Windaan is a proactive initiative that launched in Coffs Harbour, on the Mid-North Coast, NSW in November 2017 to meet a gap that was becoming more apparent as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) continued to rollout across the country.
Windaan exists is to provide Aboriginal children and their families access to primary health, allied health, early intervention and disability services that meet their individual needs, in a culturally appropriate way.
We deliver a unique a mix of traditional face-to-face services, with strategic use of social media and telehealth technology. This use of technology provides us with the opportunity to bring the services to the community, rather than expecting the community to come to us.
We pride ourselves on being an all-inclusive provider, anyone can access our services from all backgrounds and all abilities. We work closely with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, from 0-65 years of age, all across Nations thanks to our telehealth technology.
Why is Windaan important to the Aboriginal community?
In 2014 the Australian Government commenced rolling out the NDIS, this scheme was designed to provide better programs and services to meet the needs of all Australians with disability as well as exercising choice and control. However, as the NDIS rolled out, Aboriginal participation remained unacceptably low. Despite increased funding, it was apparent the Aboriginal community was not getting access to all opportunities the NDIS represents.
By any measure Aboriginal communities are some of the most disadvantaged communities in Australia. It’s a well-established fact that despite experiencing significantly higher rates of disability than non-Aboriginal people, Aboriginal people are significantly less likely to access the disability services that they are entitled to. Some of the reasons for this includes:
- The mistrust of the human services/disability services environment
- Experiences of discrimination when attempting to access services
- Social, economic and educational disadvantage
- The complexity of the system itself and challenges in attempting to navigate the system
We believe that access to comprehensive allied health, disability, early intervention and primary health services is a fundamental right for all Australians. As such, we’re committed to working proactively to ensure that pathways are developed so all Aboriginal families and communities have access to these services on their terms and have the knowledge and capacity to effectively exercise choice and control over the services that they receive.
How we’re different
Windaan’s services are innovative and unique, designed for Aboriginal people by Aboriginal people. Some of our key strengths include:
- Culturally appropriate: All of our services are delivered according an established and proven cultural-care model pioneered by Galambila Aboriginal Health Service. This model ensures all services provided are reflective of the unique individual and cultural needs of each client.
- Mobile service delivery: Windaan services are essentially mobile in nature. We specialise in providing primary health, allied health, early intervention and disability and services within Aboriginal communities themselves. Through this approach we’re able to visit multiple locations within the region and provide services in where families feel most comfortable.
- Technological innovation: To support our staff on the ground, we give Aboriginal communities access to a range of telehealth options. This allows you to access a wide range of primary health and therapy-based services. This use of technology provides us with the unique opportunity to bring the services to the community, rather than expecting the community to come to us.
- Real partnerships: The focus of all work within Windaan is upon building partnerships with organisations within communities and developing complementary services to build upon the strengths of organisations already operating within each community. This strength-based approach to developing the services involves recognising the strengths of existing organisations, and looking for ways to work with them to ensure that Aboriginal children and families have access to streamlined culturally safe pathways into disability services, and human services more broadly.
Our service principles
At Windaan we believe that Aboriginal people have a right to:
- Access human services that respect and reflect their individual and cultural needs
- Enjoy all of the benefits of the Australian human services framework.
- Choose the nature and type of human services that they require, and who delivers those services to them.
- Exercise freedom and control over how their service is delivered