Our Journey

Nairm Marr Djambana was conceived in the late 1990s by local Aboriginal Elders, dreaming of a time and place where Aboriginal people could gather in a culturally safe environment to build cultural pride, understanding and knowledge together and share the cultural wisdom with the broader community of the region. Nairm Marr Djambana was officially launched in November 2016 as a gathering place for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Frankston. Nairm Marr Djambana now has an active volunteer Committee of Management and runs a range of culturally strengthening programs and activities to meet the needs and aspirations of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Nairm Marr Djambana’s vision and its efforts to achieve positive health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal people are guided by a ‘cultural determinants approach’ as outlined in the Korin Korin Balit-Djak Aboriginal Health, Wellbeing and Safety Strategic Plan 2017-2027. Fundamental to the way that Nairm Marr Djambana operates is the incorporation of strengths-based approaches that support self-determination; community strengthening and connection to culture and country; and build self-esteem and resilience. Everything that Nairm Marr Djambana does is underpinned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander spirituality, the wisdom and teachings of Elders and tradition. In late 2018, Nairm Marr Djambana was appointed as a Neighbourhood House.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Frankston

Frankston has a fast growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. In the 2016 census, 1,338 people identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander making up 1% of the total population in Frankston. This increased from 1,010 people or 0.8% of the total population in the 2011 census – a significant 32.5% increase. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Frankston is also a young population with a median age of 25 (compared to 38 for non-Indigenous people).

Nairm Marr Djambana has listened to the needs and aspirations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Frankston, including more opportunities for cultural strengthening, connection to community, and a ‘place to belong’

Organisational governance

Nairm Marr Djambana is an Incorporated Association registered under the Associations Incorporation Act (1981). It has an active Aboriginal Board of Management that is responsible for setting and monitoring the organisation’s strategic direction; ensuring that legal and regulatory requirements (including Occupational Health and Safety, child safe compliance, and insurance) are met; recruiting senior staff in leadership roles; and overseeing operational, financial and risk management.