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Jingi Wala

Hello and welcome to Ngunya Jarjum's March newsletter. This month we have heaps of exciting news and opportunities to share with you. A quick reminder to all carers and families, that you can contact our team at any time, Monday to Friday. We are committed to promoting wellbeing, culture and community in our Jarjum’s lives.
In this issue...
  • NJ News: National Apology Day, Meeting with Minister Ben Franklin, Watching for Wudjabiyn, NJ's diploma group of 2022, Communities for Children Review Day, Partnering with Nothern NSW Health
  • From the desk of the Out of Home Care team: Restoration: bringing your child home
  • HR update: Meet our new RC worker, 'Talkin it up!' - HR Spotlight, Positions Available
  • An Important message for our Carers: Updating our filing system, When to contact us
  • Programs: Gumaguy, Balaa, Bugil Wernbe, Planning for Disaster Project
  • Upcoming Training: Strong Aboriginal Men Workshop 2
  • Community News and Events: Better Chances Forum, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference
Positions available at NJ
Partnering with Northern NSW Health
NJ News

National Apology Day 

On the 13th of February, The Ngunya Jarjum Cultural Committee hosted an acknowledgement and commemoration of 15th anniversary of Kevin Rudd's apology to First Nation Australians on behalf of the Australian Government.
Michele Laurie and Michelle Rogers gave two moving yarns that successfully captured the duality of emotion involved with the day. Staff sat together to share lunch and space with a variety of options including the kangaroo mince patties which disappeared within moments. 
We celebrated the Apology on behalf of the Stolen members of our communities by hosting a cupcake decorating competition. The cupcakes made by Kita Simpson and Michelle Rogers turned out perfectly, smiles were abundant and competition was close. Creativity of staff made the decision even tougher for our cupcake judge, Liam.
The winner was Stephanie Hall, who took home the highly coveted crown as NJs queen of cupcake decorating. The Cultural Committee would like to thank all staff for their involvement and will continue to ensure days of cultural significance are recognised into the future.

Meeting with Minister Ben Franklin

On the 6th of Feb the Hon. Ben Franklin MLC, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Regional Youth took the time to meet with a team of NJ staff at the Jarjum cottage on Rifle Range Road. We got to show him around and talk about our visions for the space and other topics including: 

  • Youth space
  • Early childhood learning
  • Young parent spaces
  • Family space
  • Space for cultural activities
  • Systemic changes like data sovereignty and dignity in family led decision making.

Minister Franklin committed to NJ staff to review his funding opportunities for services, to ensure that they align with community priorities instead of Government objectives.

Watching for Wudjabiyn

Wudjabiyn is a new program at Ngunya Jarjum which is funded by the Department of Educations Aboriginal Families as first teachers’ program. The program has been named in Consultation with a local knowledge keeper and means “Beautiful blossoming flower” in Bundjalung language. The program has already started playgroup in partnership with Guyahyn in the North and will be starting a Playgroup in the South at Jarjum Preschool in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for information about the in-home support program and further education opportunities for parents and caregivers.

NJ's Diploma group of 2022

On Tueday 21st of Feb we had a small graduation day and morning tea for our staff who completed a Diploma of Business and/or Diploma of Leadership and Management in 2022. Congratulations on your achievement and your hard work! 

Diploma of Business 
Michelle Hicks, Matt Kenny, Daisy Gordon, Caitlin Kenny, Wendy Knight, Sharni Kenny, Tiarna Hicks, Nikita Hughes, Kylie Binge, Michaela Bruggy, Michelle Rogers

Diploma of Leadership & Management
Montana Stocks, Tanache Thiady, Jennifer Sorgel, Bailey Barlow, Rhiannon Khan

Communities for Children Review Day

On the 23rd of Feb Michelle Rogers along with Tiarna Hicks participated in the Communities for Children (CFC) Community Partners review day held in Ballina. Ngunya Jarjum is a member of the CFC Aboriginal Advisory Group. CFC in Lismore and Murwillumbah collaborate and partner with local service providers to improve access for children and their families to prevention and early intervention programs that support positive family functioning, safety and child development. 

Partnering with Northern NSW Health

Friday 24/02/2023, Michelle Rogers and Michele Laurie were privileged to be with workers from Northern NSW Health - work grouping traditional healing practices in contemporary health context.
On the Custodial Lands of Michele Laurie we were held safe to bring the group to deep spaces of feeling, understanding and connecting. It is moments like this that we can demonstrate leading with culture in practice - it is not about the knowledge, it is about growing understanding. We thank all participants for coming with open heart and mind and show our appreciation to Northern NSW Health for wanting to integrate wisdoms of old into modern practice. This month we recognise our ally Northern NSW Health.

