Katherine to gain new Child and Family centre come February 2020
A new Child and Family Centre will open in the Northern Territory town of Katherine in 2020, with the Northern Territory Government saying the centre will be “a key driver in creating a safer community and even lead to generational change,” local news source The Katherine Times has reported.
While Katherine locals have access to “a multitude of services” covering legal information, mental health support, and primary health care, “knowing how to access these services can sometimes be a minefield,” Kalano Community Association Chief Executive Bill Headley said.
Kalano Community Association is an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation, governed by Councillors who are elected every two years by members in their communities. Katherine, one of the five areas represented in the Kalano Community Association, was identified as a priority location for a centre at the beginning of 2019.
Kalano was selected to run the Centre after “extensive community consultation”, The Katherine Times noted, with Lisa Mumbin, Chair of Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service and Jawoyn Association at the time of the announcement, saying she was “encouraged by the NT Government talking to community groups about what can be achieved for the children of Katherine.”
Ms Mumbin believed both the establishment of the Child and Family Centre, and the decision for it to be led by an Aboriginal controlled organisation represents “a fantastic opportunity for us to work together to bring about the change that we all believe in”.
While the anticipated case load for the centre is as yet unknown, Mr Headley said “all those things that families need and have access to in bigger cities: dentists, psychologists, primary health care, we will facilitate the family to get those services.”
He anticipates that the centre will “be able to offer help to all children and families in Katherine, regardless of age, and hopefully cease families having to split up to access a needed service away from home”.
“If they are in community we will help facilitate them to get to Katherine, if they need to access a service, we will try to help there too, and it will all be done with the highest confidence and cultural understanding,” he said.
To read the original coverage of this story, please see here.