Aboriginal Carers Project

Since 2009, Yarkuwa has delivered the Aboriginal Carers Project. This project has focused on understanding the needs of Aboriginal Carers in Deniliquin and Balranald, in South Western NSW.

​Yarkuwa believes that caring is a traditional value of Aboriginal communities and the responsibility of all our families. Therefore there needs to be a strong connection between government policy and the Aboriginal community.
To assist with this connection Yarkuwa has been working from a place-based approach with its Aboriginal Carers Project addressing the need to develop and promote culturally appropriate resources for Aboriginal Carers. The project acknowledges that there is not one singular culturally appropriate resource for Aboriginal communities.

The Aboriginal Carers Project has worked to unearth organic, locally grown processes, and engage in an open process that supports communication, feedback and ultimately, the empowerment and self-determination of Aboriginal Carers within the communities of Deniliquin and Balranald.

The project is currently funded by the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).
Project lead
Deidre Hamilton

Project Consultant
Jennifer Townsend

Caring - is what we do (Deniliquin)
(2018-2021 Carer Investment Project)

The intent of the project is to effectively and meaningfully model implementation of the NSW Carers Strategy in a place based context in Deniliquin.
The project will include practical, creative strategies to support Aboriginal carers and to build capacity in the community.  It will produce evidence, outcomes and tools that can be adapted to support carers in other communities. 
Examples are local models to support Aboriginal families by making available culturally appropriate information about carer health and well being in places they already visit (GP and hospital waiting rooms) and translation of the NSW Carers Charter into local language.

Caring is Cultural Business
Yarkuwa has published an overview and summary of the activities and outcomes of the first 10 years of this project - Caring is Cultural Business - Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre Aboriginal Carers Project 2009 - 2018.They initiatives have been arranged into three key action areas:
  • Place-based work
  • Finding the Inbetween Space
  • Carer-Led Outcomes

Download the PDF or read the publication online:

Emergency and Respite Care Plan Templates
Yarkuwa has worked in consultation with Aboriginal carers to develop Emergency and Respite Care Plan Templates that suit the needs of our community.
Simple design: Our local carers wanted a very simple template, with no images or decorations. Their priority was that it was easy to understand and to fill out.
Multiple formats: There are a range of options, from a basic template (with only Emergency Medical Details) to the more detailed version (the Emergency/Respite Care Plan).
Wearable plans: So Care Plans can be with the carers or care recipients at all times, the plans can be saved on a wearable USB bracelet or summarised inside a small plastic sleeve that is designed to be clipped onto clothing. There is also a simpler plan template that can be folded up to fit into a wallet.

Deniliquin Deadly Carers Cookbook
​The Deniliquin Deadly Carers Cookbook has been developed as an initiative of the Aboriginal Carers project. The Cookbook includes recipes that have come from the Deniliquin community and are a combination of healthy, nutritious and easy recipes for every family member. This is in recognition that many carers have limited time to produce meals in addition to the range of other duties associated with the carer’s role.
The Cookbook highlights that it’s easy to eat (tyaka) healthy on a budget and that you can buy a lot more food if you spend money on basic healthy foods.

Download the cookbook (PDF)

Stories of Caring and Community
Stories of Caring and Community is a collection of 5 video interviews with local Aboriginal Carers sharing their experience and learning for the benefit of other carers, service providers and the broader community.
Watch the stories...