From the desk of the Out of Home Care team

Restoration: bringing your child home

What has to happen for my children to come home?

You can find out what needs to happen for your children to come home from the Restoration Plan. The law says a Restoration Plan must be made when:
  • the Children’s Court is involved, and in the opinion of the court, or the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) it may be possible for a child to go home
  • DCJ has arranged a temporary placement for your child
  • you have arranged care for your child through a non-government fostering agency for 4 weeks or more and the plan is for your child to return home
  • the court has allocated parental responsibility for your child to DCJ or another carer, but restoration is to be considered at a later time.
If you are working towards restoration of children to your care you should:
  • have a copy of the Restoration Plan
  • understand what the Restoration Plan says you have to do
  • have had your views considered when the Restoration Plan was developed.
The Restoration Plan

The Restoration Plan must cover:

  • what needs to be different before DCJ believes it would safe for your child to come home. This is sometimes called ‘outcomes’ or ‘goals’
  • services that can be arranged by DCJ or the Children’s Court to help your family
  • how long you will be assisted to work for the restoration of your child.
How long will it take for my child to come home?

The time it takes depends on your family’s situation, and also on the age of your child. For some children it could be a matter of weeks, but for others it could take longer. The Restoration Plan should explain how long it might take for your family.
Usually the amount of time children spend with you and at home will gradually increase. You may start with day visits, then move on to overnight or weekend stays. Young children especially are best off if they spend their early years in the care of the person who will be with them as they grow up. This means they need to go home as soon as possible.
The time taken for a baby’s Restoration Plan may be much shorter than for a school-aged child. However, no child benefits if they go home before their parents are ready. It's important that when children go home, they are able to stay home.
Restoration: bringing your child home | Family & Community Services (

HR Update

Meet our new RC worker

Jingi Walla (hello), my name is Kandice Bolt. I am a strong and proud young Aboriginal woman. I am both Wiradjuri and Bundjalung but have lived on Bundjalung country for majority of my life. I love my culture and my tribes. I am very lucky to be apart of two beautiful tribes. I was born in Lismore, this is home. I cherish that I’ve been able to experience growing up here with my family, and now am watching the younger generation to grow up here also, such as my nieces and nephews. In my spare time I appreciate spending time with family, playing softball, being adventurous and doing lots of swimming.  I am very passionate about my culture and doing my best to be a good role model for our community, doing all I can to better it for all of us. We must protect and support our Jarjums. I believe change in the world begins with our youth, and being in a workplace that can help Jarjums have a better chance at the life they deserve, brings me happiness.

‘Talkin it up!’ - HR Spotlight

Name?  Rhiannon Khan                                
Who’s your mob? Tharawal
How long have you worked at NJ? A little over a year
What do you do at NJ? Interim Gumaguy Manager and Intensive Family Worker
Footy Team? Manly Sea Eagles
When you’re not working where could you be found? Reading, fishing or doing anything outside in nature.
What do you enjoy most about working at NJ? Being able to support community and make a difference in the lives of our jarjums.
What's your dream for NJ? To have more jarjums staying with their mob in safe and loved environments.
Where do you want to be in 5 years? Continuing to work in the family preservation space and helping children stay in their homes with their families.

Positions Available

Family Led Decision Making – Full time Student role
Lismore, Lismore & Far North Coast NSW. Full time $80,000 – $85,000 per year. The closing date for this role is Sunday 12th March 2023 Find out more

Reception/Admin Officer (Aboriginal Identified) 
Lismore, Lismore & Far North Coast NSW. Full time $60,180 – $65,661 per year. Closing date for applications is Tuesday 14th March 2023 Find out more

Gumaguy Intensive Family Workers (Family Preservation)
Lismore, Lismore & Far North Coast NSW. Full time $88,757 per year. Closing date for applications is Wednesday 15th March 2023 Find out more

Caseworker (Aboriginal Identified)
Lismore, Lismore & Far North Coast NSW. Full time $77,584 per year. Closing date for applications is Wednesday 15th March 2023 Find out more

An important message for our Carers

Updating our filing system

During the next few weeks, you may be asked by your caseworker if we can get an updated photo of you and your household members for our files. It is important that our records remain up to date for both children and adults and this is a simple way of keeping things current. 

If you have a photo that you would like us to use on your file, feel free to text it to your caseworker so we don't have to surprise you when we are next visiting your home.

When to contact us...

You should notify us about any changes effecting you, your partner or any household member. 

