Representatives from Bundaberg’s IWC are set to present at a major Indigenous National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) conference in Cairns this week.
IWC is co-host of the second National NDIS Conference: Doing it the First People Way, being held from 23-25 October.
IWC Director Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian, a traditional owner, elder and keynote speaker at the conference, said it was a chance for IWC to share its many learnings about the NDIS, cultural responsiveness and inclusion with a wide audience.
“The National Disability Insurance Scheme has been a big step forward for all in our communities, but especially so for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders because there have been so many cultural barriers around disability for a long time,” Aunty Cheri said.
Also representing IWC at the NDIS conference will be fellow IWC Board Director Stirling Eggmolesse, NDIS LAC Area Manager Ryan Mulvany and Indigenous team members Daniel Smith and Jean Paul.
Aunty Cheri said the three-day NDIS-focused conference would provide organisations, service managers and frontline workers in the disability sector the opportunity to network.
Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss and share information with regard to the successes and challenges they have experienced in the roll-out and implementation of the NDIS, one of Australia’s largest social policy reforms.
Clinical psychologists Dr Joseph B. Stone and Dr Amber Logan will also be speaking at the conference and presenting a masterclass on Managing Intergenerational Trauma and Becoming an Interventionist to Suicide.
In the run-up to the conference, Drs Stone and Logan visited Bundaberg to view the $19.8 million Stage 2 expansion of the IWC Health & Wellbeing Complex, which was officially opened last week.
Dr Stone said the complex, which is purpose built as an Aboriginal community-controlled health and wellbeing facility, was a beautiful building designed for optimal health care.
“One of the things that struck me as I walked through the door was the artefacts, the artwork, which sends a clear message that this wonderful, beautiful building is in fact an Aboriginal success story,” Dr Stone said.
“So for Aboriginal, Indigenous people, beyond the clinical effect, the treatments provided here, there’s also the social and emotional effect of Aboriginal sovereignty and self-governance manifesting itself in the successfully self-governed program.”
He said the fact that IWC, as an Aboriginal-run organisation, offered services to all people in the community – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – was “incredibly important”.
“We’re all human beings and we need to support each other, and that’s the message I’m taking from the construction of this centre – it’s that those doors are open, and that’s a strong message of inclusion,” he said.
To register for the second National NDIS Conference: Doing it the First People Way in Cairns, go to the website.