In the vast, remote lands that occupy the northern most part of Western Australia, a group of Indigenous women are helping other local women to support their children through a unique NDIS program.
The program launched early last year, helping to connect families to NDIS and community supports for young children who live with disability or developmental delay.
Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) estimates the program has helped more than 150 families across the Kimberley.
And the women say they are seeing great results.
“We have seen really positive changes in the child’s speech development, where they are going to school and getting the support they need, where mothers are spending more time reading with their children,” said Mirella Bin Swani, who works with the Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS) as an NDIS-funded Family Support Worker.
“For instance, we had a little girl who we noticed straightaway wasn't really talking, but with regular home visits and speech therapy assistance, it was amazing to see how far she’s come and the progress made with constant support throughout the year.”
Leonie Cobbo, who works alongside Mirella and the other Family Support Workers at DAHS, says she has witnessed similar results.