2009 Survey of Government Business Managers

Table of contents

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Table of figures

Figure 1: Perceived impact of NTER measures on community awareness

Figure 2: Perceived impact of NTER measures on community behaviours

Figure 3: Perceived impact of NTER measures on community engagement

Figure 4: Presence of food stores within community

Figure 5: Frequency of purchase of takeaway food by community members

Figure 6: Reasons for change in community shopping behaviours

Figure 7: Availability of food types within community store

Figure 8: Availability of staple items within community store

Figure 9: GBM perceptions of community store

Figure 10: Perceived changes in selected educational factors

Figure 11: Perceived change in usage of community services

Figure 12: Perceived impact of selected factors upon criminal activity

Figure 13: Perceived change in employment and engagement opportunities

Figure 14: Community attitudes towards income management

Figure 15: Perceived change in community attitudes towards income management

Figure 16: Understanding and acceptance of GBM role

Figure 17: Understanding of GBM role by community and government agencies

Figure 18: Perceived effectiveness of government agencies collaboration

Figure 19: Perceived change in operational effectiveness of government agencies


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Executive Summary

In 2009 TNS Social Research was commissioned by the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination Group (OIPC) within the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to undertake an online survey with Government Business Managers (GBMs).

The aim of this research is to measure the opinions of GBMs as to how the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) measures are working at a community level.

GBMs’ responses are based on their in-community experience and perceptions of how effective the various NTER measures have been on the ground. This information, combined with other information sources, will help assess how conditions within the communities are changing as a result of the NTER measures.

The 2009 survey tool, developed by the OIPC with reference to the survey tool used in 2008, is modular in nature, and considers (in turn) the following aspects of the key measures of the intervention:

  • Overall view as to impact of NTER measures
  • Food Availability
  • Education
  • Supporting families
  • Law and order
  • Welfare reform and engagement measures
  • Whole of Government approach

Coverage for the survey included the 79 NTER communities – 73 prescribed communities and 6 Town Camp regions.

  • Responses for 67 communities were received, equating to an 85% response rate. The responses received provide coverage of:
    • 62 of the 73 prescribed communities serviced by a GBM (85%), and
    • 5 of the 6 prescribed town camp areas serviced by a GBM (83%).

Following are the key findings within each of these survey modules.

The results are expressed as a percentage of the responses received for the 79 NTER prescribed communities (including Town Camps).

Overall view as to impact of NTER measures

With regard to the perceived impact of the NTER measures on community awareness of issues:

  • There is a majority view that the impact has been positive in each of the key areas of nutrition (73%), health (68%), child abuse (61%), education (55%), and drug and alcohol related violence (51%).
  • Thirteen % of GBM’s consider that the NTER measures have had a negative impact on the community awareness of issues around drug and alcohol related violence in the community.

With regard to the perceived impact of the NTER measures on community behaviours:

  • 78% of responses cited the impact to have been positive in relation to; shopping patterns and budgets, and 55% in relation to accessing health services.
  • The NTER measures are seen to have had no impact in relation to use of community facilities (54%), parental involvement in schooling (52%) and accessing help for drug and alcohol problems (49%).

In relation to the perceived impact of the NTER measures on community engagement with services:

  • The impact is perceived to have been positive in relation to accessing health and nutrition programs (65%), youth diversion activities (63%) and the police (55%).
  • No impact was considered to have occurred in relation to community engagement with small business development activities (61%).
  • Negative impact was considered to have occurred for Work for the Dole programs (25%).

Food Availability

In 2009, 84% of responses indicated that there was a licensed community store within the 79 communities and town camps. Other types of food stores available included: road-houses (24%), supermarkets (15%), station stores (3%), unlicensed community stores (2%) and other food outlets (24%). Only 2% of responses reported that none of these store types were present within the community.

The licensed community stores were the most frequented food outlets in 75% of responses.

