Friday, July 05, 2013

40 years of relationships success

Tomorrow Relationships Australia will celebrate 40 years in the Northern Territory.

In what started as the Marriage Guidance Council in 1973, the organisation then offered Darwin residents marriage advice and counselling services in the wake of Cyclone Tracy.

“Cyclone Tracy was difficult for Darwin couples and families and placed additional strain on the very best of relationships,” Relationships Australia NT Chief Executive Officer Marie Morrison said.

“The Marriage Guidance Council as it was known then provided one avenue to help people to navigate their way through.”  

Since then the organisation has undergone significant growth and change to be a cornerstone of help and assistance for Territorians.

Renamed in 1995, Relationships Australia NT today has a broader emphasis on helping children and families in need and working with disadvantaged people.

We provide assistance to families in various ways including strengthening relationships, mediation, counselling and support for people going through difficult times,” Relationships Australia NT Marie Morrison said.

“We also provide specialised services such as professional development and training through formal and informal courses, partnerships and community based programs for migrants and refugees, and culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal families, delivered by Aboriginal staff members.

“Increasingly we’re also working with young people and have programs to divert them away from crime and disadvantage, through restorative justice community programs.”

To celebrate its 40th birthday, Relationships Australia NT has engaged local historian Mickey Dewar to collate a full history of the organisation’s 40 years in the NT.

Relationships Australia NT services some 3500 Territorians on average each year with more than 20 per cent who identify as Aboriginal.

The organisation has offices in Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin, and provides services to Tennant Creek, the Tiwi Islands, Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala.

We are proud to have contributed to a community where relationships are respectful, diversity is valued and where people have a sense of belonging and connection,” Ms Morrison said.

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