Having a yarn could help Indigenous communities
SITTING down for a yarn might be the new way forward when child protection workers are dealing with domestic violence and child safety issues in indigenous communities.
Bundaberg's Yarning Up steering committee has produced a report, that could be rolled out throughout the state, on how to break down cultural barriers.
Committee member Bruce Little said traumatised members of indigenous communities were afraid of seeking help or talking to services like Phoenix House about harmful behaviours.
He said the committee found some workers had a gap in communication, understanding of indigenous culture and appreciation of employment challenges.
Yarning Up won the media and communications category at the Queensland Child Protection awards presented at Parliament House on Thursday.
Judges say the report is already being credited with making a significant difference in child protection and that it is now being used to develop an accredited training program for indigenous community workers.
Mr Little, who collected the award, said 25 indigenous workers already in the protection field were put through a special training course, known as the Gwandala project, to boost their skills.
"When the worker goes out and speaks to an indigenous person, some are a bit shy so what they do is just sit around and just yarn and it comes out then what's going on. They feel more at ease," he said.
Mr Little said it was also about ensuring such services had Aboriginal art or other tangible items that might make indigenous people feel at home.
"When they see those things they know the service is there for them. They sort of feel better about expressing themselves," he said.
The Bundaberg Child Protection Week Action Group has won 2014's regional program category for their near year-long efforts in promoting child protection.
Uniting Car counsellor Lyn Alma, one of 12 people at the awards, said the result of the partnership between Bundaberg organisations would culminate with Child Protection Week activities starting Sunday.
She said there was a Father's Day breakfast, family fun day, children's colouring-in competition, training workshop, rainbow day for under fives and many more.
"It's very important to get our message out there in the community, we should never stop talking about child safety and playing our part," she said.
"The people here are very conscious about developing a child safety consciousness in our community."
Detective Sergeant Glenn Cameron said: "We should try and stop any child suffering harm and activities like this raising awareness will do a great deal in making communities very aware of their child protection needs," he said.
- APN NEWSDESK