25 Oct 2016
Rain did not dampen community Elders support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in foster care at the Mercy Elders Program NAIDOC Celebration Day held recently in Toowoomba. The celebration was held at the newly-opened Carbal Medical Services facilities at Mercy Community Services Fatima Centre.
With the help of Elders in the program, children, young people and their foster carers took part in traditional cultural activities making dreaming stones, didgeridoos and boomerangs, as well as colourful art works.
The Mercy Elders Program also met recently to welcome new community Elders to the program and discuss activities that would support Indigenous children and young people in foster care maintain their connection with their culture and take up opportunities for learning about their rich heritage.
Judith Standen, community Elder and foster care worker with Mercy Community Services Fatima Centre in Toowoomba, coordinates a Fatima Centre initiative of linked programs that support Indigenous children and young people in foster care.
‘We have developed a linked group of programs that strengthens and enhances our services for Indigenous children and young people in out-of-home care’, said Ms Standen.
These include the Mercy Elders Program, the Jarjum Angels Program and Cultural Awareness Training for Mercy Community Services Toowoomba and Warwick Foster Care Workers.
‘With the support of Carbal Medical Services, we are working with Elders to help make sure that Indigenous children and young people do not lose touch with their culture and traditions while they are in out-of-home care’, said Ms Standen.
‘Strong cultural connections are an important part of the identity and ongoing health and wellbeing of the younger members of our community.’
Find out more!
For information about the Connecting with Community Initiative, contact us at Mercy Community Services Toowoomba and Warwick:
P 4617 7600
Mercy Elders Program members with Mercy Community Services staff at the NAIDOC Celebration at the Fatima Centre.
Back row L to R: Lone Pearce (Mercy Community Services), Peter Reynolds, Lorraine McKellar, Jim Jackson, Judith Standen (Mercy Community Services)
Front row L to R: Walter McCarthy, Helen Kruger, Jenny Blunderfield, Dennis Jackson