Sunday, April 14, 2024  



Wyanga: 'Mother – the core of Aboriginal people’s spirit'


'Wyanga Aboriginal Aged Care Program will strive for excellence

and best practice in the provision of culturally appropriate services

 and quality care for our Elders in their own home and in the community.’

    South Sydney Herald June 2011  


Funding quality care for Elders


Wyanga is one of the first Aboriginal community-controlled aged-care providers for Aboriginal Elders in the Sydney Metropolitan area. Since its establishment in 1996, Wyanga has offered a range of services such as domestic housework, transport and advocacy assistance as well as activities, outings and excursions. Art and crafts activities are planned for each Tuesday, which the Elders really enjoy. Most importantly, Wyanga provides each client with an assigned Aboriginal carer, who is chosen by the client and who might be a family member.


Millie Ingram, the CEO of Wyanga, says the services are designed to accommodate the individual needs of each client. ‘I would like Aboriginal people to know that we are here,’ she says. “We are taking names for the waiting list and we will do home visits until we can get the necessary CACP (Community Aged Care Package) for each applicant. If people are interested please come drop by at 35 Cope Street near Redfern Station, or ring us on (02) 9319 7175.


Looking back, Millie finds that it has been a good but slow journey. ‘We currently provide 50 CACPs to Elders and we could do with 50 more,’ she says. Getting additional packages is difficult since Wyanga competes with other NGOs to get their application approved by the government. ‘We do not have the resources to hire professional submission writers, which is a disadvantage,’ Ms Ingram adds.


She believes that closing the gap is not possible as long as this tendering process exists. ‘We need select allocation as an alternative. If our Elders can’t come to us, they won’t go anywhere,’ she says. ‘The government has known this for the past 40 or 50 years.’ She mentions that Wyanga is hoping to work on the issue of residential care facilities. ‘Existing residential aged care facilities cannot always meet the needs of Aboriginal Elders,’ she says. ‘Families are not willing to send their Elders to places where they are isolated from their community.’ This is reflected in the fact that most Elders pass away at home or in hospital.


Ms Ingram says that Wyanga is seeking to enter a partnership with other organisations such as Anglicare, Uniting Care, Mission Australia and Catholic Care to look at cluster grouping for Aboriginal Elders in their aged-care facilities. Wyanga is also looking at smaller residential group home type services. Ms Ingram adds: ‘The government should accommodate innovative projects which allow Elders to remain in their own area with their family support. Aboriginal employment should be integrated into these group homes.’ Wyanga is hoping to increase its services by 10 clients each year. Millie Ingram also plans to meet the needs of an increasing number of people with dementia. ‘We would like to work with people affected by dementia and advocate on their behalf.’ To accommodate people in their care, Wyanga needs the funding gap to be closed. Melanie Fiedler

    History Week 2010  

Through Their Eyes.jpg
Through their eyes text.jpg

Hear stories of the first hand experiences of senior Aboriginal community members and Elders from inner-city Sydney. Young Aboriginal student researchers from the Communications program at UTS and Tranby Aboriginal College will work with Aboriginal seniors and Elders to record and present their life stories. Students will also collect photographs and other material to enrich their historical research.The life stories and memories will be presented at a special event, featuring interviews with the participants and photographic displays. Light refreshments will be served.

When:  Thursday 9 September 2010, 6:00pm - 8:00pm           
Where:  Tranby Aboriginal College, 13 Mansfield Street, Glebe  |  photo from Murawina

    Wyanga, Aboriginal Community Aged Care Program  

Wyanga was founded in 1996 by Sylvia Scott and Mary Silva. Wyanga began as a 10 package project under the auspice of the Mac Silva Centre, Waterloo.

In December 1999, Wyanga became the first Aboriginal Community Controlled Aged Care Package Provider for the Sydney Metropolitan area. Wyanga is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing.

Wyanga offers individually tailored services to assist Aboriginal Elders within their home and community, servicing communities of the inner Sydney Metropolitan and La Perouse areas.

Wyanga is managed by a Board of Management which is made up of Aboriginal community members dedicated to the care and interests of our Aboriginal elders and their carers.

Source: Wyanga pamphlet 

    Wyanga Aged Care  

2 December 2005

Expanding Wyanga Aboriginal Community Aged Care in Redfern


Wyanga ILC.jpg

The expanding Wyanga Aboriginal Community Aged Care Program has a new base in Redfern to provide its quality home-based care to Indigenous elders. The new premises were opened by Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, who praised Wyanga’s ability to ensure Indigenous elders maintained a vital presence in their community. ‘Elders are the cornerstone of Indigenous people’s lives and this program helps support elders to remain in their home in their community as long as they possibly can,’ Senator Vanstone said. ‘Wyanga provides in-home help with meals, cleaning and maintenance, transport, organises community gatherings and outings and health awareness programs. 'Wyanga administers 40 Community Aged Care packages and employs 30 Indigenous people to deliver its services. It is an outstanding organisation and a great asset for Redfern.’


The program began in Waterloo, when founded in 1996 by Sylvia Scott and Mary (Megs) Silva. The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), which is an Australian Government Statutory Authority, purchased the $940,000 property on behalf of Wyanga and funded $1.3 million in refurbishments. Wyanga’s services are funded by the Department of Health and Community Services, which will increase its funding to enable the expansion of the program.


ILC Chairperson Shirley McPherson said the ILC recognised the excellent work Wyanga had done over the years and agreed to help establish a permanent base. ‘We purchased the property at 35 Cope Street in 2003 and recently completed a major refurbishment to bring the building up to contemporary standards,’ Ms McPherson said. ‘The new facility ensures the program has a high quality, accessible location, with elders from all areas given consideration for Wyanga’s services.’


Source: Senator Vanstone's Office [Messagestick archive]

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