support

On behalf of the Just Manna Committee, I wish to thank all who have given their support both financially & in other ways to assist those in need within our community and for being a voice for those not heard.

Joan Jessup
Chairperson 2014
Just Manna Inc

Committee Members:

Lyn Sherwood, Di Robinson, Feonagh Cooke, Laurel Ellis, Angela Wilson, Kim Kemp, Chris Williams, Robin Coopes-Williams, Claire Barendrecht, Michael Jessup.

2004 Noah's' s Ark

The Ark

One of the most exciting early projects in this program was the 2004 Noah's' s Ark Parade. This project was funded by an Arts WA grant which enabled the construction of a wooden Noah's Ark and of full size animal puppet heads.

There were six workshops, directed by Anne Fitzpatrick, and refugee children were driven by volunteers to take part in these workshops. On the day of the street parade in the Festival of Fremantle the Ark, together with its cargo of animals, was paraded through the main streets of Fremantle. At various stages during the procession a policeman would appear and usher out from the interior of the Ark a band of 'refugees' carrying their possessions and suitcases. Many of the refugee children took part in this parade and one young boy said the best thing about it was walking down the street with the Ark and having all the bystanders waving and cheering.

A very rewarding activity was the Soccer program initiated by Marie Thomson. Many of the boys and young men are very keen and skilled soccer players and a bus, paid by for St Paul's, went round to pick up the different players to enjoy the Saturday afternoon game. The young girls had their own soccer and ball games. The outing provided a very good way for refugee families to get to know their Australian neighbours. One large Congolese family was particularly involved in these soccer games and of them one Australian man who lived next door to them said, “They are the best neighbours I have ever had”.

Another very rewarding experience was enjoyed by John Hedges and his family. One refugee family had never, before arriving in Australia, seen the ocean. When they first arrived in Perth they had glimpses occasionally from a bus or car but their joy was unbounded when the Hedges took the family down to actually experience the ocean and the sand. John said: 'You think you are helping them but your are actually receiving a gift from them in their joy and excitement.' Angela Wilson had a similar experience with some Sudanese refugees. A man and his nephew, who were both academics, had never seen the sea before and they experienced the same delight when Angela took them on an excursion to South Beach.

There have been very few recent refugee arrivals in Fremantle and its environs, as many newcomers have elected for the northern suburbs where they have more contacts with their own nationality. St Paul's, however, still keeps in touch with the earlier arrivals, many of whom have become friends. Unlike an official program, the families are not dropped after six months.
Many 2005 arrivals are still attending English classes run by a TAFE teacher, Nikki Edmonson and helped by Nelson Gardner in the winter term. These classes are paid for by St Paul's. Nikki lives in Fremantle and is able to give direct and personal support to the women who attend. Five women from Iran and the Congo attend regularly. They like its small, informal classes where they can bring their children and let them run around and one said that she wished she had had such groups from the beginning. The English of the mother of one little boy who was five in September called Dieudonne has improved so much that she was able to take him up to Beaconsfield Primary and get him enrolled for school in September. Without the help of these classes the task would have been too daunting.

Some of the refugee families who arrived two or more years ago have very happy stories of their new life. One Congolese family have added a new baby daughter to their family and the father has almost completed a formal diploma in social work and will soon be working full time helping other new families to adjust to their life in Perth. Another Sudanese family also added a new daughter to their family and the father (who is an agricultural scientist with many degrees in his native land) was able to enrol in a PH D program at Murdoch University, through the encouragement of Ken Kelso and Peter Newman. Both Ken's and Peter's families have been involved in getting to know and in helping the new arrivals.

Although the flood of arrivals in 2004 and 2005 has slowed down, St Paul's is continuing to find ways to help new arrivals. For instance, Jenny and Bill Grace and Searka, who is a school adviser from Kenya, organised a sausage sizzle in St. Paul's Hall on September 30th from 5pm to 8 pm, with a soccer game and a disco.
Looking further ahead to the New Year, Paul Roberts is thinking of organising other practical activities, including integrating the two and three year old refugee children into the Fun Bus run by the Cockburn Council which goes around to different parks and finding a way of getting the children to the parks. One future very ambitious project is for St Paul's to officially sponsor a refugee family from the Sudan. The parish will guarantee the air fares and help with accommodation for the family of a young man called Simon. Members of the Church have already met Simon who is in his early 20s. He tells of fleeing alone from his village in southern Sudan when it was attacked by militia. At the time he was 12 years old and he went first to Ethiopia and then to Kenya where he lived, under the care of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) with a group of boys in similar circumstances before coming to Australia about three years ago.

Simon's family live as refugees in Kampala, Uganda. St. Paul's is in the process of making contact with them, via church and medical services, in order to process their application. Given the difficulties of communications, it will take some time to complete the formalities. In the meantime, a non-profit association is being established in order to enable donations to this important cause to be tax deductible.

A recent update from Chris Williams, who is helping co-ordinate the St. Paul's refugee support group 'Just Manna' says that the family consists of a forty one year old widowed mother, whose husband was killed by militia in 2004, her daughter, Adhieu, son and nephew. An application form has been completed and sent for signature to the family in Kampala, Uganda. We have been in communication with Dr. Richard Stockley in Kampala and sent Church funds for the treatment of Adhieu, who was expected to recover from liver failure arising from hepatitis B. Sadly, we have had a further report to tell us that 15 year old Adhieu has died. A tree will be planted in her memory.

Some Sudanese families have become regular parishioners at St Paul's and other refugee families have joined us through these connections so the circles of friendship and fellowship continue to grow. It is a privilege to have them in our community and as Angela Wilson says, they have a lot to teach us. They have gifts of joy, warmth and friendliness. They have the gift of hospitality, greeting their visitors with blessing and give us a gift in sharing their joy in living.
Lyn Sherwood, Angela Wilson, Anne Fitzpatrick, Kath Jordan November 2006 The Beak Summer 2006/7