  • Moved to a new address?
  • Changed or have a new contact number?
  • Changed or have a new email address?
  • Change in personal circumstances and household movements?
Contact your caseworker or email


Gumaguy is a service aimed at reducing the risk to families, where children and young people have been identified by Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) assessment as being at risk of being removed from the family home. Families can only be referred to the program through DCJ.

Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm our Gumaguy team can be contacted through the Ngunya Jarjum switch. After hours, weekends and public holidays use the FREECALL 1800 325 081 or mobile 0438497743.


In the local Widjabul dialect, ‘Balaa’ means to ‘help’. We consider the name appropriate, as the services offered through Balaa are provided to compliment quality case planning for children and families and wrap-around the child and family to improve outcomes for Aboriginal families in Northern NSW across the whole of sector. Through referral to the Balaa services, you can access casework support services such as:

  • Mapping Mob (helping you find links through families and kinship networks)
  • Youth Mentoring
  • Family Group Conferencing
  • Cultural case and/or Care planning
  • Transport services
  • Aboriginal consultation
  • Family time supervision
  • Adolescent / Caregiver mediation services
  • Individual / Specific services as requested

Simply call to ask for more detail about the services and/or request a referral form. (02) 6626 3700 or email

Bugil Wernbe Targeted Early Intervention Tabulam and District

The Bugil Wernbe (TEI program) is currently focussed on talking to youth in Tabulam about their wants and needs. Our Balaa team members will support youth to bring their views forward. Although it is early in the planning and design stage, we look forward to seeing where young minds take us next. 
In-between time, Elders on Jubullum community have identified that they would like to revitalise the community gardens as part of the tucker box. So, a lead group on community with some shovels, tools, soils and plants is in the pipeline – watch for updates. 
Amongst all of this, Ngunya Jarjum workers Michelle Rogers and Michele Laurie met with Elders of Gunya who told us that they would like to restart the community BBQs monthly. They tell us that coming together and reconnecting with one another is their priority, watch for more detail.

Planning For Disaster Project

The Planning for Disaster (PFD) project is funded by Healthy North Coast (HNC) Primary Health Network through the Australian Federal Government and is currently being undertaken by Ngunya Jarjum.
Our goal is to develop a child friendly, all of household planning tool to support families to develop their own in-home evacuation and/or crisis management strategies, which includes who, how what why where and when of natural disaster response.
The project currently has approximately 90 participants and growing. Community engagement continues to be the key focus of the project.
In late February, the PFD website is due to be rolled out, and this will also be announced via the projects planned Media release communicating the project and its wider community aims further.
If you have any questions, please reach out to the staff member you’re in contact with or call Ngunya Jarjum on (02) 66263700.

Upcoming Training
Community News and Events

Better Chances Forum

The Better Chances Forum (BCF) is a collaboration supporting better chances for children, young people, their families and communities to lead safe, healthy and happy lives and will be held on the 15th of March at Ballina RSL. It is an exciting regional forum for workers, services and community representatives who support children, young people and their families across Bundjalung, Yaegl and Gumbaynggirr Countries (Northern Rivers). To find out more information about the keynote presentations and workshops and to purchase tickets click here.

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference

The Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference 20–⁠22 March 2023 is designed to provide practical skills, relevant information, personal insight, and strategies for professionals working in child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing. Find out more about assessing, treating, & providing ongoing mental health support for children, young people, and their families. To find out more information and register click here.

Become a member

It is important for people interested in the future of the corporation to be members and to attend the general meetings. A membership application form is available here.
If you are already a member and need to update your homes address, phone number or email address you can contact us by phoning 6626 3700 or emailing us at

Join our team of foster carers

Ngunya Jarjum is always looking for new carers to join the organisation and help ensure the wellbeing of all our jarjums. We need quality carers with a commitment to community, family and culture. If you, or someone you know, is considering the important role of becoming a foster visit our website for more information and to apply.


We are a registered charity and rely on government grants and donations to keep operating. If you would like to make a donation you can donate via Paypal.
Visit our website to complete the form and you will be taken to our secure PayPal donation portal. 

Make a donation

We do appreciate your support!

Ngunya Jarjum would like to pay respects to our Elders both past and present, also to our children, who will be the Elders future coming. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land of which we live and work in, the people of the Bundjalung Nation, as well as to all other Indigenous people who join us today. We would also like to acknowledge the survival of our ancient culture. May we continue to thrive, learn, and develop within so we may pass our knowledge down through generations to come.
Copyright © 2023 Ngunya Jarjum, All rights reserved.

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