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Q3 2015 Family Empowerment Report


Cape York Partnership underwent a major renewal in 2014 to form a unique group dedicated to the next phase of the Cape York Agenda and building economic opportunity and employment. Following a process of restructuring our regional organisations into a single corporate and management structure, we are now the Cape York Partnership. Our touchstone remains our partnership with individuals, families and communities as they strive for lives of value, freedom and prosperity. The Family Empowerment Report is published quarterly and serves to monitor, measure and communicate the

Family Empowerment Report

achievements and challenges of those living and working in Cape York Welfare Reform communities.

Š2015 Not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of Cape York Partnership. Cape York Partnership takes all care to

2 ensure the accuracy and quality of the information in this report. Cape York Partnerships cannot guarantee complete accuracy and all materials are provided without warranty.


4

General Manager’s Foreword

6

Individual and family development

8

Hubs for opportunity

9

Opportunity Products

10

Aurukun O-Hub

20

Coen O-Hub

30

Hope Vale O-Hub

41

Mossman Gorge O-Hub

51

Cape York Employment

54

Cape York Leaders Program

59

Bama Services

Family Empowerment Report

contents

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General manager’s foreword “…something that has once again struck home for me this quarter has been the often quiet, yet incredibly stoic voices of Cape women in driving positive change.” We pursue a comprehensive reform agenda on Cape York— an agenda that encourages individuals, families, and whole communities to take responsibility for their futures, and make positive changes. Of course, it takes many busy hands to overcome the challenges in our communities; it will take the commitment and strength of all community members before we see long-term, positive progress. However, something that has once again struck home for me this quarter has been the often quiet, yet incredibly stoic voices of strong Cape women in instigating and driving a great deal of this change. The persevering voices promoting the importance of education have often been those of Cape women. They are consistently the ones rallying for children to go to school every day, and receive the support they need to succeed. It’s women in the Welfare Reform communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge who are the forerunners in terms of ensuring that money is put aside through the Student Education Trust (SET) for their children’s educational needs. By the end of Q3, 81 per cent of all SET donors across the four communities were women: mothers, sisters, aunties, grandmothers and kin. It was also originally Cape women who got together and demanded that grog should stop being allowed to enter our communities. They had seen it cause too much sorrow and pain to simply sit back and let things go on as they were. Too many late nights and loud parties were leading to disruption and violence, and not allowing children to get a good night’s sleep to prepare for school. Although we still have a significant problem with grog on the Cape, the efforts of the women who initially stood up have led to a significant brake in the downward spiral our communities were experiencing as a result of the ‘canteen era’ of the 1980’s–90’s.

Family Empowerment Report

We also see an overwhelming number of women taking up the opportunities offered through our other Opportunity Products, like Strong Families, MPower, and POP (84%, 55%, and 63% female members, respectively). In addition to seizing these opportunities, women are also driving change from the frontline by continuing to take on key leadership roles in Cape communities. Thirteen of the 20 current Indigenous Families Responsibilities Commissioners, working across Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale, and Mossman Gorge, are women. They are serving their communities daily, encouraging others to take responsibility and make positive changes in their lives.

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There are also many more women in leadership positions throughout the Cape doing similarly hard but important work; rallying their peers and others to tread the stepping stones towards brighter futures. In terms of growing the leaders of tomorrow, we continue to see large numbers of women joining the Cape York Leaders Program (CYLP). One of the stories of our CYLP Leaders, contained in this report, is a good example of the kinds of things Cape women—both young and old—are capable of achieving. Val Williams, a young Cape mother who first joined CYLP in 2006, has just begun a new traineeship with Bama Services. When asked why she joined CYLP, and why she’s gone on to find employment with Bama, Val was clear about her motivation: “My daughter is my motivation… Choices I make will always have an effect on her, which is why I make decisions wisely. I tell this to people because I want them to know that, most of the things I do is not about me or all for me, but it is for the people around me; particularly for my family and most importantly my daughter.” I see this selfless outlook echoed so many times in women across the Cape. I strongly believe that this attitude—to want our kids to grow up with better chances than we had—sets the best example for the next generation and helps to sow the seeds for future happiness and success. What fantastic role models Val, and so many other strong women like her, are providing for the generations to come.


For the first time, this quarterly report incorporates the work of Bama Services: a social enterprise, Indigenous building and landscaping business that also operates under Cape York Partnership (CYP). Bama primarily contributes to CYP’s focus on economic engagement by employing young Indigenous men and women from the Cape, and supporting them to learn and grow through the provision of multidisciplinary health and wellbeing support. Bama employs a crew of talented Indigenous staff, including a group of confident and capable women. One of these women is Kayla Mallie, whose story also appears in this report. Kayla left school to have her first child at age 14, but since then, has taken herself back to complete her secondary studies, gained employment with Bama, and was recently awarded the title of Far North Queensland’s Trainee of the Year for 2015. It just goes to show, when young women find the strength and courage needed to aim high and grasp opportunities they’re given, there is no stopping them. Our challenge is to ensure these opportunities are also readily available to other young women, so they too can reap the benefits. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. On the Cape, there are many educational, employment and career progression opportunities available to young Indigenous men, but comparatively fewer that specifically target young women. This is despite the fact that our young women face many of the same challenges. It was this realisation, alongside the ongoing challenge of teenage pregnancy on the Cape, which drove us to start thinking about the possibility of a new program, specifically for young women—especially young mothers who have dropped out of school—to assist them to re-engage with education, work and life.

I am excited about the future for Cape York. When I think about the amazing women who have stood up—and continue to stand up—for change, it also strikes me that now is not the time to rest on our laurels or lose momentum. Now, more than ever, Cape women need to maintain their determination to drive positive change. They must keep rallying those around them—their female peers, husbands, partners, children, community members, and those beyond their communities—to open their eyes to the challenges we still face, and make brave, but sensible plans to build brighter futures. They must also live by their own words, take responsibility, and be walking examples of the future they wish to see for their communities. It will only be through the work of many, busy hands that we can all move forward together. But I know that as long as we have a band of resilient women at the helm, continuing to stand up for the things they believe in and keeping the fires of change burning bright, our future is in safe hands.

FIONA JOSE

Over the past couple of years, with much input and advice from others working with young disengaged Cape women, and indeed, Cape women themselves, we have developed a proposal for a new school. The Girl Academy will open in the New Year, focusing primarily on giving young Cape mothers the opportunity to re-engage with their education, while living in a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment alongside their children. Essentially, the Girl Academy offers a hand up to a brighter future for these women and their children.

Family Empowerment Report

I am excited by this new venture, because I know that there are so many young women out there who—if just given the chance to succeed—will step up to the plate and grab this opportunity with both hands. Like Val, Kayla, and so many other young mothers who have gone before, I know that the selfless desire to want more for their children, and build futures in which their children can grow up happily, feeling nurtured and loved, will drive these mothers to aim for the stars. Behind these young women will stand their mothers, sisters, aunties and grandmothers, who will gently guide them with strong and loving hands.

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INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY

development A family centred approach OUR VISION | The people of Cape York have the capabilities to choose a life they have reason to value. Cape York Partnership pursues Indigenous empowerment. The long hand of government intervention in the lives of Indigenous people has too often smothered Indigenous initiative, leadership and responsibility. Cape York Partnership is an Indigenous organisation that has stood up to lead a comprehensive reform agenda to turn this on its head. We want to ensure that Indigenous rights and responsibility exist

in proper balance, and Indigenous people are truly enabled to be the masters of their own destinies. Our touchstone is our partnership with individuals, families and communities as they strive for lives of value, freedom and prosperity. We believe in the potential of all people. We place our children’s rights to a better future at the forefront.

Our Cogs of Change Creating opportunity to learn, grow and prosper • Innovative policy, research and on-the-ground reforms are the lifeblood elements of Cape York Partnership. • Each policy and operational area of the Cape York Partnership is like a cog in an engine—each plays an important role in the functioning of the machine that drives our reform agenda.

Family Empowerment Report

Recognition & Reconciliation Language & Culture Individual & Leadership Family Development

Cape York

Welfare Reform

Education

Families Employment & Land Reform & Economic Home Ownership Opportunity

While Cape York Partnership aims to get all of the cogs moving, this Report focuses on individual and family development, education, and economic opportunity through observations from Cape York Employment, the Cape York Leaders Program, Bama Services, and also our O-Hubs in the Cape York Welfare Reform communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge.

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Our work is devoted to enabling the people of Cape York to make choices and have opportunities that improve their lives and their children’s lives. While we grasp the potential of individuals, we nurture the importance of strong and harmonious families.

Individual and family development “Children and families are at the heart of everything we do” It is individuals and families, not communities, who are the key agents of change in the move from passive welfare to self-reliance and economic freedom. From our beginning, in 2000, we have argued that social policy had been wrongly focused on the misguided concept of ‘community’ and that the individual and family are too frequently subsumed under the vague notion of ‘community development’. We felt the focus of innovation needed to be on family development and empowerment rather than ‘community development’. Communities are uplifted only when widespread individual and family change occurs.

‘Push’ and ‘pull’ factors are needed to get individuals and families to change from passivity, dependence and dysfunction, to responsibility, self-reliance and functioning. Push factors might include increasing the conditionality of welfare payments; pull factors must include providing opportunities and investment in capability-building. Our innovation is in ‘opportunity’—creating opportunity for selfreliance and responsibility rather than passive services that compound dependency.

Individual and Family Development under Cape York Welfare Reform As part of the Welfare Reform initiative Cape York Partnership established O-Hubs in communities which opted in to the reform agenda—Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge. Our O-Hub staff focus on empowering individuals and families, so they can change their own and their children’s lives. We recognise we can’t make change happen for people, but we can support, inspire, and assist people to learn and grow so they can do it themselves.

Family Empowerment Report

Some standard features of programmes and products include: • real incentives like the chance at home improvement • capability building through the transfer of knowledge and skills, and embedded responsibilities • strategic conversations that empower individuals and families to imagine brighter futures and inspire them to take control of their journey • working with individuals and families to move aspirations from ‘down there’ to ‘up here’ • quid pro quo commitments on individuals and families to contribute their money, labour or time, e.g. by maintaining regular financial contributions, or providing ‘sweat equity’.

The work of the Families Responsibilities Commission is also focused on restoring positive social norms and building individual and family capability. The Families Responsibilities Commission holds people to account when they breach key social norms, such as failing to get children to school, through conferencing led by local Commissioners. During conferencing, Commissioners talk with individuals and families about making changes in their lives, and refer people to the O-Hub and other support services to help them change their behaviour.

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HUBS FOR

opportunity Supporting families to take responsibility O-Hubs assist families to become competent and confident in managing their money, and caring for their family.They are a one-stop-shop for Opportunity Products designed to encourage and support individuals and families to manage and take responsibility for their finances, health and their children’s education. They have replaced the traditional welfare service centres that previously created dependency by delivering passive services to families.

Family Empowerment Report

Our O-Hub staff are seeing people take control of their lives and pursue bigger dreams and a better existence. It might be that the first step was taking control of money through MPower, or deciding to work out how to have a more satisfying relationship with children through our parenting programme.

The focus of the O-Hubs is to support welfare dependent individuals and families to live at a level of basic functionality through: • Engaging in their children’s education

• Budgeting and income

• Positive parenting

• Engaging in family health

• Pride in the family home

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Opportunity Products Opportunity Products are designed to activate and encourage self-reliance and responsibility and often include quid pro quo commitments from individuals and families to contribute money, labour or time. The products are in a constant state of review and improvement as community needs evolve.

SET

Pride of Place

Student Education Trust

MPower Provides support to manage money for basic material needs, build capabilities through financial literacy and behaviour change, and to build assets through saving and disciplined money management. Through Wise Buys, MPower also provides support and advice around smart purchasing options. Launched: 2011 Membership: 1803

Student Education Trust Student Education Trust (SET) supports parents to meet their child’s education and development needs from birth to graduation. Many family members can contribute to a child’s education trust, promoting positive reciprocity. Launched: 2007 Students: 938 Donors: 555

Strong Families

Pride of Place A backyard renovation project where families make a financial and physical contribution or ‘sweat equity’ and in return receive labour and materials to help complete their project. Launched: 2010 Membership: 347 Households: 268

Bush Owner Builder An initiative that enables family members to collectively contribute financially and physically to build a shack on traditional homelands. Available in Hope Vale only. Launched: 2011 Builds: 2 completed, 2 in progress

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Family Empowerment Report

A suite of specialised opportunities for parents and carers to learn how to best support a child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual development from infancy to adulthood. Through Home Pride, families are also supported to create and maintain happy and healthy homes in which their children can thrive. Launched: 2012 Membership: 341


Aurukun o-hub Q3 Quarter three has been full of ups and downs; although partners still face challenges, we continue to see budding examples of positive change in those who attend the O-Hub. For example, we’ve had many partners actively seeking assistance through MPower, especially for help with paying bills and dealing with debt. These partners are beginning to realise what’s important to them and their families; they’re striving to create happier, well-functioning lives. Lots of community members who come in to use the MPower self-service area express that they want to improve their computer skills—ultimately, they want to be able to check their bank balances and do their finances independently. We’ve also seen lots of partners wanting to make a difference in their children’s lives by signing up to SET, and/or resuming contributions and purchasing educational items.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

CYP held a SET Fair in July, which drew a good crowd and led to the purchase of lots of new educational items for children. Community members spent nearly $2,000. By the end of the day, nearly every item had been sold. In early August, the Aurukun Shire Council held its annual Aurukun Day event. Lots of people attended and a great deal of fun was had by all as they enjoyed the festivities, including a barbecue lunch. Although we’ve seen lots of positive signs of progress during the quarter, community members also continue to face challenges. Many find it difficult to stick to their goals and be consistent in attending the O-Hub to learn new skills. The volatility of the community environment has a lot to do with this. This quarter, there has continued to be a visible increase in the supply of drugs and alcohol in the community. As a result, we’ve seen a great deal of alcohol-fuelled fighting, which has, at times, led to fear in the community and greatly disrupted business and service delivery. Although our MPower staff work with a lot of people about identifying ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’, it’s still the case that lots of people continue to prioritise addictions over other things. Although we know that there will continue to be these challenges as we forge ahead, the O-Hub will continue to assist people to build capabilities and better lives, wherever it can.

To ensure we’re best equipped to do so, O-Hub staff members have continued to receive training throughout the quarter. We have also continued to work closely with other service providers, including the Police Citizens Youth Club, Act for Kids, Child Safety Services, the Aurukun Home and Community Care facility, Apunipima, Cape York Academy (including Student Case Managers), the Aurukun Supermarket, Aurukun Shire Council, Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Community Justice Group, local Police and Remote Area Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Care. We also met with individuals from James Cook University during the quarter to assist with research they’re undertaking on the local Alcohol Management Plan. Wi-Fi Internet access was introduced to the O-Hub this quarter, which has made our work much easier and improved efficiency. Our staff can now use the laptop at the front desk area to greet community members, where this was not possible before. We’ve also seen some turnover of staff during Q3, as we said goodbye to our O-Hub Leader, Pauline Voase. While the quarter has been busy, we look forward to even busier times ahead as the end of the year looms. By Acting Aurukun O-Hub Leader, Memory Tom

Demographic

Population1

Overall

1431

Adult (15+) (MPower eligibility)

979

Adult (18+)

901

Youth (0–25) (SET eligibility)

731

Early childhood (0–4)

143

Primary school (5–11)

246

Secondary school (12–17)

140

Tertiary/further education (18–24)

202

Households

179

1 These population figures have been calculated by taking the 2011 Census population, and applying the percentage population growth in Aurukun from 2006–11 (according to Census data) as an annual rate.

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family stories Growing opportunities “My children are the most important part of my life.” Working with POP has been child’s play for Heather Woolla. Since she joined the program in July this year, the mother of five has transformed her empty backyard into an inviting playground for her children and a welcoming space where the family can spend time together. Jari, 13, Mareja, nine, Olivia, seven, Irene, six and Anacleta, four, now relish demonstrating their skills on the climbing wall, slide and swings.

Inspiring others to help their families

“It has helped me a lot with my daughter’s needs.” When Olga George’s relatives asked her why she was always able to be the first person to buy school books and uniforms for her daughter, she told them: SET. Olga, now an MPower graduate at the Aurukun O-Hub, signed up for SET when her daughter, Kayoka, was just three years old. Ten years later, Kayoka is a Year 8 student at Western Cape College in Weipa, where her favourite subjects are English and PE (Physical Education). “SET has helped me a lot to provide school items, including books, stationery, uniforms, a laptop and many other things,” said Olga.

Prior to joining POP, she was overwhelmed by the prospect of turning her backyard into a family-friendly outdoor space. “I had a big yard. With not much in it,” said Heather. “It is very hard to get plants up here. This is why I signed up (for POP).” The yard transformation has required a fair bit of spade work, including a “big clean up” and the laying down of new soil, in preparation for the anticipated arrival of new plants. In the meantime, “the yard looks much better” and Heather is confident about “keeping my children happy”. She has learned a lot about gardening—and also DIY garden furniture construction. “When the children and I helped… to put the furniture together, we learnt a lot and enjoyed it,” said Heather. POP has sown the seeds for participation in other programs offered by the O-Hub. “I am looking to join up with Wise Buys and Home Pride now that I have done Pride of Place for the children,” she said. Heather is also a member of SET and MPower.

“It has taken the stress out of money when I need to meet school needs.” Olga was also an active member of MPower (and previously FIM) long before she joined the O-Hub team in July this year. “I have gained a lot of knowledge about managing my finances, harnessing opportunities and working towards achieving my dreams,” she said. Now Olga is looking forward to encouraging other community members—as well as her relatives—to take advantage of the opportunities available through SET and MPower. “Even family members in Napranum have been inspired and want to access these opportunities. It’s absolutely great.” she said.

Heather Woolla and her children, enjoying their new playground.

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Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Olga George says SET has taken the stress out of finding money to get her daughter the things she needs for school.

“The kids are enjoying themselves with the playground,” observed Heather.


Aurukun q3

Partner Participation Summary

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Partner participation remains strong in Aurukun with 842 community members signed up to at least one Opportunity Product and 36 per cent of those signed up to two or more products. Activities across all Opportunity Products have remained consistent as more people realise their benefits in improving capabilities and skills around money management, positive parenting, keeping healthy homes, and staying committed to meeting children’s educational needs.

MPower to build money management skills

Student Education Trust (SET)

• MPower membership continues to increase—822 people are now signed up and are committed to improving their financial knowledge and skills. • During Q3, 400 community members accessed MPower a total of 2,594 times, including to make use of selfservice internet and phone banking, participate in Money Management Training sessions, receive ongoing financial literacy support and make purchases through Wise Buys. • The amount of support partners need when using the self-service banking area is reducing all the time—for the first time ever, the proportion of unassisted sessions exceeded the proportion of assisted sessions. Our partners are becoming independent financial managers.

