Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Two new Indigenous projects funded

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced funding of more than $230,000 for two new Indigenous projects which will help communities address local needs.

Senator Patterson said the two organisations which will be funded are the Billabong Aboriginal Corporation and the East Gippsland Aboriginal Community Development and Employment Program Co-operative Limited.

“Funded under the Family and Community Networks Initiative (FCNI), these projects will provide culturally appropriate training, education and skill development opportunities for Indigenous people,” Senator Patterson said.

“The Billabong Aboriginal Corporation will receive $185,325 over two years for the Interconnect project, which aims to provide training, develop skills and effective employment pathways for at-risk Indigenous young people in the ACT,” Senator Patterson said.

“Interconnect is an innovative training program which centres around the construction of a building. Participants will receive “on-the-job” training in all areas of construction. This training will provide the opportunity for young people to be directly linked to formal training qualifications or apprenticeships.

“The completed building will be used for programs which continue to link the young Indigenous people to their community and other educative initiatives. It will also provide a place for the delivery of a number of family related activities aimed at strengthening the overall capacity of the indigenous community in the ACT.

“The East Gippsland Aboriginal Community Development and Employment Program Co-operative Limited will receive $45,000 for their Indigenous Community Information Project.

“The funding will be used to employ a coordinator to provide training to community members to carry out the design and recording of Indigenous community information.

“The recordings will include local community information as well as historical information and cultural knowledge such as the stories of the elders.

“Training will be undertaken in a culturally appropriate manner and will provide computing, language and literacy skills, which it is hoped will lead to future employment.

“These projects demonstrate the Australian Government’s commitment to working in partnership with Indigenous people to achieve better outcomes.”