ABOUT US

Birrang was established in 2003 and has been in continuous operation since its establishment. Birrang was established as a regional based community service provider offering employment and related services to Aboriginal people of New South Wales. Over time, Birrang has expanded its activities to include people from other cultures and backgrounds, in response to identified needs and opportunities.

The Board of Directors all of whom are Aboriginal are located in Bourke, Griffith, Balranald, Bathurst, Deniliquin and Albury. The Board of Directors have held their positions since 2003 with the exception of our Bourke director who joined our company in 2012.

Our Organisation

Birrang is a Not-for-profit Company with limited liability registered as a charity (Public Benevolent Institution) with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). Birrang is endorsed to receive income tax deductible contributions as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).

Birrang is governed by a skilled Board of Directors drawn from diverse geographical regions across NSW. Birrang employs a Chief Executive Officer to manage its day-to-day operations at an office complex in Orange owned by Birrang. The CEO supervises a team of qualified staff including trainers, project co-ordinators and a Finance Officer.

Our Logo

‘Birrangis a Wiradjuri word meaning ‘Horizon’. The logo contains a circular motif on the left, which represents the organisation, the horizontal lines represent the communities served by Birrang, and the nodes at the ends of the lines represent the individuals and activities supported by the vision of the organisation.

Our Experience

From 2003 to date, Birrang has provided services for Aboriginal and Disadvantaged people in regional and remote NSW some of our experience includes;

Gawimarra Burrany Ngurung, Picking up the pieces – Domestic Violence program (Bourke)

The family violence outcomes that this service aims to achieve are to reduce the violence in the community and the family, reduce the number of children who are being placed in out of home care due to family violence, improve family functionality, cause behavioural changes in the perpetrator and to assist the family in overcoming the impact of the trauma

Save Our sisters, Save Our Sons Youth Program (Bourke)

This program helps to reconnect Youth to community, school or education and for some, develop employment pathways. The program will provide the support and tools required for the youth to make positive life choices, improve their own wellbeing, resilience and reduce their involvement in the anti-social or violent behaviours.

Strong Young Aboriginal Parents (SYAP) Life-skills workshops

SYAP is capacity development program that provides young parents with the tools to self-manage issues in their community, families and neighbourhoods over time;

          Provide support to vulnerable young parents to overcome social disadvantage;

          Facilitate face to face contact with clients to provide, education awareness in addressing significant social issues;

          Promote individuals and groups about positive parenting practices and goal setting processes using accessible and relevant materials and formats.

          Promote skills and knowledge to encourage young parents to participate in community activities and take on leadership roles, while providing training in good parenting practice.

 

Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP)

Birrang was a provider of the Australian Government’s CDEP program, which “helps Indigenous job seekers to gain the skills, training and capabilities needed to find sustainable employment”.

From 2003-2013 Birrang provided CDEP program services under a series of funding agreements with the Australian Government. Program specifications: 360 individual job seekers supported in the following communities across regional and remote NSW: Alice Edwards Village (2008-13), Bourke (2008-13), Brewarrina (2009-13), Cobar (2008), Enngonia (2009-13) and Weilmoringle (2009-13).

Indigenous Employment Program (IEP)

Birrang has a Deed of Standing Offer with the Australian Government as a member of IEP’s 2012-2015 Employment Panel and 2012-2015 Economic Development and Business Support Panel. The Indigenous Employment Program provides support for “employers, businesses and other organisations for activities or projects that help increase employment outcomes and economic participation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”.

Since 2013 Birrang has focused increasingly on community education, training and employment support, whilst retaining its membership of the IEP Panels.

New Careers for Aboriginal People (NCAP)

Birrang was a provider of the NSW Government’s NCAP program, which “aims to increase the participation of Aboriginal people in the labour market by identifying, creating and supporting opportunities for sustainable education, training and employment”.

Road safety and licencing initiatives

Birrang is contracted by the Roads and Maritime Services [formally RTA] to deliver and facilitate a range of community based programs.

