The Aboriginal Program brings the Aboriginal community at Wayside together in such a way that is culturally sensitive, respectful and appropriate. Our Aboriginal Program Officer engages and supports Aboriginal visitors and tailors the program to the needs of the Aboriginal community, which makes up around 20% of all visitors to Wayside.
The activities program provides the opportunity for our Aboriginal visitors to develop a sense of belonging and place. The program creates a space where Aboriginal elders and youth come together to be part of a family network.
Regular activities include a weekly community lunch, a living skills program and an arts program. The lunch provides visitors with an interactive forum in which they share stories and thoughts on historical issues, and discuss broader societal issues. When the opportunity arises there are also special activities, such as visits to cultural significant sites, where visitors can re-engage with traditions that are in danger of being lost.
The program supports Aboriginal visitors through various pathways including education, employment and referral out of disadvantaged areas. Support is also offered through counselling, advocacy and outreach. Through outreach, the Aboriginal Program Officer acts as an Aboriginal liaison officer to provide support in court matters, medical cases and cases relating to other agencies in the inner city area.
The Aboriginal Program has a dedicated space to allow further development for the Aboriginal community to feel empowered and create a sense of belonging in the Kings Cross area.
The Aboriginal Program is generously supported by financial assistance from the Clayton Utz Foundation.