From Our Chairperson
From the Acting CEO
We have participated in many National and Territory events over the past year including:
- Barunga Festival
- NAIDOC week events
- World music day (World Refugee Day)
- Pride week
- Neighbour Day
- Defence Community Organisation Expo
- Careers Expo
- White Ribbon Day
- Mardi Gras Sydney
- 5th Anniversary of the National Apology for forced adoption
- Seniors Expo
- Nationl families week
Family and separation
- Family Dispute Resolution
- Family Law Pathways Network
- Family Relationships Centre
- Family and Domestic Violence Services
- Post Separation Cooperative Parenting
- Relationship Education
- Relationships Counselling
- Employee Assistance Program
Youth and children
- Youth Diversion Program
- Children’s Counselling
- Child Inclusive Practice
- Healing our Children
Culture and language
- Legally Assisted and Culturally Appropriate FDR
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Project
- Royal Commission Support (Protection and Detention of Children in the NT)
- Royal Commission Support (Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse)
- Find and Connect
- Forced Adoption Support Service
Our Find & Connect Support Service (FCSS) faces unique challenges in the Northern Territory, with the majority of clients living in rural, remote and often isolated regions. Our staff members work with clients in developing a suite of different strategies in managing the negative experiences of loneliness and living in isolation.
In the Northern Territory FCSS provides case management, advocacy, counselling records searching and family tracing to people affected by out-of-home care prior to 1990. FCSS is funded by the Department of Social Services and aims to provide specialised trauma-informed support to individuals who identify as Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants, and the Stolen Generations.
Many of these clients have a preference for support through our phone service, rather than travel to have in-person service at their nearest RA-NT office. The confines of living rural and remote in the NT can often contribute to isolation and loneliness which results in a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing. As our clients grow older, fear and loneliness begin to impact their lives and people can become increasingly aware of not being physically and mentally self-sufficient as they once were.
We support clients by starting with small strategies and building on activities by trial and experimentation. These strategies need to consider the client’s unique lifestyle, the physical remoteness, and their financial circumstances. Effective strategies are those which offer social activities and/or support within a relaxed group format where people are active participants and the inclusion of animals into client’s lifestyles. Pets (cats, dogs, kangaroos, and buffalos) provide great comfort and companionship to clients and can decrease the feeling of loneliness and social isolation.
Encouragement of online social interaction has also lead to further social inclusion and reduces the feelings of loneliness for clients. Online interaction is particularly meaningful when clients are becoming increasingly frail or other life changes start to impact their quality of life. Given the uniqueness and physical isolation of clients, RA-NT has been able to success fully implement and deliver a flexible, trauma-informed and inclusive therapeutic approach to service delivery for FCSS clients.
The national launch of Neighbour Day was hosted in the Northern Territory by the Alice Springs community at the Sadadeen Primary School, with the support of Relationships Australia and Neighbour Day Ambassador and Natalie Ahmat of NITV/SBS television. The Alice Springs community was presented with the first Very Neighbourly Community Award for their active engagement with Neighbour Day for many years.
In 2018, 3115 Neighbour Day events were promoted and hosted around Australia by individual neighbours, community groups and businesses, in workplaces and by all levels of government – particularly local councils. The most popular events were morning and afternoon teas, BBQs, street parties, and ‘bring and share’ food gatherings, with almost 50 per cent of events open to the public. Other Australians chose to leave calling or connection cards with messages of support and their contact details, in case their neighbour ever needs a hand.