  • Reduction of and facilitation of payment plans for fines and suspensions
  • Development and delivery of safe driving and parental responsibility workshops
  • Customised programs for Aboriginal people to obtain their licence
  • Decreasing barriers to employment and financial restraints.

In July 2000 the NSW Government Introduced a new licensing scheme called the Graduated Licensing Scheme [GLS] under the scheme a learner driver who held a learner license was required to obtain a minimum of 50 hours of on road supervised driving experience before they could apply for a provisional P1 license.

In July 2007 this was revised and increased to a minimum of 120 hours of driving experience. The driving experience obtained must be recorded in the logbook and signed by their supervising driver.

The introduction of the Graduated Licensing Scheme has for many disadvantaged people left a feeling that driver licensing is out of their reach. Low levels of the literacy, financial capacity, access to licensed supervising drivers, and access to licensing enrolment in testing are significant barriers for disadvantaged including Aboriginal people to be able to obtain and maintain a driver’s licence.

Birrang’s objectives are to:

  • Deliver an appropriate learner driver program which caters specifically to the needs of disadvantaged people
  • Assist disadvantaged customers to remove pre – licence barriers [proof of identity, SDRO and literacy issues]
  • Assist disadvantaged customers to prepare for the Driver knowledge test
  • Increase the accessibility of learner drivers towards compiling the required 120 hours of supervised driving experience.
  • Increase the number of disadvantaged customers entering the driver licensing system.

Birrang Learner Driver Program

The strengths and difference of the Birrang Learner Driver Program is its complete approach to all aspects of eliminating the barrier of employment of not holding or being eligible to gain a drivers licence.

The program initially addresses the Financial Planning aspect of gaining a licence that may prevent the client even gaining their learners permit. Birrang Enterprise initiates contact between the client and State Debt Recovery Office. The client is encouraged and assisted with entering into a time to pay arrangement that reduces and eliminates the fines preventing the client from progressing with their licence.

The client undergoes onsite training covering the Road User Handbook. All questions are extensively covered and discussed with a Birrang accredited trainer and are delivered in a culturally appropriate setting and manner. This enables a comfortable forum for the clients to discuss any questions and provides the most successful learning opportunity available to ensure the participant is not set up to fail. The training provides clients access to computers and familiarize them with the format of the Learner Driver Knowledge Test and gives them a pass or fail mark at the completion of each practice test. The client and trainer have comparison to work against to track progress and identify any areas of the test that may be providing problematic for the client.

When a consistent pass rate has been achieved, Birrang then guides the client through the process of booking their learner driver test at the local Roads and Maritime Service Centre. Once the learners permit has been achieved, Birrang then assists the client to accrue the hours of driving required to gain their provisional licence.

To make this possible, Birrang Enterprise has purchased five (5) dual control cars which they use to assist the learners in general operations of the vehicle and to accrue their hours. For the majority of the clients who start the driver training, without the avenue to accrue the required hours the training is almost obsolete, as the Provisional licence will not be able to achieve.

The gaining of their licence and the elimination of outstanding fines removes a major vocational barrier and in many instances, depending on the value of the fines, a major personal issue. It also has a positive ripple effect on many non-vocational barriers e.g improved levels of confidence and motivation and an elevated level of independence.

BOURKE FAMILY FOCUSSED

GAWIMARRA BURRANY NGURUNG, PICKING UP THE PIECES: THE BIRRANG/MARANGUKA INTENSIVE FAMILY-FOCUSED CASE MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT MODEL

The Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 includes $25 million for Indigenous specific activities to address family violence in Indigenous communities.

“Indigenous women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised because of family violence than non-Indigenous women. Indigenous children are more than five times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be hospitalised for assault and eight times more likely to experience child abuse or neglect,” Minister Scullion, 28 October 2016

This Bourke based program is a direct response to the challenge set by Minister Scullion to address these shocking statistics of violence in Indigenous communities highlighted as a national priority under the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. The specific strategies will focus on the provision of intensive family-focused case management to address behaviours that lead to family violence.

