Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Skate Park for youth in Pingelly one of eight projects to strengthen WA communities

$31,000 for the Pingelly Youth Skate Park is just one of the projects funded in Western Australia under the Howard Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.

Over $1.5 million will be invested in 8 projects that will provide lasting benefits to people throughout Western Australia.

Other projects funded include $407,870 for Developing Quality Relationships in Peel and $269,339 for a Wilderness Intervention Program to be run by the Churches Commission on Education.

The Developing Quality Relationships in Peel program will address the high level of relationship breakdown experienced by young families in Mandurah. A project coordinator will train volunteers, run education workshops and devise a public awareness to help improve parenting skills and social participation.

The Wilderness Intervention Program will target young students identified by their school as being at risk of not completing high school. These students will be taught leadership skills to improve self esteem and their connection to the community.

This funding is part of $15 million that has been provided under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy to support more than 100 local community-based projects in communities across Australia.

This latest funding round means that spending on community projects under the Strategy has now topped $56 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 training, 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 Strengthening Aboriginal Networks, in Halls Creek. The project is helping the community to share resources, knowledge and experience, particularly by encouraging Indigenous members of the community to boost their representation in the discussion of local issues.

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 improved, 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.