Advancing partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations

Advancing partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations

Michael Currie, Martin Greller, Kym Langill, Julie Nelson, Glenda Jone-Terare and Kevin Maund
16 June 2021

This webinar explored the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous services working together to support families.

Young aboriginal student talking to her tutor outdoors in the sun in Australia.

Cross-cultural partnerships are important for developing safe and effective services for families. However, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers have had negative experiences of relationships that were incorrectly labelled as partnerships.

This webinar discussed strategies for creating genuine partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations to support families. Specifically, it:

  • Provided an overview of the SNAICC partnership principles

  • Shared strategies for developing cultural competence and safety in service delivery

  • Provided a case study example of a partnership between a non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service.

This webinar is relevant to professionals working in, or interested in partnering with, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to produce better outcomes for children, families and communities.

This webinar is presented in collaboration with SNAICC – National Voice for our Children

Related resources

Members from SNAICC and the Yadeni Tago collaboration  presented this webinar

Featured image: © GettyImages/SolStock

About the presenters

Michael Currie

Michael Currie is a Mununjahli Yugambeh man from South East Queensland. Currently employed as the Principal Advisor, Indigenous Development with The Benevolent Society, being responsible for building and supporting the organisations cultural capability through demonstrated and measurable Reconciliation efforts. Michael has over 20 years’ experience in working with vulnerable children and their families in the areas of Youth Justice and Child Protection across the jurisdictions of Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania. This experience includes working with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled sector in the areas of prevention and early intervention policy, training and program delivery. Michael has management and policy experience in community and custodial secure care and 5 years living and working remote to deliver frontline child protection and support services with communities, families and their children.

Martin Greller

Martin is the Regional Director Families & Young People Services for Brisbane and North Coast regions at Mercy Community. His portfolio includes Foster & Kinship Care, Family Support, Domestic & Family Violence and services supporting mothers and their babies.

Martin has circa 20 years of experience in the sector, including several years in statutory child protection prior to moving to the For Purpose, NGO sector. Martin is passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of children and families; teamwork; and innovative, research-informed, contemporary practice. He has a strong focus on genuine sector collaboration and partnerships.

Kym Langill

Kym is the Executive Director Families & Young People Services for Mercy Community and is responsible for leading the Families and Young People Services portfolio that includes a broad suite of child and family services from early intervention, individual and family support, counselling services, refugee and asylum supports, foster and kinship services and residential out-of-home care.

Prior to joining Mercy Community, Kym was an experienced NSW Public Sector Senior Executive spanning both Human Service and Central agencies including the Department of Premier & Cabinet, Family and Community services and Juvenile Justice. She has demonstrated expertise in change management and reform implementation and is passionate about ensuring the voice of children, families and community helps shape the service system aimed at improving outcomes for those that need it most.

Julie Nelson

Julie has been the Program Manager for Yadeni Tago since June 2016 and is employed by Mercy Community. Yadeni Tago is a partnership between two organisations, Kurbingui Youth (kubuinja) and Family Development and Mercy Community, to deliver the integrated service.

Julie began work in the statutory child protection sector in 1981 and since that time has held several positions in both the government and non-government sectors. Julie has always worked with young people, children and families and is driven by the belief that every child deserves a good start in life to ensure a positive trajectory for the future. She is committed to the cause of our First Nations people and in her current role acknowledges she has been privileged to learn so much about the resilience and generosity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Glenda Jone-Terare

Glenda Jones-Terare is the CEO of the Kurbingui Youth and Family Development Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation that provides various support services to Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous individuals, young people, and families throughout the Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay and Southeast regions with connections to rural and remote communities throughout Queensland and New South Wales. Glenda has worked in the Community Service Sector for over 30 years and throughout that time has been privileged to work with and be educated and mentored by many Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Traditional Landowners, Elders, Community Members, and staff in metropolitan, rural and remote communities.

Kevin Maund

Kevin Maund is a Waribarra man from the Mamu language speaking nation from the Innisfail and surrounding area. He has connection to the Torres Straits and acknowledges his English, Irish, Welsh, Spanish, and Filipino heritage. Kevin is the Senior Cultural Engagement and Community Development Coordinator at Kurbingui Youth and Family Development. He has the pleasure of working with a wide range of genuine partner organisations within the Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay and Southeast Regions as well as other catchments.  Through these connections, Kurbingui continues to establish, maintain, and grow connections that will assist the organisation to provide culturally safe service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people, families, and individuals. Kevin also focuses on education and sharing knowledge with stakeholders through tailored cultural engagement workshops to build their own cultural capacity.


Appreciated the webinar. I wish more organisations could partner with others. I had an Indigenous person comment about Reconciliation week that it is always "All talk and no action". Great to hear that Mercy are taking action.
Tina Cukas

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