What We Do

Indigenous Projects

Despite our country’s many advantages and continued high rankings in Human Development Reports, many Indigenous and refugee communities continue to face significant disadvantages, especially in health, education, housing and employment.

Both in our cities and in remote areas, these communities face challenges every day that the rest of Australia would find difficult.

Our refugee and Indigenous projects are spread across Australia and focus on education as a means of empowering our newest and oldest members of society.

Port Augusta Learn More

Prospering After Prison

Located in Port Augusta, South Australia the Prospering After Prison program aims to assist Aboriginal women as they transition from prison and back into the community.

Upon release from prison, Aboriginal women are supported one to one with dedicated case workers to start the process of building personal and financial resilience and connection to their chosen community across the Far North and Eyre & Western regions of South Australia.

This program provides the crucial support system for these women as they face significant barriers to improve their capacity and confidence, establishing a home and integrating back into their chosen community.

Developing better living skills, helping with cultural healing, community connectedness and building financial and personal resilience are the key focuses of the Prospering After Prison project.

At a time when they are most vulnerable and at risk of re-offending, these women are given pastoral support and assistance in navigating the transition from prison to everyday life

Brisbane Learn More

Special Measures

The Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA), located in Brisbane, Queensland has designed this Special Measures project. FAIRA is governed by Indigenous people and have been operational for close to five decades. During this time they have participated in and supported a variety of different projects. As the shift towards digital technology continues, FAIRA is working to adapt to new forms of media to further their advocacy work.

With support from Mercy Works FAIRA will establish an effective training and awareness centre to inform and educate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to identify, overcome, and eliminate the racial discrimination they face every day. This project aims to address two key aspects of human rights: the right to empowerment and self-determination, and special measures to overcome racism.

Cairns Learn More

Cape York Girl Academy

The Cape York Girl Academy is located in Cairns. This project gives Indigenous teenage girls who are young mothers a second chance at completing their education. The Academy provides these young mothers the opportunity to complete their education through to Year 12, gain essential work experience, build their life skills, improve and maintain their physical, social and emotional wellbeing and learn essential parenting skills to care for their children.

By responding to this need, The Academy is working to break the vicious cycle of high risk and anti social behaviours that often lead to fewer opportunities for employment and dependency on passive welfare.

This project aims to help these young women become confident mothers and provide them with every opportunity for growth and success in every aspect of their lives.

Sydney Learn More

Baabayn

By supporting a Child Care project in the western suburbs of Sydney, Mercy Works has enabled the Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation to provide a culturally sensitive program each Wednesday. While the children embrace enthusiastically basic pre-school activities, their mothers participate in a program to help improve mental health and confidence through a cultural exploration of different artistic media.

This program enables the young mothers and their children access to services they would not have due to their lower economic status. The provision of early learning services has helped to prepare the children for transition into the next stage of their educational journey.

This project has proved to be a refuge for the Mums while providing an educational experience for their children!

 

Adelaide Learn More

Adelaide First Nations Advocacy

In South Australia, some women with pregnancy complications from  the remote and rural regions of the state are forced to travel to hospitals in towns such as Ceduna, Port Lincoln and Port Augusta or Adelaide to deliver their babies. This situation leads to long periods of separation from their families, Country and critical support networks. Sometimes Aboriginal mothers  find themselves homeless, and possibly living in the parklands in Adelaide.

The Adelaide First Nations Advocacy project is based in Adelaide.  Aboriginal Elder women have formed a Committee to provide outreach support to Aboriginal mothers as they deal with child protection issues. Such support includes access to legal advice, case management, court support, and links to support services and other organisations.

Establishing this proactive service for Aboriginal families aims to reduce the number of babies removed from their families without adequate consultation and warning, while making sure they feel culturally supported and informed.

The Miewi (Spirit) and Cultural Matters

Located in Adelaide, South Australia, this project has been run by the Aboriginal organisation Kura Yelo Inc. for over 40 years. During this time they have recognised common needs/rights  for all First Nations people. Such needs today include racial justice, adequate housing, legal and human rights support, medical services and employment opportunities. They provide programs that help foster healing by creating safe communities and healing spaces.

Mercy Works will support two special activities that are being planned in the next 12 months to further carry out these objectives – a Survival Day Gathering on Kaurna Land planned by the Women’s Group and a camp for Elders and their families, and to support emerging leaders. Most importantly, through these events the Miewi (Spirit) and Cultural Matters project will continue to build a sense of hope and direction for the future for our First Nations people.

Salt n’ Pepper

Salt n’ Pepper is located in Adelaide, South Australia and is a pre and post release outreach project that works with Aboriginal women to help bridge the equity gap. The volunteer based team of Elder Aboriginal women offers culturally appropriate support, both emotional and practical, to Aboriginal women in prison and following their release back into the community.

Aboriginal women are often caught in a cruel cycle of incarceration and release then homelessness, re-offending and re-incarceration. Untreated physical and mental health, addiction and a loss of skills and financial independence increases the risk of reoffending and severely impacts their self-esteem. The stigma that surrounds this issue is a large part of the reason why Aboriginal women are more vulnerable to this cycle.

This program offers Aboriginal women in the post-prison release program, the opportunity to undertake leadership training to learn skills in mentoring and peer support for other Aboriginal women leaving prison. Educating these vulnerable women will give them the skills and knowledge to keep themselves, their children and their families safer in the future.

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