Koya Aboriginal Corporation
Project: Koordoormitj Djookian (Sisters) Club
Location: City of Swan, Perth, Western Australia
Duration: 1 year
Requested Amount: $35,965 from a total project cost of $100,114. The grant will be used for program coordination, activity costs and volunteer expenses.
The project aims to support 150 Aboriginal and other vulnerable girls aged 11 to 17 years in the City of Swan, providing a local, safe, healthy and supportive female-only gathering space on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Who is the organisation and what is their mission?
Koya Aboriginal Corporation (Koya) is an Aboriginal owned and led organisation that has been operating in the Swan region for ten years providing holistic community programs that engage and support children, young people and families. Koya has a vision to maintain the heritage of Aboriginal culture; generate income, employment and recognition for Aboriginal people; and, through genuine Aboriginal knowledge, promote understanding and harmony with the environment and people, resulting in a social return to both the wider and Aboriginal community.
What is the project that the 100 Women grant will support?
The grant will go towards a girls-only gathering space on Friday and Saturday evenings in the City of Swan that provides healthy, positive activities, which build life and social skills, strengthen cultural identity, develop self-esteem, encourage help-seeking behaviours, and promote health, wellbeing and future pathways.
Who is the project for? Who else will benefit?
Over the year, 150 Aboriginal and other vulnerable and disadvantaged girls and young women aged 11 to 17 years from the City of Swan region will benefit. Indirectly the entire community benefits when these vulnerable girls have positive options to choose for their futures.
Why is the project needed – what is the need or opportunity that is being addressed?
Within the electoral division of Hasluck resides the majority of Aboriginal people within Western Australia, with most living in the City of Swan. The median age of Aboriginal people in the City of Swan is just 20 years. Aboriginal young people are over-represented in the youth justice system. Girls who come into contact with the youth justice system at a young age are often at greater risk of entering the criminal (adult) justice system and of travelling down pathways that result in poor life outcomes. Aboriginal women are the fastest growing prison population (currently 21.2 times more likely to be incarcerated compared with non-Aboriginal women). Incarceration exacerbates existing disadvantage and can lead to a cycle of offending.
The Djookian Club aims to disrupt and prevent this cycle from commencing by providing Aboriginal and vulnerable girls with the skills, knowledge and confidence to make positive, well-informed choices and decisions about themselves and others, develop protective behaviours, a sense of purpose and to open up their horizons to future options and choices that can result in happy, healthy, empowered and fulfilled futures.
Why is the solution the best answer to the identified need or opportunity?
Through the provision of a range of tailored programs, opportunities and supports, Djookian Club aims to positively influence social skills, life skills, develop self-esteem, encourage help-seeking skills, promote personal achievement and future pathways and build strong, local support networks. Djookian Club will also be an engaging and safe place to be and reduce the girls’ interest in travelling to and spending time in Perth city and at a range of other unsafe environments. These locations put the girls at risk of experiencing and/or contributing to anti-social, harmful and unhealthy behaviours and interfacing with the criminal justice system.
Representatives from the participant group, families, Koya staff and volunteers, community organisations, Elders and other stakeholders will be involved in the design, delivery, review, evaluation and reporting of the program. Activities will take place at a range of local venues and on occasion at locations outside of the City of Swan so as to broaden girls’ knowledge of community facilities, cultural sites, workplace options, education, training and learning options, recreational opportunities and the services provided by health and community organisations that are available to support them.
What are the planned outcomes as a result of the project?
- Having a safe space to ‘hang out’ on Friday and Saturday evenings, reducing the likelihood of being in unsafe and risky environments at vulnerable times, when limited or no safe, accessible, affordable and appropriate local options are available.
- Significantly increased awareness of the circumstances, activities, behaviours and choices that can lead to, or result in, being impacted by or involved in anti-social, unsafe, unwanted and unhealthy behaviours.
- Reduction in the number of girls reporting that they have been impacted by anti-social/unhealthy behaviours.
- Reported improvements in physical and mental health.
- Enhanced personal pathways and awareness of the range of diverse opportunities available to them.
- Stronger support and friendship networks to assist with feelings of belonging and inclusion and to provide healthy avenues for working through problems and challenges.
Are there any notable partners or collaborators?
There are no formal partners however the female Senior Constable from the Midland Police District Youth Intervention Team regularly attends Koya programs and will support the Sisters Club. Local youth and community service providers will be engaged to encourage positive, healthy help-seeking behaviours amongst program participants.