The State Government is working closely with Aboriginal elders and community members to finalise the West Pilbara Plan, which will help address intergenerational disadvantage and child sexual abuse in and around the town of Roebourne.
Through the West Pilbara Plan, which has been shaped by prominent Aboriginal elders, the Roebourne community has begun to take significant steps towards building a stronger community. This includes the development and enforcement of community rules, and fostering genuine partnerships with key response agencies.
The Plan builds on two years of collaboration between the local community and Regional Services Reform Unit in developing the 6718 Advantage Plan, a community-led initiative to improve outcomes for residents, reduce service duplication, and to better support children and families in Roebourne.
Under the West Pilbara Plan, the State Government has committed to focus a collectively and coordinated approach in six priority areas:
- More support for children, carers and families
- A safer community for children
- Tackling alcohol and drugs
- Greater engagement in school and work
- Healing the community
- Reprioritising government contracts and services
Several community-driven solutions conceptualised over nearly a decade which will address the priority areas have already been endorsed by Government for action, including:
- The establishment of a residential facility to support family and cultural healing
- The establishment of 10 supported safe houses in and around Roebourne
- Specialised Alcohol and other Drug services for children and youth
- Upskilling local service providers and community members on abuse and trauma identification, referral processes, protective behaviours and effective interventions
- More youth activities at nights, on weekends and during school holidays
- Realigning the community night patrol (which focuses on adults) to now focus on youth
- Establishing a Roebourne Men's Shelter to allow women and children experiencing domestic violence to stay in their home and encourage men to access support
- Industry training and job pathways for local people
Regional Services Reform Unit director Chad Stewart said the Plan is the first step to showing how community-driven initiatives, backed by government and Aboriginal leaders, can change behaviours and increase the wellbeing of children and families.
“We need to help the community to recover, heal and rebuild, and to tackle the underlying issues that give rise to child sex abuse, while recognising that the community must own this process and be supported by government and industry.”
“Redefining the relationship between government and Aboriginal corporations and communities will be central to achieving long-term change.” he said.
The West Pilbara Plan will be delivered within existing budgets, but with the better coordination of effort and expertise across a number of agencies. It’s an opportunity for agencies to better prioritise, focus and coordinate their existing programs to achieve the best outcomes for the community.
Minister McGurk in Roebourne talking with elders and working on the West Pilbara Plan.