The Regional Services Reform Unit has begun talking with remote Aboriginal communities in the West Kimberley and Goldfields about the priorities for regional services reform.
Discussions have been held with Aboriginal leaders in Bidyadanga, south of Broome, and the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, marking the start of on-the-ground consultation with all remote communities in Western Australia about the reform roadmap.
State reform leader Grahame Searle said community consultation was an important stage of regional services reform and would help the government respond to regional and local needs.
“Knowing the unique circumstances of each remote community will enable the State Government to improve housing, education, employment and human services for Aboriginal families living remotely," he said.
The Regional Services Reform Unit met with community leaders in Bidyadanga – the largest remote Aboriginal community in the State – last Monday. Overcrowding, student progress at school and employment were raised as important local issues.
The meeting also considered how the directions and priority actions outlined in the roadmap could be incorporated into the community’s upcoming strategic planning day. Consultation in the West Kimberley will continue next month.
The reform unit discussed the roadmap and heard about local priorities when it met with members of the Ngaanyatjarra Council in Blackstone community last week.
Talks with the council focused on health, employment and school attendance. Consultation in the Lands will continue in October when the reform unit begins to meet with the 12 community councils and residents.
The consultation follows months of engagement with Aboriginal leaders and other stakeholders in the lead up to the release of the roadmap in July.
The reform unit is now looking specifically at how living conditions, housing and family wellbeing can be improved in each community, as well as opportunities for education and employment.
Consultation will expand into the Pilbara next month and is expected to begin in the Mid-West later in the year.
State reform leader Grahame Searle and the Regional Services Reform Unit's (L-R) Tracey Gillett, Nadelle Brooks and Kristen Orazi visit Bidyadanga Aboriginal Community in the West Kimberley.