Purro Birik - 38

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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 this report.


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.



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