The GBMs reported that in their time within a community that:

  • Food is available on a more regular basis (63% agree, 21% disagree, 16% don’t know).
  • An improved (wider) range of food is available from the community store (57% agree, 15% disagree, 16% don’t know).
  • The quantity of food has improved (55% agree, 19% disagree, 25% don’t know).
  • The quality of food has improved (55%, 16% disagree, 28% don’t know).

42% cited that the community store had a takeaway outlet. Over 40 per cent of responses said that the majority of people in the community purchase take three or more times per week.

Education

GBMs were asked to consider the level of change in relation to education within the community since June 2008 (or since they commenced as GBM for the community). The responses were as follows:

  • Children’s attendance at school - 48% no change, 21% positive change and 19% negative.
  • Parental support for school attendance - 54% no change, 21% positive change and 16% negative.
  • Parent engagement with school - 61% no change, 12% positive change and 18% negative.

Supporting families

61% of GBMs reported an increase in the use of nutrition programs, and 38% reported an increase in the use of both crèche and child development services since June 2008 (or since commencement as GBM for the community).

Law and order

GBMs were asked to consider the level of change in relation to safety within the community since June 2008 (or since they commenced as GBM for the community). 35% believed that the community had become a safer place since June 2008, with only 2% believing the community had become less safe. 92% responses showed that GBMs personally felt safe on a day to day basis within the community (with only 3% saying that they felt unsafe).

GBMs were also asked to consider the level of change in relation to particular behaviours within the community since June 2008 (or since they commenced as GBM for the community).

  • a decrease for 32% of communities in the level of violence (an increase for 19% and no change for 39% ).
  • a decrease for 25% of communities in the use of alcohol in the community (an increase for 30% and no change for 32%. 6% reported no existence of this behaviour).
  • a decrease for 24% of communities in petrol sniffing (an increase for 6% and no change for 30%. 27% reported no existence of this behaviour).
  • a decrease for 20% of communities in alcohol use outside of prescribed areas (an increase for 24% and no change for 32%. 11% reported no existence of this behaviour).
  • a decrease for 9% of communities in marijuana use (an increase for 24% and no change for 50%).
  • a decrease for 8% of communities in solvent use ( an increase for 3% and no change for 35%. 29% reported no existence of this behaviour).
  • a decrease for 3% of communities in relation to other illicit drug use – ( an increase for 5% and no change for 50%. 14% reported no existence of this behaviour).

In 2009, 96% of responses reported the presence of a night patrol (up from 58% in 2008). For 67% of communities identified with a night patrol, GBMs said that the presence of night patrols has had a positive impact on the level of awareness of family violence programs within the community, and 52% said that such a presence has had a positive impact on the incidence of violence.

33% of responses reported the presence of women’s safe houses and 13% the presence of men’s cooling off places. 66% reported that neither of these types of safe places are present within the community.

In those communities with a women’s safe place, 68% of responses reported that the safe place a positive impact on the level of awareness of family violence programs within the community (4% a negative impact, 20% no impact, 8% don’t know). 40% reported that the safe place had had a positive impact - decreasing the incidence of violence (40% no impact, 20% don’t know).

In those communities with a men’s cooling off place, 50% of responses indicated that the cooling off place has had a positive impact on the level of awareness of family violence programs within the community (0% negative impact, 42% no impact, 8% don’t know). However, only 8% reported that the cooling off place had had a positive impact - decreasing the incidence of violence (0% negative impact, 67% no impact, 25% don’t know).

Welfare reform and engagement measures

With regard to changes in employment, training and small business between June 2008 and June 2009, positive changes were reported in the following areas:

  • Provision of training opportunities (52% postitive change, 18% a negative change, 24% no change and 6% no change).
  • Establishing a small business (49% positive change, 9% a negative change, 33% no change and 9% don’t’ know).
  • Availability of employment opportunities (36% positive change, 20% a negative change, 30% no change, 9% don’t know and 5% not applicable).
  • Attendance at training activities (35% positive change, 20% a negative change, 33% no change and 12% don’t know).
  • Attendance at work for the dole activities (15% positive change, 30% a negative change, 33% no change, 11% don’t know and 11% not applicable).

