Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$400,000 for Wunan Foundation to support families in Halls Creek

The Australian Government is providing $400,000 to support the Wunan Foundation to continue developing a welfare reform model for the East Kimberley region.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin and Western Australian Labor Senator, Glenn Sterle today visited the Wunan Foundation in Halls Creek.

Ms Macklin congratulated Wunan for their proactive approach to moving people in the East Kimberley away from welfare dependency.

“By encouraging community members to take personal responsibility, and providing opportunities to those who participate, Wunan is helping to restore positive social norms,” Ms Macklin said.

“The Wunan Foundation has ambitious and long-term goals to shift the balance of dependence of Indigenous people on welfare in the region over the next 20 years.

“Through its welfare reform initiative, Living Change, Wunan is working closely with the community to develop welfare reform models that will assist people in Halls Creek to take positive steps to tackle disadvantage and create a more positive future.”

The Wunan Foundation aims to:

  • improve school attendance;
  • make sure children and vulnerable people are cared for and safe;
  • help adults who have capacity to participate in employment or training;
  • make sure people maintain their homes and pay their rent; and
  • reduce domestic violence, alcohol, drug and gambling offences, and petty crime.

Senator Sterle said the Australian Government was proud to support the work the Wunan Foundation was doing to help improve the lives of Indigenous Australians in the East Kimberley

“The Government has been working closely with Indigenous Australians to help people take responsibility for themselves and their families, while also providing essential support to those people who need it,” Senator Sterle said.

“Today’s funding builds on the $310,000 the Australian Government has already provided to the Wunan Foundation for the Living Change initiative.”

The funding for the Wunan Foundation is being provided from the Australian Government’s Indigenous Remote Service Delivery special account.

Ms Macklin said the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery was helping to drive positive changes in Halls Creek.

“We are now halfway through the Agreement and we are seeing many positive results on the ground.

“This includes the new Children and Family Centre which is operated by Wunan and provides space for various community-based activities, and the Burraluba Yuga Ngurra (Good Home) workers’ hostel, which is providing accommodation for Indigenous apprentices and trainees.

“We are also helping to improve housing for families in the region, with 24 new houses and 48 refurbishments delivered under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.”