In celebration of National Youth Week, Somerville's Youth and Family Services in Katherine hosted a gaming competition for the community's youth at the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre. The event saw children and youth of all ages and cultures join in and support of fellow players while enjoying refreshments. Alternative activities included colour therapy, Connect 4 and building marshmallow towers throughout the day.
Now that the wet season is all but over, Somerville has commenced its program of ‘working bees’ for 2016. At one of our supported accommodation houses a huge effort was put in by our Assets, Infrastructure and Maintenance Team (AIM) supported by staff and volunteers. The garden received an extra dose of TLC to see it through to next year. Special mention and thanks to Edna for caring for these gardens year round and letting us take control for half a day and a big thank you to all our staff and volunteers who assisted on the day.
Minister Peter Styles, MLA for Sanderson, called into Somerville to meet CEO Vicki O’Halloran and Managers. Peter was provided with an update of our Disability Services, Family Services and Financial Services programs. Somerville appreciates the magnificent support provided by the Northern Territory Government and it was a great opportunity to talk to Peter face to face and discuss a number of important issues. Minister Styles joined staff in an afternoon tea and even had time for a quick game of Connect 4.
The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Mr Adam Giles visited Somerville to spend time with our CEO, managers and staff.
Vicki O’Halloran provided Adam with an update on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as well as our Disability Services, Family Services and Financial Services programs. Chief Minister, Mr Giles is the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services; Minister for Tourism; Minister for Northern and Central Australia; Minister for Economic Development and Major Projects; as well as Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In Darwin, Somerville organised a fund raising event attended by over 150 women. With the theme Pledging For Parity, the Hi-Tea event was held at the Darwin Casino that included a fashion parade, international dances by Somerville staff and a silent auction. Somerville would like to thank everyone that attended and a big thank you to all our sponsors.
Staff from the Australian Government Department of Social Services (both Northern Territory and National Offices) met this week with Somerville’s Management Team to exchange information about our programs and engage in networking activities.
Somerville is very fortunate to be the home of many long term employees.
One such person is Jill May, Katherine based Disability Services Coordinator. Jill commenced work with Somerville in 1989, after the local Katherine paper advertised a position in a new house for those being repatriated.
Staff from the City of Darwin Library Services recently visited Somerville to provide an overview of their programs and services. Membership to the Darwin libraries is free for NT residents. Members are able to borrow books, DVDs, ebooks, and emagazines as well as free computer use and free wifi. The libraries also hold live music sessions every Friday lunch time at Casuarina and the City Libraries with special events happening every month. More information can be found on their facebook page.
Somerville recently hosted a Finance Workers Forum in Darwin. The purpose of this forum was to bring together all service providers in the Northern Territory along with both DSS and ASIC staff. With changes in the funding landscape this forum gave services the opportunity to advise what programs they were each offering in 2016. The forum was well attended and Somerville plans to hold these forums every quarter.
Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) welcomed twenty year 11 and 12 Aboriginal and Torrres Strait Islander students from all over the country in January for the annual Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program. The program provides participating high school students with the opportunity to experience university life, understand the links between their interests and possible careers, and valuable peer-to-peer support.