49% of responses cited that a favourable attitude was held by members within the community towards income management, (44% a mixed attitude, 3% neutral and 5% negative), with 58% reporting that a positive change in attitude towards income management (33% neutral, 8% don’t know and 2% negative) had occurred since June 2008 (or during the GBMs time in the community).

Women were seen to be the group within the communities that are the most favourably disposed towards income management (women with children 82% and other women 64%), followed by men with children (27%). Other men and young adults were seen to have the lowest levels of support for income management (11% and 9% respectively).

In 2009 the level of ‘humbugging’ within the community is seen to have decreased since June 2008 levels, as cited within 45% of the responses, with 29% saying there had been no change and 3% saying humbugging had increased. The remainder of responses did not know of any changes.

Whole of Government approach

73% of responses considered that there has been a positive change in understanding and acceptance of the GBM role by members of the community between June 2008 and June 2009, (or since they had commenced as GBM in the community). The proportion reporting that the majority of the community has either ‘some’ or a ‘good’ understanding of the GBM role increased from 65% in 2008 to 82% in 2009.

Similarly responses indicating that the majority of government agencies have either ‘some’ or a ‘good’ understanding of the GBM role increased from 76% in 2008 to 83% in 2009. However, only around half of respondents believed that the various government agencies work well together in the community (51%). 48% of respondents believe that there has been a positive change in the effective operational practices between government agencies in the community between June 2008 and June 2009, with 11% saying there has been a negative change.

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1. Introduction

1.1 Background and Context

The Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) was announced on 21 June 2007 as a response to the first recommendation of the Little Children are Sacred report from the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, which asked that ‘Aboriginal child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory be designated as an issue of urgent national significance by both the Australian and Northern Territory Governments’.

In the short term the intent of the NTER was to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous children, and in the longer-term it aims to lay the basis for a sustainable and better future for residents within the prescribed areas in the Northern Territory. These aims have been pursued by addressing community safety, ensuring better education and employment outcomes, and improving access to health services.

An independent review of the NTER was conducted in 2008 by a Review Board which assessed the effectiveness of the measures after the first year, and their impact on individuals and communities. The review noted the importance of an integrated approach to addressing the inter-connected nature of the response and emphasised the importance of coordination and responsiveness to the characteristics of each community.

The Australian Government’s response to the October 2008 review of the first year of the NTER included a continuation of the measures commenced in 2007 under the NTER and relevant legislation until 30 June 2012. The ongoing measures will be managed under the National Partnership Agreement for Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory to strengthen and consolidate existing investment made under the NTER.

The National Partnership Agreement transitions the NTER to a three year development phase that will maintain and strengthen the core NTER measures, while placing a greater emphasis on community engagement and partnerships, and building capability and leadership within Indigenous communities. The partnership will also build the capacity of the Northern Territory Government in the areas of protection of vulnerable children, provision of law and order, quality education and health services for residents of the prescribed communities.

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1.2 The role of the General Business Manager

Government Business Managers (GBMs) are assigned to the prescribed communities in the Northern Territory to manage the delivery of Australian Government services. (The deployment of GBMs is a key activity supporting achievement of the ‘coordination’ measure.)

The role of a GBM is to assist the community in understanding the measures of the intervention, and report on issues that may arise as a result. The GBMs also provide support for the roll out of NTER measures such as income management and alcohol restrictions.

The GBMs:

  • have been providing the key liaison and consultation point in communities, including communicating the NTER measures at the local level, engaging with Traditional Owners and elders, and working collaboratively with other government representatives (including at the Territory and local levels);
  • have been managing and coordinating the day-to-day activities of staff from different Australian Government agencies in the community; and
  • have been providing feedback on progress and local issues and concerns through the NTER Operations Centre. Their knowledge and information has been guiding coordinated government action and decision making that is tailored to the particular needs of a community.