• SET membership continues to rise—308 Aurukun students have now benefitted from SET. • It is becoming the norm to put money aside for students’ educational needs, with 166 Aurukun adults now contributing to at least one SET account. • SET donors have saved $20,250.16 during the quarter— a significant sum of money is being put aside to meet the educational needs of Aurukun students. • These savings are being spent on purchases that help kids to be school-ready and learn. This quarter, the top four most purchased items were uniforms, textbooks and readers, boarding school packs, and school fees.

to support children’s educational needs

strong families to build positive parenting skills and create happier, healthier homes

Pride of Place (POP) to create healthier outdoor living spaces

• One hundred Aurukun community members are now signed up to Strong Families Parenting and Home Pride. These strong men and women are learning the skills they need to become the best parents they can be. • During Q3, 34 people—both members and non-members— accessed Strong Families to build positive parenting skills and create healthier homes. • This quarter, three positive parenting sessions were held. O-Hub staff members also continued to provide additional ongoing family advice and support through five family support meetings, and 59 engagement activities (e.g. women’s groups, workshops, home visits, and information sessions). • Partners constantly tell us that Strong Families gives them the tools they need to more confidently manage their children’s problem behaviours, and create happier and healthier homes for their families.

• POP membership has continued to grow this quarter—there are now 90 members from 84 households. By signing up to POP, these members are expressing a clear desire to create healthier outdoor living spaces. • During Q3, five community members accessed POP to improve their knowledge and skills. • Work continued on eleven Backyard Blitz projects during Q3. The eight community members working on these projects contributed a total of 38 hours of sweat equity. Two Blitz projects were completed during the quarter.

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MPower MPower supports individuals and families to manage their money by: • enabling access to internet and phone banking facilities, with or without support from staff • helping members to overcome everyday financial struggles through ongoing family support • equipping members with knowledge and skills around budgeting, debt reduction, banking, wealth creation and bill payments • providing support and advice around smart purchasing options, as well as understanding terms and conditions of purchase.

membership • Community members aged 15+ years can visit the O-Hub to sign-up. By signing up to MPower, members can be supported to build their financial literacy and better manage their money. • Membership continues to grow—there are now 822 community members signed up to MPower in Aurukun. This represents about 84 per cent of all Aurukun adults (15+ years).1 • Most members who have joined MPower since Q3 2013 have been self- or family/friend-referred. People are spreading the good word about the help that MPower can give. REFERRAL SOURCES FOR MPOWER

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

1000 800

Family/Friend/Self

600

FRC referred

822 Aurukun MPower members

400 200 0

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

8 7% %

34 %

TOTAL MPOWER MEMBERS2

51%

O-Hub staff/Centrelink Unknown Q3

How does MPower help members to improve their financial literacy?

• Members can come to the O-Hub at any time to use the self-service area for internet and phone banking. O-Hub staff are always available to assist O-HUB and encourage members to build their internet and phone banking skills. • Between Q2 2013–2015, members participated in an average of 2,088 self-service sessions per quarter. During Q3, members used the self-service area 2,174 times—busier than the average quarterly period.

Building specific skills Money Management Tool (MMT) sessions • Members can participate in MMT sessions to build their financial literacy. During these sessions, members learn about banking, budgeting, debt reduction, internet and phone banking, loans, payments and wealth creation. • Members took part in 23 MMT sessions this quarter to learn about banking, budgeting, and loans. Since Q2 2014, members have used all MMTs at least once with Internet and Phone Banking Support being used most often.

Ongoing financial literacy support Members can build their financial literacy through a range of ongoing support sessions, including Little ‘a’, Simple Budget, and Coaching. Little ‘a’ sessions assist members to overcome specific and minor financial problems (e.g. paying a bill). Addressing small problems prevents them from growing into larger, uncontrollable issues. In Q3, 51 Little ‘a’ sessions were held (fewer than the quarterly average of 104, between Q2 2014–15). Simple Budget sessions teach members the importance of budgeting, and take them through the basics of drafting a budget for themselves. During Q3, nine Simple Budget sessions were held (fewer than the quarterly average of 23, between Q2 2014–15). Coaching consists of a series of structured sessions covering all aspects of money management and linking people with other opportunities (e.g. SET, POP etc.) to help them build strong financial literacy and improve outcomes across their lives. Participants progress through a “strategic conversation” to understand their current financial behaviours, set goals, and plan for better future. During Q3, 25 Coaching sessions were held (matching the quarterly average of 25, between Q2 2014–15). Coaching participants have demonstrated steady progression over time (see below). COACHING SESSIONS3 Number of sessions: Partners attending:

% No.

1

2

3

4

5

ONGOING

100%

61%

40%

30%

25%

13%

246

149

98

74

62

31

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Aurukun from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Aurukun adult population (15+ years of age) has reached 979 in 2015. 2 MPower and Wise Buys memberships are both illustrated here as a combined membership total. These membership data include, therefore, 702 people who are only signed up to MPower, one person who is only signed up to Wise Buys, and a further 119 people who are signed up to MPower and Wise Buys simultaneously. 3 Coaching sessions follow a “strategic conversational” format, whereby participants are supported to set expectations for themselves and the sessions (session one), understand their current financial situation (session two, “A space”), articulate their financial goals (session three, “B space”), decide upon a specific plan to achieve those goals (sessions four and five, “C and D spaces”) and receive ongoing support to (session six onwards). The retention rates reported here do not exclude participants who have skipped ahead–for example, from session one to three.

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Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Internet and phone banking, self-service area


How does MPower help members to improve their financial literacy? CONTINUED Wise Buys purchasing assistance • Wise Buys supports members to get value-for-money when purchasing household goods and services. Members receive O-HUB support and advice around purchasing options (e.g. online versus local store), comparing prices to get best value, understanding purchasing terms and conditions (e.g. warranties), and completing purchases when they are ready to do so. • During Q3, 17 members visited the O-Hub a total of 26 times to seek support. Most visits (81%) were to conduct research on future purchases. • Members made two purchases through Wise Buys in Q3, including one need item and one want item.1 The need item was a return flight to Cairns.

WISE BUYS ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY MEMBERS WHO VISITED THE O-HUB DURING Q3 AS A PROPORTION (%) OF TOTAL VISITS (N=26)

81% 8%

General support

12%

Research on purchase Purchase

During Q3, 400 community members accessed MPower 2,594 times to improve their financial literacy Positive impacts of MPower on community members How does MPower cause positive change?

Community members sign-up to MPower; they participate in skill-building activities and regularly use the self-service banking area.

Improved financial literacy

Improved financial behaviours

Responsible money management and economic participation

Community members are improving their financial literacy Staff consistently report that members are continuing to improve their understanding about the value of money, including being able to identify how much they spend and make informed money management decisions. The below partner progress story is a good example of this. PARTNER PROGRESS STORY2

One partner came to the O-Hub to check the balance of their accounts and talk about how they could improve their money management skills. With the support of MPower staff, they completed a budget and put a small savings plan in place so that they could start putting money aside for the things they wanted.

The partner recently returned to the O-Hub. Since completing their budget earlier in the year, the partner advised that they had paid off an existing loan and stuck to their savings plan. They now wanted to increase their savings plan and put away additional funds, so that they could pursue other financial goals. The partner told staff that they’re proud of their achievements so far.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Community members are becoming responsible, independent money managers • Members are regularly using the internet and phone banking self-service area to pay bills, check balances and do their general banking. • Members can request assistance from staff when using the self-service area. In Aurukun, unassisted sessions have begun, for the first time ever, to outstrip assisted sessions (see right). While these figures fluctuate as new and inexperienced members come on board, this is a good indication that users are becoming increasingly self-sufficient in managing their finances.

UNASSISTED and ASSISTED SESSIONS AS A PROPORTION (%) OF TOTAL SESSIONS Q2 2011 TO Q3 2015

Unassisted Assisted

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

57% 43% Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

1 ‘Needs’ include basic items such as food, shelter, clothing, white goods (e.g. washing machine/fridge), health (e.g. medicine, wellbeing), mattresses, transport (e.g. car necessary for employment opportunities). ‘Wants’ include items that are not an immediate need, including televisions and stereos. 2 Some details have been altered to ensure this partner cannot be identified.

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student education Trust The Student Education Trust (SET) promotes the value and importance of education by: • enabling and encouraging parents, carers, kin and others to regularly set aside money to pay for their children’s educational needs • assisting SET donors to purchase educational items for their children.

membership Community members aged 18+ years visit the O-Hub to sign their children up to a SET account, and to commit themselves as donors.

SET accounts

SET donors

TOTAL CHILDREN WITH SET ACCOUNTS

TOTAL SET DONORS

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015 200 150

308

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

CHILDREN WITH OPEN SET ACCOUNTS BY LEVEL OF SCHOOLING Q3 2015 200 150

50 0

154 77

7 Early Childhood (0–4)

Primary School (5–11)

Secondary School (12–17)

1 Tertiary/Further Education (18–25)

Aurukun SET account donors

50

• Every child signed up to SET has a unique account. • By the end of Q3, a total of 308 Aurukun children had been signed up to a SET account (see above). • This means about 42 per cent of all Aurukun children and youth (0–25 years) have now benefitted from SET.1 • Of the 308 accounts that have been opened in Aurukun to date, 289 (94%) remained open at the end of Q3 and 19 (6%) had been closed. • Most (53%) of the 289 SET accounts remaining open are for primary school aged children (see below).

100

166

100

Aurukun children with SET accounts

24 Finished/ Left School (18–25)

• The total accounts in the above figure do not add to 289 because the schooling status of 26 SET students is unknown. These students are aged between 14–17 years and have a total combined balance of $47,117.92. O-Hub staff will follow up with the donors for these accounts where possible to determine the schooling status of these students.

0

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

• Each SET account can have between one and three donors, including parents, carers, kin, friends and any others who wish to donate. By signing up to SET, men and women are showing that they are committed to supporting children’s educational needs. • The number of people donating to SET accounts has remained stable during Q3, with 166 community members signed up to SET in Aurukun. This represents about 18 per cent of all Aurukun adults (18+ years).2 • Of these donors, 79 (48%) are contributing to one account, 49 (30%) are contributing to two accounts, and 38 (23%) are contributing to three or more accounts.3 Donors are working together to share the load and make education more affordable. • Ninety-three per cent of Aurukun SET donors are female, most (74%) being the recipient’s mother. Aurukun women are setting a good example for their children and their community by making education a top priority. • It is also critical that men support children’s educational needs. O-Hub staff continue to encourage men to take the same brave steps as Aurukun women in supporting their children’s education.

So far, 308 Aurukun children have benefitted from SET and 166 adults have become SET donors

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Aurukun from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the population of community members aged 0–25 years has reached 731 in 2015. 2 Based on the percentage population growth in Aurukun from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Aurukun adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 901 in 2015. 3 Percentages do not add to 100 per cent due to rounding.

15

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0


How does SET help members to support their children’s educational needs? Saving support

Purchasing educational items

• O-Hub staff members encourage donors to maintain regular financial contributions to their children’s SET accounts. Where contributions drop off or stop, O-Hub staff follow up with donors and support them O-HUB to re-start their contributions. • During Q3, a total of $20,250.16 was contributed to SET accounts in Aurukun. This is roughly the same amount that has been contributed each quarter since Q3 2014 and represents a large sum of money being put aside to fund student educational needs. • TOTAL VALUE OF QUARTERLY CONTRIBUTIONS Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015

• Donors can make educational purchases from their children’s SET account at any time and are assisted by O-Hub staff to do so. • The O-Hub also regularly runs SET Fairs to encourage donors to purchase educational materials to support their children. A SET Fair was held in Q3 during which 11 donors—parents, carers and kin—attended the O-Hub to browse, discuss and purchase educational items with funds from 17 different SET accounts. During Q3 a total of 220 purchases were made from SET accounts. The total value of these purchases was $29,335.28.

$25,000

TOTAL NUMBER OF PURCHASES MADE USING SET

$20,000

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

$15,000 $10,000

500

$21,862.75 $21,736.72 $20,919.98 $20,250.16

$20,332.95

$5,000 $0

414

400 300

Q3

2014

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

100

• As a result of these consistent savings, SET account balances in Aurukun continue to stay high, sitting at $446,520.03 at the end of Q3. • High account balances are a positive sign—they mean donors are putting away nest eggs to support their children’s future educational needs. We also hope to see these balances go up and down over time, as donors spend funds on educational goods that benefit their children.

144 136 130

200

0

95 Q3

2013

95

145

220

69 Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

• The top four most common purchases during Q3 were:

school uniforms

Balance of SET accounts

text books and readers

Q3 2014 to Q3 2015 $500,000

Q3

Q4

Q1

2014

Q2 2015

boarding school packs

$446,520.03

$0

$448,866.68

$100,000

$438,022.84

$200,000

$421,927.17

$300,000

$414,088.10

$400,000

school fees

Q3

Positive impacts of Student education trust on community members

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

How does SET cause positive change?

Parents/carers sign up to SET; they make regular contributions to students’ SET accounts and are more able to purchase necessities for school.

School readiness increases

School participation increases

Educational outcomes improve

Parents and carers are engaged in their children’s education

Children are more school ready and parents/carers are less stressed

Overall, 28 per cent of SET accounts had some level of activity during Q3 (i.e. at least one contribution and/or purchase)— parents and carers are regularly engaged with SET. On average over the four quarterly periods between Q3 2014 and Q2 2015, 36 per cent of SET accounts had some level of activity per quarter. Although this quarter’s activity levels are slightly lower than average, there are still a high number of donors regularly accessing Aurukun SET accounts, overall.

Our donors constantly tell us that SET means their kids feel like they have what they need to succeed at school. Donors know the money is there for their children, so they feel less stressed.

16

“SET is good for [my nephew]… I got paints, books and pens. I’ve been with SET a long time.” set donor “SET makes it easy for us… I have three SET accounts.” set donor


Strong families Strong Families encourages and promotes positive parenting by: • creating opportunities for families to positively engage with each other and other community members • equipping parents and carers with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively care for their children through positive parenting sessions • supporting families in everyday parenting struggles through ongoing family support • assisting families to create happy and healthy homes for their children. TOTAL STRONG FAMILIES MEMBERS2

membership • Community members aged 18+ years visit the Parenting Hub to sign-up. By signing up to Strong Families, men and women are learning the skills they need to become the best parents they can be. • Membership has remained stable during Q3—there are currently 100 community members signed up to Strong Families in Aurukun. This represents about 11 per cent of all Aurukun adults (18+ years).1

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015 100 80

100

60 40

Aurukun Strong Families members

20 0

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

How does Strong Families help parents and carers? Engagement activities

Positive parenting sessions

• Members and non-members can participate in and benefit from ongoing engagement activities, like informal discussions, information sessions, home visits, community events, women’s group activities and workshops on different aspects of positive parenting, and home maintenance. • Between Q2 2013–15, the team conducted an average of 74 engagements per quarter. During Q3, 59 engagement activities were undertaken—slightly quieter than the average quarterly period.

• Members participate in ‘Triple P’, Positive Parenting Program, training sessions to build their parenting knowledge and skills. • A total of three sessions were held in Q3. During these sessions, members learned about the importance of spending special time with children. Two members attended these sessions (with one partner attending twice); one brought their children along. During their session, this member also spent time interacting positively with their children, including playing with the toys available at the Parenting Hub.

Parenting HUB

Ongoing family support • Members can visit the Parenting Hub at any time to receive practical and emotional support with daily parenting and family matters, as well as being referred to other local services. • Between Q2 2013–15, the team held an average of 14 family meetings per quarter. This quarter, 37 family support meetings were held—busier than the average quarterly period.

• Home Pride assists families to build the knowledge and skills they need to create happy and healthy homes for their children, through: healthy cooking classes, information sessions about the benefits of maintaining a clean and healthy home, and support with ‘do-it-yourself’ home improvement projects. Q3 was quiet for Home Pride, with no Home Maker (skill-building sessions around meal planning, healthy cooking, cleaning and setting routines for children) or House Blitz (comprehensive DIY projects to create healthier living spaces—one room at a time, or a whole home) sessions being held. However, we look forward to seeing activities pick up again towards the end of the year.

Overall, 34 people—including members and non-members—accessed Strong Families to improve their parenting skills and create healthier homes during Q3

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Aurukun from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Aurukun adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 901 in 2015. 2 Home Pride and Parenting memberships are both illustrated here as a combined membership total. These membership data include, therefore, 76 people who are signed up to Parenting only, 20 people signed up to Home Pride only, and four people signed up to Parenting and Home Pride simultaneously.

17

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Home Pride—to create happier and healthier homes


Positive impacts of Strong Families on community members How does Strong families cause positive change?

Community members sign up to Strong Families; they actively participate in handicrafts, skill-building activities, Home Pride activities and Triple P positive parenting sessions.

Increase of knowledge around positive parenting techniques

Increased use of positive parenting techniques at home

Happier and healthier children and families

Parents and carers are building their skills and confidence Members who actively engage with Strong Families consistently tell us that they take away the tools they need to be more confident in managing their children’s problem behaviours. For example, the personal progress story below tells how one member is beginning to learn the skills they need to be the best parent they can be. PARTNER PROGRESS STORY1

One member, who was referred to Strong Families by the Families Responsibilities Commission, first started the program a year ago. When they first attended the O-Hub, they didn’t talk much and were reluctant to take advice from the staff. Now, things are changing.

Over the last year, the partner has begun to regularly attend the Parenting Hub, where they have received ongoing support and advice around positive parenting. Lately, they have brought their children with them so they can play together with the toys at the Hub. The partner gives their children positive attention when they play together, and talks to them in their ancestral language. Although the partner still faces challenges, particularly around setting boundaries for their children, things will continue to improve with ongoing commitment from them, and ongoing support from the Hub.

Pride of place Pride of Place (POP) helps families to create healthier outdoor living spaces where they can spend quality time together. POP assists by: • supporting members to undertake Backyard Blitzes (backyard renovation projects), for which members contribute money and ‘sweat equity’ labour • providing members with information about caring for their gardens and outdoor living spaces through Garden Clubs and Pop-up Visits • support with ‘do-it-yourself’ home improvement projects. TOTAL POP MEMBERS Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

• Community members aged 18+ years visit the O-Hub to signup. By signing up to POP, men and women are learning the skills they need to create healthier outdoor living spaces for their families and community. • Membership continues to grow—there are now 90 community members signed up to POP in Aurukun. This represents about 10 per cent of all Aurukun adults (18+ years).2 • These members live in 84 separate Aurukun households.

100 80

90

60 40

Aurukun POP members

20 0

Around

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

membership

5

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

out of 10 of all Aurukun households are now signed up to POP

1 Some details have been altered to ensure this partner cannot be identified. 2 Based on the percentage population growth in Aurukun from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Aurukun adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 901 in 2015.

