Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres welcomed the launch of the NSW Government’s new plan for Aboriginal affairs. The plan includes reforms to support more Aboriginal students to stay at school and transition to work; builds local decision making skills in communities and; ensures government and community are more accountable for how money is spent.
“After extensive consultation with community groups over the past 8 months, I’m very pleased to see that the NSW Government has listened and acted,” said Mr Ayres.
Mr Ayres met with Peter Chia and the team at Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural Centre to discuss the following recommendations made by the Ministerial Taskforce on Aboriginal Affairs.
Called OCHRE – Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment – the plan was created through the Taskforce which brought together four Aboriginal leaders, seven government Ministers and senior government officials.
The Taskforce held 27 forums and listened to more than 3000 people across NSW, formed a response to reports by the NSW Auditor General and the NSW Ombudsman into the previous Government’s Two Ways Together plan.
The following NSW Government initiatives include:
Opportunity Hubs to provide school students pathways to real jobs by getting local employers involved in career planning early on at school;
Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests to provide a continuous pathway of learning from pre-school to tertiary education for Aboriginal language learners and teachers, at school and at home;
A Local Decision Making Model to develop the decision making skills of local Aboriginal governance bodies to make decisions about local service delivery;
Connected Communities, a current initiative that is changing the way educational services are delivered in 15 regional schools by working in partnership with Aboriginal communities.
“The NSW Government is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal people, not just in the design stage, but delivering outcomes” Mr Ayres said.
“OCHRE outlines a suite of accountability measures including an Independent Aboriginal Council comprising Aboriginal members to monitor and report on progress of the Government’s plan to the NSW Parliament” said Mr Ayres.
For more information, visit the website at www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au