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Priorities revealed in NSW's new two-year plan to Close the Gap

Jarred Cross -

Peak First Nations agencies are hopeful Aboriginal Communities across New South Wales will realise their ambitions for greater socio-economic outcomes as a new agreement boosting self determination efforts took its next steps this week.

The state's Closing the Gap initiation plan outlined five prioritiess over the next 24 months.

Among them, commitments to strengthen group partnerships increasing community informed dialogue, redirection from state bodies into Aboriginal community controlled organisations and measures addressing experiences of racism in Government.

The shift is said to see community-controlled organisations have equal say in the direction of funding.

The announced $30 million injection, under the Community and Place Grants, came from NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations co-chair Charles Lynch and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Franklin.

Some 28 of the 144 initiatives set to benefit were co-developed with CAPO.

It follows the $189 million allocation toward Closing the Gap initiatives in June's state budget.

"The initiatives included in this plan have been driven by principles of self-determination, based on what communities have told us in consultations, and developed through shared decision-making with our government partners," Mr Lynch said.

"These grants directly respond to needs identified by our communities that must be addressed in the short term, while NSW CAPO continues its longer-term work."

Going forward, ACCO's will gain equal access to data and analytics to support decision making and business going forward.

Services with include online business support and developed strategy to remove barriers to employment are seemingly on the horizon.

The moves, while crucial, are just a fraction of the bigger picture for some.

"We know that our communities are hurting, that there needs to be more support, more accountability and more transparency," Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council co-chair Robert Skeen said.

The list of targets extend to ongoing socio-economic plans directed at housing, education, overrepresentation in the legal system and family violence.

ACCO's are required to submit application for funding by September 30 and report back on program delivery by the end of 2023.

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