Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Get to know your neighbours and live longer

Do you know your neighbours or the people living across the street? What about the people that you share the work elevator with?

This Sunday 30 March marks national Neighbour Day and the coming together of neighbours and people who’ve never met.  

“It’s about connecting with the people around us and fostering a sense of community,” Relationships Australia NT CEO Marie Morrison said.

“We all lead busy lives and have precious spare time, but Neighbour Day reminds us to pause, look around and get to know the people next door or in the same street.”

Ms Morrison said getting to know your neighbours isn’t only the foundation of a healthy community, but it will make you happier and help you live longer.

“Evidence says that connecting with your neighbours increases your happiness and longevity,” Ms Morrison said.

“For example, a study by Duke University in the USA found that people aged 55 to 80 who trusted their neighbours lived longer on average over the next 14 years than those who didn’t.

“Other studies have found that interacting with your neighbours lifts your mood, reduces your stress and instils a sense of belonging.

“The better you get to know your neighbours the more likely you are to trust them and the more you stand to gain in health and wellbeing.”

Relationships Australia said it’s holding a morning tea with Neighbour Day Ambassador and Darwin Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim for the businesses at 43 Cavenagh St on Wednesday, 26 March.

The community service organisation is also encouraging all locals to get behind the cause.

“Why not hold a BBQ, say a simple hello or head to one of the publicly registered morning teas and barbeques in your area,” Ms Morrison said.

Neighbour Day public events in your area on Sunday 30 March:

·         Jonathan Pilbrow BBQ, Larapinta. Connect with ‘Friends of Larapinta’ Facebook group
·         Kylie Adams BBQ, Sadadeen
·         Allan Mitchell BBQ, Anula 
·         Alice Springs Town Council BBQ, Frank McEllister Community Park, 10am to 2pm

Please call Relationships Australia and ask for Tracey for all the details on 8923 4926 or visit www.nt.relationships.org.au/

For media enquiries please contact Domonique Young on 8941 9169 or email domonique@creativeterritory.com

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Top Enders urged to check their insurance following power outage

TIO has urged Top Ender residents and businesses to check their insurance policies if they have suffered a loss as a result of today’s major power outage.

General Manager Insurance Michael Hoare said some losses may be covered by insurance policies depending on the type and level of cover they have.

Types of losses that could occur include food spoilage, damage to electrical equipment and business interruption.

“Whether people are covered depends very much on the type of insurance policy they have and the level of cover,” Michael said.

“The best way to check is to read through your insurance policy, contact your insurer or check with yourbroker.”

Michael said customers should check equipment as power is restored to ensure they are still operating properly, particularly air-conditioners, pool pumps and electrical appliances.

Specific advice for householders

TIO policy holders with Premium cover can claim for spoilt food up to a value of $1000. Policy holders should do the following:
  • Make a list of the food
  • Take a photo if possible
  • Provide approximate prices.

TIO policy holders with Essentials cover only are not covered for spoilt food.

TIO Policy holders may also be covered for electrical equipment and appliances if they have sustained damage as a result of the outage. Customers are urged to check the equipment and contact TIO.

Specific advice for businesses

Businesses may be able to claim for a number of losses including spoilt food, equipment damage andbusiness interruption. The extent to which they can claim will depend on the type and level of cover they have taken out. They should contact their broker or TIO directly to check.

Michael said TIO had received nine calls from customers checking their insurance coverage with one enquiring about a claim for spoilt food.

TIO’s call centre was able to operate throughout the outage using backup generators. Darwin and Palmerston branches were impacted along with most of the ATM network. Palmerston branch has now reopened and the ATM at the TIO office in Mitchell street and at Palmerston are both available.

Top Enders urged to act now to minimise potential loss

Top Enders impacted by the major power outage have been urged to take action now to minimise potential spoiling of food in fridges and freezers.

TIO General Manager Insurance Michael Hoare said residents who followed guidelines published by the NT Government’s environmental health unit should suffer minimal loss of food.

“While some insurance policies do cover people for loss of food in a major power outage, there are steps people can take now to keep their food safe,” Michael said.

“Keeping your fridge and freezer doors closed during an outage can make a major difference to the usable life of food.”

For businesses, similar steps should be followed to protect food where possible.  Some businesses may have taken additional cover for food spoilage and they should check their own policies or contact their broker.

More information on food spoilage is available on the Northern Territory Government website www.nt.gov.au/health/envirohealth

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Traditional Credit Union comes to Tennant Creek

The Traditional Credit Union will open a new branch in Tennant Creek next week.

