The Shire’s local Aboriginal community groups have welcomed the news that the Illawarra South East region will take part in a new community initiative designed to grow capacity and increase decision making powers in Aboriginal communities across the State.
Called Local Decision Making, the program is a key initiative of OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment), the NSW Government’s plan for Aboriginal affairs.
Ross Evans, Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Aboriginal Liaison Officer, explained the significance of the Shire’s involvement.
“Only three areas across the State were chosen for inclusion in the first stage of this program,” he said.
“It’s not only a huge honour, but a fantastic opportunity for our local Aboriginal communities to have greater say and control in how Aboriginal communities and government agencies work together.
“Once local communities can demonstrate high standards of governance they can have greater control in planning and services,” Mr Evans said.
The Aboriginal regional alliances selected following an Expression of Interest (EOI) process were:
- Illawarra and Wingecarribee – Illawarra South East,
- Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly – Far Western NSW, and
- Many Rivers Regional Coalition of Peak Organisations – North Coast.
“The Illawarra-Wingecarribee alliance was selected because of the strength of our existing governance and leadership capacities,” Mr Evans said.
“Our inclusion is recognition of the combined efforts of all our local Aboriginal community groups who sought to have greater say in how the Aboriginal community manages the provision of services,” he said. “It will also allow the community to have greater say in day-to-day activities such as leadership, financial accountability and management skills.”
The initial phase of the program will be monitored and evaluated for three years and based on its success will be rolled out in other areas.
For further information contact Ross Evans on phone 4868 0856 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.