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Working for a better future and outcomes for our children

Gumbuya Family Wellbeing Open Day - Kingaroy

Name of Article Writer: Jessica Groves

Position Title: Program Coordinator
Organisation: Cherbourg Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Service (CRAICCHS)
Date: 26/07/2017

PHOTO: L-R Front the Corroboree Dancers. L-R Back – Katrina Watson, Jess Groves, Elizabeth Rolphe, Norman Hegarty and Ronella Fewquandie.

Gumbuya Family Wellbeing Open Day - Kingaroy

After four months in the development phase, the newest program to be launched at CRAICCHS, the Gumbuya Family Wellbeing Program recently opened their doors to the public to celebrate NAIDOC week, and the official opening of the service in Kingaroy. With Gumbuya meaning ‘meeting place or, safe place to meet’, the team set the tone for a lovely day for the community to come together in Kingaroy, to welcome the space, and enjoy the local spirit. Cherbourg community radio station Usmob FM joined the day for a live broadcast from the event, Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray opened the day and welcomed the space, the Corroboree Dancers displayed local dance and song, and local artist Robin Langton offered an art workshop on the day. This event was a wonderful opportunity for the Gumbuya Family Wellbeing Program to become established in the community as a safe space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to visit, connect and feel supported.

The biggest success on the day was how cooperative, supportive and willing families were to participate and lend a hand on the day. It felt as though the community had real ownership over the event and felt comfortable offering to help. This sense came about before the event even started. Once news of the event got out to families we started receiving offers of support, whether it be through making and bringing home made salads, stews or damper or through offers to help set up decorations on the day. Then of course the day did not go to plan, the party hire tables and chairs were arriving as our event was meant to start (rather than the much earlier time of 8am as promised), which threw the team in to chaos. But as families started arriving and noticed that the team needed help, they promptly and willingly offered to do what was needed to help the day run as smoothly as possible. It was a beautiful demonstration of reciprocity that naturally occurred, community coming together to support the program and vise versa.

The team worked tirelessly to ensure the day ran smoothly, and hope to hold another Open Day for the program at its other home base in Cherbourg soon.

We are coming together to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to heal from wounds from past government policies and practices. To connect with and empower the community to support healing and cultural connection. We endeavour to support and empower families to stay together and reconnect with self, culture, country and kin. Gumbuya hopes to promote family wellbeing and sustainable community connection to celebrate all that we have; the resiliency, strength, power, and passion of the people.

  • Child Protection Environment


    of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were placed with a kinship or Indigenous carer.
  • Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak


    There are 69,200 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children / young people in Queensland.