Marrura U teams and children reconnect as border restrictions ease

Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre (MWRC) recently invited us to return to Fitzroy Crossing, WA to continue our work as part of our long-term partnership known as the Marurra U Partnership, a Bunuba word meaning to embrace with love and care.

The work we are doing together is based on two-way learning – with our team constantly learning from the MWRC team and the MWRC continuously learning from our team.

Royal Far West provides comprehensive wraparound support for families in the Fitzroy Crossing area. During COVID we were able to continue to provide services via telehealth and we are now evaluating the program through an NHMRC grant with the University of Sydney.

As part of the model, our allied health team are led by the MWRC team, who know the community and context and play a vital role in connecting the team to families, schools, stakeholders and services.

The Marurra U team also travelled to Yiyili community (which is located around 6-hours inland from Broome!) where Jadnah Davies and Cheyenne Carter from MWRC and Social Worker Verity, Speech Pathologist Clare and Head of Research and Evaluation Ro from RFW were able to reconnect with teachers and students at Yiyili Aboriginal Community School.

Speech Pathologist Clare held an in-person therapy session with a young person from Yiyili who has so far only met her online! Clare says, “I have been working with the Yiyili Aboriginal Community School via Telecare for almost a year but this was the first opportunity to meet in real life. It was so great to be able to meet my student in person and see his world through his eyes. This was possible because we work jointly with educators and community members supporting our efforts.”

The research project is also led by MWRC and data will be collected by both community members and researchers working together. It was a great opportunity to kick-start the project with an in-person meeting in the MWRC office, and for the research team to meet with local community members and work out the next steps together.

The community members and families are excited about what else we can do when we get to visit more often.