Local Aboriginal health service provider, Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Services, has been awarded a grant from the state government to expand the scope of its National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services to Aboriginal people with a disability on the Central Coast, Darkinjung Country.
The $630,000 grant, provided by the NSW Department of Industry under the Making It Our Business program, will enable Yerin to offer increased disability support to the Coast’s Aboriginal community.
Yerin’s current disability services program, Muru Bara (Making Pathways), connects existing NDIS participants with information and assistance to help them access culturally responsive NDIS services.
As a registered NDIS provider, the grant will enable Yerin to build upon its existing program and establish an NDIS support team that will engage with community to increase NDIS participation and work to develop culturally responsive NDIS plans.
According to the latest NDIS Quarterly Report, Aboriginal people make up 5.4% of NDIS participants1, however this statistic does not reflect the number of Aboriginal people who are in need of disability support. The 2014-15 Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey revealed that almost half (45%) of Aboriginal people are living with a disability or long term-health condition2. Coupled with the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of disability than non-Indigenous people across all age groups3, it is clear that the community is in need of greater support.
Yerin Eleanor Duncan’s Chief Executive Officer, Belinda Field, said the funding will help the Aboriginal community-controlled organisation increase partnerships and choices for the community.
“This grant will allow Yerin Eleanor Duncan to address gaps that may have previously prevented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from accessing culturally responsive NDIS services on the Central Coast,” Ms Field said.
“The team at Yerin will do this by helping participants to develop individual NDIS plans that are culturally responsive and by providing support to carers and their families,” she concluded.
Yerin services the local Aboriginal community by providing holistic primary health care, including GP, early childhood, chronic disease and mental health services. The organisation recently expanded its service offering with the opening of a state-of-the-art dental clinic and the launch of culturally responsive Out of Home Care services with the Ngaliya (We – You & I) Permanency Support Program, which aims to place Aboriginal children with Aboriginal foster carers.