Family & Community Services
We are committed to building a strong healthy community for our people. We offer holistic services that support healthy lifestyles, connection to culture and place.
At Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd, we are dedicated to stepping up our efforts in addressing the issues. We understand through cooperation and community empowerment we believe we can facilitate progress and growth for our people. We are always striving to make a difference, and invite you to learn more and be part of the community.
We recognise that connection to culture, family, community, and Country is important when building strong Aboriginal communities.
When you work with us, we will ensure that your voice is heard. Our aim is that you receive the care, support and opportunities for connection to culture and community that best supports you. We believe that everyone has the right to live a happy and healthy life and we are here to walk beside you every step of the way. We understand that you are the expert of your life and we are committed to listening and empowering you throughout your journey.
Our team works with you, offering support and programs designed for you as an individual, and your family members. Our aim is to ensure a safe, culturally strong connection to your Aboriginal community. We provide support and encourage the reduction of drug & alcohol usage. We act on your behalf and can refer you to further specialist in alcohol and other drug-related treatment. We can offer you a range of prevention, early intervention, and counseling programs, rehabilitation treatment, care coordination and ongoing support.
To contact us today to find out how we can help you.
Youth and Adult Social & Emotional Wellbeing
Doing What Is Needed
The program provides holistic support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that are experiencing physical, social, emotional, cultural and mental health challenges. Our specialised, friendly workers are here to ensure you feel encouraged, empowered and supported. Our programs are designed for adults and youth aged 12-24 years and 18+ years. We have both male and female workers to support both men and women. Our program helps you identify your strengths, identify your worries and begin to set goals that can achieve positive changes in your life.
Female Family Violence Support
We can provide you with case management, advocacy and support as an Aboriginal woman and for your children. We offer services throughout the South West Region for those who have or are currently experiencing family violence. We can help you by assisting you to make informed choices regarding the safety of yourself and your children. We can assist you in providing information and link you in with other services that can help where needed. We hope to raise community awareness regarding the negative impact of family violence within the community and we actively explore ways we can work towards reducing future incidents.
Koori Youth Justice Program
Tackling The Issues
We are committed to improving outcomes for local Aboriginal people who are involved with the local justice system. The Justice Worker is here to assist the local Aboriginal community with a culturally appropriate, respectful, and fully confidential justice support service. If you need to have a yarn with someone about Community Corrections orders, fines and warrants, or if you just have questions about the criminal justice system then the Justice Worker is here to help.
Warrumyea Womens Group
Bring People Together
This is a social group hosted by the Gunditjmara Women’s Family Violence team for Aboriginal women in Warrnambool and the surrounding areas. The group provides a friendly, supportive environment for you as an Aboriginal woman, enabling you to come together with others, share and engage in positive cultural, social and healing activities that embrace the tradition of Women’s Business. The group runs every fortnight and enjoys a variety of activities. In the past year, we have had many great outings such as trips to Tower Hill, Port Fairy, a private tour on Lake Condah Mission and trips to Tyrendarra. As well as this, conversations about our community and our local Aboriginal heritage have been ongoing. Women share their ideas, have a yarn, and support one another by coming together in the traditional way that has been the basis of Aboriginal women's culture for centuries.
Creating Spaces For People
Discussions are underway to make plans for a Men’s Group. More information regarding the Men’s group activities and meeting times will be updated as available here on the website.
Aboriginal Tenancy At Risk
Doing What Is Needed
This program was introduced to support you as an Aboriginal person to maintain your housing and help you work through problems that may place your tenancy at risk. Our supportive and friendly workers can help you in many areas including; if you're having trouble paying your rent, having disagreements with neighbors, or advocating on your behalf in relation to issues relating to maintenance or any other housing-related matter. Contact us today if you live in the South-West Region and discover how we can help you.
Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making
This program is about supporting and advocating for all Aboriginal children involved with the child protection system. Our primary focus is to make sure children are safe and supported culturally. We want to encourage family members, extended family, Elders, and any other significant people to be part of the planning making and decisions that are central to children's wellbeing. We believe in the importance of family and culture and we understand how important this is for children through challenging times.
Children's Cultural Support
A cultural support plan is an individualized plan or support agreement that aims to develop or maintain children's cultural identity through connection to family, community and culture, while they are in care. The CSP has your Relevant cultural information, Activities that maintain and support the child’s cultural identity and connection with communities and culture. Supports required to ensure that the child maintains his or her connections and can participate in activities documented in the CSP. Cultural support plans help to ensure that planning and decision-making are culturally appropriate and in the best interests of the child.
Aboriginal Kinship Care
It is such an important aspect of Aboriginal culture staying connected and feeling supported by your community. Aboriginal Kinship Care is about maintaining these bonds during times when an Aboriginal child might not be able to live with their parents. Care is then provided by relatives or friends within the community to maintain and support these relationships with children. We want to see a child grow, feel safe and feel supported. This program helps provide this.
A Cultural Plan can be a powerful and effective way to develop a more holistic, child-centered, community focused approach, ensuring support for some of our most vulnerable children and young people in out of home care. The goal of this planning is to establish and maintain a child’s sense of wellbeing, identity, belonging and connection to their Aboriginal culture. A Cultural Plan for a child ensures the best possible outcomes in a considered and meaningful way.
Koori Pre School
Exploring And Learning
Our Koori Pre School Assistance Program provides fun-filled support and services to kindergartens across the region including Warrnambool, Koroit, Hawkesdale, Purnim and Allansford. Kindergartens with Koori children enrolled receive a fortnightly visit to support and encourage children’s learning whilst maintaining the presence of their heritage and cultural identity. These sessions generally run for an hour and may involve the whole class. These are a valuable opportunity for all children to learn about the wonderful Aboriginal Dreaming stories, culture and local language through art and play. These classes are engaging and delightfully interactive with the stories often using Australian animal puppets to share and create learning through role-play and storytelling.
Koorramook Koori Playgroup
Helping Them Grow Strong
Our Koorramook playgroup runs on a weekly basis and continuing into the school holidays. We provide a friendly and welcoming place to meet, have a yarn and provide a great place for our children to play. Children learn in a safe and supported space where Aboriginal heritage and culture is an important element of their learning. The program is aligned with the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework and the playgroup gives children and families the opportunity for new experiences through an interactive and creative program.
Doing What Is Needed
We are invested in an innovative approach that empowers our community and delivers the support they need, The Better Futures Program is all about supporting our Aboriginal youth to be strong, independent, healthy individuals. Designed specifically for youth age between 16 and 21 years this program is for those currently in custody, or are the guardianship to the Secretary.
Intergrated Family Services
It is important to support all our families involved with Child Protection and/or those that refer themselves to our program. Sometimes we all need a little bit of help to navigate life’s challenges and we encourage you to seek out support should you feel you need assistance. We can do this by creating and implementing something called an Action Plan. This action plan offers pathways to finding solutions and seeking support. Contact us today and discover how we can help you.
Targeted Care Package
A Care Package is tailor-made specifically to suit each individual child. Our aim is to provide culturally safe and considered support that will encourage happy, healthy, strong children and growing young adults when needed. They will be provided with opportunities to participate in a variety of events and programs. They will be supported with a Cultural Mentor to guide and encourage them. It is our aim all children have the opportunity to remain connected with Community and Culture and our goal is to support them in meaningful ways.
Cultural Mentor Services - Gunditjmara provides cultural mentoring services to other organisations.