The family violence outcomes that this service aims to achieve are to reduce the violence in the community and the family, reduce the number of children who are being placed in out of home care due to family violence, improve family functionality, cause behavioural changes in the perpetrator and to assist the family in overcoming the impact of the trauma

The program will be delivered by Birrang Enterprise Development Co Ltd (Birrang) in partnership with Maranguka.

Download Media Release $1.5m to reduce family violence in Bourke PDF

Birrang driving licensing

 

Originally the Maranguka Driver Licensing Initiative, this licensing program has evolved from Philanthropic funding to be funded within the Birrang Driver Licensing Access Program.
 
From Bourke community consultations it was evident that barriers to obtaining a driver’s license were having a significant impact on community – and that with proper resourcing, those barriers were largely surmountable. Driver licensing offences constitute a large proportion of offending and conviction rates in Bourke, and in many instances lead to imprisonment.

Justice Reinvest NSW has been working with the Bourke community since 2012. From community consultations it was evident that barriers to obtaining a driver’s license were having a significant impact on community – and that with proper resourcing, those barriers were largely surmountable. Driver licensing offences constitute a large proportion of offending and conviction rates in Bourke, and in many instances lead to imprisonment.

This is a fact that has been recognised by the Bourke Aboriginal Community Working Party for many years resulting in the 2009 Crime Prevention and Driver Education Program Feasibility Study.

For these reasons the Driver Licensing Initiative forms a key part of the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Circuit Breaker Proposals drafted in 2014.

In 2015 Maranguka and Justice Reinvest saw an opportunity for a collaborative approach which harnessed key partners with the necessary technical expertise and highly creditable track records such as Birrang Enterprise Development Co Ltd (Birrang), George Institute of Global Health and Justice Reinvest NSW. Birrang has been involved and supported the Maranguka Justice Reinvest since its commencement and has experienced the driver licensing issues aligned with the circuit breakers whilst delivering the Driver Learner Program across regional and remote NSW. This collaboration resulted in sourcing funding from the Vincent Fairfax Family and the Dusseldorp Forum to launch the Maranguka Driver Licensing Initiative. Recently a story appeared on The Point with Stan Grant. Click on link to view http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/05/10/its-not-just-licence-its-future

S.O.S (Save our Sisters, Save our Sons)

Over the years a variety of programs focusing on crime prevention and the reduction of anti-social behaviour and domestic violence have been run in communities. Although these programs have had broad success, some gaps remain – one gap in particular is the young person’s connectedness and a sense of belonging to home, education and community. The S.O.S program is a grass roots approach that aims to bridge this gap by way of utilising whole of community support including elders and recognised role models as ongoing mentors to the individuals.

Through community support and partnerships, the delivery of behaviour changing, diversionary, and life skills programs will address the needs of Young people between 8 -18 yrs. old who are at risk of, or who are in contact with the criminal justice system. This program will help to reconnect individuals to community, school or education and for some, develop employment pathways. The program will provide the support and tools required for the youth to make positive life choices, improve their own wellbeing, resilience and reduce their involvement in the anti-social or violent behaviours.

Aims and Objectives

The Project aims and objectives are;

  • Develop a Maranguka Youth Council to oversee and guide the Program
  • Provide participants with cultural knowledge and links to community members.
  • Improve personal interactions and social behaviour of young people
  • Reduction the offending and re-offending rate of young people
  • Reduction in violence
  • Reduction in anti-social behaviour
  • Reduction in crime related offences
  • increased connectedness to community and education
  • Increased sense of belonging
  • Increase in individual wellbeing and resilience
  • Provide participants with information on alternatives to offending
  • Provide participants with information and Create an awareness of the effects of offending
  • Provide access to training/employment/education
  • Provide participants with information and create an awareness of the effects of drugs and alcohol
  • Develop skills to enable positive social and personal interactions
  • Provide participants with appropriate social and living skills
  • Collect relevant data for improvement, best practice and future programs
  • Improve the cultural knowledge of young people.
  • Help vulnerable young people build their capacity for a good future;
  • Improve social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal people;
  • Provide support to vulnerable adults and families so that they can participate fully in community life
  • Build strong and inclusive communities.