Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Investing in Indigenous men’s group in Wilcannia

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Mark Arbib, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development

The Gillard Government is investing $80,000 in the Wilcannia Indigenous men’s group, Wimpitja Maali Yaparda, following the development of the Local Implementation Plan for the community.

Wilcannia is one of 29 Remote Service Delivery locations agreed to under the Council of Australian Government’s National Partnership Agreement to improve access to government services for Aboriginal Australians living in remote communities.

Under the Remote Service Delivery Strategy, all Australian governments have signed up to a concentrated and accelerated approach to tackle deep-seated disadvantage.

Under the strategy, local communities have been working with governments to develop implementation plans that include tailored solutions to priority needs.

The Australian and New South Wales Governments and the Wilcannia Community Working Party have developed the plan for service delivery in Wilcannia over the period to 2014.

The need to address men’s issues was identified during the development of the Local Implementation plan. While the men’s group has existed for some time, it has been reinvigorated since the work on the plan started.

“The men’s group provides a range of important services and programs to the community including violence prevention education, cultural development camps, training and referrals for health services,” Ms Macklin said.

“This project will help get Wilcannia men involved in positive leadership activities such as working with young people to reduce truancy, increase school attendance and encourage participation in sporting and cultural activities.

Ms Macklin and Senator Arbib congratulated the Wilcannia Community Working Party for their role in making the Local Implementation Plan a success.

“This significant milestone will set out a whole range of actions to help improve outcomes for the Aboriginal people of Wilcannia, leading to a safer and strengthened community,” Senator Arbib said.