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A monthly publication that informs the community about the good work done by CatholicCare NT

NOVEMBER 2021  |  Newsletter
 
Message from the Director
So much happened in November and our newsletter captures a snapshot into some of the work that was and continues to be done. With stories from Finke all the way to Maningrida, you can get a birdseye view of some of the work we do across the Territory. A special mention to our Katherine staff who worked tirelessly during the lockdown, 7 days a week making sure that Katherine residents and surrounding communities were
supported during what was a very difficult time. It was a collaborative effort between the NGO sector, ACCO’s, Government and other partners who worked so well together. The Aboriginal Justice Agreement had its central Australia launch in November and Phil Brown delivered a heartfelt speech which you can read about below. Keep reading to see the updates and reflections from the NO MORE Campaign – there has been lots happening!
Jayne Lloyd
Director
NILS Loans Improving Health and Wellbeing in Wadeye
This month, the CatholicCare NT Financial Wellbeing and Capability team in Wadeye helped two local ladies purchase washing machines using the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS). 

Annette Berida was very happy when she got her washing machine and mattress. She showed us where the machine is at home, proud that it can be located in a safe spot in the cage. She talked about how now she can wash blankets and clothing to help improve the health and wellbeing of her family. Providing a family with a mattress helps them have a better night’s sleep. Good sleep is important to not feel so tired the next day, meaning you have more energy. 

Patricia Mardigan also applied for NILS and was able to get a washing machine. She was so happy and told us she has never had a washing machine before. Patricia has many grandchildren and is always giving to family, so we are happy that we could help her get something for herself that can improve the health and wellbeing of her family. “I am very happy CatholicCare helped me to get this washing machine. It is the first one I have ever had,” she said. 

Both ladies came into the CatholicCare NT office at Wadeye to do the Budget Workshop – we went through their bank statements and Centrelink income statements and had yarns about how to make money last longer and where their money goes. Both were able to see how they could manage their money better. 

We explained the problems with payday lenders that charge high interest, including fees if payments are missed. 

NILS loans charge no fees and no interest, meaning you only pay back what you borrow. They allow up to two years to repay. It is an easy process and is usually approved within a two-week timeframe. Accessing a NILS loan meant Annette and Patricia could get their machines without having to pay additional fees (interest) with repayments that are affordable. 

CatholicCare NT assists by creating a budget to see if the loan is affordable and the right option for the participant, then review the budget once the loan is approved and the fortnightly repayments have been established. We continue to follow up with participants to ensure the repayments are manageable and review if their circumstances have changed.

Making changes within the home by getting a washing machine, mattress, fridge or freezer, all available under the NILS, not only improves health and wellbeing but also sends a good message to everyone to take steps to build a life that is better for you, and your family. 

Thank you, Annette and Patricia, for coming to see us at CatholicCare NT. 
Above left: Annette (L) and CCNT worker Vanessa (R) with Annette's new washing machine. Above right: Patricia with her new washing machine.
Central Australian Aboriginal Justice Agreement Launch
Phil Brown, General Manager Workforce and Partnerships at CatholicCare NT, presented a speech at the central Australian launch of the Aboriginal Justice Agreement on the 18th of October in Alice Springs. As a former prison officer working for NT correctional services, a role he began in 1985 and held for 25 years, his speech reflected on the negative changes he has noticed regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration rates over time.
 
Since Phil began his previous role at Darwin Prison, the number of inmates has increased by about one thousand people. The percentage of Indigenous inmates has increased by one percent, reaching about 86%. An alarming fact relates to women. In Phil’s early years, the number of women incarcerated was very low. However, Indigenous women are now the fastest growing rate of people to be incarcerated.

Statistics show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people fare much worse than other demographics over a range of issues, including domestic and family violence, substance abuse, incarceration rates, trauma, and poor mental health and wellbeing. They are also less likely to access support when suffering in the justice system. 

The purpose of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Justice Agreement is for the NT government to work with Aboriginal people and organisations for better justice outcomes for Indigenous people. Phil, as a member of the AJA Reference Committee, hopes that the agreement will prevent intergenerational incarceration, and achieve these outcomes. 
Above L-R: NT Council of Social Services CEO Deborah Di Natale, Phil Brown, and Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Selena Uibo signing the Aboriginal Justice Agreement in Alice Springs.
Anglicare Supports CCNT Katherine Workers
Each day as part of the COVID-19 response in Katherine, the Katherine Welfare and Homelessness Response Group has been meeting via Microsoft Teams. This group is made up of NGOs and the Northern Territory Government Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities. The purpose of these meetings is to coordinate a response to the Katherine community experiencing food insecurity, homelessness and those not able to lockdown safely. 

