Minister Jenny Macklin Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Central Australia Karl Hampton announced the details of the final package of housing and refurbishments for the Alice Springs town camps on 6 October 2010. 43 three-bedroom homes and 42 two-bedroom homes will be built to provide suitable housing for families of different sizes. 01 existing homes will be rebuilt and 33 will be refurbished to help tackle the acute overcrowding and sub-standard housing in the town camps of Alice Springs.
A newly completed house in Morris Soak
Minister Macklin explained that the new houses will also be built to Australian design standards for disability access. The homes will have wide doors and corridors as well as accessible bathroom and kitchen areas.
She also announced that more than $25 million will be directed towards improving social support services in the town camps and across Alice Springs. The funds will be directed to social support services such as the Communities for Children program and the Family Group Conferencing program.
A house under construction in Morris Soak
On 8 October Minister Jenny Macklin and Minister for Central Australia Karl Hampton visited the newly refurbished Akangkentye Hostel and the Kwatja Etatha Living Waters Playgroup.
Akangkentye Hostel will provide much needed temporary accommodation for people living in Alice Springs, as well as providing town camp residents with a place to stay while their houses are being refurbished as part of the Alice Springs Transformation Plan.
The Kwatja Etatha Living Waters playgroup provides fifty indigenous children up to the age of five the opportunity to interact with each other through free play with toys and structured activities such as play-dough, jigsaw puzzles, painting, singing and music. The playground is run by the Central Australian Lutheran Church, an organisation which has a strong relationship with the Aboriginal community in Central Australia. The Lutheran Church has been providing pastoral support to Aboriginal people for over 100 years.
The playgroup is operating at the mission-block site on Gap Road. This site has been accessed by Aboriginal Australians since the 1930’s. Many indigenous people see the site as a trusted and safe place that has offers unconditional care, advocacy and support. The playgroup will not only enrich the lives of young indigenous children but will also help to keep the relationship between Central Australian Aboriginal people and the Lutheran Church strong.
Through the Alice Springs Transformation Plan Desert Knowledge Australia is receiving $50,000 over two years to run a leadership and mentoring program which will be supported by emerging corporate leaders in Melbourne. The program will develop the leadership skills of 19 young Alice Springs residents, with funding directly supporting the participation of town camp residents.