Prevention through early intervention
Gunawirra means “the invisible seed for all creation” — and it’s also the name of a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation for health and education professionals who work to care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. Gunawirra runs programs to improve the mental health of young families, with a special focus on improving parenting skills to reduce disadvantage and improve social inclusion.
We were pleased to award Gunawirra a $10,000 grant in 2011 to fund the production of an informative DVD about pregnancy. The DVD features stories of young pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Redfern, and has now been distributed to every maternity hospital in NSW.
During the presentation of the grant, representatives from Gunawirra asked if we could help provide toys to disadvantaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander preschool children throughout New South Wales, including Parkes, Casino, Nowra, Moree and Armidale. Our people were more than happy to help, donating over 500 toys, which were collected from our offices by Gunawirra and sent to the preschools across New South Wales.
Norma Tracey, CEO of Gunawirra, has been a social worker for over 50 years, and a psychotherapist in private practice for the last 30 years, specialising in parent–child relationships. Ms Tracey acknowledged the important role that these toys would play in pre-schoolers’ lives.
"With the help of the Commonwealth Bank, we at Gunawirra have been able to give to the neediest children in our state,” she said.
“We support over 30 preschools with valuable toys — which sometimes are their only toys for Christmas day. We know every concrete gift of support creates a building block in the child's mind of a world that cares about them."
Find out more about Gunawirra’s excellent work within Indigenous communities.