Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Sports leadership program for young people one of 16 projects to strengthen NT communities

$24,560 for a project to allow young Tiwi Islanders to take part in an AFL leadership program is just one of the projects funded in the Northern Territory under the Howard Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.

Over $2 million will be invested in 16 projects that will provide lasting benefits to people throughout the Northern Territory.

Other projects funded include over $18,000 to fund a nursery school in the Barunga Community and $470,000 in funding for an innovative education program to help Indigenous students in the Daly/Cox-Finniss Region.

The Barunga Nursery School Project is a partnership with NT Education to establish a nursery school for the youngest children of the community so they are fully prepared to move into the education system. Mothers and grandmothers will be involved in the centre, with training provided on health and parenting issues.

The Northern Territory Christian Schools Association will deliver the Families and Schools Together (FAST) program, which will see disadvantaged Indigenous families work together with their children’s schools to improve the educational attainment of local Indigenous kids.

This funding is part of a further $15 million made available under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy to support more than 100 community-based projects across Australia.

This latest funding round means that spending on community projects under the Strategy has now topped $55 million, highlighting the significant contribution the Howard Government has made to help build family and community strength.

We are determined to support people at the local level, and invest in their strengths, skills and capacities. Government doesn’t have all the answers, which is why we’re providing unprecedented support for practical partnerships with local communities.

It’s all about people identifying issues of importance to their communities, and with our support, being able to improve their quality of community and family life in very tangible ways.

The Strategy has a focus on parenting and relationship education, community leadership development, assistance for young vulnerable people, support for Indigenous families and communities and the development of volunteering.

Already there has been great success with projects like the Ramingining Women’s Centre – a project in a remote Indigenous community that is helping local women by offering cultural programs, sewing lessons, activities for young mothers, a creche and meals on wheels.

Every project funded under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy aims to provide assistance where it is most needed, by helping people and communities come up with solutions to the issues they face.

I encourage everyone to think about how their own communities can be strengthened, and how families can be supported in their own local area.

This commitment confirms the Howard Government’s determination to help create strong, active and united Australian families and communities.