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Nanny Group
The ACT Nannies Group currently consists of a small number of Aboriginal Elder women who originate either locallyor from other areas of Australia but who live within the ACT Community. In Early 2002 through their own Service delivery, Gugan Gulwan Aboriginal Youth Corporation identified there was a gap in the support being provided to our Elders (majority women) who were the ones dealing at the fore front with many of the issues Aboriginal people face on a daily basis . This gap was identified through having conversations with many of the Elders accessing support through Gugan who are Carers for their family members (Grannies, Children or Siblings, Mental Health issues, Family members affected by Alcohol and Drug misuse, Chronic Heath issues, Education system matters, Justice and Incarceration issues.)Unfortunately Gugan had to cease the operation of this program in 2005 due to lack of resources. A handful of original members remained in regular contact and started having informal gatherings that were being held at each member’s homes. This process continued on a semi regular basis until 2011 when the group ceased to operate again due to ailing health issues of some members, Members relocating to other communities and work commitments which created a time management issue for some members to being able to commit to a time that suited all members. Thankfully the group has been re-established again in 2014 through the persistence of existing members as the need for the group to operate on a regular basis has again been identified as a necessity by the members. Currently there are 9 regular members and will grow as more people are being made aware of the group. The main purpose for the establishment of this group was to provide a safe environment where Nannies could come together and meet once a week and share stories while providing emotional and spiritual support to each other in a peer setting. The Gatherings also provides the opportunityfor enhancing personal growth and knowledge of each member in area’s affecting the lives of Aboriginal familiesin the ACT. This is encouraged by inviting guest speakers to the meetings so the members can find out what services are already out in the community. It allows for gaps in service provision to be identifiedbut it also provides members with a contact person. The members attend relevant community forums to find out what perspective the wider community has on issues being discussed at the gatherings. It provides a social aspect to members coming together and having some time out from their daily routines while it provides a safe space to vent/discuss issues/events affecting them as Elders and Carers in the Community. The group is not funded by any Government funding and operates on in-kind donations from supporting organisation/services. Lanyon Youth and Community Services provide the venue and lunch for the members and their guests. ACTCOSS and the Gulanga Program are in partnership with both YWCA Lanyon Youth and Community Services and Burrunju Aboriginal Corporation. Burrunju and/or Gulanga are responsible for the facilitation and the organisation of the meetings by making arrangements to either meet with workers from relevant organisations/services or invite them to attend a Nannies meeting for lunch to discuss any concerns or ideas which have been generated from conversations had at the gatherings. It also providesopportunity for other organisations/services to come and meet with some Elders and gain insight of what issues have been identified as needing to be addressed within the Aboriginal Community with the support of mainstream services. It also provides the Nannies with the opportunity to have some input towards the improvement and enhancement of existing services as well as identifying gaps within service delivery for Aboriginal families. For further information regarding the ACT Nannies group or if you would like to come to a gathering please do not hesitate to contact anyone from the following list. Meg Huddleston – 0400 382 084 or burrunju@indigenoussupport.org.au Coral King – 0405 937 817 Kim Peters – 0415 929 511 or kpeters@actcoss.org.au