Learn more about the Diversity Award Finalists
The Diversity Award recognises an individual, organisation or group that embraces diversity and promotes inclusion, with an initiative that benefits a particular population group, i.e youth, CaLD, seniors, Aboriginal, LGBTI.
Perth Inner City Youth Service (PICYS)
PICYS has a strong and intentional focus on engaging and assisting young people who identify as LGBTIQA who are experiencing disconnection from their family, mental health challenges and homelessness. Over many decades this has a key focus area of PICYS fabric of responding to youth homelessness in Perth metropolitan, as there is a significant proportion of the Homeless youth population who's homelessness experiences have direct and indirect connections to their LGBTIQA identity and degree of acceptance and support from their family.
PICYS increases the access to mental health services and supports essentially through developing relationship pathways built on high trust and demonstrating accepting relationships and pro social safe environments for young people experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges to relax, feel safe, find and experience acceptance, celebrate their individuality, identity their strengths and build their sense of self worth and resilience.
Young people have the opportunity to build a relationship with a nominated skilled and experienced PICYS staff person and create their own Individualised Support Plan with case management services.
PICYS people have committed, their heads, their hearts, their spirits, their lived experiences, their resources. The expansion of places available for young LGBTIQA people experiencing homelessness and or mental health challenges, often with no family supportive is a clear outcome. And there is more to come!
Glenda Humphries, WA Country Health Service South West Mental Health
Glenda works in the Aboriginal Mental Health Team at the Bunbury Health Campus. This team provides culturally appropriate care and services to their community and implemented an 'Aboriginal Art Work trail' across the campus and clinics. Glenda consulted with the local Aboriginal Elders Group with the idea of the Art Trail. They recommended that tenders go out to local Aboriginal artists in Bunbury and eight local Aboriginal artists were commissioned to complete the Art Trail, which includes Noongar Clan plaques with cultural information about the local Noongar groups in Noongar Country.
The Aboriginal Team engages by attending the local Elders Group Meetings, work with active aboriginal consumers, outreach to schools with high population of aboriginal students by the younger members of the team as early intervention.
The team is very respected across the South West community - clinical and general community; they have encouraged acceptance and inclusiveness of all cultures in the south west in a respectful way. This has brought all nationalities together and has brought about a substantial acknowledgement and understanding of Aboriginal culture.
Youth Involvement Council
The Youth Involvement Council works with at-risk young people to bring positivity to their lives, and empowers them to make good choices and feel better about the future; to replace hopelessness with hope.
Its Mindfulness and Meditation program, delivered in partnership with local organisation Rainbow Dolphins Magic, provides mental health support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth in the regional communities of Port and South Hedland, who are classified as at risk or at extreme risk. Close to 98% of the Mindfulness and Mediation program attendees are Aboriginal children, most with varying degrees of trauma, learning difficulties and behavioural challenges.
The barriers they face to mental health access and community inclusion are significant. Many of the young people they work with suffer from undiagnosed or untreated trauma, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, anxiety, stress and neglect.
Often these young people have nowhere else to turn for support, understanding and care. The Youth Involvement Council supports them to engage with life in a positive way. Support might include helping kids get to school; providing recreation and diversion activities which teach kids positive life skills and keep them out of trouble; providing access for kids to strong, positive role models; helping young people who are in the justice system to find their way out; providing suicide prevention and coping strategies; helping young people who have experienced assault or trauma to find a way forward.
As a result of the mediation program, there has been significant improvement children's positivity, confidence, engagement, behaviour, overall sense of wellbeing, personal hygiene, ability to identify/name their emotions and starting to trust.
Shire of Murray
The ‘Completing the Circle’ project was developed by the Shire of Murray to address the health and wellbeing of young Aboriginal people living in the region. The project was in response to statistical data indicating that young Aboriginal people living in Murray were more susceptible to mental health concerns, with a rate of Aboriginal youth suicide higher than the national average.
The Bindjareb community-based in the Murray region were significantly impacted by early settlement in Western Australia. Pinjarra, was the location of the Pinjarra Massacre, an attack that occurred on a group of Nyoongar by a detachment of 25 soldiers, police and settlers which resulted in the death of up to 80 Aboriginal people and one police officer. The event is one of the most notorious massacres of Aboriginal people in Australian history.
The Completing the Circle project looked at the linkages between the Peel regions dark history and mental health statistics for Aboriginal people living in the area. It adapted the Aboriginal Medicine Wheel model, derived from other First Nation communities, to address generational trauma and provide a holistic approach to healing to improve mental health outcomes for Aboriginal people.
For a traditional healer, an imbalance (eg. Loss of traditional values) may affect decision (eg. Leading to drug and alcohol use). Through the medicine wheel, Shire of Murray created balance across four quadrants: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual healing to achieve growth in each aspect for balance and wholeness.
The project has resulted in the following outcomes:
• Improved relations between Council and the Aboriginal community
• Better education around mental health and improved integration of services
• Increased connection to country and culture for Aboriginal people
• A more connected community, focused on improving wellbeing and quality of life for all.