Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Ngaruwanajirra service a real winner

Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony today visited the highly successful Ngaruwanajirri supported employment service at Bathurst Island.

“It was impressive to see the work going on at Ngaruwanajirri – local people with disabilities being supported and given the opportunity to contribute to the community and reach their full potential,” Mr Anthony said.

“The service is run very professionally with staff turning out amazing pieces of traditional and contemporary arts and crafts.

“A prime example of its success is that works from Ngaruwanajirri have been selected for the National Aboriginal Art Awards and travelled in touring exhibitions throughout Australia.

“These works have also become part of private collections in Australia and overseas.”

Ngaruwanajirri is a Tiwi word meaning “helping one another”, and the service supports local Tiwi artists with disabilities as well as providing other employment to local people.

Mr Anthony said the service, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services, had ATSIC’s Community Development Employment Program workers supporting it and was tied in with a life skills program funded by the Northern Territory health services.

“This service is a testament to what can be achieved by local communities, running and supporting local services – it’s also very satisfying to see how Government funding works for the community,” Mr Anthony said.

“It is also a fine example that the Howard Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy focus on local communities helping themselves is right on the mark.

“I want to congratulated all the people involved in Ngaruwanajirri, the local community should be extremely proud of their achievements.”