Gudjagang Ngara Li-dhi is an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation that supports vulnerable children, young people and families that fall within the local government catchment area of Wyong.
We provide services that are developmentally and age appropriate, to care for the community’s social and emotional wellbeing, foster connection to culture, and support individuals and families to thrive.
The Gudjagang Ngara li-dhi Philosophy
In the spirit of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, our aim is to provide a high standard of family-based care and cultural therapy that supports the individual and cultural identities of our families, children and young people. Aboriginal children and young people have the right to be cared for in a family environment and to be part of a wider cultural community that wraps a blanket of support around them and fosters their cultural learning.
Gudjagang Ngara Li-dhi replicates a system of care that the Aboriginal world views encourage; one that is collaborative, consultative and engages all stakeholders to provide the best care for the community. Aboriginal world views have been disrupted, so it is critical that our partnerships and relationships with key stakeholders and agencies within our community are nurtured.
We are committed to our belief that Aboriginal families, children and young people have the right to their cultural learnings. Gudjagang Ngara Li-dhi, together with the community, will ensure that this learning is nurtured and developed throughout their lives. We will achieve this through nurturing existing connections and creating reconnections to family, country and community. We strongly believe that these connections and reconnections are vital for a true sense of belonging, an acceptance of self, and recovery from trauma.
We are committed to promoting the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all Aboriginal families, children and young people in our care and to respecting their rights and the rights of their families and carers.
We are guided by the following approaches to practice:
- Aboriginal world views
- Dadirri – Deep listening to one another
- Cultural therapy– the importance of identity and connections
- Shared community responsibility for children and young people
- Working with children in a culturally safe environment
- Strengths-based practice and resilience
- Trauma informed and trauma specific care and practice.
Darkinjung Country – NSW Central Coast LGA
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Darkinjung Country (Central Coast NSW) is one of the largest and fastest growing Aboriginal population bases in Australia. In the 2021 ABS Census, 17,047 people identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, up from 12,483 people in the 2016 ABS Census – a 37% increase. This represents 4.9% of the population. This is above the state and national averages of 3.4% and 3.2% respectively.
Darkinjung Country is undergoing a significant generational shift, with the Aboriginal population overwhelmingly young. Young people, defined as those aged between 0 and 24 years, make up 53.5% of the Indigenous population in the Central Coast, with a median age of 23. This is in stark contrast to the median age of the entire Central Coast population – 43 – with young people making up just 29% of the total population.
In July 2022, the youth unemployment rate in Darkinjung Country was 6.2%. The difficulties faced by rural and regional jobseekers compared to those living in cities where job opportunities are more plentiful is well documented – lack of career prospects, limited training opportunities and lack of transport. In addition, during difficult economic times, young people are often the first to be laid off, as was seen during the Covid-19 pandemic. This hinders their ability to build skills and experience.
Gudjagang Ngara Li-dhi provides a central place for Aboriginal families, children and young people to discuss issues and find support in a culturally safe environment. It is also a place where culturally-appropriate guidance, wisdom, coaching and mentoring can be imparted to young people, so they are empowered to thrive.