Relationships Australia grand-opening focuses on Indigenous connection
A VITAL local support service celebrated the grand opening of their second centre today, with a special focus on making connections with Rockhampton's traditional land owners.
Relationships Australia helps thousands of Rockhampton locals every year with everything from post-separation family law issues, victims of crime support, gamblers help, relationship counselling and domestic violence support.
The new Relationships Australia building on High St, North Rockhampton (the second on the street) has been in operation since August last year, but was officially opened today by a Darumbal elder.
Regional Manager of Relationships Australia in Central and West Queensland, Tanya Edwards said this was a historical moment for both the centre and Rockhampton's traditional land owners.
"I think one of the highlights of today was that our building was opened by a Darumbal elder and endorsed by the people of this country and done officially," Ms Edwards said.
"I do believe that has never been done, in a mainstream organisation where the Darumbal people hold that place."
Ms Edwards said making positive connections with Rockhampton's Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander population was an "extremely important" part of the centre's ethos.
"It's probably one of the top priorities for us to make sure that we're inclusive to all people and we live and breath and work on the land of the Darumbal people, so that is always in the forefront of everything we do on a daily basis," Ms Edwards said.
This focus on inclusiveness helps the staff at Relationship Australia reach out to those in the community that need help the most.
"The core ingredient is being able to relate to people, so the values, the beliefs aligning with your organisation and your philosophy in which guides that work is very, very important," Ms Edwards said.
"It's in our name, Relationships Australia, if that's not one of our top things we strive for, then I guess we wouldn't be doing our organisation, or people justice."
CEO of Relationships Australia Queensland, Ian Law said the new centre was made possible thanks to funding through the Department of Communities for Family and Domestic Violence and was "recognition of the prevalence of family and domestic violence in our communities".
He also stressed the importance of the organisation's strong relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and police.
"We work closely with those organisations in all of our regions and we all sort of work towards the same goal which is producing positive outcomes for families and communities, reducing the harm done by family domestic violence and other problems," Mr Law said.
"There's a very strong service network in Rockhampton."