Purro Birik - 48

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Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)



Table 1 - City of Darebin demographics

  • 126 000 residents (one of the largest populations within the metropolitan area);

  • Over one third of residents born overseas;

  • 30% of the population were born in countries where English was not the first language;

  • Largest NESB groups continue to be from Ital3~ Greece and the former Yugoslavia;

  • 26 000 residents in receipt of some form of pension (20.6% of total population) Information collected from Darebin;

  • 1,134 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders - the largest community of any municipality in Metropolitan Melbourne. (ABS 1996)




Work Force has had an association with its local Aboriginal community since the service was first established in 1995. These links have been strengthened gradually'over recent years and have led to the formation of mutually beneficial partnerships and a range of positive outcomes for jobseekers.




From a Work Force perspective, a number of key points required addressing, particularly in the earlier stages of developing our partnerships;


• Building trust across organisations - this involved much liaison, information sharing and learning;

• Earning respect from the community - of the staff at Work Force and the services provided;

• Consultation - with key services and individuals within the community about how best to provide service; (and exactly what type of service should be provided)

• Confidentiality - policies and practices were clarified and modified as required to address specific concerns of our client group; (in consultation with Aboriginal services and our funding body, DFCS)

• Flexibility - of service provision; (it may not always proceed according to "the book", employment goals may be subject to changes and review)




The provision of employment assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI jobseekers) requires an approach that takes into consideration a number of key issues, in addition to being provided in a coordinated manner and in close consultation with the local Aboriginal community.


From our consultation with our local communities and involvement in a range of information exchanges, we are advised that the issues of Aboriginal health & welfare cannot (or should not) be addressed in isolation of the following issues;


1. Cultural

2. Spiritual 

3. Emotional

4. Country

5. Community

6. Family

7. Identity

8. Physical



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