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Partnerships and annecto's First Aboriginal Liaison Officer

NSW Update

Over the past 18 months, annecto have formed new and valued partnerships in NSW through the annecto Glebe office.

annecto’s ongoing partnership with Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation has seen the delivery of Ability Links (Aboriginal) throughout communities in NSW.

What is Ability Links?

Ability Links, funded by the NSW Government, is a new approach to supporting people with disability, their families and carers in their communities. The primary aim of Ability Links is to assist people with disability, their families and carers to have the opportunity to be members of their communities, to find out what is important to the individual and what they need to make this happen.  Ability Links connects people with disability to the same resources and opportunities that are available and accessible to everyone else in their mainstream communities so they can live the life they want.

At the same time, the program seeks to build the capacity of communities; mainstream groups, services and businesses to be welcoming, inclusive and accessible to people with disability.   Part of the Ability Links Working Team are the “Linkers”, the individuals working with communities and clients.

The KBHAC-annecto Ability Links program has seen the development of the working group and a shared governance arrangement that ensures the operational and strategic activities of the service produces the desired outcome for those in the community, interested in participating.

In May this year, Uncle Richard Campbell, Uncle Michael Welsh and Uncle Lester Maher visited  Melbourne to learn more about annecto’s Victorian operations.  The two day visit saw the Uncles visiting the annecto Learning Hub, David House, based in the inner Western suburb of Yarraville, and share their stories while hearing from those who attend the hub.  The KBHAC working group spent two days learning more about the teams at annecto, and how we do things across Coburg, Footscray and the Yarraville offices. 

annecto’s move to Glebe and co-location with Babana Men’s Aboriginal Group presents an opportunity for Babana and annecto to support one another with the questions and challenges facing families including housing, employment, legal matters, ageing and disability.  A synergy between the organisations and their shared vision for an inclusive whole of family and whole of community approach is evident in their relationship.

Babana Chairperson Mark Spinks says the timing for the partnership was beneficial for both organisations.

“annecto came and asked us to co-locate and we respect that and are building on our partnership.”

annecto take part in key community activities across the calendar including NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Week with annecto CEO Estelle Fyffe laying a wreath at the Coloured Digger march on Anzac Day this year.

NAIDOC Week 2015

Both partner organisations, KBHAC and Bababa Men’s Aboriginal Group were represented at two NAIDOC week events this year.

Taking part in the Harbour City Ferries ceremony at Circular Quay on Monday 6 July and an Elders Lunch in Glebe the following day provided a great opportunity to officially introduce annecto’s first Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Paulette Whitton

Paulette is from the Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaroi peoples of north west NSW and joins annecto with a passion for raising cultural awareness and educating people in the workplace and across communities.

As the daughter of Uncle Paul Whitton, a KBH man, Paulette also provides insights into the journey for families of Stolen Generation members

Paulette is currently working on annecto’s Reconciliation Action Plan and developing opportunities for staff to be involved and for clients to access appropriate services.

“As an organisation at the frontline of working with communities, I see my role at annecto as a way of building cultural knowledge and capability to enable annecto to walk alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

For more information on Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation or Babana Men’s Aboriginal Group, Sydney, visit their websites:

www.kinchelaboyshome.org.au

www.babana.org.au