Kummara Limited is an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation that provides services for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous families. They are well regarded in the community as an organisation that partners with families to support them in self-determination. They believe in the strength of family and have a strong reputation for engagement, consultation and supporting the community.
Over the last 3 years as part of their commitment to remaining connected to the families and community they work with and for, Kummara Limited have reflected on their practice by publishing an annual Action Research Report. This report now in its 3rd year of publication, takes a continuous learning approach, where staff are actively involved in seeing the world around them through the eyes of the people they work with and working in a mindful and purposeful way to bring about change for the families. The long-term vision for this project is that it will map service improvements made over a period of time demonstrating the differences the services offered through Kummara Limited and its partner organisations made in society and for the clients that engage in their services. Further to that, the report can become a blueprint for other organisations, change-makers, strategic thinkers, and policy-makers to see the methodology of how that change occurred.
The Action Research Report captures the stories of the families in a way that provides valuable insight into achieving outcomes using therapeutic services for an array of issues families may face. This doesn’t mean that the report is full of only positive solutions. As it is a reflective practice, the report provides thought leaders within Kummara Limited the opportunity to look at what worked and what didn’t work. This ultimately can be used to make changes as indicated moving forward with service delivery.
Kummara Limited CEO, Dr Gerald Featherstone reflects on the impact the project has had so far on service delivery “It is imperative that our service responses continue to resonate with the shifts in the world around us. Even before 2020, as an organisation we adopted the adage of seeing the world through the eyes of others, but now post-pandemic it has become evident to successfully navigate the impact of Covid, we need to be constantly checking and reviewing. Maintaining a sense of humility is the best response to support moving forward with innovative ideas, that can affect the best change for the families, community and people we work with and for, staff included.”
The potential for innovation resulting from ongoing reflection on services cannot be overstated. Innovation encompasses a spectrum of benefits, including the development of novel solutions, enhanced staff retention, improved cultural practices, deeper understanding leading
to practice and service enhancements, streamlined service delivery to appropriate recipients, yielding better outcomes, and fostering meaningful real-world connections.
“Reflection becomes part of our everyday practice, and the Action Research Methodology is just an extension of the reflective practice approach we seek for the whole organisation.” continues Dr Featherstone, “Our staff engaging with families and young people play an important role in effecting positive change through that reflective practice.”
Family support staff to work in partnership and develop an intimate awareness of the families they work with and can identify what bought about the change for the families. They also understand the practices that worked best to effect change and can see what didn’t work so that next time they can approach the problem in a different way. Dr Featherstone points out “through the Action Research approach, we are helping staff build their reflective capacity and function so they can remain mindful and purposeful in bringing change for families.”
Within the Action Research Project, it must be emphasised that the focus is on understanding the outcomes of services provided within the complexities of human experiences. To achieve this goal, significant emphasis must be placed on respecting the confidentiality and individualised needs of the families. Each piece of a family’s story is treated with the utmost care, respect and responsibility. This includes a comprehensive de-identification process, ensuring that the data collected cannot be traced back to any specific individuals. Moreover, within the broader framework of service delivery, individual consultation is prioritised. This approach allows support and interventions to be tailored to the unique requirements and circumstances of each person using the services, ultimately fostering a more compassionate and effective approach to promoting positive change.
Dr Featherstone summarises the service delivery within the framework of the Action Research Report “We work within a Family Partnership Model, exploring goals together with the family, where we can work best with the family and support them to be the decision makers as experts in their own lives. Through this approach we support families to lead a self-determined life while being able to learn how moving forward we, as an organisation, can provide services with a real-world connection.”
The 2021, 2022 and 2023 Action Research Reports by Kummara Limited are a testament to the organisation’s unwavering commitment to positive change and self-determination for the families and communities they serve. It encapsulates their ethos of respecting the unique needs and aspirations of every individual, Indigenous and Non-Indigenous alike. Through a continuous learning approach, Kummara Limited has taken the initiative to see the world through the eyes of the families and individuals they work with, promoting a mindful and purposeful journey towards transformative change.
For enquiries on the Kummara Limited Action Research Reports visit the website.