18


How does POP help members to create healthier outdoor living spaces? Engagement and skill-building activities

Backyard renovations

• Members and non-members can participate in and benefit from ongoing engagement activities, like: Garden Club events, where participants learn gardening and maintenance skills in an interactive setting; and Pop-up Visits, where members receive general advice and support. • Between Q2 2014–15, the team undertook an average of 23 engagement activities per quarter. During Q3, however, the team decided to pause these activities and focus on supporting our partners to complete their Backyard Blitzes while the dry-season’s weather permitted. Therefore, no Pop-up Visits or Garden Club events were undertaken this quarter, though we look forward to seeing these activities increase again over the coming months. TOTAL POP-UP Visits Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015 60

50

51

40

28 20 0

14 Q3

2014

Q4

Q1

0 Q2 2015

Q3

• Members receive support to undertake Backyard Blitzes—backyard renovation O-HUB projects that aim to create healthier outdoor living spaces. • Members contribute by saving $1,000 each towards their renovations and putting in ‘sweat equity’ labour to complete their project. • Currently, eleven people are signed up to do a Backyard Blitz and have so far saved $11,450.00 towards their combined target contribution of $11,000.00 (some partners have exceeded their committed contributions). • During Q3, five community members worked on Backyard Blitz projects, contributing 38 hours of sweat equity. They have been busily painting, paving and building garden beds, playgrounds, outdoor furniture and lattice screens. • Two members completed their Backyard Blitz projects during the quarter and can now enjoy their new outdoor living spaces.

Five community members accessed POP to improve their knowledge and skills during Q3 Positive impacts of POP on community members How does POP cause positive change?

Increase of knowledge and skills around home maintenance

Increased desire to maintain and beautify home and garden

Healthier outdoor living spaces contribute to families’ wellbeing

Members are building knowledge and skills around home maintenance

Members are maintaining and caring for their homes and gardens

Members constantly tell us that they pick up gardening and home maintenance tips that help them to care for their homes. Some members go away, do their research, and feed gardening tips back to our staff too.

A total of 26 Backyard Blitzes have been completed in Aurukun, to date. After completing Backyard Blitzes, members continue to check in with us about maintenance tips so that they can continue to care for their homes and gardens properly. We see evidence of this in the communities—most of the POP houses are visibly better cared for.

“When the children and I helped… to put the furniture together, we learnt a lot and enjoyed it.”

pop member

19

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Community members sign up to POP; they participate in skill-building activities and save the money necessary to undertake a Backyard Blitz. They complete the Blitz by providing sweat equity in the form of labour.


Coen o-hub Q3 Coen has had an eventful quarter, with O-Hub participation

Although it’s been an incredibly eventful quarter, we have

staying strong, and a number of community events being held.

also continued to busily liaise and work closely with other

The O-Hub joined in NAIDOC celebrations in July, holding

community service providers. These have included: the

a community breakfast before hosting a NAIDOC-themed

Wellbeing Centre, Cape York Employment, Cape York Academy,

Celebrating Family Day at the Cape York Academy school.

Coen Kindergarten, representatives of the Department of

The NAIDOC breakfast was jointly hosted by the O-Hub and Cape York Employment (CYE), and took place under marquees in front of the CYE office. We put on pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, tea and coffee, and enjoyed a good turnout of community

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, the Families Responsibilities Commission, Wunthulpu Aboriginal Land Trust, Cook Shire Council, the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service, and Apunipima.

members and other service providers. The event enabled us to

Sadly, Coen has lost some well-loved and respected community

show our support for NAIDOC celebrations, and was also a good

members during the quarter; Sorry Business during July and

opportunity for community members, our staff, and other service

August led to quieter days in the community.

providers, to engage and spend time with one another.

After a jam-packed quarter, we have already begun to plan for the

Our Celebrating Family Day event was held the following day and

months ahead. We look forward to continuing to provide support

involved lots of fun activities for kids, including jewelry making,

for the community, and seeing what the final quarter of 2015 has

face painting, and the construction of planter boxes from recycled

in store.

wooden pallets (with assistance from POP staff). There was a good

By O-Hub Leader, Lenore Casey

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

turnout: all school children took part and a group of eager parents also joined in, working with the children to complete the activities. These events offer a good platform for our staff to engage with the community, and encourage participation in the Strong Families program. They also enable us to talk openly, and encourage

Demographic

others to talk openly, about positive parenting, and the things

Overall

337

we need to do in our community to ensure our children grow up

Adult (15+) (MPower eligibility)

217

Adult (18+)

202

Youth (0–25) (SET eligibility)

192

Early childhood (0–4)

56

Primary school (5–11)

46

Secondary school (12–17)

33

Tertiary/further education (18–24)

56

healthy and happy. Later, in early September, we held another barbecue in honour of Child Protection Week. It was a joint effort by the POP and Strong Families teams and, again, drew a good crowd. In mid-September, the Empowered Communities team visited Coen to lead an Indigenous Community Summit. The Summit was well-attended by community members, who joined in to hear more about the Empowered Communities strategy and future plans.

Households

Population1

47

1 These population figures have been calculated by taking the 2011 Census population, and applying the percentage population growth in Coen from 2006–11 (according to Census data) as an annual rate.

20


family stories Growing families Seedlings and children both flourish in gardens. Just ask the Coen families who got together on 9 September for a combined POP Garden Club and Strong Families workshop. Organised by O-Hub staff to promote Child Protection Week, the event was a blooming success. POP’s “Cultivation and Propagation” session worked hand in hand with Strong Families’ “Family Fun in the Garden” activity to show that gardening helps families grow closer—and everyone reaps the rewards. Each participant received a seedling tray to fill with potting mixture, then plant with a range of vegetable, fruit and flower seeds to take home to their own gardens. “The kids loved it,” said Hub Leader, Lenore Casey. “They got to put the soil in the seedling trays, then dig their fingers down into the soil to plant the seeds.” Later this year, the children and their families will be looking forward to sampling their own carrots, tomatoes, capsicum and lettuce, and/or admiring colourful displays of sunflowers, marigolds, petunias and other blooms in their gardens.

Families worked together to plant vegetable and flower seedlings in recognition of Child Protection Week.

POP consultants, Leonard Casey and Barry Preston, were also very crafty, demonstrating how to make origami plant pots out of newspaper. Participants filled their paper pots with potting mix, then planted cuttings selected from the community gardens. After their hard work, the hungry gardeners enjoyed a barbeque lunch. Next time, they will be able to provide their own homegrown salads.

MPower=Girl Power

“It has helped me have a better understanding about money management.” Courtney Perrier is online and on track to make the most of her gap year.

“[I want] to go to university and study and to have a savings plan and support myself financially,” said Courtney. She is leaning towards creative courses in fields such as writing, the arts and music (she loves playing the guitar). In the meantime, Courtney has a part-time cleaning job at the school and is keen to take advantage of online banking, in order to manage her income wisely. “[I] started using the iBank to understand my income better,” she said. “[Before I joined MPower], I didn’t have a debit Mastercard and couldn’t do online banking, so [I] went to the hub to order one.” Of course, being a teenage girl, these skills have also come in handy for another reason—shopping.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

The nineteen-year-old joined MPower in June to start researching university courses via the Internet on the O-Hub computers, and also learn how to manage her finances. Courtney Perrier is building her money management skills through MPower.

“[I have] used my debit Mastercard to buy myself items online,” said Courtney. Being a savvy shopper, she has signed up with Wise Buys to make the most of her purchasing power. The Opportunity Product has assisted her to buy clothes, jewellery, and roller-skates. When Courtney resumes her education, she won’t have to worry about funding her studies. Her mum, Marilyn Kepple, is still contributing to her daughter’s SET account, so the money will be there when she needs it. What a mother and daughter duo.

21


Coen q3

Partner Participation Summary Partner participation remains strong in Coen with 260 community members signed up to at least one Opportunity Product and 61 per cent of those signed up to two or more products. Activities across all Opportunity Products have remained consistent as more people realise their benefits in improving capabilities and skills around money management, positive parenting, keeping healthy homes, and staying committed to meeting children’s educational needs.

MPower to build money management skills • MPower membership continues to increase—209 people are now signed up and are committed to improving their financial knowledge and skills. • During Q3, 56 community members accessed MPower a total of 154 times, including to make use of self-service internet and phone banking, participate in Money Management Training sessions, receive ongoing financial literacy support and make purchases through Wise Buys. • The amount of support partners need when using the self-service banking area is reducing all the time— they are becoming independent financial managers.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

strong families to build positive parenting skills and create happier, healthier homes • Sixty-one Coen community members are now signed up to Strong Families Parenting and Home Pride. These strong men and women are learning the skills they need to become the best parents they can be. • During Q3, 99 people—both members and non-members— accessed Strong Families to build positive parenting skills and create healthier homes. • This quarter, 11 positive parenting sessions were held. O-Hub staff members also continued to provide additional ongoing family advice and support through six family support meetings, and 47 engagement activities (e.g. women’s groups, workshops, home visits, and information sessions). • Five Home Maker sessions were also held during the quarter to teach partners about meal planning, healthy cooking, cleaning and setting routines for children. • Partners constantly tell us that Strong Families gives them the tools they need to more confidently manage their children’s problem behaviours, and create happier and healthier homes for their families.

22

Student Education Trust (SET) to support children’s educational needs • SET membership continues to rise—210 Coen students have now benefitted from SET. • It is becoming the norm to put money aside for students’ educational needs, with 125 Coen adults now contributing to at least one SET account. • SET donors have saved $12,457.00 during the quarter—a significant sum of money is being put aside to meet the educational needs of Coen students. • These savings are being spent on purchases that help kids to be school-ready and learn. This quarter, the top four most purchased items were uniforms, textbooks and readers, educational toys/games, and school bags.

Pride of Place (POP) to create

healthier outdoor living spaces

• There are now 68 members from 45 households signed up to POP. By joining POP, these members are expressing a clear desire to create healthier outdoor living spaces. • During Q3, 17 community members accessed POP to improve their knowledge and skills. • Fifteen Pop-up Visits and two Garden Club events were held to up-skill members, as well as provide them with general advice and support during the quarter. • Four people are currently signed up to complete Backyard Blitz projects and are continuing to save so that they can meet their required financial contribution amounts. • Work continued on these Backyard Blitz projects during Q3. The four community members working on these projects contributed a total of 69 hours of sweat equity.


MPower MPower supports individuals and families to manage their money by: • enabling access to internet and phone banking facilities, with or without support from staff • helping members to overcome everyday financial struggles through ongoing family support • equipping members with knowledge and skills around budgeting, debt reduction, banking, wealth creation and bill payments • providing support and advice around smart purchasing options, as well as understanding terms and conditions of purchase.

membership • Community members aged 15+ years can visit the O-Hub to sign-up. By signing up to MPower, members can be supported to build their financial literacy and better manage their money. • Membership continues to grow—there are now 209 community members signed up to MPower in Coen. This represents about 96 per cent of all Coen adults (15+ years).1 • A large proportion of members who have joined MPower since Q3 2013 have been self- or family/friend-referred. People are spreading the good word about the help that MPower can give. TOTAL MPOWER MEMBERS2

REFERRAL SOURCES FOR MPOWER

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

58%

250 200

100 50 0

Family/Friend/Self

209 Coen MPower

150

O-Hub staff/Centrelink

members

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

42%

FRC referred

Unknown Q3

How does MPower help members to improve their financial literacy?

• Members can come to the O-Hub at any time to use the self-service area for internet and phone banking. O-Hub staff are always available to assist O-HUB and encourage members to build their internet and phone banking skills. • Between Q2 2013–15, members participated in an average of 100 self-service sessions per quarter. During Q3, members used the self-service area 114 times—more than the average quarterly period.

Building specific skills Money Management Tool (MMT) sessions • Members can participate in MMT sessions to build their financial literacy. During these sessions, members learn about banking, budgeting, debt reduction, internet and phone banking, loans, payments and wealth creation. • Although no MMT sessions were held this quarter, since Q2 2014, members have used most MMTs at least once, except for Debt Reduction, Wealth Creation and Loan Support, with Internet and Phone Banking Support being used most often.

Ongoing financial literacy support Members can build their financial literacy through a range of ongoing support sessions, including Little ‘a’, Simple Budget, and Coaching. Little ‘a’ sessions assist members to overcome specific and minor financial problems (e.g. paying a bill). Addressing small problems prevents them from growing into larger, uncontrollable issues. In Q3, seven Little ‘a’ sessions were held (fewer than the quarterly average of 16, between Q2 2014–15). Simple Budget sessions teach members the importance of budgeting, and take them through the basics of drafting a budget for themselves. During Q3, four Simple Budget sessions were held (matching the quarterly average of four, between Q2 2014–15). Coaching consists of a series of structured sessions covering all aspects of money management and linking people with other opportunities (e.g. SET, POP etc.) to help them build strong financial literacy and improve outcomes across their lives. Participants progress through a “strategic conversation” to understand their current financial behaviours, set goals, and plan for better futures. Although no coaching sessions were held in Q3, coaching participants have demonstrated steady progression over time (see below). COACHING SESSIONS3 Number of sessions: Partners attending:

% No.

1

2

3

4

5

ONGOING

100%

82%

66%

37%

63%

42%

38

31

25

14

24

16

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Coen from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Coen adult population (15+ years of age) has reached 217 in 2015. 2 MPower and Wise Buys memberships are both illustrated here as a combined membership total. These membership data include, therefore, 159 people who are signed up to MPower only, and 50 people who are signed up to Wise Buys and MPower simultaneously. 3 Coaching sessions follow a “strategic conversational” format, whereby participants are supported to set expectations for themselves and the sessions (session one), understand their current financial situation (session two, “A space”), articulate their financial goals (session three, “B space”), decide upon a specific plan to achieve those goals (sessions four and five, “C and D spaces”) and receive ongoing support to (session six onwards). The retention rates reported here do not exclude participants who have skipped ahead–for example, from session one to three.

23

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Internet and phone banking, self-service area


How does MPower help members to improve their financial literacy? CONTINUED Wise Buys purchasing assistance • Wise Buys supports members to get value-for-money when purchasing household goods and services. Members receive support and advice around purchasing options (e.g. online versus O-HUB local store), comparing prices to get best value, understanding purchasing terms and conditions (e.g. warranties), and completing purchases when they are ready to do so. • During Q3, six members visited the O-Hub a total of eight times to seek support. Most visits (88%) were to conduct research on future purchases. • A member made one purchase through Wise Buys in Q3, which was a need rather a want item1: a washing machine.

WISE BUYS ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY MEMBERS WHO VISITED THE O-HUB DURING Q3 AS A PROPORTION (%) OF TOTAL VISITS (N=8)

88% 13%

General support Research on purchase Purchase

During Q3, 56 community members accessed MPower 154 times to improve their financial literacy Positive impacts of MPower on community members5 How does MPower cause positive change?

Community members sign-up to MPower; they participate in skill-building activities and regularly use the self-service banking area.

Improved financial literacy

Improved financial behaviours

Responsible money management and economic participation

Community members are improving their financial literacy Staff consistently report that members are continuing to improve their understanding about the value of money, including being able to identify how much they spend and make informed money management decisions. The below partner progress story is a good example of this. PARTNER PROGRESS STORY2

One partner, who signed up nearly four years ago, first came to the O-Hub to talk about their debts and get some advice on how best to deal with them.

Since joining MPower, the partner has frequently used the self-service area to keep a close eye on where their money is going. They have also completed coaching sessions and learned about managing their debts. Now, the partner is debt-free and has recently signed up to POP to get their garden looking nice.

Community members are becoming responsible, independent money managers3

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

• Members regularly use the internet and phone banking self-service area to pay bills, check balances and do their general banking. Many of our members now do this independently, without the assistance of staff: between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015 an average of 53 per cent of all self-service sessions were unassisted.

1 ‘Needs’ include basic items such as food, shelter, clothing, white goods (e.g. washing machine/fridge), health (e.g. medicine, wellbeing), mattresses, transport (e.g. car necessary for employment opportunities). ‘Wants’ include items that are not an immediate need, including televisions and stereos. 2 Some details have been altered to ensure this partner cannot be identified. 3 Because Coen is a relatively small community, clear trends around levels of assistance cannot be gleaned from the smaller sample of internet and phone banking sessions. Therefore, only averages are reported for this community, despite longitudinal trend lines being reported for Aurukun, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge, which have much larger session counts.

24


student education Trust The Student Education Trust (SET) promotes the value and importance of education by: • enabling and encouraging parents, carers, kin and others to regularly set aside money to pay for their children’s educational needs • assisting SET donors to purchase educational items for their children.

membership Community members aged 18+ years visit the O-Hub to sign their children up to a SET account, and to commit themselves as donors.

SET accounts

SET donors

TOTAL CHILDREN WITH SET ACCOUNTS

TOTAL SET DONORS

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

250

200

100

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

50 Q3

• Every child signed up to SET has a unique account. • By the end of Q3, a total of 210 Coen children had been signed up to a SET account (see above). • This means that 100 per cent of all Coen children and youth (0–25 years) have now benefitted from SET.1 • Of the 210 accounts that have been opened in Coen to date, 152 (72%) remained open at the end of Q3 and 58 (28%) had been closed. • The largest proportion (47%) of the 152 SET accounts remaining open are for primary school aged children (see below). CHILDREN WITH OPEN SET ACCOUNTS BY LEVEL OF SCHOOLING Q3 2015 80 60 40 20

71 31

25

0

Early Childhood (0–4)

Primary School (5–11)

Secondary School (12–17)

2

19

Tertiary/Further Education

Finished/ Left School

(18–25)

125

100

Coen children with SET accounts

50 0

150

210

150

0

Coen SET account donors Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

• Each SET account can have between one and three donors, including parents, carers, kin, friends and any others who wish to donate. By signing up to SET, men and women are showing that they are committed to supporting children’s educational needs. • The number of people donating to SET accounts has decreased this quarter, because one account was closed. There are now 125 community members signed up to SET in Coen. This represents about 62 per cent of all Coen adults (18+ years).2 • Of these donors, 59 (47%) are contributing to one account, 32 (26%) are contributing to two accounts, and 34 (27%) are contributing to three or more accounts. Donors are working together to share the load and make education more affordable. • Thirty-two per cent of Coen donors are male. Most (93%) of these male donors are the recipient’s father. Coen men and women are both stepping up to set good examples for their children and their community by making education a top priority.

(18–25)

• The total accounts in the above figure do not add to 152 because the schooling status of four SET students is unknown. These students are 16–17 years of age and have a total combined balance of $3,032.65. O-Hub staff will follow up with the donors for these accounts where possible to determine the schooling status of these students.

So far, 210 Coen children have benefitted from SET and 125 adults have become SET donors

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Coen from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the population of community members aged 0-25 years has reached 192 in 2015. Based on the total number of children who have now benefitted from SET (n=210), the actual number of Coen residents within this age range obviously exceeds our conservative population estimate. 2 Based on the percentage population growth in Coen from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Coen adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 202 in 2015.

