The Government of Western Australia announced regional services reform in May 2015 to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in regional and remote Western Australia. The reform aims to bring about long-term, systemic change.
The Regional Services Reform Unit was established to drive the reform. In July 2016, the State Government released a roadmap for major reforms to the delivery of housing, education, employment and human services.
Regional services reform is focusing on three main areas:
- Improved living conditions that enable families to prosper and don't hold them back.
- Supporting families to build their skills, and overcome any barriers to doing so, through improved service redesign and delivery.
- Education, employment and housing opportunities, and support for families to take them up.
Strong collaboration between the State Government, Commonwealth Government, local government, service providers and Aboriginal people underpins regional services reform and is essential for significant, long-term change.
Aboriginal families and communities are integral to the success of regional services reform. The interests and priorities of Aboriginal people are being represented by Aboriginal advisors on regional groups in the Pilbara and Kimberley set up to guide the work of the reform. District leadership groups are implementing change at a local level.
Regional services reform has an initial focus on the Pilbara and Kimberley. It will be extended over time to other regions of Western Australia and tailored to their circumstances. The State Government expects work to begin in the Goldfields in 2017.
The Regional Services Reform Unit receives funding from State Government service delivery agencies and the Royalties for Regions program.