Communication and conversation are being encouraged for people to have their say in the development of a long-term strategy which will work to improve the social, economic, health and cultural outcomes of WA’s Aboriginal people.

The McGowan Government has been working with the Western Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council and an array of Aboriginal peoples and organisations to create the strategy that will be finalised in 2020.

The discussion paper, A Path Forward: Developing the Western Australian Government’s Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy is currently open for public comment and Aboriginal peoples are encouraged to share their input.

The paper outlines measures that intend to strengthen the coordination, cooperation and accountability of the Western Australian Government, enabling easier identification of areas of progress and areas in need of improvement.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Ben Wyatt, said for the long-term strategy to be effective and enforce positive change it must be shaped by those who will experience it first-hand.

“About 100 Aboriginal organisations have already been involved and I thank those who provided feedback. It’s important we hear from even more Aboriginal people and others in our community.

“Share your views, priorities and aspirations and tell us what you think of the main ideas, the language used and if there is anything else we should consider,” Minister Wyatt said.

“By having your say, we can develop a long-term strategy that has the entire State Government working with Aboriginal communities towards a common goal, to improve the lives of Aboriginal people.”

This is the first whole-government approach strategy that has been developed to provide a clear and common direction across the public sector. It identifies six key areas:

  • Putting culture at the centre
  • Bringing decisions closer to communities
  • Enabling Aboriginal-led solutions
  • Investing more in preventative and early-intervention initiatives
  • Boosting economic opportunities
  • Building cultural understanding and respect.

This comes with the announcement of the WA Government and Clontarf Foundation funding agreement of $30 million until 2024.

The partnership will provide 200 Aboriginal boys mentoring and support throughout their secondary education through the Clontarf Academies program, which will expand from 26 schools into 30 as of 2020.

“This funding allows the Clontarf Foundation to continue their work which is providing young Aboriginal men with the foundations for success,” Minister Wyatt said.

“The value of this program is not only to the individual but also to the broader community which is an ethos strongly supported by the McGowan Government.”

A Path Forward: Developing the Western Australian Government’s Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy is open for public comment until February 28, 2020. It can be accessed via: https://www.wa.gov.au.