Aboriginal Community Engagement Manager already making a differenceJanuary 9, 2023
Less than three months into her role as Aboriginal Community Engagement Manager at CatholicCare, Judith Murray says she already feels part of the furniture. From developing an Aboriginal supported playgroup to sourcing cultural learning books for Children’s Services, Judith’s contribution to CatholicCare has already been significant and there is no slowing her down!
As a Wiradjuri woman with a background working in Community Engagement, Disability, Aged Care and Child Protection, Judith brings great wisdom and depth of experience to her role. “My job is all about community engagement and connecting with community to improve services,” says Judith. “A big part of my role is listening to what the community say they want in services, and this involves lots of consulting with the community and other service providers. I also work closely with our CatholicCare services and provide cultural support within these services.”
One of Judith’s goals is to improve connections with the Aboriginal community in Northern Sydney and the Northern Beaches. “I don’t see us as having an existing connection to the Aboriginal community in these areas,” Judith says. “It’s a little bit different on the Central Coast. The community there are very well supported and there are several strong Aboriginal community-controlled organisations. Whereas in Northern Sydney and the Northern Beaches, the Aboriginal community is more dispersed and it is difficult to access community initiatives and services.” Judith hopes that CatholicCare can tap into the gap she has identified in these regions.
As well as working on an Aboriginal supported playgroup and cultural learning books for Children’s Services, Judith has been busy developing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Strategy for CatholicCare. She has also been working on cultural activities within several of CatholicCare’s service streams and has provided information about respectful language for CatholicCare staff.
Judith strongly believes that strengthening our partnerships with Aboriginal organisations means that you need to be constantly out and about in the community attending, supporting, and participating in events. “I’m doing that today by attending the Aboriginal Women’s Health Day with Bungee Bidgel,” Judith said when she spoke to us for this story. “There will be health checks, bra fittings and yarning circles. While on one hand events like these are about the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people, more importantly they are about connecting everybody.”
Enthusiastic, wise, and determined to make a difference, Judith is already making an impact within CatholicCare and across the Diocese. “My greatest hope is that I can build strong partnerships between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and CatholicCare,” Judith says.
Watch this space because great things are happening!