A year for building relationships with the community
Since joining the Information and Privacy Commission in April, Community Liaison officer Gabe Morahan has had a whirlwind nine months meeting with community groups and people from disadvantaged backgrounds to discuss how to access government held information and the need to keep personal information safe.
Gabe has travelled thousands of kilometres crisscrossing New South Wales in her role, meeting with hundreds of people at community events, Aboriginal community information days, seniors' expos, migrant network meetings, homeless people’s activities and networking forums.
“My job is to build relationships, build networks, open channels of communications that allow me to talk to and educate people about their rights to access government information and about privacy issues,” Gabe said.
Her community engagement activities have also seen her conduct six presentations to some 100 workers and carers delivering care to the aged and those with disabilities.
During the year, Gabe also presented at eight multicultural interagency meetings attended by more than 120 people working in Rooty Hill, Liverpool and Auburn.
She recently visited Bourke, Walgett, Lightning Ridge and Brewarrina to raise awareness about right to information and privacy issues in these regional communities.
“An area I’ve been really keen to learn more about is what help Aboriginal peoples need to access information and how they can keep their personal information safe,” she said.
To date, she has attended six NAIDOC week events, five Aboriginal Community Assistance days, presented at five Aboriginal interagency meetings, the Aboriginal Community Support Service State forum, the Koori Men’s workshop, met community members from the Shed in Mount Druitt and presented to three Aboriginal elders groups.
Her work with the community has also seen her invited to take part in tours of western NSW with the Good Service Mob visiting the communities of Wilcannia and Bathurst.
“The Good Service Mob is a collaboration of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff from complaint-handling agencies who help consumers in New South Wales. The aim of the group is to ensure Aboriginal communities are aware of their rights as consumers, and the free services available to help them,” she said.
“We’re working in partnership with a number of Aboriginal communities to develop a plan so we can engage with Aboriginal people.
“This will ensure we are giving the Aboriginal community the best possible service by raising awareness about how to access government information and how to protect their privacy.”
Gabe is available to deliver education sessions about the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 or privacy protection issues. To make a booking call (02) 8071 7016 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.