Changes in federal government funding mean Wambigi Indigenous Support Service has had to make some changes to their programs.
The service has been running a single program for six years, supporting Indigenous people and referring them to healthcare clinics, job services, legal services and housing.
Now, the service is expanding, with two new programs to run out of Bathurst, starting this week.
The children and schooling worker at Wambigi, Bathurst, Allira Simpson said while the refunding is a good thing, there has been some concern in the community because the federal government has only promised one year of funding for some of the programs.
“We got refunded for the next year, so what we were doing has to change,” she said.
Two streams of funding have been given to Wambigi- the community and wellbeing stream and the children and schooling stream.
Wambigi Bathurst sees more than thirty clients a day who use the space on George Street to find jobs and make appointments but during the shift in programs, there’s only been around ten clients a day because of shorter opening hours.
“It’s a one-stop shop so people can just come in and they’re free to use the computers and the phone, because a lot of people can’t access those things at home, so this is the only place in town that provides them with that,” Ms Simpson said.
She said that these new programs are going to fulfill a need in the community.
“A lot of Aboriginal parents don’t know about transitioning to school, so we give them the information they need on that and any other information they need on schooling,” she said.
Several other services around town including Headspace and Lifeline also help out at Wambigi, providing counseling, and food and clothing for people when they are not able to afford these things.
The Grand Opening of Wambigi’s new programs is on Wednesday the 12th of August.
Ms Simpson said it is a chance for community members and other services that work closely with Wambigi to be filled in on the services new programs.
Wambigi Bathurst has been involved in a number of workshops this year, including a Smoking Care Intervention Workshop, and the ‘Yarn Up’ program, which allows clients to drop go into the office for a cup of tea and a casual chat.
For more information on Wambigi’s services and the grand opening, call 6332 3763.