Surat Aboriginal Corporation was established in 2000. Through the years we have initiated various programs. Those which we have completed are described in this page.
The House & Humpies Exhibition open at the Cobb and Co Store Museum at Surat on the 19th June 1999. The exhibition then began touring that consisted of two Humpies; the Cleven “tent” and the Combarngo’s “humpie”. The tour began in October 2001 and finished in November 2002, it covered 5 venues and three States.
The Houses & Humpies Exhibition and its tour were sponsored by Visions of Australia Department of Communications and the Arts.
The Surat Gym was the only facility of its type in Surat and opened its doors in April, 2014 to enhance the health and well-being of the community. Operated by Surat Aboriginal Corporation the gym was open to the general public, with special focus on indigenous participation.
The First Session was held in Surat on Monday 1st June and received a total number of 26 participants, both community members and other service providers. This day would not have been possible without the generous support and funding from Partners in Recovery.
Our guest speakers for the day were:
- Michael Reddan who works for Queensland Health as the Community Prevention Officer for Alcohol and Other Drugs within the South West. Michael spoke of the drug ‘ICE’ which is sweeping the country by storm. He provided the attendees with a powerpoint on what ‘ICE’ is and what it does to people. The idea of this was to portray the graphic nature that is ‘ICE’ on what it can not only do to you appearance, but to your mental health as well.
- John Nolan who work for Queensland Ambulance located in Surat. John spoke of the roles and responsibilities of Ambulance Officers as well as his experiences in the field with individuals who were suffering from drug and alcohol induced mental illness.
- Peter Jackson who is the Chairperson for the South West Indigenous Network. Peter spoke of his battle with depression and the overwhelming journey he went through to overcome this illness and the fact that he stood up to tell his story is truly inspiring. We hope with the words and encouragement of Peter, others in a similar situation will stand tall and seek help before it gets too late.
- Tracy Harms who is a Support Facilitator for Partners in Recovery, Lifeline. Tracy spoke of her role in the mental health arena and spoke of the services that they provide as well as urging all individuals to stop the stigma of mental health.
The second session was held in Cunnamulla on 16th June 2015 and received a total of 31 attendees. This day would not have been possible without the support and funding from Aftercare and the willingness of local Indigenous organisation, Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health (CACH). The proceedings of the day were based on the same principles of Surat.
The guest speakers for the day were the same as Surat, however we felt it best to introduce some local services to the mix. These included:
- Paul Chapman who is the Queensland Ambulance Officer for Cunnamulla, and has been for the last 11 years, spoke of his experiences and knowledge of mental health.
- Geoff Larcombe who has worked in the mental health arena for the past 15 years and is the Regional Manager of Community Services for Aftercare. Geoff spoke of his passion for mental health and provided a summary of the days proceedings for the participants.
The third session was held in St George on 28th July and received a record of 45 attendees. This was an amazing turn out and once again, would not have been possible without the generous support of Aftercare and partnering service, Partners in Recovery.
The day was set out in the same manner as previous sessions, and the guest speakers remained the same, however we adapted some local service providers into the mix. These new speakers included:
- Ruchir Sodhani-Rural Mobile Counsellor Lifeline who spoke about his work with Lifeline and with helping with Alcohol and drugs in the south west community.
- Kyra Passman who spoke on behalf of Partners in Recovery (PIR) about her role as a Support Facilitator in St.George.
Our fourth session was held in Charleville on the 9th September at the Bidjara Conference Room. In total, 46 people attended the session and of these 46, 21 were Indigenous. The day was a huge success and the number of people who attended reflects this.
The line up of guest speakers was based around the same concept of all the others, however, we felt it was best to promote local organisations and individuals so that the attendees knew exactly who they would need to communicate with etc.
The fifth and final session was held in Roma at the Roma Cultural Centre on the 8th September with registration starting at 10:30am. The session then concluded at 1:30pm followed by a mini expo to provide any further information to all community members which concluded at 2:30pm.
This session coincided with Mental Health Week and we felt it was best held during this within this week to work with other organisations to ‘Stomp out the Stigma’ and promote Mental Health Awareness.
The day began with Lane Brooks, local Mandandanji man to welcome us to the community and give his blessings for the proceedings of the day.
Once again, for this session, the majority of the content and the guest speakers were the same with Robert as our MC, Peter Jackson from SWIN and Michael Reddan from QLD Health AODS and Tracy Harms (PIR), however there were a couple of additions that we felt would further enhance the content and aim for the session, which is to promote Mental Health Awareness, specifically focusing on the excessive use of alcohol and other drugs with the drug of choice being ‘ICE’.
We introduced Jess Heal from the Queensland Ambulance Service, based in Roma, who spoke about her experiences with situations arising from alcohol and drug use. She provided the participants with the harsh reality of what it is like on the front line and spoke of some disturbing experiences as an Ambulance Officer.
We also reintroduced Ruchir Sidhoni who provided an excellent presentation. Ruchir spoke of his work with Lifeline and how he can assist community members with moving forward within the alcohol and other drugs arena as well as the how alcohol and other drugs can affect the brain and logic of thinking.
Geoff also returned for the final session and finalised the day’s proceedings with a summary of all topics spoken by each speaker.
At the completion of the day, this Mental Health Awareness Session played host to 45 participants (who came in and out during the day) and of these 17 were Indigenous which is 37.8%. There was a variety of participants from a number of community organisations who attended.