It comes as the organisation celebrates 20 years in business.

In what started as a request by Traditional Owners in Arnhem Land for banking services in 1994, the Traditional Credit Union has grown from one branch in Milingimbi to a network of 17 across the far reaches of the Northern Territory.

It is Australia's only Aboriginal credit union owned by and run for Aboriginal people.

Traditional Credit Union CEO Cathy Hunt said the establishment of a new branch in Tennant Creek reflected growing demand for its services.

“We’re very excited to open our doors in Tennant Creek and provide local Indigenous people with new and culturally relevant banking services and products, and employment and training for their future,” Ms Hunt said.

The Traditional Credit Union currently services more than 7 400 members, many of whom live in remote communities.

“We play a vital role in the communities that we operate and are often the only financial institution for hundreds of kilometres,” Ms Hunt said.

“We help people with their personal banking needs, as well as provide business banking solutions, financial counselling and education services, and community sponsorship.”

TCU provides stable employment and career development for people in remote communities where job prospects are often limited.

“We currently have 85 staff  (78 per cent are indigenous) across our branches in communities from Wadeye to Numbulwar  and the Tiwi Islands .

“We are very proud of their and TCU’s achievements, and look forward to continuing to providing banking solutions and employment for indigenous people into the future.”

The Traditional Credit Union branch in Tennant Creek is located at 135 Patterson  Street and will be open to customers from Monday, 17 March 2014.

For more information please visit www.tcu.com.au/.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Commissioner calls for human rights for NT women and children

While International Women’s Day is seen by many as a day to celebrate the milestones of gender equality, for far too many Northern Territory women discrimination remains a frightening fact of life.

The Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sally Sievers says equality is not being achieved in the Territory, particularly when women and children are deprived of the fundamental right to be safe and free from violence.

“Violence against women is the worst form of discrimination against women,” Ms Sievers said.

“Hospital and crime statistics paint a gruesome picture of domestic and family violence in the Northern Territory, and it is not just women that are suffering. Territory children often witness family violence which impacts their childhood development and results in long term consequences for their health.”

In Australia a woman is killed by a current or former partner each week.*

One in three Australia women have experienced violence since the age of 15 and almost one in five have experienced sexual violence. (ABS 2012)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) statistics from 2010 reveal in 2009/2010 that 27 non-indigenous women in the Northern Territory were admitted to hospital for treatment after being assaulted. In the same period and for same reason over 840 Aboriginal women were admitted, Territory Aboriginal women are 80 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of assault.

Homicide rates in the Northern Territory show that 61% of homicides occur in a domestic context. The Territory homicide rate is also starkly higher than other jurisdictions, with 8.2 per 100 000 compared to the national rate of 1.2 per 100 000 people.

“The solutions need to be long term and day to day,” Ms Sievers said.

“The NT Government is currently working on a Domestic and Family Violence Reduction Strategy to meet its national obligations and arrive at a multi-facet approach to meet the needs of our diverse community.

“It is crucial that this plan includes and expands the reach of programs that are known to work in the NT, such as the Outreach Program at the Alice Springs Women’s Shelter -providing early intervention and support for women and their children.

“Domestic and family violence is a community problem and needs the whole community to be involved in the solutions. We must look at a number of ways to prevent this situation, we need to educate people of respectful relationships right from our school children through to our leaders.

“As we approach International Women’s Day let’s reflect on what we as individuals and as a community can do to ensure all women and children are afforded this basic human right to be safe and free from violence.”

The Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commissioner will speak at the Working Women’s Centre showing of the film Girl Rising on Friday 7 March 2014 and the International Women’s Day Walk – Saturday 8 March 2014 at Parliament House.

For further information on International Women’s Day activities in the Northern Territory go to https://www.facebook.com/#!/OfficeOfWomensAdvancement

*Chan, A and Payne, J (2013). Homicide in Australia: 2008 -09 to 2009-10 National Homicide Monitoring Program annual report. Canberra. Australian Institute of Criminology. <http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/mr/21/mr21.pdf>

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Mission Australia NT celebrates program success

Mission Australia is celebrating the success of threeyoung Indigenous women who secured fulltime employment after graduating from the Indigenous Youth Career Pathways Program (IYCP) last year.

Deanne Kenyon, Shinade Djerrkura and Lateesha Barlow are the first IYCP graduates in the Northern Territory to gain fulltime work after completing the program.

