Family Group Gatherings
When we moved into our new premises at Blackett the sense of ownership increased and more people chose our service as the place to go when there was need for a yarn, some advocacy or counselling, community issues to discuss and act upon, to meet new friends, something to do, a healthy meal and especially A PLACE TO BELONG.
The services we offered included counselling (in partnership with Parent, Infant Family Australia (PIFA),advocacy, yarning about the needs of the community, invited speakers e.g. Community Health Centre, Corrective Services ‘Diversion from Custody’, Consultation re: Aboriginal Health, Guardian Youth Care, Youth Rezolutions, University of Western Sydney School of Nursing, Providential Housing, Westmead Hospital re children born with club feet.
This program aims to improve the strength, balance and mobility of older Aboriginal people, increasing their confidence and keeping them independent. It ran as a weekly class that included some gentle exercises and a yarning session about healthy ageing.
Additional Services included:
- Liaising with the Housing Department, Centrelink and Courts on behalf of Aboriginal people through letter writing and attending appointments.
- Providing transport for health, employment and family needs where possible.
- Employment/Education support through liaising with Employment agencies and disseminating information re courses and jobs available.
- Visiting schools, hospitals and prisons when requested.
Outcomes from the family group have been varied and include:
- Education about issues relevant to Aboriginal people especially in the Mount Druitt area resulted in a petition being prepared and sent regarding the control of the Aboriginal Medical Service.
- Consultation with the NSW Health Department was held at Baabayn regarding Aboriginal Health.
- After the visit of Youth Rezolutions a young homeless mother was helped to obtain housing.
- Space was made available for families in crisis to meet with workers from Family and Community Services to assist in getting children back in care or retain care of children. These meetings are ongoing.
- A good relationship has been established with Baptist Care Auburn who provide the bus to pick up people and take them home.
- The most important outcome has been the enthusiasm to attend the gatherings with a weekly attendance of between 25/35 participants. People come for many different reasons and genuine sense of belonging has been developed.