At Synapse, we do things with courage. When others find things too hard or say it can’t be done, we persist. We do that because we deeply believe that everyone deserves a fair go, to feel connected and supported, to have a place that feels like home and a community where they belong.
So last night it was hugely rewarding to see this recognised when we took home the award for Outstanding Organisation in Disability Services at the inaugural HESTA Excellence Awards.
This award means a lot to us because not only does it recognise our work in providing specialist housing, support, service and advocacy for Australians impacted by brain injury, but a major factor in this recognition is our development of the Warner Street Community Living initiative. Warner Street is Australia’s first and only purpose-built, culturally responsive housing for Indigenous Australians impact by brain injury and complex disability and was completed in 2017.
“Warner Street is built under a culturally safe model for mob who have brain injuries. This means that our mob are able to maintain cultural connections through cultural systems of support for healing with over 90% of our team being Indigenous. We have seen in each tenant that has moved in, the changes that a place such as Warner makes to their lives and what healing can look like and should be like, for our mob”, said Shehana, a key team member at Warner Street.
We were repeatedly told something like Warner Street could not be done. But we worked with our team, local communities, Elders and many, many others to develop something that reflected these voices about what was possible – built on trust, respect, safety and a desire to do things differently. Proper Way.
We are extremely grateful to be acknowledged by HESTA for our work as we continue creating awareness, systemic change and supports for Indigenous communities, who experience at least double the rate of brain injury.
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