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Our Region, Our People: Meet Claudette

Published 15 January 2024

A First Nations Kuranda woman is enjoying life and working on her dream after a remarkable transformation

Claudette Hastie has made a remarkable life transformation with help from the team at Ngoonbi Community Services Indigenous Corporation.

On Djabugay Country, in the heart of rainforest village Kuranda, a remarkable life transformation is taking place for First Nations woman Claudette Hastie.

Claudette is a descendant of the Mona Mona Aboriginal mission and grew up on Djabugay Country.  After experiencing loss and grief throughout her life, Claudette left her homeland to live in the neighbouring regions of Mareeba and Cairns. When she couldn’t cope, she turned to alcohol.

Claudette said she “slept rough, drank heavily, and used marijuana regularly”.

But Claudette’s journey is one of resilience and empowerment, and her path to healing began when she moved back to Djabugay Country and sought help from Ngoonbi Community Services Indigenous Corporation (Ngoonbi).

Through the organisation’s dedicated support workers, Claudette began to heal, overcame her alcohol and drug challenges, and made a life-changing transformation.

Reflecting on her journey, she said: “I look ahead with a positive outlook on life now and don’t worry about drinking alcohol or using marijuana.

 “I am taking care of my appearance and am committed to my job,” she said.

Ngoonbi Community Programs Coordinator Donna O’Chin said Claudette became a Ngoonbi Alcohol and Other Drugs (NAOD) client to start her healing journey.

“Claudette became involved in the TRACQS Community Development Program (CDP) program where she was offered opportunities to gain accredited certificates in business, computer skills development, commercial cleaning, and horticulture,” Ms O’Chin said.

“These skills helped her gain the confidence to first seek employment where she currently works 30 hours a week and is now looking for additional hours.”

By engaging with the NAOD women’s group and program, Claudette has learned to reduce her drinking, and now envisions owning her own domestic cleaning business or managing her own cafe.

“Since joining the NAOD women’s group, Claudette has attended a short business course, learning how to create and plan a business, and successfully obtained an ABN to start her own business,” Ms O’Chin said.

“Her current goal is to obtain her provisional driver’s licence to enable her to drive her own vehicle and start her business.”

The NAOD program, funded by Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN), and in collaboration with local services, has supported Claudette’s healing journey.

Claudette is now enjoying life, working on her dreams of owning and operating a business, and as part of her healing process, has been enjoying camping, cooking, gardening, arts and crafts, and fishing on Country.

Her family is from Yalanji and Jirrbal Country on her father’s side, and her mother’s family is from the Djabugay and Mulridji clan group.

Last updated: 15 January 2024