First Australians overcoming challenges

23 May 17

Karen has flourished and grown through Caritas Australia’s support, going from strength to strength, as a mother and community role model.

We first met Karen in 2015, when she featured as a Project Compassion feature story. This mother of six living in rural New South Wales was overcoming the challenges of debt. She also had difficulty accessing good food because of the higher costs of necessities in rural NSW.

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Karen with some of her family. Photo: Sascha Costigan, Caritas Australia.

Karen with some of her family. Photo: Sascha Costigan, Caritas Australia.

Now, through your support, and Caritas Australia’s partnership with Centacare Wilcannia-Forbes and the ‘Manage Your Income, Manage Your Life’ program, Karen is thriving. Her children are succeeding at school and she is, happily, debt free.

“It’s just so good not having any debt. It takes a lot of weight off my shoulders,” Karen says.

“I feel more confident. I feel that if I put my mind towards something, that I can achieve it now”.

Karen’s positive experience through the program with Centacare and Caritas Australia has helped create a better future for her children.

Thanks to the Strive to Drive program, supported by Caritas, she has gained her license and
her independence.

“Before I got my license I had to contact family and ask ‘can you take me here? Can you take me there?’ - now I just jump in my car and can decide for myself,” Karen says.

Her children are also flourishing.

“My eldest daughter finished Year 12 of her scholarship in Sydney. She got a scholarship through Parkes Mines to help with her boarding expenses at a University in Melbourne,” Karen says.

“I talk about her all the time. And even the younger kids now are thinking of going away like Gabby.”

“All the little cousins and siblings are very proud of her and they look up to her and want to do what she’s done. She’s sort of paving the way for them.”

This story features in Caritas News Winter 2017. 

 Learn more about our First Australians programs