25

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

200


How does SET help members to support their children’s educational needs? Saving support

Purchasing educational items

• O-Hub staff members encourage donors to maintain regular financial contributions to their children’s SET accounts. Where contributions drop off or stop, O-Hub staff follow up with donors and support them O-HUB to re-start their contributions. • During Q3, a total of $12,457.00 was contributed to SET accounts in Coen. This is slightly less than the usual quarterly contributions since Q2 2014, even though the actual number of open trusts has only decreased slightly (from 154 in Q3 2014 to 152 in Q3 2015). However, this still • represents a large sum of money being put aside to fund student educational needs. TOTAL VALUE OF QUARTERLY CONTRIBUTIONS

• Donors can make educational purchases from their children’s SET account at any time and are assisted by O-Hub staff to do so. • The O-Hub also regularly runs SET Fairs to encourage donors to purchase educational materials to support their children. A SET Fair was held in Q3 during which 13 donors—parents, carers and kin—attended the O-Hub to browse, discuss and purchase educational items with funds from 19 different SET accounts. During Q3 a total of 197 purchases were made from SET accounts. The total value of these purchases was $30,374.19.

TOTAL NUMBER OF PURCHASES MADE USING SET

Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

$20,000

300

$15,000

$0

237

270

249

200

$10,000 $5,000

250

$15,715.50 $13,622.02 $13,486.47 $12,457.00

$19,366.27 Q3

2014

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

• As a result of these consistent savings, SET account balances in Coen continue to stay relatively high, sitting at $233,796.91 at the end of Q3. • High account balances are a positive sign—they mean donors are putting away nest eggs to support their children’s future educational needs. We also hope to see these balances go up and down over time, as donors spend funds on educational goods that benefit their children.

0

179

184

100

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

188 197

155 Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

• The top four most common purchases during Q3 were:

school uniforms

readers and textbooks

Balance of SET accounts Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015

educational toys and games

$300,000

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

$0

Q3

2014

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

$233,796.91

$50,000

$237,168.01

$100,000

$241,956.17

$150,000

$252,309.17

$200,000

$249,561.00

$250,000

School Bags

Q3

Positive impacts of Student education trust on community members How does SET cause positive change?

Parents/carers sign up to SET; they make regular contributions to students’ SET accounts and are more able to purchase necessities for school.

School readiness increases

Parents and carers are engaged in their children’s education

Children are more school ready and parents/carers are less stressed

Overall, 56 per cent of SET accounts had some level of activity during Q3 (i.e. at least one contribution and/or purchase). This is a significant improvement in engagement from Q2, where 24 per cent of accounts had similar levels of activity and shows that parents and carers are regularly engaging with SET.

Our donors constantly tell us that SET means their kids feel like they have what they need to succeed at school. Donors know the money is there for their children, so they feel less stressed.

26

School participation increases

Educational outcomes improve


Strong families Strong Families encourages and promotes positive parenting by: • creating opportunities for families to positively engage with each other and other community members • equipping parents and carers with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively care for their children through positive parenting sessions • supporting families in everyday parenting struggles through ongoing family support • assisting families to create happy and healthy homes for their children. TOTAL STRONG FAMILIES PARENTING MEMBERS2

membership • Community members aged 18+ years visit the Parenting Hub to sign-up. By signing up to Strong Families, men and women are learning the skills they need to become the best parents they can be. • Nine new members signed up in Q3. There are now 61 community members signed up to Strong Families in Coen. This represents about 30 per cent of all Coen adults (18+ years).1

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015 80 60

61

40 20 0

Coen Strong Families members Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

How does Strong Families help parents and carers? Engagement activities

Positive parenting sessions

• Members and non-members can • Members participate in ‘Triple P’, Positive Parenting Program, participate in and benefit from training sessions to build their parenting knowledge and skills. ongoing engagement activities, • During Q3, 14 community members participated in 11 Parenting like informal discussions, sessions overall, all of which were Strong Families sessions HUB information sessions, home visits, (for at-risk families). community events, women’s group • This quarter, members learned about: the causes of childhood and teenage activities, and workshops on different behaviours, methods of developing positive relationships, and strategies aspects of positive parenting. for encouraging desirable behaviour. Participants also learned about the importance of having direct conversations to set clear expectations, as well as • Between Q2 2013–Q2 supporting and encouraging children to thrive. 2015, the team conducted an average of 33 Ongoing family support engagements per quarter. • Members can visit the Parenting Hub at any time to receive practical and emotional support During Q3, 47 engagement with daily parenting and family matters, as well as being referred to other local services. activities were undertaken— • Between Q2 2014–Q2 2015, the team held an average of six family meetings per quarter. more than the average This quarter, six family support meetings were held, matching the quarterly average. quarterly period.

Home Pride—to create happier and healthier homes

Home Maker: Skill-building sessions

House Blitz: Comprehensive DIY projects to create healthier

In Q3, one session was held.

One member remains in the planning stages of their House Blitz. They plan to fix up their entire house, including their child’s room. During Q3, this person attended four House Blitz sessions.

around meal planning, healthy cooking, cleaning, and setting routines for children.

living spaces—one room at a time, or a whole home.

Overall, 99 people—including members and non-members—accessed Strong Families to improve their parenting skills and create healthier homes during Q3

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Coen from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Coen adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 202 in 2015. 2 Home Pride and Parenting memberships are both illustrated here as a combined membership total. These membership data include, therefore, 43 people who are signed up to Parenting only, five people who are signed up to Home Pride only, and a further 13 people who are signed up to both Parenting and Home Pride simultaneously.

27

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

• Home Pride assists families to build the knowledge and skills they need to create happy and healthy homes for their children, through: healthy cooking classes, information sessions about the benefits of maintaining a clean and healthy home, and support with ‘do-it-yourself’ home improvement projects. In Q3, two people accessed Home Pride to create happier and healthier homes.


Positive impacts of Strong Families on community members How does Strong families cause positive change?

Community members sign up to Strong Families; they actively participate in handicrafts, skill-building activities, Home Pride activities and Triple P positive parenting sessions.

Increase of knowledge around positive parenting techniques

Increased use of positive parenting techniques at home

Happier and healthier children and families

Parents and carers are building their skills and confidence Members who actively engage with Strong Families consistently tell us that they take away the tools they need to be more confident in managing their children’s problem behaviours. For example, the personal progress story below tells how one member is beginning to learn the skills they need to be the best parent they can be. PARTNER PROGRESS STORY1

One partner came to Strong Families over two years ago, distressed by their interactions with Child Safety and wanting to learn as much as they could to ensure their kids were as healthy and happy as possible.

The partner has consistently attended Strong Families sessions to receive emotional support and advice, and to learn positive parenting techniques. The partner learned the importance of spending special time with their children, and now they go fishing together and play in the sand. Sometimes, the partner finds it hard to focus on the positives when they still face lots of challenges, but they are trying their best. They try to remain calm even when they’re frustrated, so they can be a good role model for their kids. The partner says their love for their kids is what keeps them going.

Pride of place Pride of Place (POP) helps families to create healthier outdoor living spaces where they can spend quality time together. POP assists by: • supporting members to undertake Backyard Blitzes (backyard renovation projects), for which members contribute money and ‘sweat equity’ labour • providing members with information about caring for their gardens and outdoor living spaces through Garden Clubs and Pop-up Visits • support with ‘do-it-yourself’ home improvement projects.

• Community members aged 18+ years visit the O-Hub to signup. By signing up to POP, men and women are learning the skills they need to create healthier outdoor living spaces for their families and community. • Membership continues to grow—there are now 68 community members signed up to POP in Coen. This represents about 34 per cent of all Coen adults (18+ years).2 • These members live in 45 separate Coen households.

TOTAL POP MEMBERS3 Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015 80 60

68

40 20 0

Around

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

membership

9

Coen POP members Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

out of 10 of all Coen households are now signed up to POP

1 Some details have been altered to ensure this partner cannot be identified. 2 Based on the percentage population growth in Coen from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Coen adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 202 in 2015. 3 An internal audit of POP data undertaken at the end of Q3 revealed that some memberships were previous underreported. The data presented here—including longitudinal membership figures—have been updated accordingly.

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How does POP help members to create healthier outdoor living spaces? Backyard renovations

Engagement and skill-building activities

• Members receive support to undertake Backyard Blitzes—backyard renovation projects that aim to create healthier outdoor living spaces. • Members contribute by saving $1,000 each towards their renovations and putting in ‘sweat equity’ labour to complete their project. • Currently, four people are signed up to do a Backyard Blitz and have so far saved $2,130.00 towards their combined target contribution of $4,000.00. • During Q3, four community members worked on Backyard Blitz projects, contributing 69 hours of sweat equity. They have worked hard to assemble a chook shed, lay paving, and construct a new garden bed.

• Members and non-members can participate in and benefit from ongoing engagement activities, like: Garden Club events, where participants learn gardening and maintenance skills in an interactive setting; and Pop-up Visits, where members receive general advice and support. • Between Q2 2014–15, the team undertook an average of 18 engagement activities per quarter. During Q3, 17 engagement activities were undertaken, O-HUB including 15 Pop-up Visits and two Garden Club events. This was slightly fewer than the average because the team made a decision to focus on supporting our partners to complete their Backyard Blitzes while the dry-season’s weather permitted. • Twenty-one participants attended the Garden Club events, learning about propagation and how to construct planter boxes.

Community volunteer projects • Community Volunteer Projects (CVPs) are led by CYP through a partnership with the local council, local businesses and community members. They are projects that seek to beautify the community. • During Q3, a CVP was run at the Coen primary school. POP staff assisted children to plant a school vegetable garden, which the kids look forward to seeing bloom. • As part of the CVP, POP staff also assisted to install a corrugated tank outside the Wellbeing Centre, which was then filled with plants.

TOTAL POP-UP Visits Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015 50 40 30

43

29

20

14

10 0

15

0 Q3

2014

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

Coen primary kids got their hands dirty building a vegetable patch during the recent Community Volunteer Project.

Thirty-three community members accessed POP to improve their knowledge and skills during Q3 Positive impacts of POP on community members

Community members sign up to POP; they participate in skill-building activities and save the money necessary to undertake a Backyard Blitz. They complete the Blitz by providing sweat equity in the form of labour.

Increase of knowledge and skills around home maintenance

Increased desire to maintain and beautify home and garden

Healthier outdoor living spaces contribute to families’ wellbeing

Members are building knowledge and skills around home maintenance

Members are maintaining and caring for their homes and gardens

Members constantly tell us that they pick up gardening and home maintenance tips that help them to care for their homes. Some members go away, do their research, and feed gardening tips back to our staff too.

A total of 11 Backyard Blitzes have been completed in Coen, to date. After completing Backyard Blitzes, members continue to check in with us about maintenance tips so that they can continue to care for their homes and gardens properly. We see evidence of this in the communities–most of the POP houses are visibly better cared for.

“The kids loved [the Garden Club]. They got to put the soil in the seedling trays, then dig their fingers down into the soil to plant the seeds.” o-hub leader, lenore casey

29

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

How does POP cause positive change?


Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Hope vale o-hub Q3 We have continued to be impressed by the level of participation at the O-Hub during the quarter. We’ve seen strong MPower involvement, with older community members coming in for Coaching sessions to help them with budgeting and planning. Our staff members have also continued to engage with partners about starting or recommencing payments to their SET accounts, as healthy balances continue to assist Hope Vale children to get the things they need to succeed at school. O-Hub staff participated in community NAIDOC celebrations in July. We joined the parade of floats down the main street of Hope Vale; many community members participated or came to watch. The festivities ended with a barbecue and a football match at the Matty Bowen Centre. Activities like this are important in celebrating Hope Vale’s local culture and keeping it alive for the generations to come, so we were glad to be involved. Our Strong Families staff members partnered with the Wellbeing Centre in July to organise a women’s camping trip to Laura. Eighteen women came along and took part in the activities, which focused on story-telling. The camp was a great opportunity for these women to get away and relax; it was enjoyed by all who attended. In late July, CYP organised a Cape York Indigenous Community Summit to discuss the Empowered Communities proposal with the people of Hope Vale. Turnout was good and discussions were positive, revolving around the practical implications of the Empowered Communities agenda, and potential next steps. O-Hub staff members have continued to engage with other local service providers this quarter, including the Families Responsibilities Commission (FRC), Wellbeing Centre, Hope Vale Shire Council, Hope Vale Kindergarten, Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service, Cape York Academy school, local police, Child Safety, Apunipima, St John’s Lutheran Church, Hope Vale Rangers, and the Indigenous Knowledge Centre. We have also delivered a number of presentations on our work to: the Good to Great Schools Australia Board of Directors, local FRC Commissioners, and the Jawun Emerging Leaders Group.

Strong Families staff had multiple meetings with the Cape York Academy school this quarter to discuss opportunities for increased collaboration. We have also engaged with Apunipima to talk about the possibility of having its Playgroup held closer to the Parenting Hub. This would improve chances for future collaboration. Q3 saw the position of O-Hub Leader advertised for the first time in four years when former Leader, Audrey Deemal, was successful in gaining a Management role in CYP’s Head Office. As we await word on who will fill the vacant position, we wish Audrey all the best with her new role. Power outages and internet problems made operations slightly more difficult in early- and mid-September. Unfortunately, this quarter we’ve also seen scammers come from outside to con community members into giving them money. We contacted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and will be on the lookout for similar scams in future. It’s sad to see people like this prey on our communities. However, despite these setbacks, it’s been a positive quarter overall and we’re ready to forge ahead into the final months of the year. By Acting Hope Vale O-Hub Leader, Libby Morgan

Demographic

Population1

Overall

1138

Adult (15+) (MPower eligibility)

791

Adult (18+)

737

Youth (0–25) (SET eligibility)

601

Early childhood (0–4)

110

Primary school (5–11)

164

Secondary school (12–17)

127

Tertiary/further education (18–24)

200

Households

208

1 These population figures have been calculated by taking the 2011 Census population, and applying the percentage population growth in Hope Vale from 2006–11 (according to Census data) as an annual rate.

30


family stories Strength through saving “Believe in yourself and you will achieve.” Sometimes, a little extra support can take you a long way. Maude Olbar was already good with her finances, but felt she needed some additional guidance and direction to “better budget and save”. Since joining MPower, Wise Buys and SET, she has learned new money management skills that have allowed her to achieve goals that are important to her and her family. “This allowed me to buy bulk food and [I] saved to purchase my white goods,” she said. Maude also regularly puts away money through SET to support her children’s educational needs. “I felt proud that I got everything for the kids’ boarding school,” she said. Maude’s better money management skills have given her confidence and a sense of freedom. “I feel less stressed, I am able to save [and] I have managed many things such as home ownership. I feel independent and free,” she said. Next, she hopes to “…save for a holiday and a new car.”

Maude Olbar has budgeted and saved to buy the things her and her family need most.

Maude, who is also an active member of Strong Families and POP, believes that the O-Hub has brought the world to the doorstep of Hope Vale residents. “We have the world in our hands when coming in to the Hub,” she said. “We don’t need to go to Cairns. We can buy our own goods... everything is accessible. From budgeting to Wise Buys and SET, everything is here.” Maude’s advice for others? “Believe in yourself and you will achieve.”

SET sail on your child’s education Harold Bowen is about to send his son on an exciting educational journey. The electrician fitter mechanic has been saving up through SET to send 13-year-old, Ezekial, to boarding school next year. Harold is just awaiting confirmation that Ezekial has been accepted to begin Year 8 at Abergowrie College in Ingham. Naturally enough, young Ezekial’s most passionate interest at the moment is football, but he is “keeping his options open”, according to his Dad. They have been talking about other subjects, such as English, Maths and Science, which could provide different study/career options. Harold is relieved that he did his own maths and decided to sign up to SET. “It takes the stress out of my budget,” he said. “It’s good to know that I have money there for my son through SET. It’s a reasonable amount and I’m really happy with that.” And most importantly: “SET does benefit your child in their

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

“You have to invest in your child.”

Harold Bowen is making sure he has everything he needs to support his son’s education.

educational dreams and goals they may have. This is the starting point for their education.” Like most parents, Harold hopes that Ezekial will one day do better than his Dad. “I just want him to go the extra step than I did,” he said. “He’s at the point where I was, but I want him to go further.” Ezekial’s sister, Sharmulia Ware, won’t be far behind. “She’s a member of the [Cape York] Leaders program,” said Harold proudly.

31


family stories

Time to share “Caring and sharing with love and respect for one another.” Several generations of Hope Vale women travelled to Laura in August to share their parenting stories and skills at a special camp organised by Strong Families.

The banner messages included the following observations:

Eighteen ladies, ranging in age from 24 to 82, took part in the three-day women’s camp in a tranquil setting on a hillside at Jowal Binna, on the outskirts of Laura town.

“If I had a flower for every time you make me smile and laugh, I will have a garden to walk in forever.”

“Sharing the small things in life—that makes the biggest memory.” “Learning is sharing.”

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

“The older ladies were happy to be joined by a lot of younger women,” said Strong Families consultant, Selina Bowen. “It was a great time away from family, as there was no phone coverage to be annoyed by anyone.” The theme for the camp was “sharing”—and the ladies did plenty of that: they spent the weekend sharing stories, singing around the camp fire, and fishing in nearby rivers. “On the Friday evening, [Strong Families consultant] Jo Reid showed the younger ladies how to cook bread and damper in a camp oven.” Apunipima representative, Elaine McGreen, brought along a special stone for each lady, upon which they wrote a message about “sharing”. The ladies also painted a banner, which records their thoughts on “sharing”. The banner, which now resides at the Hope Vale Wellbeing Centre, will be used as an ongoing source of inspiration and wonderful reminder of what the ladies shared during the camp.

32

Above: Several generations of Hope Vale women show off

the banner they painted during the Strong Families camp, which contains messages about the importance of caring for one another, and sharing love. This photo: Strong Families members shared stories around the campfire, at the most recent women’s camp.


hope vale q3

Partner Participation Summary Partner participation remains strong in Hope Vale with 667 community members signed up to at least one Opportunity Product and 44 per cent of those signed up to two or more products. Activities across all Opportunity Products have remained consistent as more people realise their benefits in improving capabilities and skills around money management, positive parenting, keeping healthy homes, and staying committed to meeting children’s educational needs.

MPower to build money management skills

Student Education Trust (SET)

• MPower membership continues to increase—585 people are now signed up and are committed to improving their financial knowledge and skills. • During Q3, 159 community members accessed MPower a total of 582 times, including to make use of selfservice internet and phone banking, participate in Money Management Training sessions, receive ongoing financial literacy support and make purchases through Wise Buys. • The amount of support partners need when using the self-service banking area is reducing all the time—they are becoming independent financial managers.

• SET membership continues to rise—255 Hope Vale students have now benefitted from SET. • It is becoming the norm to put money aside for students’ educational needs, with 160 Hope Vale adults now contributing to at least one SET account. • SET donors have saved $22,640.95 during the quarter— a significant sum of money is being put aside to meet the educational needs of Hope Vale students. • These savings are being spent on purchases that help kids to be school-ready and learn. This quarter, the top four most purchased items were textbooks and readers, uniforms, boarding school packs and school bags.

to support children’s educational needs

healthier outdoor living spaces

Pride of Place (POP) to create

• Overall, 130 Hope Vale community members are now signed up to Strong Families Parenting and Home Pride. These strong men and women are learning the skills they need to become the best parents they can be. • During Q3, 221 people—both members and nonmembers–accessed Strong Families to build positive parenting skills and create healthier homes. • This quarter, 22 positive parenting sessions were held. O-Hub staff members also continued to provide additional ongoing family advice and support through 82 family support meetings, and 78 engagement activities (e.g. women’s groups, workshops, home visits, and information sessions). • Partners constantly tell us that Strong Families gives them the tools they need to more confidently manage their children’s problem behaviours, and create happier and healthier homes for their families.

