Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)
Koori Community Alcohol and
Drug Officer: Craig Edwards, has been consulted on many occasions during the
consultation process. Substance abuse is a central issue for the Wathaurong
community and Craig; (having worked in this area for many years) has a
unique perspective into the substance abuse issues currently challenging the
community. Craig has been able to identify the major issues in the
community, highlight the barriers to accessing culturally sensitive services
in the region, and propose changes to the delivery of these services which
may resolve many of difficulties Koori people experience when seeking
culturally sensitive services. Craig has contributed a letter outlining his
input and this input has contributed to the design of the Koori Social,
Emotional, and Spiritual wellbeing service as described in the appendix of
Children Services Co-ordinator:
Elsie Coates has filling this position for the past 10 years. Elsie has an
enormous range of experiences and has great insight into the Social,
Emotional, and Spiritual Wellbeing needs of the mothers and children of the Wathaurong community. The Moroponuk officer consulted with Elsie on several
occasions on both a formal and informal level. Elsie also facilitated access
to the playgroup and the mothers of the children using this service. There
is a letter from Elsie (in the appendix section of this report.) supporting
the Moroponuk project and outlining her suggestions in regard to services
and interventions that would begin to address the needs of the children.
Health Centre Co-ordinator:
Estelle French has recently commenced her role has the Co-ordinator of the
Wathaurong Medical Centre. The Moroponuk Officer has had several
consultations in regard to the project and has discussed the report through
various stages of development. Estelle has given her verbal support to the
proposal, but has stated that she prefers to wait until further consultation
has occurred before contributing a letter of support.
Youth of the Community: The
youth of the Wathaurong community are the most difficult community group to
access and there is not an officer at the Co-Op specifically employed to
provide services to this section of the community. Paradoxically, the
statistics in regard to suicide and substance abuse in the youth of
Australian society and Koori youth in particular, would seem to indicate
that this is a section of the community that has enormous needs and would
benefit from targeted programs. The Moroponuk officer was able to meet with
several Koori youths during the consultation process and, with the
assistance of Karen Wood, facilitate a youth forum and a meeting with Helen
Corrigan (Suicide Prevention Officer).
The outcome' of the
consultation with the youth is brief and less than complete.
The absence of any youth
orientated program or service is the clearest indication of need and this is
an issue that should be reviewed by the Wathaurong Co-Op and by the
mainstream services responsible for the delivery of youth services.
Koori Prisoners: The Moroponuk officer was invited to attend a regular education session with the
Koori prisoners currently held at the Barwon Prison. The purpose of this
visit was to attempt to identify the Social, Emotional, and Spiritual
Well-being needs of the prisoners.
Following this visit a
further meeting between the Education officer, the prison Psychologist, and
the Program Director was held. There is also a visit planned by the Men's
Business group and a commitment to a long term program of visits and support
by the Men's group.