IWC applauded at national conference on Long-Term Unemployment

IWC Chaplain and Director Cheri Yavu Kama Harathunian received a rousing round of applause when she presented a confronting perspective on long-term unemployment at a national conference this month.

The presentation was title "The Cultural Nuances of Long-Term Unemployment Experiences in an Aboriginal Community - Beating the System.

It was presented in Melbourne at the Australian Long-Term Unemployment (LTU) Conference on 9-10 November, which was held by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMHA).

The purpose of the conference was to examine the barriers to employment, and when the IWC presented its very real and forward-looking perspective Aunty Cheri received a strong round of applause from the delegates.

"What we have to come to terms with is that the long-term unemployed are not just a group of misfits; unintelligent, lazy, imperceptive people. That's the historical view," she said.

"Because of their numbers, they have created communication, economic values, ideologies, beliefs, values, mores and cultural systems about which we in mainstream society know very little.

"They are a society within mainstream society and the sooner we recognise this, perhaps we will learn the art of engagement with them. So many of them are happy with their life and have found 'work' that works for them."

You can read the Powerpoint presentation here.