• There are now 155 members from 110 households signed up to POP. By joining POP, these members are expressing a clear desire to create healthier outdoor living spaces. • During Q3, one community member accessed POP to improve their knowledge and skills. • One Pop-up Visit was held to up-skill members, as well as provide them with general advice and support during the quarter. • Nine people are currently signed up to complete Backyard Blitz projects and are continuing to save so that they can meet their required financial contribution amounts. • Work continued on nine Backyard Blitz projects during Q3, with Indigenous employer Bama Services helping out to complete some of the required work. Three Blitz projects were completed during the quarter.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

strong families to build positive parenting skills and create happier, healthier homes

33


MPower MPower supports individuals and families to manage their money by: • enabling access to internet and phone banking facilities, with or without support from staff • helping members to overcome everyday financial struggles through ongoing family support • equipping members with knowledge and skills around budgeting, debt reduction, banking, wealth creation and bill payments • providing support and advice around smart purchasing options, as well as understanding terms and conditions of purchase.

membership • Community members aged 15+ years can visit the O-Hub to sign-up. By signing up to MPower, members can be supported to build their financial literacy and better manage their money. • Membership continues to grow—there are now 585 community members signed up to MPower in Hope Vale. This represents about 74 per cent of all Hope Vale adults (15+ years).1 • The largest proportion of members who have joined MPower since Q3 2013 have been self- or family/friend-referred. People are spreading the good word about the help that MPower can give. TOTAL MPOWER MEMBERS*

REFERRAL SOURCES FOR MPOWER

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

9% 3% 33%

600

200 0

Family/Friend/Self

585 Hope Vale MPower

400

FRC referred O-Hub staff/Centrelink

members

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

55%

Unknown Q3

How does MPower help members to improve their financial literacy? Internet and phone banking, self-service area

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

• Members can come to the O-Hub at any time to use the self-service area for internet and phone banking. O-Hub staff are always available to assist O-HUB and encourage members to build their internet and phone banking skills. • Between Q2 2013–Q2 2015, members participated in an average of 335 self-service sessions per quarter. During Q3, members used the self-service area 431 times—more than the average quarterly period.

Building specific skills Money Management Tool (MMT) sessions • Members can participate in MMT sessions to build their financial literacy. During these sessions, members learn about banking, budgeting, debt reduction, internet and phone banking, loans, payments and wealth creation. • Members took part in three MMT sessions this quarter to learn about banking, budgeting, and loans. Since Q2 2014, members have used all MMTs at least once, except for Wealth Creation Support, with Internet and Phone Banking Support being used most often.

Ongoing financial literacy support Members can build their financial literacy through a range of ongoing support sessions, including Little ‘a’, Simple Budget, and Coaching. Little ‘a’ sessions assist members to overcome specific and minor financial problems (e.g. paying a bill). Addressing small problems prevents them from growing into larger, uncontrollable issues. In Q3, 14 Little ‘a’ sessions were held (fewer than the average of 39 per quarter, between Q2 2014–15). Simple Budget sessions teach members the importance of budgeting, and take them through the basics of drafting a budget for themselves. During Q3, eight Simple Budget sessions were held (fewer than the average of 18 per quarter, between Q2 2014–15). Coaching consists of a series of structured sessions covering all aspects of money management and linking people with other opportunities (e.g. SET, POP etc.) to help them build strong financial literacy and improve outcomes across their lives. Participants progress through a “strategic conversation” to understand their current financial behaviours, set goals, and plan for better futures. During Q3, 27 coaching sessions were held (far more than the average of 13 per quarter, between Q2 2014–15). Coaching participants have demonstrated steady progression over time: COACHING SESSIONS3 Number of sessions: Partners attending:

% No.

1

2

3

4

5

ONGOING

100%

92%

64%

40%

61%

38%

151

139

96

60

92

57

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Hope Vale from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Hope Vale adult population (15+ years of age) has reached 791 in 2015. 2 MPower and Wise Buys memberships are both illustrated here as a combined membership total. These membership data include, therefore, 491 people who are only signed up to MPower, and 94 people who are signed up to both Wise Buys and MPower simultaneously. 3 Coaching sessions follow a “strategic conversational” format, whereby participants are supported to set expectations for themselves and the sessions (session one), understand their current financial situation (session two, “A space”), articulate their financial goals (session three, “B space”), decide upon a specific plan to achieve those goals (sessions four and five, “C and D spaces”) and receive ongoing support to (session six onwards). The retention rates reported here do not exclude participants who have skipped ahead–for example, from session one to three.

34


How does MPower help members to improve their financial literacy? CONTINUED WISE BUYS ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY MEMBERS WHO VISITED THE O-HUB

Wise Buys purchasing assistance • Wise Buys supports members to get value-for-money when purchasing household goods and services. Members receive support and advice around purchasing options (e.g. online versus O-HUB local store), comparing prices to get best value, understanding purchasing terms and conditions (e.g. warranties), and completing purchases when they are ready to do so. • During Q3, 14 members visited the O-Hub a total of 19 times to seek support. Most visits (68%) were to conduct research on future purchases. • One member made one purchase through Wise Buys in Q3, which was a need item1: a sheet set for their bed.

DURING Q3 AS A PROPORTION (%) OF TOTAL VISITS (N=19)

% 68

5% 26%

General support Research on purchase Purchase

During Q3, 159 community members accessed MPower 582 times to improve their financial literacy Positive impacts of MPower on community members How does MPower cause positive change?

Community members sign-up to MPower; they participate in skill-building activities and regularly use the self-service banking area.

Improved financial literacy

Improved financial behaviours

Responsible money management and economic participation

Community members are improving their financial literacy Staff consistently report that members are continuing to improve their understanding about the value of money, including being able to identify how much they spend and make informed money management decisions. The below partner progress story is a good example of this. PARTNER PROGRESS STORY2

One member recently came into the O-Hub to talk about their statement of account. They wanted assistance to work out exactly where their money was going, so that they could get on top of their finances and start putting money away for the future.

During their session with the O-Hub staff, the partner got a clearer idea of where they were spending their money. They talked about wanting to save so that they could achieve their financial goals, and asked whether they could put their money into a locked savings account to remove the temptation of wanting to access it for other needs. This partner is adamant that they want to improve their financial literacy and create a healthier savings account. They are actively seeking out methods to achieve their goals, and continue to seek the support of the MPower staff as they continue on their journey.

• Members are regularly using the internet and phone banking self-service area to pay bills, check balances and do their general banking. • Members can request assistance from staff when using the self-service area. In Hope Vale, unassisted sessions outstripped assisted sessions in late 2011 and since then, have continued to represent the largest proportion of overall sessions (see right). While these figures fluctuate as new and inexperienced members come on board, this is a good indication that users are becoming and remaining self-sufficient in managing their finances.

UNASSISTED and ASSISTED SESSIONS AS A PROPORTION (%) OF TOTAL SESSIONS Q2 2011 TO Q3 2015

Unassisted Assisted

100% 80%

60%

60% 40%

40%

20% 0%

Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

1 ‘Needs’ include basic items such as food, shelter, clothing, white goods (e.g. washing machine/fridge), health (e.g. medicine, wellbeing), mattresses, transport (e.g. car necessary for employment opportunities). ‘Wants’ include items that are not an immediate need, including televisions and stereos. 2 Some details have been altered to ensure this partner cannot be identified.

35

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Community members are becoming responsible, independent money managers


student education Trust The Student Education Trust (SET) promotes the value and importance of education by: • enabling and encouraging parents, carers, kin and others to regularly set aside money to pay for their children’s educational needs • assisting SET donors to purchase educational items for their children.

membership Community members aged 18+ years visit the O-Hub to sign their children up to a SET account, and to commit themselves as donors.

SET accounts

SET donors

TOTAL CHILDREN WITH SET ACCOUNTS

TOTAL SET DONORS

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

300

200

250 150 50 Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

CHILDREN WITH OPEN SET ACCOUNTS BY LEVEL OF SCHOOLING Q3 2015 120 90

30

102 61

40

0

Early Childhood

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

(0–4)

Primary School (5–11)

Secondary School (12–17)

1 Tertiary/Further Education (18–25)

Hope Vale SET account donors

50

• Every child signed up to SET has a unique account. • By the end of Q3, a total of 255 Hope Vale children had been signed up to a SET account (see above). • This means that around 41 per cent of all Hope Vale children and youth (0–25 years) have now benefitted from SET.1 • Of the 255 accounts that have been opened in Hope Vale to date, 234 (92%) remained open at the end of Q3 and 21 (8%) had been closed. • The largest proportion (44%) of the 234 SET accounts remaining open are for primary school aged children (see below).

60

160

100

Hope Vale children with SET accounts

100 0

150

255

200

16 Finished/ Left School (18–25)

• The total accounts in the above figure do not add to 234 because the schooling status of 14 SET students is unknown. These students are aged between 14–17 and have a total combined balance of $5,781.35. O-Hub staff will follow up with the donors for these accounts where possible to determine the schooling status of these students.

0

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

• Each SET account can have between one and three donors, including parents, carers, kin, friends and any others who wish to donate. By signing up to SET, men and women are showing that they are committed to supporting children’s educational needs. • The number of people donating to SET accounts has increased this quarter—there are currently 160 community members signed up to SET in Hope Vale. This represents about 22 per cent of all Hope Vale adults (18+ years).2 • Of these donors, 81 (51%) are contributing to one account, 47 (29%) are contributing to two accounts, and 32 (20%) are contributing to three or more accounts. Donors are working together to share the load and make education more affordable. • Eighty-one per cent of Hope Vale donors are female, most (82%) being the recipient’s mother. Hope Vale women are setting a good example for their children and their community by making education a top priority. • It is also critical that men support children’s educational needs. O-Hub staff continue to encourage men to take the same brave steps as Hope Vale women in supporting their children’s education.

So far, 255 Hope Vale children have benefitted from SET and 160 adults have become SET donors

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Hope Vale from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the population of community members aged 0–25 years has reached 601 in 2015. 2 Based on the percentage population growth in Hope Vale from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Hope Vale adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 737 in 2015.

36


How does SET help members to support their children’s educational needs? Saving support

Purchasing educational items

• O-Hub staff members encourage donors to maintain regular financial contributions to their children’s SET accounts. Where contributions drop off or stop, O-Hub staff follow up with donors and support them to re-start their contributions. • During Q3, a total of $22,640.95 was contributed to SET accounts in Hope Vale. This is relatively consistent with the amounts being contributed since Q3 2014, and represents a large sum of money being put aside to fund student educational needs. TOTAL VALUE OF QUARTERLY CONTRIBUTIONS Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015

• Donors can make educational purchases from their children’s SET account at any time and are assisted by O-Hub staff to do so. • The O-Hub also regularly runs SET Fairs to O-HUB encourage donors to purchase educational materials to support their children. A SET Fair was held in Q3 during which 15 donors—parents, carers and kin—attended the O-Hub to browse, discuss and purchase educational items with funds from 20 different SET accounts. • During Q3 a total of 169 purchases were made from SET accounts. The total value of these purchases was $20,451.89.

$25,000

TOTAL NUMBER OF PURCHASES MADE USING SET

$20,000

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

$15,000 $10,000 $5,000 $0

400

$22,174.50

$22,428.86

$17,771.01

$23,101.84 $22,640.95

2014

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

• As a result of these consistent savings, SET account balances in Hope Vale continue to stay relatively high, sitting at $201,528.55 at the end of Q3. • High account balances are a positive sign—they mean donors are putting away nest eggs to support their children’s future educational needs. We also hope to see these balances go up and down over time, as donors spend funds on educational goods that benefit their children.

100

169

145

200 Q3

303

280

300

143

135

0

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

137 Q2

2014

Q3

125

46 Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

• The top four most common purchases during Q3 were: readers and books

school uniforms

Balance of SET accounts Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015 $250,000

Q3

2014

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

$201,528.55

$0

$191,210.16

$50,000

$183,142.41

$100,000

$186,569.55

$150,000

$168,944.47

$200,000

boarding needs

school bags

Q3

Positive impacts of Student education trust on community members

Parents/carers sign up to SET; they make regular contributions to students’ SET accounts and are more able to purchase necessities for school.

School readiness increases

Parents and carers are engaged in their children’s education Overall, 23 per cent of SET accounts had some level of activity during Q3 (i.e. at least one contribution and/or purchase)–parents and carers are regularly engaged with SET.

Children are more school ready and parents/ carers are less stressed Our donors constantly tell us that SET means their kids feel like they have what they need to succeed at school. Donors know the money is there for their children, so they feel less stressed.

School participation increases

Educational outcomes improve

“SET stalls are always good. My children love books. They like the popup books, books that are really big, bold and bright—it excites them.” set donor

“I felt proud that I got everything for the kids’ boarding school.” set donor

37

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

How does SET cause positive change?


Strong families Strong Families encourages and promotes positive parenting by: • creating opportunities for families to positively engage with each other and other community members • equipping parents and carers with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively care for their children through positive parenting sessions • supporting families in everyday parenting struggles through ongoing family support • assisting families to create happy and healthy homes for their children. TOTAL STRONG FAMILIES MEMBERS

membership • Community members aged 18+ years visit the Parenting Hub to sign-up. By signing up to Strong Families, men and women are learning the skills they need to become the best parents they can be. • Membership continues to grow—there are now 130 community members signed up to Strong Families in Hope Vale. This represents about 18 per cent of all Hope Vale adults (18+ years).1

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015 150 120

130

90 60

Hope Vale Strong Families members

30 0

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

How does Strong Families help parents and carers? Engagement activities

Positive parenting sessions

• Members and non-members can • Members participate in ‘Triple P’, Positive Parenting Program, training participate in and benefit from sessions to build their parenting knowledge and skills. ongoing engagement activities, • During Q3, nine community members participated in 22 sessions Parenting like informal discussions, overall, all of which were Strong Families sessions (for at-risk families). HUB information sessions, home visits, • This quarter, members learned about: children’s nutritional needs; the community events, and workshops choices we make, including how these affect our children and others; on different aspects of positive parenting. constructive ways of managing misbehaviour using a clear, calm • Between Q2 2013–Q2 2015, the approach; and setting appropriate boundaries. team conducted an average of Ongoing family support 136 engagements per quarter. • Members can visit the Parenting Hub at any time to receive practical and emotional support During Q3, 78 engagement with daily parenting and family matters, as well as being referred to other local services. activities were undertaken— • Between Q2 2014–2015, the team held an average of 38 family meetings per quarter. This quieter than the average quarter, 82 family support meetings were held—far busier than the quarterly average. quarterly period.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Home Pride—to create happier and healthier homes • Home Pride assists families to build the knowledge and skills they need to create happy and healthy homes for their children, through: healthy cooking classes, information sessions about the benefits of maintaining a clean and healthy home, and support with ‘do-it-yourself’ home improvement projects. Q3 was quiet for Home Pride, with no Home Maker (skill-building sessions around meal planning, healthy cooking, cleaning and setting routines for children) or House Blitz (comprehensive DIY projects to create healthier living spaces—one room at a time, or a whole home) sessions being held. However, we look forward to seeing activities pick up again towards the end of the year.

Overall, 221 people—including members and non-members—accessed Strong Families to improve their parenting skills during Q3

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Hope Vale from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Hope Vale adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 737 in 2015. 2 Home Pride and Parenting memberships are both illustrated here as a combined membership total. These membership data include, therefore, 96 people who are only signed up to Parenting, 11 people who are only signed up to Home Pride, and a further 23 people who are signed up to both Parenting and Home Pride simultaneously.

38


Positive impacts of Strong Families on community members How does Strong families cause positive change?

Community members sign up to Strong Families; they actively participate in handicrafts, skill-building activities, Home Pride activities and Triple P positive parenting sessions.

Increase of knowledge around positive parenting techniques

Increased use of positive parenting techniques at home

Happier and healthier children and families

Parents and carers are building their skills and confidence Members who actively engage with Strong Families consistently tell us that they take away the tools they need to be more confident in managing their children’s problem behaviours. For example, the personal progress story below tells how one member is beginning to learn the skills they need to be the best parent they can be. PARTNER PROGRESS STORY1

One partner came to the Parenting Hub over a year ago, looking for support and advice. They had a number of children in their care, and were having trouble managing their behaviours.

After their first few sessions, the partner had already implemented new household rules, a chore chart, and behaviour contract with their children. During one session, the children came in with the partner to discuss and sign the contract. The children still play up and test the boundaries, but the partner tries their best to remain calm and address their behavioural problems constructively. The kids also have some medical issues, which the partner is addressing with the help of other service providers. The partner has asked for ongoing support from Parenting, and has indicated that they’ll continue to attend the Hub.

Pride of place Pride of Place (POP) helps families to create healthier outdoor living spaces where they can spend quality time together. POP assists by: • supporting members to undertake Backyard Blitzes (backyard renovation projects), for which members contribute money and ‘sweat equity’ labour • providing members with information about caring for their gardens and outdoor living spaces through Garden Clubs and Pop-up Visits • support with ‘do-it-yourself’ home improvement projects.

membership

TOTAL POP MEMBERS3

• Community members aged 18+ years visit the O-Hub to sign-up. By signing up to POP, men and women are learning the skills they need to create healthier outdoor living spaces for their families and community. • Membership continues to grow—there were six new members signed up during Q3, taking total membership to 155. This represents about 21 per cent of all Hope Vale adults (18+ years).2 • These members live in 110 separate Hope Vale households.

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015 200

155

100 50

Around

0

6

Hope Vale POP members Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

out of 10 of all Hope Vale households are now signed up to POP

1 Some details have been altered to ensure this partner cannot be identified. 2 Based on the percentage population growth in Hope Vale from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Hope Vale adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 737 in 2015. 3 An internal audit of POP data was undertaken during Q3 while CYP continued to transition the product into its central Family Empowerment Database. During this audit, some duplicate files were identified and removed. Therefore, the POP membership graph has been adjusted accordingly; these data will differ slightly to those reported in previous Family Empowerment Reports.

39

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

150


How does POP help members to create healthier outdoor living spaces? Engagement and skill-building activities • Members and non-members can participate in and benefit from ongoing engagement activities, like: Garden Club events, where participants learn gardening and maintenance skills in an interactive setting; and Pop-up Visits, where members receive general advice and support. • Between Q2 2014–15, the team undertook an average of 64 engagement activities per quarter. During Q3, however, the team decided to pause these activities and focus on supporting our partners to complete their Backyard Blitzes while the dry-season’s weather permitted. Therefore, only one Pop-up Visit was undertaken this quarter. We look forward to seeing these activities increase again over the coming months.

