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MJD Foundation Ltd

Kin Connect Program

When clients advance to the more severe stages of MJD, and their care needs become progressively complex, they are often forced to move from their remote home community into an urban area for more care support. This is a significantly challenging time for clients and their families. When clients move into supported accommodation in urban areas, they are not just leaving their families and communities behind, but their Country, culture and language/s – which are all intrinsically tied to Aboriginal identity. Additionally, as mobility challenges and complex-care needs increase, travelling home to community becomes progressively more difficult.

In response to the wishes of our families living with MJD to have their loved ones return home to community, the MJD Foundation developed the ‘Kin Connect Program’. Undoubtedly, one of the most rewarding aspects of the MJD Foundation’s work, the Kin Connect Program involves assisting clients living in supported accommodation in urban areas to return home to their remote communities.

For clients with complex personal care needs and associated health risks, a Kin Connect trip can be an enormous logistical challenge, as they can require 24-hour care and various medical supports and specialist equipment. Our Operations, NDIS and Finance teams, external care organisations, GPs, CareFlight, Sea Swift, Aboriginal Land Councils, Clinics and Aged Care all need to be involved. To support the trip to be financially viable, the trip is dependent on a team of volunteer care support workers that supplement MJDF staff. Volunteers are all required to undertake a suite of training modules in order to adequately support and care for our clients.

Furthermore, accessibility in remote communities, including in local accommodation, can also be challenging. This involves significant logistical planning, such as travelling with hospital beds and hoists, food and kitchenware, and various specialised equipment. The form of transport used to travel to and around community is dependent on the community accessibility, and the severity of the client’s MJD symptoms. Trips can include up to four different modes of transport, including an accessible vehicle, a commercial or charter plane (e.g. CareFlight), a barge to freight large pieces of equipment (e.g. Sea Swift), and an onsite ambulance for transport to the accommodation. The higher the client’s needs, the higher the cost of getting them safely to and around community.

Kin Connects can pose a substantial risk to our clients, and are by far our most logistically complex programs and operations. However, the evident joy we see from clients and families when people are back On Country makes all the effort worthwhile. Our clients and families consistently feedback the vital importance of the Kin Connect Program, as it allows clients living away from home to reconnect with their families, communities, culture, language and Country.

Due to the logistical complexities of our Kin Connect programs, they are a significant cost for MJDF. Furthermore, client NDIS plans do not cover most of the associated costs, and MJDF relies heavily on sponsors and donations to run this program.

All donations received for this important program will go directly to supporting our clients to return home on a trip to their respective community.

“That ‘Kin Connect Program’, bringing people home to their community when they have to live in Darwin, it’s so important. It makes their heart strong and lifts their spirits” – MJDF Senior Cultural Advisor 


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PO Box 414

1300 584 122

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Yes, when MJD Foundation Ltd is able

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