This is done through the examples mentioned earlier as well as assisting individual and families themselves in their homes, community venues, at Kurbingui and in prisons and youth detention centres. They have also been integral in the ongoing work to integrate cultural practices, protocols and processes in therapeutic responses to achieve better outcomes for everyone they work with. Kurbingui staff, partner agencies and community members have felt privileged working with the group members and their guests collaboratively and being a part of the successes of community members through cultural dance, song lines, stories and everyday practices.
In 2017, the elder men in the group identified a need for more support programs for young boys and men and with the support of group members and men within the community, Uncle John Johnson worked tirelessly with the Kurbingui grant writer researching, consulting and communicating with stakeholders and community to develop a model of an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Men’s Shed suitable for the Men in the Brisbane North Community. This Men’s Shed will be located temporarily at Kurbingui Youth and Family Development.
Early 2018, they received notification from the Brisbane City Council that they were successful in receiving some seed funding to begin the project; yet another demonstration of the great outcomes the Elders Group have achieved throughout the last 4 years since they first got together. With the ongoing work, new projects and the achievements of the group, their guests and the community members so far there has been a new energy around and a strong sense of empowerment occurring. Members of the group also hold membership in other stakeholder, cultural, Elders and community groups and have expressed their continued commitment and desire to keep working and improving the lives of all Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children, young people and their families in their local and broader communities which never ceases to amaze all those who are involved with them in whatever form.
The events planned for this year that they are currently planning so far include another Elders Gala Dinner in November, the Domestic & Family Violence Week of Action Events, a larger Elders Conference, and other partnership projects with stakeholders focused on improving the lives of families. For the update calendar of events organised by the Elders Group and the Men’s Shed, please to the calendar of community events.