Compared to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the same age group, the Stolen Generations are 40% more likely to be living with a profound disability and 40% more likely to have poor mental health1. The Shed is a safe, welcoming environment where people can share their stories in a non-judgemental setting. The service assists with mental, physical and emotional wellbeing and connects people to mental health services, Centrelink, housing, legal and therapeutic services.
The WentWest Commissioning Team has worked with The Shed for over five years, supporting Western Sydney’s regional objective of improving Aboriginal health.
Luke* is a 60-year-old Aboriginal man who has been attending The Shed for several years for health, wellbeing and legal services. He is one of the Stolen Generations who was taken from his family at a young age. The trauma still lives with him, but the Shed has given him a supportive space to share his story with a community of like-minded people. “After meeting and talking to people, I realised I wasn’t alone…I suffer from PTSD from being taken away, and it comes in waves. You might wake up and have a miserable morning, but coming here, life is not so bad,”.
Luke is amongst the 60% of the Stolen Generations living with a disability or restrictive long-term health condition2. The Shed allows him to connect with specific health providers in a comforting environment rather than through a clinical setting. Luke said, “This place broke the monotony of being on a disability pension…I feel much more at home here than going to the medical centre”.
There are around 27,200 Stolen Generation survivors, and 30% live in New South Wales3. Over 40% of the Stolen Generations aged 50 and over have issues accessing health services4, which leaves them in a cycle of poor health. The Shed is instrumental in changing those statistics and connecting community members to life-changing health and wellbeing services.
As with all of our commissioned services, WentWest maintains a close and productive partnership with The Shed. Identifying the need for more services targeting the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, WentWest actively works with The Shed through an ongoing process of co-design, collaboration and continuous improvement.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of this client
All references: AIHW (2021), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations aged 50 and over: updated analyses for 2018–19
Contact The Shed Mt Druitt: 02 9628 6317
Read more stories from the WW Stories project.