Michael reaches out

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Michael reaches out

Indigenous services: business manager and youth worker at South Gippsland Indigenous Health Services, Michael Moyle, encourages all aboriginal community members to register at the centre.

SOUTH Gippsland Indigenous Health Service is not only the first, but the sole aboriginal corporation in South Gippsland and Bass Coast.
A project of the Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation, the centre is primarily focused on aboriginal youth, maintaining a partnership with the Department of Justice, but hopes to offer other services in the future.
To offer these services however, business manager and youth worker at the centre, Michael Moyle, said it is vital people in the indigenous community connect with the service.
“It has not been an easy task collecting accurate numbers,” he said.
“Most of the people who live here of aboriginal origins are not from this country, and in that context, the community is not closely connected with each other.”
The 2006 census recorded 282 indigenous people living within South Gippsland and Bass Coast, however 3033 people did not identify, meaning the aboriginal community could be larger.
At present, Mr Moyle has met with around 100 indigenous people face-to-face, but said he’d like to get in contact with more.
“I don’t have any problems with people not identifying, but for our purposes we want them to communicate or register with us so we can keep them in the loop for consultation purposes and that sort of thing,” he said.
“That’s a really big need for us to be able to expand our services.”
In the meantime, Mr Moyle said they can bring the required service providers from other sites in Sale, Morwell and Drouin “until we’ve got the complete mapping done here”.
Having moved into a new residence in Wonthaggi last July, the centre helps young people aged from 12 to 25, however it’s an “elastic” age group, with the centre helping many other people in need.
“We work with young offenders coming through the system or people we’re aware of who have potential to offend. That’s why we want to make that community connection, so we can get ahead of the game,” Mr Moyle said.
“We get referrals from other places for young people who are in the school system who are having difficulties with family life or peer pressure problems, and drugs and alcohol, so they’re coming from different sources.”
The service also offers maternal and child health services in conjunction with Bass Coast Community Health’s Best Start Program, with a nurse available on the second Tuesday of every month, providing pre-birth education, breastfeeding advice, post-birth care for mothers and babies, and mother and child help and advice.
In partnership with Bass Coast Community Health and the PaCe Program (Parents and Community Engagement), plans have also begun to establish a Koori Community Kitchen and playgroup, so indigenous families can meet, cook and socialise together.
Mr Moyle said the existence of the service is important for the indigenous community, as services they require may not be delivered through normal agencies.
“Aboriginal people like to deal with aboriginal people; not all the time, but sometimes they have an opinion that the mainstream services are not satisfactory to their particular needs, whether it be cultural or otherwise,” he said.
Mr Moyle also hopes to build an advisory board with an aim of reaching out to the aboriginal community to find and resolve problems, or discover any needs they may be able to meet.
Mr Moyle invites all members of the South Gippsland indigenous population to make contact with the Ramahyuck office on 5672 1444, so that information regarding a proposed community consultative meeting can be distributed widely.

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Posted by on Feb 1 2012. Filed under Community, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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