Junction Support Services has proudly launched a project to support our staff to better assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients achieve positive outcomes.
The launch of The Gurray Project: Cultural Understanding at Junction Support Services coincides with NAIDOC Week, which is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture.
Our Aboriginal Liaison Officer and proud Wiradjuri/Ngiyampaa man Taylor Hampton said “Gurray” was a Wiradjuri word for “change”.
“Junction Support Services has been changing lives since 1989 and the organisation’s mission is to support people to achieve their full potential,” he said.
“About 20 per cent of our clients are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander so to better connect with and support them we’re running cultural understanding training for all our staff.”
“That training will be followed by continued learning and support through an online classroom and regular guest speakers from the local Indigenous community.
Taylor worked with one of Australia’s leading cultural understanding educators A.J. Williams, of Girraway Ganyi Consultancy, to develop the training package specifically for our staff.
“A.J. is an incredible educator and trainer and has had a significant impact on our organisation,” Taylor said.
“And it’s fitting that we launch The Gurray Project during NAIDOC Week, which this year has the theme ‘Because of her, we can’.
“It’s partly because of two female former colleagues in the Youth Services team here at Junction that this project has come into being.
“My fellow youth worker Kam, a proud Kuku Yalanji woman, rewrote our organisation’s acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians to recognise emerging elders in the Aboriginal community:
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live, and recognise their continuing connection to the land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Kam and Taylor delivered this new acknowledgement together at last year’s Annual General Meeting.
“Kam urged me, and the whole organisation, to keep going with work to better support Indigenous clients. My former supervisor Meagan also encouraged and supported me to focus on what we can do to better support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients,” Taylor said.
“So we can launch this project, during NAIDOC Week, ‘because of her’.”
Taylor said it was hoped to have all staff trained by the end of the year.