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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

New child care service for Bathurst Island

Families in the remote Aboriginal community of Nguiu on Bathurst Island will benefit from a new innovative and flexible child care centre, opened by Federal Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony, today.

Mr Anthony said approximately 30 child care places would be provided for the Jirnani Child Care Centre which would give many Tiwi families access to high quality, affordable and flexible child care.

“The opening of this centre is an excellent example of a community working in partnership with the Government and how small beginnings can lead to huge benefits for an entire community,” Mr Anthony said.

“The Jirnani Centre initially began as a creche but through Federal Government funding, assistance from Territory Health Services and hard work from the people of the Nguiu community, a vital service has been created.

“This centre will provide a number of highly desirable services such as after school and vacation care, and nutrition, health and parenting programs.

“The Nguiu community has identified a need for a child care service that is able to adapt to the diverse needs of the community and the Federal Government is helping to meet this need by providing the necessary funding.

“Since the funding for the centre was announced at the end of 1999, the Nguiu community has been extremely busy to get the service up and running so it can be utilised by the community.

“The Nguiu community is made up of highly motivated people who have worked very hard to bring this vital service to life so its people can reap the benefits of a multi-purpose professional child care centre.

“They have also been very busy with a high participation rate in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission’s CDEP and other employment and training programs.

“This funding further demonstrates the Government’s acknowledgment and support of motivated and dynamic communities who are engaged in finding local solutions to local problems.”