Thursday, June 13, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

FACESS Bridging Gaps And Building Futures

Penny Tatow and daughter Timika Tatow are the driving forces behind Family and Children’s Emerging Support Services, (FACESS).

FACESS is an indigenous organisation that provides a range of programs with a focus on working with and alongside vulnerable families and children in the community.

This initiative was founded in March 2023 after recognising crucial gaps regarding support services in Mackay for first-nations families and children. Penny and Timika made it their mission to be the light for young indigenous people and thrive for positive outcomes by practicing early intervention and offering support in various ways.

Founder Penny Tatow says “We place a lot of emphasis on children and the youth to ensure that these young people have access to the same opportunities like every other young person in our community”.

“We facilitate and establish safe and supported connections to community and services, we have access to the needed support and resources for our young people and families to thrive and we want to reduce the risk of children and youth from becoming in contact with the youth justice system, as part of our early intervention and prevention approach.

“We provide a lot of different activities such as fishing, boating, picnicking, camping, sports -you name it - and we also provide tutoring support as well and a lot of mentoring.”

Mentorship programs are available by the Community Kincare team with a focus on mentoring the youth and supporting any mental health challenges they may be facing.

FACESS can even offer tailored support to suit the unique needs of young people and their families, working alongside community referrals such as child safety, education and mental health resources as well as youth justice.

Penny emphasises that FACESS comes in as community Kincare team to be a secondary support to families as they work across domestic violence and other issues alongside child safety.

Future plans involve establishing an indigenous youth hub in Mackay that caters to the needs of young people.

To continue this impactful mission, FACESS are in need of community funding and are currently seeking partnership to fill the gaps where it’s needed most.

“We heavily rely on funding, community sponsorship and donations and we desperately need an office space to set up an indigenous youth hub in our community.

“It’s about working together as a community and we want to see people getting behind these young people and vulnerable families.

“It’s our collective responsibility as a community to ensure that our young people are thriving and I encourage anyone to reach out to us, we are looking for sponsorship and donations.

“If you’ve got sporting gear, crab pots or fishing gear that you’re not using, we would absolutely encourage you to donate that, it doesn’t have to be brand new.

“At the end of the day, our kids are longing for connection and a sense of belonging and a lot of our young people need our community to back them, our youth rely on those of us who are well positioned to provide that support so please reach out to us.”

To contribute to this vital cause and make a difference in young people’s lives, you can visit or contact directly on 0477719288.

Penny Tatow, Founder of Family and Children’s Emerging Support Services (FACESS) with daughter and Co-founder Timika Tatow

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