A partnership between Homelessness NSW,
Domestic Violence NSW and Yfoundations

Individual - Tracie Harris from Platform Youth Services

Excellence in Ending Homelessness - Diverse Groups Nominee

Individual - Tracie Harris from Platform Youth Services

Please give your reasons for nominating this person.

Tracie Harris is employed as an Aboriginal District Case Worker with Platform Youth Services. This role sees Tracie delivering case management services to Aboriginal young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

In her day to day work Tracie consistently and strongly advocates for the housing, health, mental health, education, family connection and community connection for each one of her Aboriginal young people. Her ability to continue to demonstrate her passion and commitment within the Aboriginal Community of which she is strongly connected, part of and respected is evident in all her relationships and those who encounter Tracie. Her positive contributions & value she adds into the Aboriginal community & the young people she walks side by side with is truly invaluable to her people and Platform Youth Services. Tracie is committed to supporting the dreams and aspirations of young Aboriginal people and to continue to address their issues around homelessness.

The way in which Tracie delivers case work to the Aboriginal young people is without a doubt a “no nonsense but full of compassion” approach and her strengths around establishing and maintaining positive, healthy working relationships with all the Aboriginal young people is noticed by all with whom she encounters and this is definitely a contributing factor which has lead to many positive outcomes within Platform Youth Services for the young Aboriginal people which Tracie works with. The young people respect her as an Aboriginal woman, then a Case Worker, yet care for her as an “Aunt” which many young people will call upon her for support and guidance in all areas of their lives.

Tracie is an integral part of Platform Youth Services Aboriginal Peer Support Group and has recently invited her colleagues from the group to her home to view her Aboriginal art she has created, along with many Aboriginal artefacts she has around her home, with the view of supporting her Aboriginal colleagues to further culturally connect.

Among other key areas of significance in Tracie’s career, Tracie does a second role within another NGO and this is The Sista Speak project is specifically designed for and targets young, Aboriginal girls to support them to gain valuable knowledge around their culture, educational needs, career aspirations, personal needs and qualities. Facilitating this key group within the largely populated Aboriginal community of Cranebrook and does so on a weekly schedule.

Tracie is also a trained Multicultural Worker and has delivered many trainings & workshops within the sector to staff & also young people around the Aboriginal culture which has seen her be able to raise awareness, teach & disband any misconceptions around the Aboriginal culture.

Tracie is also an Aboriginal Artist who has been approached to commission her work to many NGO’s in the Western Suburb.

What outcomes were delivered as a result of this person?

While there has not been any specific evaluation of Tracie and her role and work to date, we at Platform, our Organisation view Tracie as a key contributing factor to the specific achievements and positive outcomes seen for all the Aboriginal young people who have been referred to Platform Youth Services who are experiencing issues of homelessness.

Tracie’s work and reputable status within the community amongst clients and other service providers has seen our Organisation establish a stronger connection with key Aboriginal Services and Programs.

Reference statement:

Carolyn Gilbert

“Tracie has such a good, strong work ethic and everything she does is for the Aboriginal young people she works with.

Tracie is always called Aunt within the community and this is something that has been earnt through respect, compassion, dedication and perseverance working with the young people.

Tracie is a valued member of the Aboriginal community and is much appreciated here at our Aboriginal Service, NCNS and Platform are so lucky to have her on board.

Tracie is authentic. Authentic as a person, authentic as a case worker, authentic in how she delivers services to the Aboriginal community. We are so happy to hear she has finally been nominated for an award in which she is so very deserving of”.