Providing foster care to Aboriginal children and young people.

Supporting the families of those Aboriginal children and young
people of the Macleay & Nambuccca Valleys.

More Information

Our Team

Burrun Dalai

Out of Home Care & Family Support Service

Providing foster care to Aboriginal children & young people of the Macleay & Nambuccca
Valley area.

We are a Government funded not for profit, Aboriginal community controlled organisation providing support to Aboriginal children and young people, their birth families and foster families.

Burrun Dalai's vision is to maintain Aboriginal family values.

Ensuring this objective has traditionally involved the extended family members and community members in the care and development of children.

This is why it’s important that our carer's or one carer in a family is of Aboriginal descent.

Burrun Dalai Out of Home Care & Support

Our Objectives

We set out to achieve the following:

• To keep Aboriginal children and young people safe

• To protect children and young people from abuse and exploitation by offering a place of safety in times when it is needed

• To provide out of home care as a last resort and only when such care is in the best interest of the child or young person

• To support the foster family to provide the best possible care to best meet the unique needs of the child or young person

• To meet the child or young person's physical, social, emotional, educational, and cultural needs whilst within a Burrun Dalai program

• To assist in keeping children and young people in their families and communities

• To limit foster care to the shortest time where possible so as not to jeopardise family relationships

Our Team

The passionate people behind the organisation

Dana is an Aboriginal woman of Worimi descent and has worked in Aboriginal Health, Child Protection, Sexual Assault, and Mental Health for over 25 years. 

Dana was a part of the establishment of Burrun Dalai in 1998, and as the chairperson and worked with Community Services to establish the organisation which became incorporated in 2002. 

In 2005 Dana returned to Burrun Dalai OOHC & FSS as the Coordinator, and has seen the organisation grow from 3 staff to over 50, across 4 offices,  covering, the Nambucca, Macleay, Hastings and Manning Valleys as well as the Tamworth and Armidale Regions. In 2013 Dana moved into the CEO’s position with the growth of Burrun Dalai.

Dana is the current Chairperson of the Aboriginal Child & Family Community Care Secretariat (AbSec). “Our children are our bright lights in our Black future, and we need to ensure that they have the opportunity to grow and flourish in a safe and healthy environment.”

Norma Kelly is a Dunghutti woman from the Kempsey community. Norma spent many years working for her community in the health sector through the local Aboriginal medical service. During her employment she has been involved in holistic support of Aboriginal children and families.

Norma joined Burrun Dalai in May 2011 originally as the Casework Manager. With the growth of the organisation, and the recognition of Norma’s skills, she moved into the role of Executive Officer, and is responsible for the management of the out of home care team in Kempsey.

Norma brings a unique community connectedness to Burrun Dalai and is known for her level of empathy and compassion; she manages very difficult circumstances in a delicate and gentle fashion. Burrun Dalai is very fortunate to have her expertise.

Roslyn is a descendant of the Biripi and Worimi people and grew up in a small town called Gloucester, frequenting visiting family on Purfleet Mission growing up.

She has worked in Health in Newcastle, Mid North Coast, and Tamworth areas for over 30years. 20 of these years have been in Child Protection. Roslyn was the Aboriginal Child Protection Manager for the then Mid North Coast Health Service, and she also spent time at Biripi AMS as a Sexual Assault Worker and at GLAMAC OOHC as a Caseworker.

Over the last three years Roslyn had the huge task of establishing Burrun Dalai OOHC & FSS Tamworth and Armidale Offices. These offices are now known as Tamworth & Armidale Aboriginal Children’s Service (TAACS). She commenced in the role of Project Manager and moved into the role of Executive Officer she describes “this is a very challenging role but the rewards of working with our Aboriginal Children in Out of Home Care are very fulfilling.” 

Roslyn brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to this service.

Robert Silva is Dunghutti man who also has connections to the Kamilaroi and Eora peoples. He grew up in Redfern, where he attended primary and high school in the 70 & 80’s, also going on to undertake dance with the ADT Redfern, as well as NAISDA. During this time in Redfern there were a lot of significant Aboriginal political activists, which Robert describes as “a great time in my life.” Robert learnt a lot from these people and has based his beliefs on respecting Aboriginal connections, culture, and the importance of identity for Aboriginal people.

Robert has a great respect for the Stolen Generation members. This connection to past government practises and the impact of those on our Aboriginal children has enabled Robert to strongly advocate for “placing kids in community” and nurturing a “community connectedness and sense of identity.”
Robert says “I have had many great Aboriginal people who inspired me in my life and this has helped me both personally and professionally. I enjoy working with and for my community.” Robert brings a unique approach to his work, inspired by personal learnings and experiences; he relates and communicates well with Aboriginal people from all levels of the community. He is a peacemaker, but is also not afraid to make a stand for the safety of our Aboriginal children.  Robert has been a part of the Burrun Dalai Team since 2009.

Amanda comes with over 26 years’ experience of working in the Welfare Area. She has worked directly in OOHC for approximately 20 years.
Amanda commenced as a youth worker in 1989 for 5 years for the Manning Youth Refuge and went on to become the Manager of Great Lakes/Manning Aboriginal Children’s Service (now known as Biripi Aboriginal Children’s Service) in August 1995. Amanda managed the service for 18 years and was successful in obtaining accreditation under the OCG. She also developed a submission, was successful in the establishment of the State-wide Aboriginal Aftercare Service “Marungbai.” Amanda also expanded the service out of home care to Inverell through the Transition Growth Tender with Community Services in 2012.

In November 2013 Amanda commenced work as a Caseworker in the Mid North Coast Child & Family Referral Unit with Port Macquarie CSC.
Amanda commenced her role with Burrun Dalai in May 2014 and has pivotal in the establishment of the Taree Service under the direction of the CEO Dana Clarke. Amanda’s huge knowledge of the sector and strategic thinking brings a depth to Burrun Dalai’s skill base and she is a very valuable asset to the service.

Burrun Dalai Experiences

Testimonials from some of our partners and industry peers