VDRC steps up in face of disaster

Mar 24, 2023

With hundreds temporarily residing in the Howard Springs Centre for National Resilience (CNR), Victoria Daly Regional Council staff are working hard to provide care for displaced community members.
Kalkarindji, Daguragu, and Nitjpurru (Pigeon Hole) residents were evacuated from their communities on 3 March following severe flooding across the region.

Council staff members were also evacuated from the affected communities will reside in the CNR until safe to return home.

VDRC Night Patrol, Community Development Program (CDP), Aged Care and NDIS departments are now directing their services and support normally delivered in communities towards those staying in the CNR.

Community Night Patrol:

A Night Patrol model has been established within the CNR through the support of patrollers who have been evacuated to the facility.

Female and male Night Patrol teams are providing valuable support and engagement with evacuees at the CNR. They are also receiving additional staffing support from the CDP team to help with the patrols.

Night patrol team members have established and strong community connections, making them well placed to provide support and care for their Countrymen and women living in the facility.

Community Development Program:

CDP staff are engaging participants of the program in activities and training whilst they are away from their communities.

Several participants are undertaking a Civil Construction training program, equipping them with the skills to help rebuild their communities once they are safe to return to.

A massive thankyou to Palmerston Bunnings for the generous donation of PPE equipment required for the course.

Painting, craft, and jewellery making activities are also being run by CDP staff, as a way of positively engaging community members.

Age Care and NDIS services:

VDRC aged care residents are currently receiving welfare checks each morning from VDRC Aged Care staff. Food hampers, extra blankets, towels, and microwaves have also been delivered to the CNR, ensuring participants have access to everything they need to be comfortable in their temporary accommodation.

A weekly shuttle service from the CNR to Darwin is in the works, enabling elderly residents to safely leave the facility for shopping, socialising and medical appointments.

Residents are also engaging with arts and crafts activities via the pop-up art space coordinated by the Karungkarni Art Centre.

There is currently one NDIS participant in the CNR. They do not have complex needs and are receiving support from a carer who is also staying in the centre.

NDIS participants with complex needs are in respite care in Katherine.

The Mayor of Victoria Daly Regional, B. Pedwell, thanked staff for their hard work.

“Having so many people evacuated from their communities was always going to be challenging. It’s incredibly important however that our Council still provides services to ensure the most vulnerable in our community are taken care of,” Mayor Pedwell said.

“I can’t thank all the VDRC, Gurindji Aboriginal Corporation, Katherine West Health Board, Northern Territory Government staff and many other organisations working within CNR for their hard work and dedication during this period.”

For more information on the NTG’s recovery plan, click here.

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Media contact:

Maggie Coggan | 0477970963 | maggie.coggan@vicdaly.nt.gov.au