A Canberra charity supporting Indigenous ex-detainees has received a much-needed boost in its efforts to receive ongoing funding, with two people from its program receiving local NAIDOC awards.
Worldview Foundation's senior mentor Anthony Longbottom received the ACT elder of the year, while Albert Barker was named ACT Indigenous community sector worker of the year.
Worldview director Jamie Miller said it was pleasing that people within the organisation had been recognised in this way and was particularly happy for Mr Barker, who was one of the first to join the program and had since progressed to becoming a mentor for other ex-detainees in their transition from jail to life "on the outside".
"Managing that transition is difficult for our clients," he said.
"Albert [Barker] has the life experience which is important in supporting people through the process; he's now working in a supervisor and mentor role and has taken on a lot more responsibilities."
Worldview's pilot program in Fyshwick takes a holistic approach with its Indigenous clients, interviewing them before they leave prison and once they are released, working closely with them in providing accommodation, employment, health and general welfare support.
It's a multi-pronged approach that doesn't quite fit the organisation into a single pigeon-hole of service provision preferred by government bureaucracy.
The Commonwealth has been providing a significant proportion of the funding to date through grants and employment subsidies but an important portion of this support will begin to fall away within the next three to fourth months.
Income also comes from Worldview's goods and services, with several of the ex-detainees employed to strip out and recycle computer equipment in the charity's workshop.
An independent research body is assessing the Worldview program and will complete its assessment soon.
Mr Miller acknowledged that a good report card would help the hunt for fresh funding.
Of the 22 ex-prisoners who have entered the program since it began, three have re-offended and returned to jail while one was arrested for breach of parole.
While Worldview's 18 per cent recividism rate is a better outcome than the 23 per cent achieved by the ACT government's own post-prison Throughcare support program, Mr Miller believes there's the potential for further improvement.
"We always set the bar pretty high and think we can do better," he said.
"We've also not been as successful as we had hoped in bringing women clients through the program."
Anthony Longbottom had been out of town visiting his sick father when the ACT NAIDOC awards were announced and when he received a phone call from Mr Miller advising him of the honour, he thought his director was joking.
"I thought he was pulling my leg, to be honest," he said.
"I feel quite honoured to be recognised in this way. It's not the sort of thing you seek out but it's really nice that it's happened."
NIDOC Week will be celebrated in the territory this week.