About Us

Junaya Family Development Services (JFDS) is a non-government, community based organisation providing services for families within Blacktown LGA.

JFDS has a number of programs funded by Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) through the Targeted Early Intervention Program.

Our programs work with families to address some of the challenges that can make caring for kids and managing a family difficult. All of our programs aim to strengthen families with the skills, knowledge, resources and opportunities that help provide children and young people with safe and thriving environments where they can grow and develop to reach their potential


Vision: All children and their families have stronger, safer and connected futures

Our Mission

To facilitate meaningful change so children and their families have equitable access to the resources and systems which uphold the rights of children and their family members and enable active participation in family and community life.

JFDS will do this through:

  • Recognition of the ongoing impacts of colonisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Commitment to address and challenge the structural barriers that maintain discrimination, oppression and disadvantage and impact on the safety and wellbeing of children and their families.
  • Practices that respect, honour and celebrate culture, diversity and inclusivity.
  • Keeping children at the centre of all work with families and community
  • Working with families to facilitate change and increase social and personal wellbeing.
  • A partnered approach with families and community

Our beliefs about children, families and culture







Children have a special place within family and community. All children have a right to be safe, to have their needs met and to grow to their potential. It is the responsibility of family and community to hear the voices of children and help create the safety and opportunities they need and deserve for a positive future


Stronger and connected families support safer, healthy and connected children. Family are able to do this when they are supported to access the resources, skills and connections they need to make decisions for improved outcomes for their children. When we give families support and choice, we help to empower and build resilience.


We acknowledge, respect and value the strength and voice of culture. We provide a culturally safe and nurturing environment when we honour and privilege the cultural values, beliefs, obligations, history and language of children and their family and hold these as central to our work.



In practice, JFDS is guided through the following principles

Children are at the centre of our work with families

Children develop within families and communities and thrive when they are held front and centre. Parents and family members are central to keeping children safe. Stronger families create stronger and healthier futures for children.


Culture guides practice

Culture is the starting point of our work with families and weaves through everything we do. Culture guides our understanding and responses for all families. Culture and tradition connect children to their family and community, providing them with a place of belonging and identity. Strengthening connections to culture and tradition is therefore central to protecting children and families, promoting cultural safety and ensuring healthy children, families and communities.


Relationship based practice

Relationships are central to our work with children. Families are safer when they are more visible and connected in the community.  Children are safer when their family is safer and connected.

Family context is important. This means we work with parents, carers, kin, extended family and other significant people considered to be important to the family and the child. We build relationships and are inclusive of the people important to the family and who can contribute to positive outcomes for children. Relationships based on respect, trust and empathy can establish a foundation for families to lead us through a process of the change they want to make. Respectful partnerships with families help to achieve shared goals that focus on children and family wellbeing.


Collaboration and partnering

Keeping children safe requires their whole village. Children need a team around them that includes family, community, and formal services. The different perspectives, skills, knowledge, and resources all contribute to outcomes that benefit children.

The intrinsic individual and collective strengths of families and communities in nurturing and caring for children are acknowledged and used as a foundation for promoting the safety and well-being of children, and strong families

Children and families face many challenges and pressures which are often caused by the broader social, cultural, political, and economic conditions and systems within which they live. Families need us to partner with them to change or transform the social relationships and systems that cause inequality, unfairness, and marginalisation.


Commitment to continuous improvement

It takes courage for a family to trust their stories and to open their lives to work with us. We respect this vulnerability by ensuring we engage in an ongoing process of continuous learning and reflection and commit to a practice that is accountable to children, families, community, and our funding body.

We have a responsibility to grow the knowledge and skills families need us to have, to support them to strengthen as a family and access the resources needed to keep children safe and well. We look for opportunities for practice improvement and to be accountable to the families we support. We learn from current research informed by lived experience, from our peers and through self-reflection. We learn from the children and families we work with.

Annual Reports

Our Staff

At Junaya Family Development Services our staff is our greatest resource. The team is formed of highly skilled individuals from diverse backgrounds with noteworthy qualifications and experience. Our dedicated and passionate staff create the positive atmosphere that is required for the growth and success of the families they work with.

Give us a call or visit us, come and see what we are talking about.

Board of Directors

Tess Sayas

Tess Sayas is a Director of Zignal International Pty Ltd, she joined Junaya’s Board of Directors in 2020. Tess holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Major in Accounting and Advance Diploma in Counselling and Family Therapy. She has professional experience in Accounting, IT Development, Quality Assurance and Audit and Family Counselling. Tess is also Director/Treasurer of Community Resource Network and a Past President of the Rotary Club of Blacktown City.

Dr Pat Johnson

Dr Pat Johnson joined Junaya’s Board of Directors in February 2020 and brings more than 35 years of experience in community services. Dr Johnson has taught at TAFE and has written teacher and learner resources, has experience in child protection and has managed large organizations. Dr Johnson also had a consultancy practice for 25 years and delivered training (DCJ) and co-wrote the SHS Case Management Resource Kit and case management training. In addition, Dr Johnson has written policy manuals, conducted research, strategic planning and provided case management supervision. Dr Johnson has a Masters from UWS and a PhD from RMIT.

Nicole Duffy

Nicole is a First Nations woman who grew up in the Blacktown LGA, attended Blacktown Girls High, speaks Fijian and is learning Dharug. Nicole joined Junaya in September, 2021. Nicole has worked for both state and federal Members of Parliament for the past 24 years and is dedicated to learning about and working with local communities particularly First Nations communities along with connecting with her Mob. Nicole is dedicated to her dogs and horses, is engaged in Indigenous studies and is learning more about her grandmother’s history. Significantly, Nicole nursed her late father, a Vietnam Veteran and she remains passionate about progressing the rights of veterans to include mental health. Nicole brings her wealth of skills and knowledge, cultural knowledge and previous experience on committees to Junaya.

Paul Stewart

Paul is a proud First Nations man, joined Junaya’s Board in November, 2021. Paul has a Bachelor of Social Work and a Bachelor of Teaching (Deakin University), along with a First Aid Certificate, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and MTU Training Concepts. Paul brings his extensive experience working in community services with high risk and high needs youth and people with mental health issues. Paul has worked and volunteered for over 23 years in the Blacktown district. Paul has been nominated for several awards including Aboriginal Justice Award (Law and Justice Foundation), Sports Coach of the Year (Blacktown City District) and PCYC Dedicated Service Award. Paul is a disability support worker, community support worker, residential worker and has previously worked as a Mental Health Support Worker and a School Coordinator, Teacher, Youth Adviser and Indigenous Officer.

Michael Healy

Michael joined Junaya’s Board in April 2022 and brings with him extensive experience in Government, community and private sectors. Michael holds a Bachelor of Social Science along with a Diploma of Community Services, Certificate IV in Finance and other relevant qualifications. Michael has led and managed large workforces, co-ordinated complex projects, supervised multi-disciplinary teams, whilst building and maintaining key external relationships with various Government and non-Government stakeholders. Michael is passionate about supporting staff and ensuring great care of young people and families. Michael has worked within the youth sector, with people experiencing homelessness, with refugees and other vulnerable people facing complex issues. His vast knowledge and experience is a significant asset for Junaya to achieve high standards in our strategic directions and governance.