The Gathering: Northern Territory, Australia
The Gathering is a not-for-profit organisation. The Gathering provides Emergency Relief Service and a variety of related programs in the rural Darwin area, including areas encompassed within the Litchfield Shire and Marrakai. The Gathering has been operational for over fifteen years in this area.
A major operation of The Gathering is provision of case management for clients, which includes counselling referrals, mediation, mentoring, aid in becoming job ready and access to a variety of social services through inter-agency networking.
People accessing the emergency services or participating in a mentoring program with The Gathering are encouraged to be involved in the various activities and assisted in accessing a range of services. The Gathering networks with many other service providers and has a holistic approach to meeting people’s needs, ensuring people are able to overcome their current lifestyle patterns and improve their lives.
ACE – Trades Training and Mentoring Program
The ACE Trades Training and Mentoring Program was designed to accommodate people with low literacy levels and from various cultural backgrounds. The ACE Program was very versatile and was adapted to suit individual circumstances.
The Gathering designed the ACE Trades and Training Program approximately ten years ago. After surveying clients who accessed The Gathering Emergency Service it was found that the majority of people surveyed wanted to undertake trades training more than any other formal training or skills development. The secondary request was for training in computer literacy and basic bookkeeping.
In 2008, the ACE program was trialled, deemed successful and had support from the NT Government Department of Education and Training. This trial involved the people accessing The Gathering Emergency Relief Services and had very positive outcomes. In 2013 the ACE Program was successfully operated with support from the NT Government Department of Correctional Services.
The program continued to operate with a range of participants and was able to be accessed through various employment agencies.
The Program Aims were to
Build up participants spiritually and physically by training them for employment in the construction industry.
Provide intensive mentoring to equip participants to function in society in a way that is beneficial to the community. For example, by addressing issues that have previously made participants unemployable including problems relating to budgeting, mental and physical health, addictions, nutritional eating, personal hygiene and a routine lifestyle.
Provide on the job training, work experience, work references, employment opportunities or continued trades training.
Assist participants in fulfilling basic requirements to become employed e.g tax file number.
Assist participants in obtaining a driver’s licence and accommodation with the absence of drugs, alcohol and gambling.
Address anti-social behaviour and crime prevention through participants having respect for other peoples' property and pride in their work as they start to improve community buildings.