Rachel Hall

Health Science
Social Welfare services
Winter 2018

Over the winter break, I had an amazing opportunity to undertake an Aurora Commonwealth funded internship and travel to the remote Aboriginal community of Wadeye, in the Northern Territory. Wadeye has a population of approximately 3000 people from seven language group and 20 clans. This remote community is accessible by light air crafts and barges throughout the year and accessible by road during the dry season. And despite the bad media reputation, the community has much more to offer.

For my time in Wadeye, I worked alongside the manager and the local ladies who run the One Tree Community Services, Wadeye Safe House. The Safe House is a refuge for women and children who are escaping domestic violence. This safe space offers 24-hour crisis support and accommodation for the community.

As part of my internship I had the opportunity to work alongside the dedicated staff, who showed continuous kindness and support to each and every one of their clients. I was happy to provide any assistance I could during my placement to help ensure the smooth operations of the organisation. During my time, I had the opportunity to engage in day to day running’s of the service and the hands-on tasks with clients utilising the facilities. I was also able to attend child safety and interagency meetings, where I was able to sense the commitment from every service provider to ensure the children within the community are safe and protected. I was also very privileged to attend a women’s meeting held by the safe house. This meeting encouraged local women as well as services providers to get together and yarn about local community events, in particular NAIDOC Week celebrations. Towards the end of my placement, I was involved in the preparation and roll out of the NAIDOC celebrations which were held at a local community space.

Being in a remote community is yet to be one of the biggest challenges I have accomplished throughout my studies. I was challenged mentally and emotionally, whilst learning about the challenges faced within the community, both past and present, as well as gaining an understanding of the socio-cultural issues that are evident in the community. By completing my internship at the Wadeye Safe House, I have been able to continue developing my personal toolkit in which I look forward to using once completing studies.