Lotterywest fund help SWAMS build better connections

Jacinta CantatoreBunbury Herald
SWAMS ceo Lesley Nelson, community support officer Leah Wearne, remote community connector Brendan Coyne and Bunbury MLA Don Punch.
Camera IconSWAMS ceo Lesley Nelson, community support officer Leah Wearne, remote community connector Brendan Coyne and Bunbury MLA Don Punch. Credit: Picture: Jacinta Cantatore

A community-led program to help prevent social isolation and disadvantage and boost mental and physical health has been given a boost of more than $300,000.

Lotterywest funding of $326,928 will go to the South West Aboriginal Medical Service for the organisation’s new ‘Wariny Koop Bidi Mart’ program.

The program, which means “making good pathways” in Noongar, is aimed at empowering people to participate in supportive programs to help build safe connections.

SWAMS chief executive officer Lesley Nelson said the funding was important to help deliver the program.

“This program will repair, rebuild and strengthen social connection among the Aboriginal community throughout the South West region,” Ms Nelson said.

“The Wariny Koop Bidi Mart program will empower the community to participate in supportive community programs that are reactive to or preventative of the risks of social isolation, mental and physical health, disadvantage or discrimination.

“If we can help people in the community stay healthy through social connection, then that’s what this is all about.”

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said the funding would make a “huge difference” in helping SWAMS deliver direct benefits to the Noongar community.

SWAMS ceo Lesley Nelson and Bunbury MLA Don Punch.
Camera IconSWAMS ceo Lesley Nelson and Bunbury MLA Don Punch.

“SWAMS is a fantastic local Aboriginal community-controlled organisation that works to promote the overall well-being of the Noongar community,” Mr Punch said. “This substantial funding allocation will support cultural and social programs delivered by SWAMS as part of their holistic approach to Aboriginal health.”

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