Organisation profile: Mura Kosker Sorority

The Torres Strait Island-based Mura Kosker team

Torres Strait Island-based organisation Mura Kosker Sorority provides free and confidential services, helping local families that need support.

Founded over 30 years ago, Mura Kosker Sorority was started by a group of local Torres Strait Islander women who wanted to support each other and advocate for local women and their families.

Now, Mura Kosker Sorority’s Mura Buai Wellbeing Program is the Queensland Government-funded Family Wellbeing Service in the Torres Strait region, where local families can access a range of services including parenting programs, playgroups, and cultural support.

The aim is to improve the emotional and physical wellbeing of families, children, and young people.

Mura Kosker CEO Aletia Twist said the incredible team at Mura Kosker Sorority and particularly their Mura Buai Wellbeing Program is helping local families access a range of tailored services from budgeting and household management, clinical and therapeutic services including casework to family mediation and domestic violence intervention programs.

“The wonderful thing about our program is that it’s led by the community for the Torres Strait Island community. That way, we’re able to meet local needs that are unique in this area,” she said. What we are seeing now is a lot more families referring themselves.

“Our Mura Buai Wellbeing staff use a family-led decision-making process that aims to create a culturally safe space that is inclusive and respectful of the family’s culture.

“Almost all our workers here at Mura Kosker Sorority are born and raised in the Torres Strait. They live here and have very strong connections with their people and their communities.

“The key is for families to feel like they are not doing this alone and through our Mura Buai Wellbeing Program, they can get the support they need in order to raise healthy and happy families.”

One of the women the Mura Buai Wellbeing Program has recently helped is Keira (not her real name), a single mother with five young children who was struggling to keep them healthy and safe.

Keira would go out, leaving her kids unsupervised. She also struggled with her finances and had difficulty coping with and managing her situation.

Keira initially did not want to engage, however, after finally engaging with Mura Buai Wellbeing Program staff, they supported Keira to participate in a parenting program which helped her with budgeting, meal planning, and setting up a weekly routine for her children.

In participating with the program, staff saw the changes in Keira as she took responsibility, making positive changes for her family.

Keira was empowered to have her voice heard and gained insight that the changes were not only for her children, but also herself.

The Mura Buai Wellbeing Program is vital in providing a comprehensive holistic service to the community.

The holistic program addresses the varying issues impacting on the family, and also has a local workforce at Mura Kosker Sorority so they are able to assist and support families in a culturally safe and appropriate way.

Mura Kosker Sorority programs are delivered from a strengths-based approach, and families feel that being heard and participating in decision-making processes is important to their healing, as their basic human rights are being adhered to.

Another premise for the Mura Buai Wellbeing Program is having a Torres Strait culturally responsive model of care, aligned with therapeutic interventions. These programs are delivered to families, as it’s imperative for families to have family kinship structure, identity and family lineage acknowledged.

The Mura Buai Wellbeing Program staff helped Keira to see that she needed to take care of herself for her kids. They encouraged Keira to make good choices for her kids and build up her spirit, reminding her that she is a good mother.

They worked to help Keira create a better home routine, manage a weekly budget and meal plan, as well as help her to find transport to take her children to medical appointments.

Since attending Mura Buai, Keira has found the confidence to provide a safe and stable environment for her family.

Through the Mura Buai Family Wellbeing Program, Keira was able to get the support she needed in a positive, non-judgemental, and culturally sensitive way.

For more information on accessing Family Wellbeing Services near you, use our service locator.