My role as an Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Worker

Naricah.jpgFlourish Australia Aboriginal Social and Emotional Well-Being worker, Naricah Smith, won the Aboriginal Trainee of the Year Award at the annual Moree Reconciliation Week Ball held at the Moree Town Hall on Friday 1st June 2018.

NARICAH: I am a proud Kamilaroi woman who is passionate about Aboriginal advocacy. I am a member of the Flourish Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island People  and Communities CoP (Community of Practice). 

I applied for the traineeship in 2016 which involved a couple of rounds of interviews. I completed a Certificate IV in 2017 in four months instead of twelve because I managed to finish all the units before June. Currently I am enrolled in a Diploma in Mental Health at TAFE New England. 

My job involves coordination of support for the NDIS. There are people who access our service that I see at regular appointments where I keep an eye on how they are going with their personal goals and keeping their plans up to date. 

I also facilitate a regular Art as Therapy Group. It has been pretty popular this year. We get visits from Jane Miller the Flourish Australia Community Arts coordinator. We all love it when she comes!

Last year I put the idea to Jade Ryall (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community of Practice) that Flourish Australia should be involved at the annual Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout in October. Jade, and Jarrod Cutmore and I put a proposal together and [Former CEO] Pam [Rutledge] was pleased to support it. It was a really good outcome.

“Naricah is always willing to stretch herself with her skill set and take on more challenges. She happily supports people from all walks of life with a kind and caring attitude.” – A comment taken from Naricah’s award nomination

For 2017 mental health month, I planned, consulted and assisted Flourish Australia participants to build a wellness garden that encompassed a variety of cultural elements and mediums.  

At Moree I have a great team to work with who give me good support and help me believe in myself. If you work at it and Keep an open mind, this role is really rewarding. Flourish Australia has saved me. I never really had a permanent stable career. 

Once I started here it really opened my eyes to a lot of things and I just wanted to do more. I love studying and I’m motivated to be the best worker I can be. I had never really been that way before.  I can’t thank Claire Dunlop (former Manager at Moree) enough for her mentoring. The little things she has taught me I will always carry through with me.  

It is good to know that if you can kick a few goals, it inspires you to do more!

Naricah spoke to Warren Heggarty. Additional reporting by Jim Booth. Source: The Moree Champion

National Reconciliation Week,

27 May to 3 June, commemorates two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision.

‘National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements and to explore how each of us can contribute to creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.’

The theme for National Reconciliation Week this year was ‘Don’t Keep History a Mystery. Learn. Share. Grow’

Reconciliation week in Moree includes the usual sharing of stories, sausage sizzles and get-togethers as well as the Reconciliation Games and a Gala Ball at the Town Hall.

Flourish Australia has been a proud sponsor of the Mental Health Recovery Award for the last five years at the Ball and has seen a number of staff and people we support nominated.


Flourish Australia Moree, Unit 6/25 Auburn Street, MOREE NSW 2400

1300 779 270

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