In the last two, very difficult years, the number of staff members at Awabakal Ltd has grown by almost 40%. Many of these new team members started work during COVID-related lockdowns.
On Thursday 12th May the whole organisation got together at Murrook Cultural Cenre for our 2022 Staff Development Day. The theme was ‘Reset’, as after the last couple of years we all needed to come together, reflect on why Awabakal is here and where the organisation is going.
The day kicked off with incredible Milibah dancers from Hunter School of Performing Arts. They performed both traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dances.
Our keynote speaker was Dr Michelle Kennedy from the University of Newcastle who spoke on the social determinants of health, and why they’re so relevant for Awabakal as an Aboriginal Medical Service.
Raylene Gordon, CEO of Awabakal Ltd, presented Awabakal’s philosophy of health care and new way of working, with support from the Toni, Deb, Marook and Matt, the four Regional Managers.
Staff then had the opportunity to watch a video on trauma awareness, with one of our patients who has worked with Awabakal to help educate our team so we can provide better, culturally aware service.
The morning session was wrapped up by Joe Perry leading an important workshop on cultural protocols, which engaged the group and got everyone thinking about what the Awabakal way should be.
In the afternoon we held a mini-expo in the foyer where our staff were able to meet and learn about other organisations in the region that we can work together with to provide better wrap around services to our people. This was a very valuable experience for both stall-holders and Awabakal staff and something we look forward to doing again, to continue to build on our inter-organisational relationships.
There were also a series of optional workshops for staff on palliative care, suicide prevention, falls prevention, dementia and cognitive assessment, self-care and tackling smoking. All of these workshops were well attended, demonstrating an appetite for ongoing tailored training and information sessions. We all want to continue to learn.
The day ended with a moving talk and healing yidiki performance by Ivan Morris, who helped to centre and cleanse everyone before we made our way home.
It was a big day, attended by almost every staff member from all four regions. We had to close the doors so that we could all take part. But it’s through days like these that we will all become better Awabakal employees so we can provide better services to our people.