Meaningful community care

Article image - Meaningful community care Collecting pandanus leaves for weaving are Community Care clients Dianne and Margaret (left) with West Arnhem Regional Council HACC officers Joyce Djogibar and Christine Nabobob

The West Arnhem Regional Council (WARC) is assisting people to stay in their own homes and on their communities by providing care, meals, advocacy and support services to people living with a disability or are frail and aged.

In Gunbalanya, WARC Community Care Team Leader Cherie Nichols says the staff also take elders out onto country.
“We have weekly outings for our clients to engage in cultural activities including fishing, collecting pandanus, and hunting for turtles.

“We usually try to take other family members along to help with everything, and it’s also a good opportunity for them to gain cross-generational education with the elders.

“The old ladies absolutely love it, getting out on their country and collecting pandanus to weave baskets.”

Community Care Officers Christine Nabobob, Jackyy Najawarlarr Lee, Louise Garnarradj, Barbara Gurwalwal, Joyce Djogibar and Kathy Kerinauia cook and deliver breakfast and lunch to all clients five days a week, as well as providing weekend packs to Community Aged Care clients.

“We also prepare breakfast for clients who come to the centre, prepare lunches, and also cater for special occasions such as Christmas lunch,” Cherie said.

“Myself or Joyce will pick people up and take them shopping or to the clinic, or to the centre, and we advocate on their behalf with Centrelink, housing and banking agencies.”

For clients like Brian McDonald, the Gunbalanya Community Care centre is the perfect place to get a good breakfast under his belt.

“Here I can shower, wash my clothes, have breakfast, and sit and have a talk and listen to ABC Radio,” he says.

Brian, who is blind, grew up speaking Warlpiri, and does not speak Kunwinkju the local language of the Gunbalanya area.

Brian enjoys regaling visitors with his stories from all across the red centre and Australia’s north.

For Brian, and his wife from Gunbalanya, Dorothy Nabobob, the resource centre is a home away from home, with Dorothy’s sister Christine Nabobob also on the Community Care staff.

Christine’s co-worker Kathy Kerinaui, who works two jobs and speaks three languages, says she loves learning and teaching others.

“I make sure the people I live with also learn how to cook. I teach them how to make damper and cook healthy food for their family.”

Kathy also works at Kunbolkh Kunred Karrinahnarren, the community safe house in Gunbalanya, also run by the West Arnhem Regional Council.

“I love the HACC [Home And Community Care] job, I get to know other people too, and I enjoy the company of the people I work with. We have a good team who cooperate and do what needs to be done.”

With funding from the Australian Government, WARC delivers services to 64 Community Aged Care Packages (CACP),  HACC and Disability in Home Support (DIHS) clients in Jabiru, Minjilang, Warruwi and Gunbalanya.