Wongee Mia – sharing the knowledge

Sharing the learnings from the
Wongee Mia Journey

Tuesday 26 October 2021, 2.00pm – 3.15pm

Wongee Mia

On 26 October 2021, the Mercy Foundation hosted an online forum with the Wongee Mia team from Ruah in Perth.

Wongee Mia is an award winning program that delivers innovative and effective services to Aboriginal people who are experiencing intergenerational poverty and homelessness.

The Wongee Mia team shared their knowledge, skills, expertise and experiences.

What is Wongee Mia?

This innovative program is transforming the way we support Aboriginal people who need help with housing, working closely with an extended Indigenous family in central Perth.

Meaning Strong Home, the Wongee Mia action-learning project supports individuals who are experiencing intergenerational homelessness and poverty, as well as their extended family who are also homeless or at risk of losing their tenancy. The project shows how outcomes for one person can positively affect the rest of their family.

Empowered and encouraged, the family named the project after a family Elder, who was an advocate for strengthening family ties and providing shelter – her family called her ‘Wongee’ meaning strong woman, with ‘Mia’ meaning home in the Noongar language. Today, Elders play a key role in guiding the project and in selecting workers to support the family.

In 2018, the Mercy Foundation provided seed funding through its Grants to End Homelessness program to Ruah Community Services in Perth, to pilot the Aboriginal Housing Initiative. In 2020, the Mercy Foundation awarded another grant to help share the learnings of this remarkable project.

Wongee Mia was recognised as a finalist in Team Excellence category of the 2020 Hesta Excellence Awards.