Ngalawa Ngara Child and Family Wellbeing Program
Ngalawa Ngara means ‘to sit and listen’ in Darkinjung Language
What? Our child and family wellbeing program was developed to decrease harm and promote cultural identity and wellbeing through contact with families and community.
We offer intake, assessment, and referral services alongside evidence-based parenting programs and long-term case management and case coordination support.
The program uses mindfulness and reflection to assist parents to examine and improve their communication with their children. It aims to foster respectful and positive interactions, which supports children’s development and self-esteem. This reflective parenting program developed by the Australian Childhood Foundation aims to promote positive, respectful parent-child relationships.
Parents are assisted to:
- Learn more about the origins of their parenting style and how it can be more effective
- Identify the important messages to convey to children and how to achieve this
- Understand the messages that children convey to their parents and how they do this
- Discover how to overcome some of the obstacles that are getting in the way of being the kind of parent they would like to be
- Learn about the importance of building self-esteem in children
- Develop strategies to manage parenting approaches despite mounting life pressures
Who? Ngalawa Ngara programs and support are available for Aboriginal families who have children under the age of 12 years in the Wyong area.
How? We take referrals from community organisations and self-referrals.
Tahnea is a 34-year-old Kamilaroi woman living on Darkinjung country with her two children, two step-children, and father. The family relocated to Darkinjung Country from a remote community in NSW to escape severe domestic and family violence. Tahnea presented with a complex history and is a survivor of financial, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. She self-referred to GNL in 2022 for community support and cultural connection.
At the time of her self-referral, Tahnea was known to NSW Communities and Justice, and expressed that the family was experiencing financial stress and felt disconnected from their Aboriginal community. She was also concerned about her eldest daughter, Lilly, who was disengaging from secondary education due to bullying.
GNL supports Tahnea and her family using an evidence-based holistic therapeutic approach. We have successfully advocated for continued support for the family at meetings with NSW Communities and Justice, Housing NSW, Health NSW, and Justice NSW. Through this support, Tahnea has been able to build trusting relationships with caseworkers across all departments, is better able to manage the complex needs within her home and has built safe connections in community.
Tahnea’s children and stepchildren attend the various programs on offer at GNL. Rylan, aged 3, attends the Ganang Little Learners Aboriginal Playgroup. The facilitator has seen him grow in confidence: “Rylan happily walks into the room and engages with the other children and the cultural activities on offer.” Lilly attends the Barudir Youth Group, even bringing friends along to the group.
Tahnea tells us: “My children and I feel listened to and respected by the staff and other community members who access the centre. Rylan has changed in so many good ways. He is learning to tell us what he needs and wants; he can now tell us when he is hungry and when he is happy. I love seeing how gentle he is with his friends at playgroup, especially the babies. My hope is that my children will be strong in their culture and be known to the Aboriginal Community here on Darkinjung Country.
GNL continues to conduct regular home visits to support the family’s goals and continues to walk beside the family as they continue their journey to healing.