Q & A with Stephanie Lalor, our new First Australians Program Manager

First Australian led programs which you support, empower Indigenous Australians to weave cultural knowledge and community wellbeing together. Photo: Caritas Australia.

Stephanie Lalor has worked at Caritas Australia for over ten years – as our Pacific Programs Manager and more recently as our First Australians Program Manager. She tells us about her inspiration and takes a look at the year ahead.

Q – What is the focus for the First Australians Program in the year ahead?

A - The First Australians Program this year is partnering with First Australian-led organisations to promote the social and emotional wellbeing of First Australians, through culturally-safe and place-based solutions. That means that our focus is on engaging communities at a local level to identify and develop solutions.

We believe that First Australian partners and communities have the solutions so we want to ensure that the programs we support are developed and led by First Australians, with a focus on supporting the change they want to see in the world and in their communities.

Q – Could you tell us about the work that some of our First Australian partners are working on at the moment?

A – We are supporting organisations like Red Dust Healing that run programs, from a cultural perspective, to support individuals to heal from trauma and find a way forward. Similarly, our partnership with Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation supports the survivors – the Uncles and their descendants, to lead their own healing and to tell their story so that the broader community can understand – and learn from, the impact of the Stolen Generations.

We also partner with Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation in Western Sydney, which is providing a safe place in the community and offering a range of services, including a homework club for children, a young mums and bubs group as well as hosting a range of community events.

Q – What do you like most about your work with the First Australians Program?

A - What I love most about my role with Caritas Australia’s First Australians Program is getting to meet amazing, passionate, committed individuals and organisations, keen to have their voices heard and build on their strengths to achieve the goals they have for their future.

Q – What are your hopes for the future of Caritas Australia’s First Australian Programs?

My hope for the First Australians Program for the year ahead is that through our partnerships, by learning from and supporting each other, we can support First Australian-led solutions and truly make a difference.

We catch up with the new head of our First Australians program, Stephanie Lalor, about the unique work of our partners across Australia and plans for the future.