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A night in Cuba

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A night in Cuba

Local charity Refocus is holding a Cuban-themed fundraiser to help support its work with First Nations children.

A charity focusing on improving the wellbeing of First Nations children living on the Sunshine Coast is calling on the community to help make a difference.

Refocus has been delivering wellbeing support services to the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay and Gympie regions since 2010.

The charity stands for ‘Redirecting and Empowering Families through Culturally Unique Services’ and provides a range of programs to support children to reach their full potential. On December 4, it will hold A Night in Cuba, a fundraiser to support children in care.

Refocus CEO Darcy Cavanagh, who first began working within the youth and child protection sector in 1998, knows firsthand the need for this type of support in the local community after his own childhood experiences.

“My interest in this line of work comes from my brief experience of being placed in the foster care system with my two brothers and the life that followed being returned home,” he says.

“A lot of my experience, or so-called expertise, has come from my lived experience and learning from every person that I have come into contact with through my childhood and working career.

“All these experiences led to the foundation of creating an organisation that focuses on the people and creates opportunity for people’s voices to be heard.

“The service that is not just about ticking boxes and reaching targets, however, reaches the heart of a person and creates meaningful change and a sense
of belonging.”

Beginning Refocus with six staff, now with a team of 62, the charity supports thousands of individuals through a variety of programs across its catchment area, with a specific focus on children under 18.

Programs include family wellbeing services, family participation programs, NDIS support services, foster and kinship care as well as Aboriginal medical service Gunyah of Wellness.

“Refocus is all about supporting a person to reach their full potential and sometimes for a person to reach their optimum self, there is a lot of healing to do along the way,” Mr Cavanagh says.

“Refocus’ ultimate goal is to shift a person from believing they are not worthy or good enough to a place where they know they matter when one believes they matter; this allows their true soul to shine and everything is possible.”

The goal of the fundraiser event is to raise $100,000 for Refocus to provide intense support packages, including occupational and speech therapists, psychology and specialty paediatrics and other specialist support to children.

“We currently have over 100 First Nations children in our care, so this equates to $1000 worth of intense supports each,” Mr Cavanagh says.

“This support will help them and their carer families immensely and set them up to feel safe and secure.”

The event, at Novotel Twin Waters, will give guests a chance to be immersed in Cuban flavours, rhythm, sound and dance.

Fast facts

  • Refocus provides its family wellbeing services to more than 1600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait families, comprising nearly 4000 individuals.
  • The organisation supports more than 350 parents or carers through the family participation program.
  • More than 120 children are in community kinship care.
  • Primary healthcare services are provided to nearly 5000 patients, including 1800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members through the Gunyah of Wellness Medical Centre.

For tickets and information visit refocus.org.au.

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