(By Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson)

Bags of Love Op Shop will open on the 31st July 2015

It has taken a lot longer than any of us at the Centre would have liked- however after many tears and a lot of frustration and loads of laughter and an rather risqué fashion parade the Bags of Love Op Shop will open on the 31st July 2015 .

It is yet another first in the wonderful world of workers compensation as the Bags of Love Op Shop is run completely by injured workers for the benefit of injured workers as each of them rebuild their lives in ways that has never been seen or done before.

“Bags of Love” aim to provide basic food supplies as often as is possible to ease the burden on the injured worker and the injured worker families.

There won’t be any speeches, and there won’t be any ribbons cut and the Australian stock market won’t have a sudden movement to indicate the importance of the opening of the OP Shop.

newopshopposter (3)We know that in the greater scheme of things the opening of an OP Shop won’t be a measurable shift in workers compensation, but in the injured worker community it is a massive positive step forward- each one of the injured workers who have been working towards this project has been “rejected” by the very system that is meant to have been in place, one of them has 6 hours medical capacity a week, one of them the system has abandoned.

All of them are so dedicated to the task of growing past the systems “judgement” of them as “not worth the effort”.

As each of you knows the Centre receives no funding, over many years and multiple attempts to have various ministers recognise the Centre, we had two choices- close the doors and admit that the system had beaten us. Or find a way to fund the Centre past my own income.

The A Team took it upon themselves to build the Op Shop, they gathered the infrastructure required, they collected the donated goods and clothing, they found a way to achieve.

All I did was give them the time and the space and the support that they needed to fly.

As I said there won’t be any ribbons cut or speeches made, there will be tears of relief at the end of the first day.

And in the true tradition of that horrid advert –But wait there is more… in the coming months more is planned to expand the Op Shop for now I can’t say what that is….

What I can tell you though is how incredibly proud I am of every member past and present of the A Team because when push came to shove they stood their ground held their ground and then moved into an unknown unchartered territory……

Yours in service
Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson
Work Injured Resource Connection inc
“Bags of Love” emergency food project
Craig’s Table

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