Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Strengthening Indigengous communities and families

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced funding of more than $1.6 million for six projects to help Indigenous communities get involved in local projects to meet local needs and improve living conditions.

The projects include helping Aboriginal women to gain financial skills to run their own food business; using computer-assisted learning of Indigenous culture to encourage children to learn and become school-ready; and assist local residents to learn about money, income management and the tax and banking systems.

Senator Patterson said: “The Family and Community Networks Initiative projects help to strengthen communities by strengthening family and community networks, improve access to information and deliver initiatives that focus on local solutions to local problems.

“The projects in New South Wales, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland will help local communities to set their priorities and build local leadership to find local opportunities. Strong communities are those that can help themselves.

“I am delighted to be seeing the implementation of the kind of projects in which communities themselves, with Government assistance, make changes for the better.

“These projects demonstrate the Australian Government’s commitment to working in partnership with Indigenous people to achieve better outcomes, particularly for indigenous Australians living in remote and regional Australia.”

The projects are:

  • Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation Limitedin NSW will receive $320,000 to build the capacity of the 16 Indigenous communities in the Murdi Paaki region to take leadership on the serious issues affecting them and to develop stronger links with service providers.”The outcomes of this project include promoting Indigenous leadership in particular key sectors of the community, particularly women and youth, and assisting communities to become more resilient and better able to respond to economic and social change,” Senator Patterson said.
  • The East Kimberley Community Capacity Building, Networking and Sustainable Developmentproject in WA will receive $464,500 to work on improving service providers’ and organisations’ relationships, knowledge and understanding of each other as partners working together in the region. The project will provide opportunities for individuals and communities to set priorities and work with service providers.Ngaanyatjarra Council’s (Aboriginal Corporation) Community and Government in Partnership: Towards Sustainable Social and Economic Development project in WA will receive $266,250 to help the 11 communities of the Ngaanyatjarra Aboriginal lands engage and work effectively with governments, service providers and other potential partners, including business, to pursue economic development opportunities and enhance self reliance.

    “The overall outcome sought by these WA projects is improved capacity of community and government to work together more effectively to achieve sustainable improvements in the lives of residents in the region,” Senator Patterson said.

  • The Computer Culture Project and Volunteer Network Supportwill receive $282,900 as part of a three-part ‘social recovery’ strategy in Cape York, Qld. The project has attracted significant support from other partners and high-level community support and involvement. Traditional culture and digital technology will blend together in a trial scheme aimed at improving education levels. Skilled volunteers will support those involved in the project.”This project will enhance the capacity of communities and services to work together effectively to address the needs of Indigenous families and communities on the Cape,” Senator Patterson said.
  • The Mange Kulu Economic Education and Money Managementproject in the NT will receive $400,000 to help Wadeye residents learn about money, income management, the tax system, banking services and a broad range of economic issues to they can improve social and economic outcomes for themselves and their families.”Providing support for people to understand money is the first step for participation and involvement by individuals and families,” Senator Patterson said.
  • Palngun Wurnangat Inc (Women’s Association)in Wadeye will receive $51,052 to continue the work of the Women’s Centre, help them develop a Family Program, and provide on-the-ground training in reporting, meeting procedures, and concepts and system of accountability.”This funding will be an important step in ensuring the local women continue to develop and gain the skills necessary to take control of their own businesses,” Senator Patterson said.