Our Katherine staff have been working exceptionally during this lockdown period, so Kelly Gulliver, Acting Regional Manager Darwin, wanted to arrange a surprise lunch to recognise their efforts. She asked the Response Group if anyone in Katherine knew of a local business who could to do the catering. As a surprise, Tracey John, Regional Manager of Anglicare NT, organised and paid for a coffee and cake delivery to the CCNT Katherine office later that day. It was a lovely surprise, forcing the team to stop work and enjoy a meal together, lifting their spirits. 

Thank you very much to Anglicare NT for their generosity and kindness! 
Above: The food from Anglicare. 
Youth Alcohol and Other Drug Use Part One:

Starting a Conversation
It can be difficult for parents to start conversations with young people about the young person's Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) use. But, as a parent, if you think your child/young person is using AOD, it is really important to have conversations around it in a positive, non-judgemental way, without making any assumptions or lecturing. Initial conversations are really important as they are the first step to gaining the trust of your child, which will encourage ongoing AOD conversations.

Firstly, educate yourself about the drugs your child may be using currently or may use in future and their effects. Have a clear idea about what really concerns you about the AOD use. 

Secondly, organize a comfortable time and location with privacy to make it easier for the young person to talk about AOD use, as it can be challenging for them. For example, talk while driving to the young person’s favourite place, talk while walking or talk while sitting side by side.

Do not try to have the conversation when the young person is intoxicated, when they are on their way out of the house and do not interrupt them while they are doing something important to them.

Conversation starter tips:
  • “I’ve observed recently that you look a little bit different to usual/unhappy. I’m a bit worried that everything isn’t going OK with you, what’s going on?”
  • “How’s the relationship with your friends going? I haven’t seen them for a while now.”
  • “You don’t really talk about school and your friends these days, how’s that going?”
It is OK to start with direct questions about drug use but don’t make assumptions that they are using drugs. Avoid questions in relation to how often, the quantity, where they get it from, with whom they use it, or why they use it. Use open ended questions and listen to them actively. Reassure the young person that they are loved.
Tune into next month's newsletter for Part 2: Showing Support
Kahlin Compound: Recognising and Honouring a Site of Significance
It’s been a long road as we approach the 110th anniversary marking the establishment of the Kahlin Compound in Darwin. In June this year, descendants of Kahlin Compound residents unveiled a sign as a first step to commemorate happenings at the site from 1913 to 1939. 

The history of Kahlin is a deeply troubling one: a place where Aboriginal people were effectively jailed every night for the simple reason they were Aboriginal. Taken from their homes and families over the best part of 35 years, it was specifically designed to “solve” the ”half-caste problem”. It was a source of free workers during the daylight hours – as domestic staff and labourers – then subject to night curfews for its residents.
 
Over the decades, it has been a history unknown to the general public, but one which lives in the memories of so many Aboriginal families. The contribution these “Kahlin families” have made over the last century has often been forgotten – or ignored.

The Northern Territory Government has now agreed to recognize the history of the Kahlin Compound on the site. 

It’s been a long time coming. 

By Charlie King
Above: Descendants of some Kahlin Compound residents at the unveiling of a sign recognising the site in June 2021. 
Planning with the descendants has begun and agreement has been reached that future work must:

•    acknowledge the history of the wrongdoings that occurred at the site
•    recognize the significant contributions Aboriginal people from the Kahlin Compound and their descendants have made to the Northern Territory, and 
•    be a culturally appropriate place to meet, commemorate and remember. 

Become involved and have your say!

An Expression of Interest is now open to descendants of Kahlin compound residents to have their say on the project and assist in decision making to ensure that what is built on the site meets the needs of the descendants.
If you’re a descendant and would like to be involved in the next steps, please register by sending an email and don’t forget to include the name of your relative or relatives who were in the Kahlin Compound at: 

friendsofkahlin@gmail.com
New Drivers in Finke
Congratulations to our jobseekers in Finke for attending the Drive Safe NT Driver Program through CatholicCare NT. They are now eligible to drive or learn to drive after receiving their L and P plates! Our new drivers, and soon-to-be drivers, are pictured right, and below with Bibek, our CCNT worker. 
The challenge is for all Australians to stand up and say NO MORE to domestic and family violence.  We need everyone to get involved.  That's why we link arms to show a united stand against domestic and family violence and that together, we can make a difference.       Charlie King AM, NO MORE Founder
A year in the life of a NO MORE Program Worker
Most people are aware of the NO MORE campaign and the great work being done on a large scale, but NO MORE Community Program Workers are often asked the question, “What is it that you actually do?” Ultimately, it is difficult to explain as the work is very broad, requires significant amounts of patience, and the outcomes in a short-term perspective are maybe not seen as successes from the outside looking in.