“We’re very proud to see our first graduates now working fulltime and making a difference in their community,” Mission Australia NT State Leader Sue Kendrick said.

“These girls are shining examples of how the Indigenous Youth Career Pathways can help young people transition into work or study after school.”

Deanne Kenyon, who is now working fulltime as a tour guide in her family-owned Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours on the outskirts of Darwin, said the program helped her stay on track and achieve her goals.

“Doing the IYCP program with Mission Australia was great,” Ms Kenyon said.

“It was that outside encouragement. Not someone from the school or family telling you what to do but someone to help you see the big picture.

“I wanted to be like my Dad, he’s a Park Ranger, so I followed him and studied Conservation and Land Management.”

Deanne enrolled in the IYCP program with Mission Australia in July 2012 and studied a Certificate Two in Conservation Land Management and Certificate Three in Tourism over eighteen months.

But she readily admits she wasn’t always this dedicated.
“You could say that I went through a phase of being a rebel and not seeing the point in school,” Deanne said.
“I started wagging classes and told my Dad that I didn’t want school. I didn’t want peer pressure and I didn’t want to put up with fights. Friends where you fight one week and are friends the next, only to do it all over again next month,” she explains.

“I tried home schooling for a while and only wanted to go back to school if I could do something to help me with work and that’s when Mum told me about the Mission Australia program.

“I’m so glad that I did it. I now have qualifications and the courses helped me step out of my comfort zone and get used to talking to thousands of tourists a week.

“While I’ve always grown up knowing my bushtucker and culture, it improved my customer skills and taught me how to deal with conflict situations or confronting questions.”

Mission Australia’s Indigenous Youth Career Pathways Program began in Darwin in June 2012 with the vision to increase the number of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in fulltime work or study after school.

“Every student in the Indigenous Youth Career Pathways Program has a dedicated mentor who will support them through the program,” Ms Kendrick said.

“It’s similar to a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship in that participants will learn a trade or gain a Certification Two, Three or Four in their chosen field while they complete school.”

IYCP is a federally funded program open to Indigenous students from Years 10 to 12.

For more information visit www.missionaustralia.com.au

Monday, March 03, 2014

Get to know your Neighbours this March

Relationships Australia NT is encouraging Territorians to get to know the people around them and living in their street this Neighbour Day.

Neighbour Day is an annual celebration of community held on the last Sunday of March, falling on Sunday 30 March this year.

The Day was founded by Australia Day Ambassador Andrew Heslop in 2003 after the lonely death of Mrs Elise Brown, who was left unfound by family, neighbours and friends for up two years after passing away in her home.

“Neighbour Day is a timely reminder for us all to get know the people living next door, across the street or working in the same building,” Relationships Australia NT CEO Marie Morrison said.

“We can’t underestimate the value of community and a simple hello.

“As we age and build online communities, our connections with the people around us are lessening.

“On this Neighbour Day make sure you take the opportunity to say hi to your neighbours, host a get together for the people in your street or offer to give one of them a hand with something.”

Relationships Australia was handed the baton from Andew Heslop on 1 January 2014 to grow and manage Neighbour Day in Australia after a national expression of interest process late last year.

“We plan to build upon the strong legacy of Mr Heslop, who has carefully grown and developed this wonderful event over the past ten years,” Ms Morrison said.

Relationships Australia shares the vision and values of Neighbour Day and firmly believes that our communities are only as strong as the people who live in them.

“Helping individuals, couples and families build stronger relationships has been the fundamental aim of Relationships Australia for 60 years.”

Darwin Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim and local Alice Springs resident Jonathan Pilbrow will help spread the message of Neighbour Day in the NT after signing on as Ambassadors.

Mr Pilbrow, a long-term  social worker and Territorian, said he will celebrate Neighbour Day with an open barbeque in his front yard.

“Neighbour Day is important because it encourages neighbours to take a break from their busy lives, and take the time to connect and reconnect, with each other," Mr Pilbrow said.

"I think that good neighbours and good neighbourhoods are one of the keys for a healthy and happy society.

“Good neighbourhoods can help break down social isolation, and improve public safety, with people keeping an eye out for each other, and they can also help to address local issues and problems."

Mr Pilbrow and others have been hosting fortnightly get-togethers with friends and people that haven’t yet met, in Larapinta Park since 2012 and more recently added a street Christmas Party.

People can connect with Jonathan on the ‘Friends of Larapinta’ Facebook group.

For more information on Neighbour Day visit www.nt.relationships.org.au or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.