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.