Fred Nortje, one of our NO MORE Community Program Workers, describes the work involved with the role that often goes unnoticed by the wider community. To read his answer to the question and learn more about the life of a NO MORE Program Worker, visit the NO MORE website here
Above: Fred getting the chance to speak with local men, one of the most rewarding parts of his role. 
Mala’la Health Services Meeting
On 3rd November, Charlie King met with some people for Mala’la Health Services, Maningrida. They professed to being big supporters of NO MORE. Charlie Gunabarra, pictured below, is a community elder and Chairperson of the health services.
Above L-R: Charlie King, James Wood, Seide Ramadani, Charlie Gunabarra and Jessica Gatti. 
Partnership with Buslink
On 22 October, No More workers Tayla Falconer and Charlie King met with Buslink senior staff members Colin Majid and Ross Robertson to discuss No More Violence signage on Darwin urban buses. As a result of the meeting, Tayla and Charlie addressed a group of bus drivers on Wednesday 24 November, at Buslink’s NO MORE breakfast, about family violence. It is expected that there is an opportunity to partnership with Buslink across the NT, nationwide and possibly even globally. Stay tuned.
Above L-R: Tayla Falconer, Colin Majid, Ross Robertson and Charlie King.
Above L-R: Charlie King, Shaun Wilson (Headspace), Colin Majid (Buslink) Bec Forrest (NT Local Hero, Australian of the Year), Ross Robertson (Buslink) and Tayla Falconer.
Meeting with Eddie Betts
Charlie King recently met with AFL legend Eddie Betts to discuss the possibility of him doing some work for the No More campaign. He agreed to consider. There is a possibility too that he might travel to Gunbalanya on the 20th December to be part of a special day for the Community to make a decision about whether or not they will join the new No More Empowering Communities program. Stay tuned.
Above L-R: Eddie Betts and Charlie King linking arms for NO MORE. 
Other Updates from NO MORE
The NO MORE team has been keeping busy attending events and organising meetings over the last couple of months. Some of the highlights have included:

•    Charlie facilitated the OZ Forum-Australia, the Lucky Country? which was held at Darwin Library. 
•    Jayne and Charlie met with Leanne Liddle, Director Aboriginal Justice Unit and Warren Jackson from the Department of Justice to discuss increasing Indigenous leadership and working with offending (Family Violence (FV)) Indigenous men.
•    Maria Lovison and Charlie met by phone with two White Ribbon staff members about working together. They mentioned they had received federal funding for a staff position in Darwin and they discussed how the two groups might be able to assist each other.
•    Charlie attended a meeting with Jodi Wesley, GM Corporate Affairs from Inpex and Max Stretton, Associate at Bespoke Territory. They discussed matters around their Domestic Violence Action Plan (DVAP) and how they could move forward. A visit to Blaydin Point facility to do a presentation to 100 staff members about No More and FV was planned.
•    Charlie met with the CEO Leanne Caton from Yilli Rreung Aboriginal Housing Corporation and Jayne Lloyd (CCNT) about possible men’s accommodation for DV offenders on remand. They discussed how CCNT might work in with such a facility.
•    Charlie met with Peta Trahair from Good Shepherd College and Maria Lovison, Tayla Falconer and Sabastian Page about a school presentation.
•    Menzies School of Health event which included a workshop sharing stories of success and smashing myths about Covid 19 in remote communities. There were 50 people in the room and 200 joining by Zoom. There was a Q & A session with 5 professionals.
•    Charlie met by phone with Johnny Liddle (Congress Alice Springs) and Ken Linkliter (Cultural Presenter) about developing a joint prison program for Alice Springs and Darwin.
•    Charlie met with Charles Gunabarra, senior Health Worker from Maningrida, Vicki Kerrigan, PHD candidate with Menzies, and Will Tinapple about Covid 19 in communities.
Above: New No More DVAP worker Tayla Falconer linking arms with the legendary Helen Fejo-Frith at the Bagot Community.
CatholicCare NT are dedicated to the growth and enrichment of all people in a non judgmental and professional manner and offer a diverse range of personal, social, community and organisational services across a number of locations.
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CatholicCare NT acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the many lands and waters on which we meet and conduct our services, respecting language and culture.


Our mailing address is:
CatholicCare NT
PO Box 132
Berrimah, NT 0828
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