Work in Wilcannia Forbes

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website may contain images, voices and videos of deceased persons. Project Code: AUPT-2200273 | Project Location: Wilcannia-Forbes

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Key Statistics

This project supports the Bourke Men’s Hub, recently established at the previous convent of the Missionaries of Charity, in partnership with the Aboriginal men’s group, Men of Bourke (MOB), Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project and CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes.

The men's Hub is open from
Population of Bourke
Of the population identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

About the project

The Men’s Hub provides a dedicated space for local Aboriginal men and youth, a place to bring to life a vision of hope and healing. In this multi-purpose space Aboriginal men will meet for men’s business giving each other support without judgement and engaging in a range of activities which will be beneficial for them whilst generating a positive ripple effect on their families and community.

The hub’s activity schedule is driven by the men themselves making it needs’ responsive and with that, giving the men ownership over the types and content of activities that will be provided.

The range of activities include:

  • Yarning circles: these may be facilitated (eg for therapeutic purposes) or self-managed
  • Peer support groups: regular meetings of men with similar needs (eg a smoking cessation group)
  • Skill- focused workshops (eg wood or metal work)
  • Cultural workshops (eg didgeridoo or art workshops)
  • Behaviour-focused workshops (eg Parenting Programs or Men’s Behaviour Change Programs)
  • Health education (eg men’s health, healthy eating)
  • Celebrations (eg corroborees)

Community context

Aboriginal Men are under-represented in support programs or services in Bourke and the Bourke Men’s Hub is a place for the men to bond and sustain each other. With CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes facilitating, together they are embarking on a transformational journey to wellbeing and identity. The Hub operates from the Bethlehem site in Bourke seeks to stay true to the spiritual significance and historical character of the site that is the legacy of the Sisters of Charity in their many years of service in Christ, outwardly displaying compassion and care. To that end, at the Hub the men are provided access to peer support, case-based intervention, and education services that transfer knowledge and skills to the men to empower their personal change and strengthening their support networks. The aim is to wrap these services into an environment that is welcoming and multi-functional where men can participate in formal support or hold events, groups or yarning that enriches them and their families; and therefore, the whole of community. The men have a say in the services that will support their needs while addressing social issues such as domestic violence, drugs and alcohol and recidivism. Therefore, guiding the Men to contribute to better community outcomes for them and their families.

In particular, the men that engage at the Hub show that their disconnection from social participation, through incarceration or misadventure, has left them without a sense of worth and value that they can contribute to the community: as family members, fathers, or partners.

In gaining new skills the men offer immediate value to their families and the community. Being able to meet the maintenance needs where they live or for others in community. The men gain self-esteem, break the cycle of disadvantage, families gain good male role models and the community benefits from the men’s contributions.

Your generous support

Your generous donation will provide tools and equipment that will be used by the men to learn the construction and maintenance skills that form part of the education and engagement approach to their support. This will include battery powered hand tools, e.g., drills, saws, grinders, sanders and drivers. Additionally, the activities will require appropriate work benches and devices to safely secure jobs while they conduct the activities. Personal protective equipment will be essential as will signage to reduce hazards in the workshop.

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can help provide lockable storage cabinets for the Hub.

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