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Culture and company combine for special NAIDOC Week honour

Representing her culture and heritage along with her company during NAIDOC week is a moment not lost on Feros Care Local Area Coordinator, Julie Karidis.

A descendant of mid-NSW mob, the Kamilaroi, Julie wore her Feros Care shirt with pride during a NAIDOC Week event last year, enjoying a yarn or two and providing NDIS information while representing her culture and company.

Julie will be heading out to the traditional home of the Wirangu people, Ceduna, for NAIDOC Week this year to meet elders and artists and visit cultural sites, as well as partaking in a cultural weaving workshop.


While she won’t be at an event officially for Feros Care, she said the company’s commitment to celebrating and recognising NAIDOC Week, which was  highlighted by attending a Welcome to Country event facilitated by Kombumerri man, Grant
Williams, at Burleigh Heads, once again made her proud.

“NAIDOC Week is a chance for Aboriginal people to show their wonderful contribution to society and some of the amazing things our people have achieved,” Julie said.

“It also recognises all who have gone over and above, and it’s so important as part of our ongoing relationship with Aboriginal communities to celebrate NAIDOC week.

“It’s about respect and it doesn’t have to be anything major, just by having a Welcome to Country, an explanation of the meaning behind NAIDOC Week and attending an event helps a lot.”

No stranger to combining her culture with professional pursuit and harmony, Julie, who is based in Adelaide, has over 15 years of experience working in the Aged Care and Disability sectors.

Gaining knowledge in community support with Dementia Australia and ACH Group, Julie connected professionally with her culture by running the Aboriginal Wyatt Holiday Program, and assisting to facilitate parent programs, healthy homes and increased capacity
for families to support kids to live happy, healthy lives through Aboriginal Family Support Services.


Now with Feros Care for two years, Julie has seen the company take great strides through the pending implementation of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) under the guidance and watchful eye of proud Woppaburra woman and Feros Care project lead, Tash Jessimer.

In northern Queensland, Feros Care has created stronger connections with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community through its Pathways Program, and most recently, creating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific roles, which Julie said
would create even stronger relationships.

“After working in Aged Care for a long time, I wanted to build my capacity in the disability sector as my ultimate goal is to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community through support and service connection,” Julie said.

“I really want to help as many from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community who qualify for the NDIS to get access and build their knowledge and capacity.

“In my role as an LAC and as a proud Aboriginal, I want to be the first port of call for other Aboriginal people, and really connect through an understanding of cultural needs.”

Feeling proud of the company’s move to implement Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific roles, Julie said the journey towards full cultural understanding, awareness and connection was strongly advanced.

By recognising and celebrating NAIDOC Week, she believed greater connections would continue to be made by Feros Care.

“We’re on a journey, and especially through Tash coming onboard, there’s a lot happening that is really positive,” Julie said.

“We’re heading in the right direction, and through celebrating NAIDOC Week, actively seeking stronger connections with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to join
the company as staff, it’s really, really positive.”

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