Watching out for welfare in the Centre

Dorrelle Anderson

As Executive Director, Southern Region for Territory Families, Dorrelle Anderson and her Southern Welfare Group had a crucial role in fielding referrals, supporting biosecurity and assisting people to return to country.

In March the team stood up the welfare function in the southern region.

"We pulled resources from what I call the 'engine room' – admin staff who support the operational areas because we still needed to provide our essential services for child protection services," Dorrelle said.

"I also included some qualified practitioners in the Welfare Group who had capacity to ensure wellbeing and welfare of our own staff, as well as the community members, was considered."

Dorrelle said initially there was a lot of planning, both internally and externally. This enabled the group to support individuals with accommodation, food and welfare.

"For example phoning Centrelink on their behalf to ensure they had access to funds, getting medication. I provided interpreting services, helping explain to people what was going on and why they needed to quarantine which helped them make informed decisions."

But the group went above and beyond.

"During this time we had Easter, Anzac Day and Mother’s Day," said Dorrelle.

"In the Barkly office staff put together cards and a little gift bag for all the mothers who were in quarantine. We also put together some care baskets for our fellow colleagues from other organisations who were all working hard."

Although the team has operated during natural disasters such as the Kintore floods and fires, coronavirus was different.

"You couldn't see it like you can with flood and fire," Dorrelle said.

"It challenged how we approached the 'crisis'."

Dorrelle Anderson

Last updated: 21 September 2020

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