O-HUB

TOTAL POP-UP Visits Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015

120

120 90

66

53

60

57

30 0

1 Q3

2014

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

Backyard renovations

• Members receive support to undertake Backyard Blitzes—backyard renovation projects that aim to create healthier outdoor living spaces. Members contribute by saving $1,000 each towards their renovations and putting in ‘sweat equity’ labour to complete their project. Currently, nine people are signed up to do a Backyard Blitz and have so far saved $13,615.00 towards their combined target contribution of $9,000.00 (some partners have exceeded their required contributions).1 During Q3, work continued on these Blitz projects; concrete pathways, garden sheds, veggie tanks, gardens, cubby houses, swing sets, and outdoor furniture were built and erected. Three members completed their Backyard Blitz projects during the quarter and can now enjoy their new outdoor living spaces.

Positive impacts of pop on community members How does POP cause positive change?

Community members sign up to POP; they participate in skill-building activities and save the money necessary to undertake a Backyard Blitz. They complete the Blitz by providing sweat equity in the form of labour.

Increase of knowledge and skills around home maintenance

Increased desire to maintain and beautify home and garden

Healthier outdoor living spaces contribute to families’ wellbeing

Members are building knowledge and skills around home maintenance

Members are maintaining and caring for their homes and gardens

Members constantly tell us that they pick up gardening and home maintenance tips that help them to care for their homes. Some members go away, do their research, and feed gardening tips back to our staff too.

After completing Backyard Blitzes, members continue to check in with us about maintenance tips so that they can continue to care for their homes and gardens properly. We see evidence of this in the communities—most of the POP houses are visibly better cared for.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

“When my family, my children and grandchild come over, it’s rewarding. We spend more time outside together. I get compliments from other people about my yard.” pop member

1 The total number of people undertaking a Backyard Blitz in Hope Vale was reported as 21 in the Q2 Family Empowerment Report. During internal audits of the data during Q3, it was found that only nine members were currently signed up; these amended data are reported here.

40


Mossman gorge o-hub Q3 In early July, the O-Hub ran an outstanding Family Fun Day, which included a NAIDOC Baby competition. Over 25 families entered their babies and the majority of the community attended the event. We also participated in the broader NAIDOC street parade, which was a lot of fun. Some O-Hub staff attended the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation office opening in Mossman in late August. The opening was a significant event, with dancing and other festivities. Jabalbina holds Native Title for 126,900 hectares of land between Mossman and Cooktown, on behalf of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji People. In late August, CYP held a Cape York Indigenous Community Local Summit at the Mossman Gorge Visitor’s Centre. The Summit ran for 2.5 days and enjoyed an incredible turnout, including particularly good representation from women of the Gorge and the township. Community members and service providers came together to discuss the practicalities of the Empowered Communities agenda for Mossman people. There was an incredible sense of optimism at the event as attendees talked about how Mossman Gorge people could work more closely and effectively with Indigenous residents of the nearby Mossman township. Participants were highly engaged and reflected on how far they’d come. There was also a clear indication that they felt ready to take the next steps towards further empowerment. There are further meetings to come; we all look forward to continuing the discussion. The O-Hub has continued to work closely with other service providers during the quarter, having met and worked alongside: Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc. (BBN), the Families Responsibilities Commission (FRC), the Wellbeing Centre, Mossman Kindergarten, Mossman State Primary School, Apunipima, Queensland Housing,

and Police Citizens Youth Club, to name a few. Our staff did a presentation on MPower to the local FRC Commissioners, and also participated in community and service provider meetings about how to improve local school attendance, educational outcomes, and employment opportunities. Although things are looking up in Mossman Gorge, challenges still remain. Alcohol continues to be the biggest problem, but it seems that this only affects a small proportion of the community. Despite this, the negative effects can still be visible on a regular basis. Although challenges still remain, it’s my view that many Mossman Gorge residents are no longer wanting for basic needs (e.g. food and shelter). Instead, they can now focus on things that enrich their lives—things they want and desire. There is still work to be done, but in general, life has certainly improved over the time I’ve been working here and I look forward to seeing this trend continue into the future. By Mossman Gorge O-Hub Leader, Reggie Jackson

Demographic

Population1

Overall

98

Adult (15+) (MPower eligibility)

77

Adult (18+)

77

Youth (0–25) (SET eligibility)

35

Early childhood (0–4)

5

Primary school (5–11)

13

Secondary school (12–17)

3

Tertiary/further education (18–24)

14

Households

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

It’s been a steady quarter for Mossman Gorge, with participation remaining strong across the Opportunity Products. We are continuing to sign new people up to MPower and SET, and Wise Buys purchases also continue to be strong this quarter.

31

1 These population figures have been calculated by taking the 2011 Census population, and applying the percentage population growth in Mossman Gorge from 2006–11 (according to Census data) as an annual rate.

41


family stories Honouring the past—and the future “I can get help and support.” Ronald Wilson has been working hard for his family, both past and present. O-Hub staff have been assisting him.

“Staff from MPower always help us to get things for our house,” he said. “Everything we ever owned, MPower helped us.” But there is another purchase that is even more precious to him.

More than 10 years ago, Ronald, who has a job with Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku (BBN), joined SET to help pay for the education of his nephew, Kainen, now aged 15.

“Saving and purchasing a tombstone for my sister’s grave,” said Ronald.

He signed up for MPower in 2011 and Wise Buys two years later, to receive additional help to get his family finances in order and buy important household equipment.

His sister died six years ago and Ronald purchased the tombstone in 2011. Now, he is saving to purchase a tombstone for his brother, who died about nine years ago.

“We had trouble paying bills on time and purchasing items,” he said. “Our power was turned off several times. “They (MPower consultants) helped us pay and keep on top of all our bills. Since joining, no debts or overdue bills.” In addition, Ronald has been able to save enough money to buy a fridge, washing machine, television, dining table, beds, kitchen ware and linen.

Ronald has the determination and the support needed to succeed.

Ronald Wilson has built his money management skills and capabilities to ensure his family is well-supported into the future.

The book of love

“I wanted to be involved in handcraft and a women’s group.” Trixie Kerr is creating something very precious for her children and grandchildren—a book of memories. Earlier this year, she began attending sessions organised by Strong Families consultant, Julie Williams, to help mothers produce scrapbooks about their lives.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

The scrapbooks, titled “A Mother’s Story”, will contain a treasure trove of photos, memories, stories, advice, quotes and other items from their past that Trixie and the other women plan to create as legacies for following generations of their families. “The scrapbooks will be the end product of a labour of love,” observed Julie. Trixie is proud of the progress she is making on her own scrapbook. “I’m making a story album for my kids,” said the grandmother, who now cares for grandchildren, Hilda, 14, and Akia, aged eight. The fortnightly scrapbooking sessions at the Wellbeing Centre provide a welcome opportunity for Trixie to pursue an activity outside the home. “I get to go out and about and away from my house,” she said. “It gives me something to do during the week. I like art and craft.” The process of putting the scrapbooks together is also a good opportunity for these mothers to come together, share

42

Trixie Kerr has created a book of memories for her grandchildren, and encourages other women to do the same.

stories, memories and learn lessons about positive parenting approaches that work for them. “They are encouraged to research photos and think about memories they would like to record and share with other family members,” said Julie. Trixie agreed: “The scrapbooking is making me look at old photos and memories.” She is now encouraging other women to join the group. “I really want to work at getting more ladies to join in on the activities we do with Julie,” she said.


mossman gorge q3

Partner Participation Summary Partner participation remains strong in Mossman Gorge with 238 community members signed up to at least one Opportunity Product and 54 per cent of those signed up to two or more products. Activities across all Opportunity Products have remained consistent as more people realise their benefits in improving capabilities and skills around money management, positive parenting, keeping healthy homes, and staying committed to meeting children’s educational needs.

MPower to build money management skills

Student Education Trust (SET)

• MPower membership continues to increase—187 people are now signed up and are committed to improving their financial knowledge and skills. • During Q3, 92 community members accessed MPower a total of 727 times, including to make use of selfservice internet and phone banking, participate in Money Management Training sessions, receive ongoing financial literacy support and make purchases through Wise Buys. • The amount of support partners need when using the self-service banking area is reducing all the time—they are becoming independent financial managers.

• SET membership continues to rise—165 Mossman Gorge students have now benefitted from SET. • It is becoming the norm to put money aside for students’ educational needs, with 104 Mossman Gorge adults now contributing to at least one SET account. • SET donors have saved $12,666.84 during the quarter—a significant sum of money is being put aside to meet the educational needs of Mossman Gorge students. • These savings are being spent on purchases that help kids to be school-ready and learn. This quarter, the top four most purchased items were uniforms, educational toys/games, school fees, and school bags.

to support children’s educational needs

outdoor living spaces

• Fifty Mossman Gorge community members are now signed up to Strong Families Parenting and Home Pride. These strong men and women are learning the skills they need to become the best parents they can be. • During Q3, 99 people—both members and nonmembers—accessed Strong Families to build positive parenting skills and create healthier homes. • This quarter, five positive parenting sessions were held. O-Hub staff members also continued to provide additional ongoing family advice and support through 46 family support meetings, and 64 engagement activities (e.g. women’s groups, workshops, home visits, and information sessions). • Partners constantly tell us that Strong Families gives them the tools they need to more confidently manage their children’s problem behaviours, and create happier and healthier homes for their families.

• There are now 34 members from 29 households signed up to POP. By joining POP, these members are expressing a clear desire to create healthier outdoor living spaces. • During Q3, 22 community members accessed POP to improve their knowledge and skills. • Fifty-two Pop-up Visits and one Garden Club event was held to up-skill members, as well as provide them with general advice and support during the quarter. • Two people are currently signed up to complete Backyard Blitz projects and have saved enough to meet their required financial contribution amounts. Work continued on these Backyard Blitz projects during Q3, with Indigenous employer, Bama Services, helping to complete some of the required work. One Blitz project was completed during the quarter.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Pride of Place (POP) to create healthier

strong families to build positive parenting skills and create happier, healthier homes

43


MPower MPower supports individuals and families to manage their money by: • enabling access to internet and phone banking facilities, with or without support from staff • helping members to overcome everyday financial struggles through ongoing family support • equipping members with knowledge and skills around budgeting, debt reduction, banking, wealth creation and bill payments • providing support and advice around smart purchasing options, as well as understanding terms and conditions of purchase.

membership • Community members aged 15+ years can visit the O-Hub to sign-up. By signing up to MPower, members can be supported to build their financial literacy and better manage their money. • Membership continues to grow–there are now 187 community members signed up to MPower in Mossman Gorge. This represents 100 per cent of all Mossman Gorge adults (15+ years).1 • Most members who have joined MPower since Q3 2013 have been self- or family/friend-referred. People are spreading the good word about the help that MPower can give. TOTAL MPOWER MEMBERS2

REFERRAL SOURCES FOR MPOWER

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

200 150

50 0

Family/Friend/Self

187 Mossman Gorge

100

FRC referred

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

49%

O-Hub staff/Centrelink

MPower members Q3

4%4 %

% 43

Unknown Q3

How does MPower help members to improve their financial literacy? Internet and phone banking, self-service area • Members can come to the O-Hub at any time to use the self-service area for internet and phone banking. O-Hub staff are always O-HUB available to assist and encourage members to build their internet and phone banking skills. • Between Q2 2013–15, members participated in an average of 432 self-service sessions per quarter. During Q3, members used the self-service area 473 times—busier than the average quarterly period.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Building specific skills Money Management Tool (MMT) sessions • Members can participate in MMT sessions to build their financial literacy. During these sessions, members learn about banking, budgeting, debt reduction, internet and phone banking, loans, payments and wealth creation. • Members took part in six MMT sessions this quarter to learn about banking, budgeting, and loans. Since Q2 2014, members have used all MMTs at least once, aside from Loan Support, with Banking Support being used most often.

Ongoing financial literacy support Members can build their financial literacy through a range of ongoing support sessions, including Little ‘a’, Simple Budget, and Coaching. Little ‘a’ sessions assist members to overcome specific and minor financial problems (e.g. paying a bill). Addressing small problems prevents them from growing into larger, uncontrollable issues. In Q3, 21 Little ‘a’ sessions were held (matching the average of 21 per quarter, between Q2 2014–15). Simple Budget sessions teach members the importance of budgeting, and take them through the basics of drafting a budget for themselves. During Q3, 17 Simple Budget sessions were held (more than the average of 13 per quarter, between Q2 2014–15). Coaching consists of a series of structured sessions covering all aspects of money management and linking people with other opportunities (e.g. SET, POP etc.) to help them build strong financial literacy and improve outcomes across their lives. Participants progress through a “strategic conversation” to understand their current financial behaviours, set goals, and plan for better future. During Q3, 16 Coaching sessions were held (fewer than the average of 26 per quarter, between Q2 2014–15). Coaching participants have demonstrated steady progression over time (see below). COACHING SESSIONS3 Number of sessions: Partners attending:

% No.

1

2

3

4

5

ONGOING

100%

65%

50%

37%

38%

44%

52

34

26

19

20

23

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Mossman Gorge from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Mossman Gorge adult population (15+ years of age) has reached 77 in 2015. Based on the total number of MPower members, the actual number of Mossman Gorge residents within this age range obviously exceeds our conservative estimate. 2 MPower and Wise Buys memberships are both illustrated here as a combined membership total. These membership data include, therefore, 87 people who are only signed up to MPower, seven people who are only signed up to Wise Buys, and a further 93 people who are signed up to both MPower and Wise Buys simultaneously. 3 Coaching sessions follow a “strategic conversational” format, whereby participants are supported to set expectations for themselves and the sessions (session one), understand their current financial situation (session two, “A space”), articulate their financial goals (session three, “B space”), decide upon a specific plan to achieve those goals (sessions four and five, “C and D spaces”) and receive ongoing support to (session six onwards). The retention rates reported here do not exclude participants who have skipped ahead–for example, from session one to three.

44


How does MPower help members to improve their financial literacy? CONTINUED DURING Q3 AS A PROPORTION (%) OF TOTAL VISITS (N=85)

24%

% 32

• Wise Buys supports members to get value-for-money when purchasing household goods and services. Members receive support and advice around purchasing options (e.g. online versus O-HUB local store), comparing prices to get best value, understanding purchasing terms and conditions (e.g. warranties), and completing purchases when they are ready to do so. • During Q3, 39 members visited the O-Hub a total of 85 times to seek support. Most visits (45%) were for general support. • Members made 27 purchases through Wise Buys in Q3, including 12 need items and 15 want items.1 Need items included beds, fridge/freezers, a lawnmower, washing machines, cleaning items, bedding, and car repairs.

WISE BUYS ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY MEMBERS WHO VISITED THE O-HUB

45%

Wise Buys purchasing assistance

General support

Research on purchase Purchase

During Q3, 92 community members accessed MPower 727 times to improve their financial literacy Positive impacts of MPower on community members2 How does MPower cause positive change?

Community members sign-up to MPower; they participate in skill-building activities and regularly use the self-service banking area.

Improved financial literacy

Improved financial behaviours

Responsible money management and economic participation

Community members are improving their financial literacy Staff consistently report that members are continuing to improve their understanding about the value of money, including being able to identify how much they spend and make informed money management decisions. The below partner progress story is a good example of this. PARTNER PROGRESS STORY2

One member has shown an interest in purchasing their own home. They came to the O-Hub to seek support to improve their financial literacy and learn how to implement a savings plan so they can achieve their goal.

The member has been attending coaching sessions and updating their budget so that they have a better understanding of their current financial status. They have now constructed an action plan, which sets out the steps they need to take so that they can reach their goal. With the ongoing support of MPower, this partner will continue to strive towards home ownership.

Community members are becoming responsible, independent money managers UNASSISTED and ASSISTED SESSIONS AS A PROPORTION (%) OF TOTAL SESSIONS Q2 2011 TO Q3 2015

Unassisted Assisted

100% 80%

63%

60% 40%

37%

20% 0%

Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

1 ‘Needs’ include basic items such as food, shelter, clothing, white goods (e.g. washing machine/fridge), health (e.g. medicine, wellbeing), mattresses, transport (e.g. car necessary for employment opportunities). ‘Wants’ include items that are not an immediate need, including televisions and stereos. 2 Some details have been altered to ensure this partner cannot be identified.

45

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

• Members are regularly using the internet and phone banking self-service area to pay bills, check balances and do their general banking. • Members can request assistance from staff when using the self-service area. In Mossman Gorge, unassisted sessions are trending up and assisted sessions are trending down (see right). While these figures fluctuate as new and inexperienced members come on board, this is a good indication that users are becoming increasingly self-sufficient in managing their finances.


student education Trust The Student Education Trust (SET) promotes the value and importance of education by: • enabling and encouraging parents, carers, kin and others to regularly set aside money to pay for their children’s educational needs • assisting SET donors to purchase educational items for their children.

membership Community members aged 18+ years visit the O-Hub to sign their children up to a SET account, and to commit themselves as donors.

SET accounts

SET donors

TOTAL CHILDREN WITH SET ACCOUNTS

TOTAL SET DONORS

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

200

120

150

90

165

100 50 0

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

CHILDREN WITH OPEN SET ACCOUNTS BY LEVEL OF SCHOOLING Q3 2015 80 60

20 0

68 16 Early Childhood

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

(0–4)

Primary School (5–11)

46 Secondary School (12–17)

0

15

Tertiary/Further Education

Finished/ Left School

(18–25)

Mossman Gorge SET account donors

30

• Every child signed up to SET has a unique account. • By the end of Q3, a total of 165 Mossman Gorge children had been signed up to a SET account (see above). • This means 100 per cent of all Mossman Gorge children and youth (0–25 years) have now benefitted from SET.1 • Of the 165 accounts that have been opened in Mossman Gorge to date, 149 (90%) remained open at the end of Q3 and 16 (10%) had been closed. • Most (46%) of the 149 SET accounts remaining open are for primary school aged children (see below).

40

104

60

Mossman Gorge children with SET accounts

(18–25)

• The total accounts in the above figure do not add to 147 because the schooling status of four SET students is unknown. These students are aged between 15–16 years and have a total combined balance of $459.00. O-Hub staff will follow up with the donors for these accounts where possible to determine the schooling status of these students.

0

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

• Each SET account can have between one and three donors, including parents, carers, kin, friends and any others who wish to donate. By signing up to SET, men and women are showing that they are committed to supporting children’s educational needs. • The number of people donating to SET accounts continues to grow—there are now 104 community members signed up to SET in Mossman Gorge. This represents 100 per cent of all Mossman Gorge adults (18+ years).2 • Of these donors, 49 (47%) are contributing to one account, 37 (36%) are contributing to two accounts, and 18 (17%) are contributing to three or more accounts. Donors are working together to share the load and make education more affordable. • Seventy-seven per cent of Mossman Gorge SET donors are female, most (80%) being the recipient’s mother. Mossman Gorge women are setting a good example for their children and their community by making education a top priority. • It is also critical that men support children’s educational needs. O-Hub staff continue to encourage men to take the same brave steps as Mossman Gorge women in supporting their children’s education.

