The Babbarra Cleaning Crew’s vision is to develop and maintain a culturally appropriate and viable cleaning program that provides the Maningrida community with education about healthy living and hygiene within the workplace and home.
The BAC Babbarra Cleaning Crew (BBCC) is a major activity of the Babbarra Women’s Centre. They are a team of committed women who boast being one, of only a limited few, successful Indigenous cleaning crews in the Northern Territory.
Through BAC’s commitment to training and professional development, the women continue to increase their skills with intensive training programs. As a result, the team has been successful in obtaining and maintaining cleaning contracts around the community. Maningrida clients include:
· Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation (including the offices of the workshop, Djelk Rangers, BAC, Ye Ya, Training, Road Crew, Employment Services, Babbarra Women’s Centre, Housing and staff houses
· Maningrida Health Clinic
· Centrelink (Maningrida)
· Maningrida Progress Association
· Maningrida Interpreter Services
· Batchelor Institute
· Malabam Health Board
· Territory Alliance
The Babbarra Cleaning Crew is proud of their contribution to the establishment of the new Territory Housing subdivision in Maningrida. They are successfully running the cleaning contract which involves the final clean of each new home that has been built in the community. Over eighty new houses will be cleaned by the team in 2011-2012.
As a follow on to the cleaning of the new houses, a “Tenancy Support Program” has been proposed to the Northern Territory Government. In early 2010, the Human Services Training Advisory Council (HSTAC) received funding from the Northern Territory Government to trial a year long training program which was designed to skill Aboriginal people to work as support agents for tenants moving in to new government funded housing in the community. BAC envisaged that the operations of the cleaning crew could be extended to incorporate additional roles for the team such as tenancy support. They hoped that this could potentially lead to supplementary income sources that would enable them to provide full time salaries for the women without the use of Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) funding. The intentions fit well with the aims of the Healthy Housing Teams (HHT) Project
After the completion of the Environmental Health training in December 2010, the women were perceived as ‘Life Skills Workers’ and have been identified as group who can significantly contribute to the promotion of healthy living in the community.