Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation is committed to:
Building relationships with the broader community through cultural awareness programs based on art, community building activities, local Aboriginal culture and heritage and bush regeneration activities. We are strongly committed to promoting pride in Aboriginal culture and heritage through our community art program and bush regeneration programs. These programs operationalise CUAC’s commitment to community cultural education as a way of breaking down barriers between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. The important cultural focus of the Hub makes it a unique and valuable resource for the region.
Working towards ensuring a more positive future for young people so that they are successful in the education system, gain access to mainstream employment and have healthy, safe and productive lives and relationships.
Providing welfare services to the local Koori community including early intervention and support services for young mothers and their children, assistance with housing, legal and health issues, supporting people in education and employment and general welfare support and referral services.
Offered in partnership with the Smith Family, the Learning Club provides a safe and supportive out-of-school learning environment where local primary or secondary students participate in activities that develop their academic skills, numeracy and literacy and receive help with their homework. Coomaditchie Learning Club runs on Monday afternoon during term time throughout the school year and is free for all students to attend.
Through regular attendance at our Learning Clubs, local students are able to enhance their learning and development skills. Students’ involvement with Learning Clubs enables them to access local volunteer tutors who have appropriate skills and knowledge to support Club activities.
Over the years we have hosted many community development projects, designed to build communities and foster relationships among people in our communities. We have a particular focus on working with vulnerable and excluded people and have, for example, run projects with people with intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses, drug and alcohol issues, people from local culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and people living in severely disadvantaged conditions in the Warrawong area.
For a ten-year period, we worked in partnership with a number of local organisations to plan and run the very successful Southside Festivals at Coomaditchie lagoon. These festivals attracted more than 3000 people each year and helped to build the pride and confidence of the many local community members involved with it. Regrettably, we have not been able to attract the funding required to sustain these festivals.
Since 2003 we have operated a successful community garden. This has attracted volunteers from our community and at times of surplus, we provide food to the Warrawong Kitchen which feeds over 50 people per day The community garden has also contributed to health outcomes of the Coomaditchie community through the provision of fresh, healthy food.
The Hub at the Kemblawarra Community Hall provides a place and facilities for community members to....
Make a cup of tea
Have a yarn
Use our computers, phones and other technology
Join in art making
Participate in Community gatherings
Access information, referrals or support
Learn new skills
Do the administration required by Centrelink and their job network providers
Look for jobs
Practice for driving tests
Below is an extract from the 2015 University of Wollongong Indigenous Multi-Disciplinary Health Research Coalition report entitled Illawarra Aboriginal Community Profile: a snapshot of an urban Aboriginal community:
The Hub provides information and referral services to clients who are unable, or unwilling due to past bad experiences, to use other service providers. Services are offered flexibly to meet the needs of its clients. The Hub was described as providing a 'stepping stone' to other services. It creates a bridge between local Aboriginal residents and the services available to them that can ensure that Aboriginal people have the confidence to operate as citizens in the broader society.
In addition to providing welfare services CUAC is strongly committed to promoting pride in Aboriginal culture and heritage through its community art program and bush regeneration programs. These programs operationalise CUAC’s commitment to community cultural education as a way of breaking down barriers between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. The important cultural focus of the Hub makes it a unique and valuable resource for the region.
However, amongst these local services the Coomaditchie Hub is somewhat unique. Although it does not limit its services to Aboriginal people in the immediate neighbourhood, its name, being embedded in the local community, its historical association with ‘the mission’ and the Coomaditchie Lagoon, as well as its historical ties to historically important Aboriginal leaders and activists, distinguish it from other ‘welfare’ agencies. The Coomaditchie Hub also has a different funding mechanism from other organisations, making it somewhat vulnerable in hard economic times. The ‘survival’ of the Hub was expressed as a central concern for those involved in the evaluation process.
The following quote illustrates the important role that Coomaditchie Hub has played, particularly in bridging the gap in services for local Aboriginal people so that they can improve their life chances in the broader community:
It is also a place for Aboriginal mob, (to) help Aboriginal people with their needs such as health, legal stuff, Centrelink, racist stuff, deal with the issues such as discrimination where Aboriginal people treated "like we were nobody" or "like we were part of the community as a number but no one serviced us", get Aboriginal people into the community independently with some training so that they can get jobs and be employed.
Coomaditchie Hub worker
In 2011 Wollongong City Council obtained a three-year funding grant from the New South Wales Government through Community Services, Department of Human Services (“Community Services”) to develop and implement the Strengthening Communities - Community Builders Project.
A Capacity Building Program was developed and implemented with two established community organisations in the Illawarra region of New South Wales. Coomaditchie Community Hub operated by the Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation (CUAC) was one of the chosen organisations.
The Capacity Building Program consisted of a series of activities implemented by external consultants between July 2012 and June 2014.
The Centre for Health Services Development (CHSD), a research centre of the Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI) at the University of Wollongong was commissioned by the Council in August 2012 to conduct an evaluation of the Capacity Building Program at the two sites.