So far, 165 Mossman Gorge children have benefitted from SET and 104 adults have become SET donors

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Mossman Gorge from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the population of community members aged 0-25 years has reached 35 in 2015. Based on the total number of children now signed up to SET, the actual number of Mossman Gorge residents within this age range obviously exceeds our conservative estimate. 2 Based on the percentage population growth in Mossman Gorge from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Mossman Gorge adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 77 in 2015. Based on the total number of SET donors to date, the actual number of Mossman Gorge residents within this age range obviously exceeds our conservative estimate.

46


How does SET help members to support their children’s educational needs? Saving support

Purchasing educational items

• O-Hub staff members encourage donors to maintain • Donors can make educational purchases from regular financial contributions to their children’s SET their children’s SET account at any time and are accounts. Where contributions drop off or stop, assisted by O-Hub staff to do so. O-Hub staff follow up with donors and support them • The O-Hub also regularly runs SET Fairs to O-HUB to re-start their contributions. encourage donors to purchase educational • During Q3, a total of $12,666.84 was contributed to materials to support their children. SET accounts in Mossman Gorge. This is roughly the same • During Q3 a total of 112 purchases were made from SET amount that has been contributed each quarter since Q3 accounts. The total value of these purchases was $13,167.99. 2014 and represents a large sum of money being put aside to fund student educational needs. TOTAL NUMBER OF PURCHASES MADE USING SET Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015

TOTAL VALUE OF QUARTERLY CONTRIBUTIONS Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015

400

$20,000

300

$15,000

200 100

$10,000 $5,000 $0

$14,690.26 Q3

$13,032.97

2014

$13,182.90

Q4

Q1

$14,475.26 $12,666.84 Q2 2015

Q3

0

285

131 130 Q3

2013

Q4

322

112 114 Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

85 Q4

Q1

98

112

Q2 2015

Q3

• The top four most common purchases during Q3 were:

• As a result of these consistent savings, SET account balances in Mossman Gorge continue to stay high, sitting at $112,718.62 at the end of Q3. • High account balances are a positive sign—they mean donors are putting away nest eggs to support their children’s future educational needs. We also hope to see these balances go up and down over time, as donors spend funds on educational goods that benefit their children.

school uniforms

educational toys and games

Balance of SET accounts school photos

Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015 $120,000

$0

Q3

2014

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

$112,718.62

$20,000

$109,306.20

$40,000

$106,702.01

$60,000

$117,929.07

$80,000

$110,840.81

$100,000

school bags

Q3

How does SET cause positive change?

Parents/carers sign up to SET; they make regular contributions to students’ SET accounts and are more able to purchase necessities for school.

School readiness increases

School participation increases

Educational outcomes improve

Parents and carers are engaged in their children’s education

Children are more school ready and parents/carers are less stressed

Overall, 45 per cent of SET accounts had some level of activity during Q3 (i.e. at least one contribution and/or purchase)— parents and carers are regularly engaged with SET.

Our donors constantly tell us that SET means their kids feel like they have what they need to succeed at school. Donors know the money is there for their children, so they feel less stressed.

47

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Positive impacts of Student education trust on community members


Strong families Strong Families encourages and promotes positive parenting by: • creating opportunities for families to positively engage with each other and other community members • equipping parents and carers with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively care for their children through positive parenting sessions • supporting families in everyday parenting struggles through ongoing family support • assisting families to create happy and healthy homes for their children.

membership

TOTAL STRONG FAMILIES MEMBERS2

• Community members aged 18+ years visit the Parenting Hub to sign-up. By signing up to Strong Families, men and women are learning the skills they need to become the best parents they can be. • Membership has remained stable this quarter—there are currently 50 community members signed up to Strong Families in Mossman Gorge. This represents about 65 per cent of all Mossman Gorge adults (18+ years).1

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015 50 40

50

30 20

Mossman Gorge Strong Families members

10 0

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

How does Strong Families help parents and carers? Engagement activities

Positive parenting sessions

• Members and non-members can participate in and benefit from ongoing engagement activities, like informal discussions, information sessions, home visits, community events, women’s group activities, and workshops on different aspects of positive parenting and home maintenance.

• Members participate in ‘Triple P’, Positive Parenting Program, training sessions to build their parenting knowledge and skills. • During Q3, five sessions were held. During these sessions, members learned about the importance of setting rules at home, providing clear and calm instructions, and giving children positive attention for good behaviour.

• Between Q1 2013–15, the team conducted an average of 98 engagements per quarter. During Q3, 64 engagement activities were undertaken—fewer than the average quarterly period.

Parenting HUB

Ongoing family support • Members can visit the Parenting Hub at any time to receive practical and emotional support with daily parenting and family matters, as well as being referred to other local services. • Between Q2 2014–15, the team held an average of 52 family meetings per quarter. This quarter, 46 family support meetings were held—slightly fewer than the quarterly average.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Home Pride—to create happier and healthier homes • Home Pride assists families to build the knowledge and skills they need to create happy and healthy homes for their children, through: healthy cooking classes, information sessions about the benefits of maintaining a clean and healthy home, and support with ‘do-it-yourself’ home improvement projects. Q3 was quiet for Home Pride, with no Home Maker (skill-building sessions around meal planning, healthy cooking, cleaning and setting routines for children) or House Blitz (comprehensive DIY projects to create healthier living spaces—one room at a time, or a whole home) sessions being held. However, we look forward to seeing activities pick up again towards the end of the year.

Overall, 99 people—including members and non-members—accessed Strong Families to improve their parenting skills and create healthier homes during Q3

1 Based on the percentage population growth in Mossman Gorge from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Mossman Gorge adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 77 in 2015. 2 Home Pride and Parenting memberships are both illustrated here as a combined membership total. These membership data include, therefore, 37 people who are only signed up to Parenting, nine people who are only signed up to Home Pride, and a further four people who are signed up to both Parenting and Home Pride simultaneously.

48


Positive impacts of Strong Families on community members How does Strong families cause positive change?

Community members sign up to Strong Families; they actively participate in handicrafts, skill-building activities, Home Pride activities and Triple P positive parenting sessions.

Increase of knowledge around positive parenting techniques

Increased use of positive parenting techniques at home

Happier and healthier children and families

Parents and carers are building their skills and confidence Members who actively engage with Strong Families consistently tell us that they take away the tools they need to be more confident in managing their children’s problem behaviours. For example, the personal progress story below tells how one member is beginning to learn the skills they need to be the best parent they can be. PARTNER PROGRESS STORY1

One partner came to Strong Families over three years ago, seeking help in raising their young children. They have struggled with addiction for years, and have also been in and out of their children’s lives.

The partner entered rehabilitation and has tried to address their addictions so that they can be a more positive presence in their children’s lives. Through Strong Families, the partner has learned about the impacts that parental addiction can have on children, and has also learned the importance of spending special time with them. Recently, the partner took their children to a local beach to collect mussels and talk. Everyone enjoyed themselves. The partner is still struggling with addiction, but has said that they’ll try to spend these sorts of special times with their children more often.

Pride of place Pride of Place (POP) helps families to create healthier outdoor living spaces where they can spend quality time together. POP assists by: • supporting members to undertake Backyard Blitzes (backyard renovation projects), for which members contribute money and ‘sweat equity’ labour • providing members with information about caring for their gardens and outdoor living spaces through Garden Clubs and Pop-up Visits • support with ‘do-it-yourself’ home improvement projects.

membership

TOTAL POP MEMBERS3

• Community members aged 18+ years visit the O-Hub to signup. By signing up to POP, men and women are learning the skills they need to create healthier outdoor living spaces for their families and community. • Membership continues to grow—there are now 34 community members signed up to POP in Mossman Gorge. This represents about 44 per cent of all Mossman Gorge adults (18+ years).2 • These members live in 28 separate Mossman Gorge households.

Q3 2013 TO Q3 2015 40 30

Mossman Gorge POP members

10

Around

0

9

Q3

2013

Q4

Q1

Q2

2014

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

out of 10 of all Mossman Gorge households are now signed up to POP

1 Some details have been altered to ensure this partner cannot be identified. 2 Based on the percentage population growth in Mossman Gorge from 2006–11 (as per Census data), and applying it as an annual rate, we estimate that the Mossman Gorge adult population (18+ years of age) has reached 77 in 2015. 3 An internal audit of POP data was undertaken during Q3 while CYP continued to transition the product into its central Family Empowerment Database. During this audit, some duplicate files were identified and removed. Therefore, the POP membership graph has been adjusted accordingly; these data will differ slightly to those reported in previous Family Empowerment reports.

49

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

34

20


How does POP help members to create healthier outdoor living spaces? Engagement and skill-building activities

Backyard renovations

• Members and non-members can participate in and benefit from ongoing engagement activities, like: Garden Club events, where participants learn gardening and maintenance skills in an interactive setting; and Pop-up Visits, where members receive general advice and support.

• Members receive support to undertake Backyard Blitzes— backyard renovation projects that aim to create healthier outdoor living spaces.

• Between Q2 2014–15, the team undertook an average of 41 engagement activities per quarter. During Q3, 53 engagement activities were undertaken, including 52 Pop-up Visits and one Garden Club event. Two members took part in the Garden Club, where they learned about making garden sculptures. TOTAL POP-UP Visits Q3 2014 TO Q3 2015 100

90

80

52

60

35

40

• Members contribute by saving $1,000 each towards their renovations and putting in ‘sweat equity’ labour to complete their project. • Currently, two people are signed up to do a Backyard Blitz and have so far saved $2,670.00 towards their combined target contribution of $2,000.00—one member has exceeded their target. • One Blitz was completed during Q3, after Indigenous employer Bama Services assisted in the construction of an outdoor pergola. This member and their family can now enjoy their new outdoor living space.

4

20 0

45

O-HUB

Q3

2014

Q4

Q1

Q2 2015

Q3

22 community members accessed POP to improve their knowledge and skills during Q3 Positive impacts of POP on community members How does POP cause positive change?

Community members sign up to POP; they participate in skill-building activities and save the money necessary to undertake a Backyard Blitz. They complete the Blitz by providing sweat equity in the form of labour.

Increase of knowledge and skills around home maintenance

Increased desire to maintain and beautify home and garden

Healthier outdoor living spaces contribute to families’ wellbeing

Members are maintaining and caring for their homes and gardens

Members constantly tell us that they pick up gardening and home maintenance tips that help them to care for their homes. Some members go away, do their research, and feed gardening tips back to our staff too.

A total of 21 Backyard Blitzes have been completed in Mossman Gorge, to date. After completing their Blitzes, members continue to check in with us about maintenance tips so that they can continue to care for their homes and gardens properly. We see evidence of this in the communities—most of the POP houses are visibly better cared for.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Members are building knowledge and skills around home maintenance

50


As the Community Development Programme (CDP, formerly Remote Jobs and Communities Program) provider in the Aurukun/Coen region, Cape York Employment (CYE) seeks to move people from welfare dependency to employment, by: • supporting jobseekers to build work capabilities and improved social norms, including a strong work ethic • identifying job opportunities and assisting jobseekers to transition into employment.

A Work Opportunity Network Cape York Employment provides training, job opportunities and wellbeing support for staff in remote areas of Cape York. We recognise the limited opportunities currently within the Cape York economy and seek work readiness training and employment in areas beyond Cape York. Job Seeker Development • Health and wellbeing • Getting job ready • Foundational classes/skills • Training and jobs • Personal work skills • Life skills

Training opportunities for work readiness • Job placement • Wellbeing support • CDP contract in Aurukun and Coen

Orbiting • Short and long term • Job placement away from home • Social support and wellbeing

POLICY UPDATE • CDP providers, like CYE, had to essentially start again by re-commencing all jobseekers on their books. This also involved creating new job plans for all jobseekers and re-initiating their appointment calendars. • While jobseekers were previously required to report to CYE once a month and participate in up to 30 hours of activities per fortnight to be eligible for welfare payments, they now (under the new system) need to be in contact with CYE by way of active job-seeking, or ongoing activity participation, for five hours per day, five days per week. If they don’t do so, Centrelink stops their welfare payments. • With the sudden change in jobseeker requirements, CYE is now required to breach (and potentially cut-off welfare payments for) a much larger number of jobseekers than ever before. As we noted in our previous Q2 report, Cape York Partnership has long been an advocate for a tough stance on meaningful participation for jobseekers. At the end of Q1, for instance, CYE was continuing to surpass the national average for the number

of sanctions placed on jobseekers who failed to participate. However, this recent policy change represents a sudden shift, and we are concerned that jobseekers do not understand what it means for them. It also fails to take into account the significant, widespread and enduring barriers to employment that exist in region 60—not only in terms of the availability of employment opportunities (as a result of the lack of local, normalised markets), but also in terms of the deep personal barriers that many jobseekers in these communities continue to face. Despite this, CYE has been working hard to educate jobseekers, and manage their expectations, whilst continuing to fulfil our contractual obligations. It has always been our position that, in order to move people away from the welfare pedestal, we must first support them to build the skills and capabilities they need for meaningful economic participation. CYE’s work since 2013 has gone a long way to doing this, but there is still more work to be done: it will take time to overcome decades of entrenched welfare dependency. In the meantime, CYE is doing all it can to support jobseekers to increase their participation and/or, where possible, find employment, within the constraints of the CDP policy framework.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

At the beginning of Q3, the government implemented a new CDP policy. In reality, this means the following:

Number of Jobseekers • Community members who receive welfare are required, as a condition of their welfare payments, to build their work skills and readiness by visiting CYE. Men and women who engage with CYE are supported to build the capabilities they need to move away from passive welfare dependence and take hold of their futures. • CYE began working in Aurukun/Coen in September 2013. By the end of Q3 2015, CYE had commenced 495 jobseekers living across the region, representing 93 per cent of eligible jobseekers in the region—much higher than the average national commencement rate of 84 per cent. • These jobseekers are from Aurukun, Coen, Port Stewart and other immediately surrounding remote communities.

495 jobseekers are now receiving support through Cape York Employment

51


How does CYE help jobseekers to build work capabilities and find jobs? Employer partnerships and job placements

CYE HUB

Ongoing support • Jobseekers receive ongoing support and advice from the CYE team, including through regular meetings.

• CYE partners closely with employers within and beyond Aurukun and Coen, to identify work opportunities and transition jobseekers into employment. This is resulting in jobseekers finding and staying in employment—some for the first time in their lives. • By the end of Q3, 92.5 per cent of all commenced CYE jobseekers had completed Job Plans. • Since CYE began work in late 2013, it has placed a total of 257 jobseekers into employment. Forty-two of these placements were made during Q3.

257

jobseekers placed so far

67

(26%) remained in their jobs seven weeks later

67

(26%) remained in their jobs 13 weeks later

461

(18%) have remained in their jobs for over 26 weeks

CYE’s 26.9 per cent employment anchor rate2 exceeds the national average of 19.3 per cent

Jobseeker capability-building • Jobseekers are required to participate in a series of structured activities, which aim to build their work readiness and capabilities. Activities include accredited training, community participation activities to build specific work skills, and health and wellbeing support programs. • By the end of Q3, CYE had engaged with and commenced 311 jobseekers (roughly 63% of the current caseload) in a structured activity, though subsequent participation levels for these jobseekers varied. • By the end of Q3, jobseekers had participated in a range of meaningful activities aimed at building their capabilities and getting them ready for work, including: work experience with a range of local employers; training qualifications (Certificates I and II in Business; Certificate II in Civil Construction, Horticulture, Construction, Work Skills and Business); and job-ready activities, including through Aurukun/Coen Community Pride (maintenance and beautification of community parks and gardens, recycling of local materials), Aurukun Building Blocks (renovation of properties, including painting and general maintenance), Aurukun/Coen Engaging Women (cooking, catering, arts, crafts, basket weaving and sewing), and Aurukun Grass Roots (lawn and garden maintenance). • CYE encourages jobseekers to actively participate as a means of building the capabilities they need to improve their lives. Where jobseekers fail to participate without a reasonable excuse, CYE applies an appropriate breach.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Jobseekers participate in a range of activities to build their confidence and skills

Female jobseekers cooked lunch for the male jobseekers, while they cleaned up the Aurukun Landing. CYE’s Amelia was there for support and guidance.

Margo Koonutta shows off the fruit bowl she’s begun weaving from pandanus leaves, which her and other female jobseekers gathered from the bush and dyed using tree roots. These artworks are being made in preparation for her family’s ceremonial house opening.

1 These figures reflect the total number of jobseekers CYE has been able to make outcome claims for, but there are additional jobseekers who have also remained in employment but who are not reflected in these figures for a variety of reasons, including: CYE is sometimes unable to collect sufficient supporting evidence from employers; employees sometimes fail to report their employment status back to Centrelink and CYE. Therefore, in reality these figures are likely to be higher than what is reported here. 2 CYE's 'anchor rate' is calculated using the total number of jobseekers it has ever placed in employment (n=257, by the end of Q3) against the total number of jobseekers it has ever commenced.

52


New staff member, Kyle Williams, has been busily getting CYE’s Work for the Dole Activity—Better Gardens—off the ground. Attendance at the activity has already been strong, with double the usual number of jobseekers attending the most recent activity.

Positive impacts of CYE on jobseekers How does CYE cause positive change?

Jobseekers are commenced by Cape York Employment: they actively engage, receiving wellbeing support, participating in skill building activities, and moving into job placements

Improved wellbeing and confidence

Improved workrelated skills and work readiness

Improved ability to obtain and remain in employment

Our jobseekers have continued to achieve during the quarter, with some starting new job-placements, and others achieving their 26 week continuous employment milestones. Some of their stories are outlined below.

Strong work ethic impresses employer Angus Pambegan commenced work as a Carpenter’s Apprentice with Strategic Builders in late September. So far, he’s impressed the Site Supervisor with his work ethic. Angus is continuing to build his work-ready skills; he’s on the right track. Angus Pambegan is now a full-time Carpenter’s Apprentice.

Vicky Yunkaporta commenced work with CYE Aurukun in March 2015; on 30 September, she reached her 26 week continuous employment milestone. Vicky is now no longer reliant on Centrelink payments. Her daily attendance and commitment to work is incredibly impressive. Vicky Yunkaporta, holding up a quilt that was made by jobseekers during Certificate I & II Business training, which she helped to facilitate.

EMPLOYED FOR THE LONG-RUN Jasmine Mentha has now reached her 26 week continuous full-time employment milestone with the Cape York Academy local primary school. Jasmine is now off employment benefits and enjoying her new role. Her employer is impressed and happy to have her on the team.

STEPPING STONES TO ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE Craig Koomeeta secured full-time employment with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in Q3. After starting out as a jobseeker himself, he now supervises other jobseekers while they undertake Hosted Work for the Dole arrangements. The RFDS sought him out for the role due to his qualifications and strong work ethic. At the time, Craig was in Cairns. CYE assisted Craig to return to community so that he could begin work with the RFDS; he has been employed full-time ever since. Craig has taken brave steps away from the welfare pedestal and towards economic independence. He has already proven to be an impressive employee.

Since CYE began work in September 2013, 257 people have been placed into jobs

53

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

OFF WELFARE; INTO WORK

Craig Koomeeta is now working full-time with RFDS.


Mentors hip

Youth Leaders

Excelling Leaders

Skilling Leaders

Supports high-calibre, emerging Indigenous leaders, 25 years and over, to extend their leadership skills and engage others in their vision for the future.

Provides Indigenous people 25 years and over with key managerial and leadership skills to apply in the home, community and workforce.

toring and bi-cultu n men ral a ills i w a ren ess

• Academic Leaders, who are offered scholarships to attend secondary schools and tertiary institutions across Queensland while receiving intensive support from dedicated CYLP staff • Youth Leaders, aged 18–24, who are assisted over 2–4 years to build the capabilities and skills necessary to gain employment, or progress within their current jobs • Skilling Leaders, aged 25+, who are supported over 2–4 years to undertake training in management, governance and personal development, allowing them to become role models and achieve their personal and professional goals • Excelling Leaders, aged 25+, who are currently in—or aspiring to be in—leadership roles, and who are supported over 2–4 years to build or extend their leadership skills and become strong and resilient leaders in their families, communities and/or in a professional capacity.

Academic Leaders

sk the ith sw or nt

The Cape York Leaders Program (CYLP) supports the development of current and future leaders, through four phases of leadership:

Tra ine da sm e

Membership • Each year, CYLP recruits new Leaders based on an application process. At the end of Q3, the total membership across the four phases, including new and existing members, was 197.

Bamaga New Mapoon Injinoo

CURRENT CYLP MEMBERS ACROSS ALL LEADERSHIP PHASES1 Q3 2015

Old Mapoon

150 120 90

Weipa Napranum

137

60 30 0

Academic Leaders

12

36

12

Youth Leaders

Skilling Leaders

Excelling Leaders

• Our program retention rates are consistently high. At the end of Q3, retention rates are:

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Academic Leaders2 Secondary

tertiary

Youth Leaders3

Skilling Leaders4

excelling Leaders5

100%

100%

100%

100%

92%

• Our Leaders have cultural connections to Cape York, Palm Island, and Yarrabah. They orbit from these areas to attend training and support workshops in Cairns, and to spend time boarding at academic institutions throughout Queensland. By orbiting across the state, these Leaders are learning to walk, with confidence, in two worlds. • The program is also supported by an Indigenous Steering Committee, populated by current and alumni members. The Steering Committee plays a central role in assisting CYLP staff to ensure the program remains relevant and continues to provide high-quality support to Leaders.

1 An internal audit of CYLP data was undertaken in Q3, during which our membership data were cleaned and updated. The numbers reported here have been adjusted accordingly and will, therefore, differ slightly to those reported in previous Family Empowerment Reports. 2 Retention rates for Academic Leaders are for the beginning of Q1 2015, until the end of Q3 2015.

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Aurukun

Coen

Pormpuraaw Hope Vale Cooktown Wujal Wujal Mossman Cairns Yarrabah Palm Island

CYLP has supported individuals to improve their leadership skills, build their confidence, and become strong and proud employees, family members, community members and leaders, since 2005. 3 Retention rates for Youth Leaders are for the beginning of Q1 2014, until the end of Q3 2015. 4 Retention rates for Skilling Leaders are for the beginning of Q1 2014, until the end of Q3 2015. 5 Retention rates for Excelling Leaders are for the beginning of Q1 2014, until the end of Q3 2015.


How does CYLP help Academic Leaders achieve success at school and university? Setting high expectations

Leadership camps and workshops

• We demand the best from students and their parents and thus, require that both parties sign a binding agreement upon entry to the program, holding them to a high standard of behaviour and commitment to education.

• Academic Leaders are encouraged to attend CYLP camps and workshops, which offer them a chance to network with other students on the program so that they can learn and achieve together. These events also assist participants to improve their study skills, career planning, motivation and leadership skills. • The CYLP Brisbane boarding students got together for an end-of-term celebration in mid-September. They spent time rock climbing before having lunch together. These events are a great opportunity for our students to mingle and support one another: a fun day was had by all.

CYLP

Parenting conferences • Student Support Officers give continuous support to parents and carers, assisting them to work with schools so their children achieve educational outcomes. • Biennial parenting conferences bring together parents, students and school staff so that all parties can work together in supporting students to achieve.

Emotional and practical support

• As a means of ensuring they have ‘skin in the game’, parents are required to contribute funds so that students can participate in a range of extra-curricular activities that enrich their learning. • During Q3 2015, students have participated in a range of extra-curricular activities including work experience in the automotive industries, school and club sports (e.g. state championships for shot put; traveling to the United Kingdom for a rugby union tour), drama (including performing in school plays), to name a few.

Brisbane Boys College student, Elisha Tamwoy, enjoying his team’s victory.

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Involvement in school and university life

• Academic Leaders receive constant and ongoing support from a team of dedicated Student Support Officers who assist by: providing emotional and practical support to students and their families; liaising with academic institutions, including around opportunities for tutoring and academic assistance; identifying employment opportunities and assisting students to enter the workforce. • Q3 has seen our staff continue to provide a high-level of care and support to students and their families. Recently, Support Officers accompanied senior students to attend a range of university information sessions to determine future study and scholarship opportunities. Students attended Griffith University, Bond University, the Queensland University of Technology and the Australian Catholic University. • Our staff also continue to build contacts with prospective future employers so that students can be assisted to transition into apprenticeships and employment when they finish school.

Academic Leaders who are boarding in Brisbane had fun during their end-of-term celebration in September, doing rock climbing and enjoying lunch together.

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Positive impacts of CYLP on Academic Leaders How does CYLP cause positive change?

Cape York students apply for and are accepted into the Cape York Leaders Program; they actively engage and take up the support and opportunities on offer.

Increased School attendance and confidence take-up of extra-curricular orbiting for school activities increases

Educational outcomes improve

With the support of CYLP, our Academic Leaders continue to achieve outstanding success in both their personal and professional lives:

Our ACADEMIC Leaders have…

-- been shortlisted for a full Indigenous scholarship to study Law at Bond University -- taken on leadership roles in their schools, including as House Captains and Prefects -- attended the University of Western Sydney, Bandanami Centre for Indigenous Education’s week-long camp, run for prospective future students -- enjoyed success at school-, state- and national-level sporting competitions -- completed and continued to undertake Certificate qualifications in Early Childhood Education and Personal Training, amongst others -- undertaken work experience with a range of employers, including Rio Tinto -- travelled to the UK to play rugby union -- played leading roles in school drama presentations -- taken on employment with Transitional Support Services as a youth mentor, to encourage other young men and women to attend school.

Brisbane Boys College student, Leon Yeatman of Yarrabah/Old Mapoon in action.

Secondary Academic Leader, Sammy Bowenda—pictured here with Sharon Phineasa (Student Support Officer)—was Age Champion in athletics this term at St Teresa’s, Abergowrie. Well done Sammy!

Secondary Academic Leader, Joshua Newman, Sam Zaro, Joel Johnson, Robin Solomon and Marshall Winkle from Cathedral School in Townsville attended a Rugby tour in the UK during the quarter. Well done boys!

What are members and staff saying?

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

“Unlike many, myself, along with… other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have been fortunate enough to have this opportunity to get a better education. For everything CYLP has done I am entirely grateful and hope that I succeed in my dream to be a nurse, help others, and to build a brighter future for myself and [be] a role model for younger ones.” academic secondary leader

“CYLP has given me better opportunities with my schooling–a better quality education, work experience and more opportunities for my future. I want to say thank you. If it wasn’t for CYLP, I wouldn’t be here.” academic secondary leader “The CYLP Scholarship has pushed me beyond my limits, if I didn’t come on this scholarship, I wouldn’t have the motivation and have this opportunity today.” academic secondary leader “In my current role as CYLP—Senior Student Support Officer, I look after 50 Indigenous students from Cape York… I see my role as a very important one for these students and that’s why I do it. It’s not just being the students’ and families’ support whilst away from one another. It’s being a role model, mentor and helping these students make the right decisions with their education, life choices or if they feel their path is set, opening a different avenue for them to explore, which they never knew existed.” jesse green, senior student support officer

“It is such a privilege to work with the future leaders of Cape York. Watching them grow through their participation with the program and school journey is a wonderful process to be a part of.” cheryl mortimer, student support officer

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How does CYLP help Youth, Skilling and Excelling Leaders achieve success? Emotional and practical support • Leaders receive constant and ongoing support throughout their journey on the program. Below are examples of the types of support provided to Leaders during 2014 and up until the end of Q3, 2015: coping with loss and grief relationships health concerns workplace communication issues

CYLP

-- religious or spiritual needs -- support and advice around working with others.

Mentoring support • Leaders are partnered with mentors from other phases of the program so that they can receive advice and support, and build strong networks amongst peers.

Transitions into further education and employment • Leaders are supported to transition into further education and/or employment if they are unemployed, or if they already have employment, progress within their current jobs. • Of the 55 Leaders who are currently enrolled, twenty-one (38%) are currently employed—many within Cape York regional organisations like Cape York Partnership, Cape York Land Council, Cape York Employment, the Families Responsibilities Commission and Bama Services. • Many of our Leaders have also successfully transitioned into work during or after completing the program. Following are examples of our members who have successfully transitioned so far:

Our Leaders have commenced and continued employment with…

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• Leaders are encouraged to attend CYLP workshops, which offer them a chance to network with other program participants while learning the skills and capabilities needed to: improve their leadership capacity; gain employment, or progress within their current jobs; and achieve educational outcomes that contribute to their personal and professional development. • During Q3, CYLP held two workshops to build Leaders’ skills and capabilities. In mid-July, a small group of Youth Leaders completed the final block of competencies towards their Certificate II in Business. Then, in late July, a group of Excelling Leaders attended a leadership workshop, where they were required to design, develop and deliver a presentation to an audience of their peers, CYLP staff, and CYLP’s special guest, Dr Jackie Huggins. Overall, 12 Leaders participated in these skill-building sessions.

-- Rio Tinto, Queensland Bama Services, -- Hope Vale Cape York Academy -- Police Service Cape York Partnership, Cape York Land Council -- Northern Peninsula Area -- and more... Women’s Service Cape York Employment

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

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Leadership workshops, business and governance training

Excelling Leaders, Keri Tamwoy, Tamara Hunting, Audrey Deemal, Harold Ludwick, Shaneen Cannon, Lenore Casey, Gerald Tamwoy, and Melissa Browne with workshop instructor, Shelley Wild, during a recent workshop in Cairns. During the workshop, leaders presented to an audience of their peers, CYLP staff, and CYLP’s special guest, Dr Jackie Huggins.

Youth Leaders Val Williams, Wade Perrier, Jade Kennedy, and George Mosby during a recent trip to Cairns to complete their Certificate II Business studies.

Youth Leaders completing their studies in July.

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Positive impacts of CYLP on Youth, Skilling and Excelling Leaders How does CYLP cause positive change?

Community members apply for and are accepted into the Cape York Leaders Program; they actively engage, attending skill-building workshops and taking up work opportunities.

Increased Improved leadership Increased confidence and ability and work fulfilment of work skills readiness leadership roles

What are members and staff saying? “Learning the RELISH model—that’s a framework that we do and in there is all of the steps. Once you have a good understanding of it, it helps bring out a better version of yourself. It’s helping me be a better person at work and at home.” excelling leader

“I like meeting new people and doing different stuff and learning different things.” youth leader “In my new role as Mediation Coordinator with [the] Aurukun Justice Group, I’ll be using what I’ve learnt here and working closely with the school.” excelling leader

Regarding the most recent cohort of Youth Leaders to complete their Certificate II Business studies, Melissa says, “They were really good students and truly applied themselves in their studies. They have improved so much since I first met them. They were all very quiet at the beginning. “Now they are confident to get up and speak, and their computer skills have grown. They are now confident young people, who have a vision for their future.” melissa browne, cylp training and development co-ordinator

Loving mum, hard worker and leader of tomorrow: Val’s story “My daughter is my motivation. As a single mother I keep telling myself, I have to be twice as better as the person I was yesterday. After all, I am her influence, she is with me every day.”

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

Val Williams started out with the Cape York Leaders Program as an Academic Leader from 2006– 2008. “Ever since then I have always followed and checked on events and news about CYLP… In 2012 I heard about the [new program intake], but was too late to apply… But I still kept an eye out, as I knew there would be another program again in 2014. Early last year I received an email from my cousin… who was a graduate of the CYLP in 2013. So I applied and was successful.” Val is currently completing the Youth Leaders phase of the program. “I decided to join the Leaders Program because I knew this was my opportunity to further and broaden my knowledge in leadership and gain skills to improve… professionally. Listening to guest speakers throughout the program I found was very helpful to me. It helped me to think more about life; what I have and know that makes me who I am today.” Val says that the Leaders Program has helped her to improve her skills in a variety of areas, including “…public speaking and decision making in my own personal life and in the workplace. Doing the Cert II in Business was a bonus. I have learnt a lot…” Val is a hard worker and strives to achieve her best in life—not only for herself, but for those around her. “My daughter is my motivation. As a single mother I keep telling myself, I have to be twice as better as the person I was yesterday. After all, I am her influence, she is with me every day. Choices I make will always have an effect on her, which is why I make decisions wisely. I tell this to people because I want them to know that, most of the things I do is not about me or all for me, but it is for the people around me; particularly for my family and most importantly my daughter.” Val attended Youth Leaders training in Cairns in July and while she was there, identified a vacancy at Bama Services—an Indigenous building and landscaping business offering employment, traineeships and multidisciplinary support to Indigenous youth as part of the Cape York Partnership’s economic engagement strategy. Val prepared her job application, and won the job; she is now employed as a Business Administration Trainee with Bama Services and is enjoying it so far. “I am really enjoying it at Bama. The staff are very helpful and supportive… I am so lucky to be part of this team with such amazing people.” Val has already achieved so much; we can’t wait to see what her future will bring.

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Bama Services is a leading Indigenous building and landscaping business, successfully delivering projects across Queensland. Our mission is to give Indigenous people the capability to participate in the real economy, thereby empowering them to be active agents in their own development. At Bama Services, we: • employ motivated, fit young Indigenous people with an interest in attaining or completing a trade qualification in landscaping, building, or civil construction • support and assist apprentices to complete their relevant trade qualifications • employ an administration and support team, comprising mainly of Indigenous men and women from Cape York • offer a multidisciplinary health and wellbeing support program for our employees as a means of assisting them to reach their personal and professional goals.

Number of employees • Bama Services currently employs 29 staff, of which 20 (69%) identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. • Our employees predominantly come from a range of locations across Cape York, the Torres Straits, Cairns and broader Queensland. • At the end of Q3, 13 (65%) of our 20 trade employees had been employed with us for more than 12 months.

Since it was established in 2010, Bama Services has employed and supported over 65 Indigenous employees How does Bama assist employees to build bright futures? Building great projects

Multidisciplinary health and wellbeing support • Many of our employees have grown up in circumstances of disadvantage and may experience challenges. Bama Services provides a comprehensive support system to help individuals thrive professionally and personally. • The Support and Wellbeing Program (SWP) is run by the SWP Manager and the SWP Coordinator. All staff members are offered individual case management in areas of health, wellbeing, legal matters, finances, housing, employment, career development, and family relationships. • In addition to individual support, we offer weekly group educational sessions. Some of our standout activities this quarter included sessions on: drug and alcohol awareness, demystifying counselling, taxation, salary sacrificing, ‘R U OK’ Day, home ownership, land rights, and Empowered Communities.

Employee career development, education and training • Trainee and apprenticeship positions are offered to individuals who are committed to building a career with Bama Services. We assist employees through the development of formal training plans, by helping them to identify career development opportunities, and by recognising and rewarding their achievements. • Of our 29 employees, four (14%) have successfully obtained qualifications since the start of 2015. By the end of Q3, a further 11 (38%) of Bama’s employees were working towards at least one qualification (including two Landscape Construction Apprentices, three Carpentry Apprentices, five Parks and Gardens Apprentices, and one Business Administration Trainee), and four (14%) were enrolled in a mentor program with Cape York Leaders Program. Thus a total of 15 (52%) were involved in progressing their careers through education and training. • In addition, our Support and Wellbeing Program Coordinator is soon to commence a Certificate IV in Community Services.

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Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

• Bama Services has completed thousands of large and small-scale projects. Our capacity includes landscaping, facilities maintenance, construction, civil works, and specialised jobs. BAMA • During Q3, Bama Services has continued to increase its competitiveness in the local and greater Queensland markets. By ensuring our commercial success, we can continue to employ and support an increasing number of Indigenous men and women, as well as give them top quality work experience to assist them in their future careers.


Positive impacts of Bama Services How does bama services cause positive change?

All Bama employees are offered access to our multidisciplinary health and wellbeing model and undertake training to gain qualifications

Improved health and wellbeing

Improved workrelated skills and experience

Improved ability to enjoy continued employment and long-term careers

Our employees come from difficult backgrounds, but thrive at Bama Of our current employees: • approximately half experienced periods of unemployment before coming to Bama Services: Bama has helped them turn their lives around and move away from intergenerational welfare dependency • some had contact with the criminal justice system, but at the end of Q3 2015, none had been charged with any further criminal offending.

Bama employees are achieving their goals Kayla Mallie became a mother at 14 and, as a result, left school early. “I dropped out at the end of year 8… I took that year off to look after my son.” But with a strong determination to provide her children with a better life and build a career for herself, she later returned to TAFE to complete her high school certificate. “It was very hard, especially being a fulltime mother and studying… you have to deal with people judging you—people thinking that your life was over… and that’s where I had to prove them wrong.”

Family Empowerment Report q3 2015

In early 2014, Kayla was employed by Bama Services as an Administrative Assistant in a traineeship position. Kayla has gone from strength to strength at Bama, growing her administration and work skills, and building a strong foundation for a future career that will set her up as an excellent role model and source of support for her children. After showing an interest in working with the Support and Wellbeing Program, and performing at a high level throughout her traineeship, Kayla was recently promoted to the position of Support and Wellbeing Program Coordinator, with a career plan in place to eventually run the program.

Kayla Mallie accepting her Far North Queensland Trainee of the Year award in August.

In August this year, Kayla’s efforts were also recognised when she took out a major training award—Far North Queensland’s Trainee of the Year. She also went on to become a finalist in the State division. Kayla had to undergo a series of rigorous interviews while in the running for the award, and came out on top. Kayla describes the award as a “big achievement”, but she is also continuing to look to the future. In terms of what comes next, Kayla wants to “get qualifications now, and help other young mothers and Indigenous people—that’s what drives me… and to be a good role model for my children.” Kayla continues to be a much valued member of the Bama Services team, and we are proud as we watch her continue to grow.

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Family Empowerment Report q3 2015


Profile for Cape York Partnership

Family Empowerment Report - Q3 2015  

Family Empowerment Report - Q3 2015