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1.3 Research objectives

The key objective of this research is to establish whether GBMs perceive conditions are getting better on the ground among those communities subject to the NTER.

GBMs are uniquely positioned to comment on the day-to-day success of the NTER operations:

  • They live in or near the communities, and as such can see the measures in action.
  • They regularly speak with community members.
  • Through their coordination role they are (ideally) in contact with the myriad of government agencies and departments dealing with the various measures of the NTER – accordingly they have a comprehensive knowledge of how government efforts are enacted within the communities.

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1.4 Methodology

The survey aims to numerically quantify the opinions and observations of the GBMS in relation to the effectiveness of some areas of the NTER and the extent to which, (as perceived by the GBMs), the measures have been operationalised. The survey also collects insights and context around the responses provided by GBMs in the form of open-ended questions.

Instructions given to the GBMs included:

‘Through this survey we are trying to gain an understanding of the level of effectiveness of the NTER through the experience and knowledge of the Government Business Managers in the Northern Territory. Based on your experience of managing the NTER in your community, community feedback, and your observations of life in the community, we would like you to tell us through this survey how you think things are going……………

Please be completely honest in your answers so that the information we collect is accurate. This isn’t a test and there are no right or wrong answers: it’s your views that count. We want you to answer based on your experience and observations while working in the community – you are not required to access additional information or undertake any consultation to complete this survey.’

The survey tool used within the 2009 research was developed by the OIPC with reference to that used in 2008. TNS Social Research then converted this survey tool to an online questionnaire and using details provided by the OIPC issued invitations to GBMs to participate in the survey.There is not a one to one relationship between communities and GBMs. Some GBMs look after more than one community. However, where a GBM managed more than one community, the intention was that they complete a separate survey for each.

Responses were received for 67 communities - equating to an 84% response rate. More specifically the responses received provide coverage of:

  • 62 of the 73 prescribed communities serviced by a GBM (85%), and
  • 5 of the 6 prescribed town camp areas serviced by a GBM (83%).

Analysis has been undertaken only in relation to the 67 communities for which responses were received.

Figures quoted in the report have been rounded to the nearest whole number. As a consequence, the total responses for some questions may not add exactly to 100%.

In 2009 the survey tool used largely consisted of direct measures; however opportunity to provide additional commentary or explanation was also included. These responses have been analysed with regard to identification off emergent themes. Inclusion of this analysis as well as selected verbatim responses (de-identified as to community) has been made within this report in order to provide further insight and understanding.

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2. Overall View as to Impact of NTER Measures

2.1 Perceived impact of NTER measures on community awareness

There is a majority viewpoint that the impact of the NTER measures on community awareness of issues has been positive. More specifically of the responses received:

  • 73% indicate that the NTER measures have had a positive impact on nutrition, (17% no impact and 11% don’t know)
  • 68% indicate that the NTER measures have had a positive impact on health, (21% no impact, 9% don’t’ know and 2% negative impact)
  • 61% indicate that the NTER measures have had a positive impact upon child abuse, (23% no impact, 20% don’t know and 2% a negative impact)
  • 55% indicate that the NTER measures have had a positive impact on education, (29% no impact, 11% don’t know and 6% negative impact)
  • 51% indicate that the NTER measures have had a positive impact on drug and alcohol related violence, (24% no impact, 12% don’t know and 12% negative impact)

Of note however:

  • 12% indicate that the NTER measures have had a negative impact on drug and alcohol related violence.
  • 6% indicate that the NTER measures have had a negative impact on education.
  • 2% indicate that the NTER measures have had a negative impact on health.
  • 2% indicate that the NTER measures have had a negative impact on child abuse.

The above findings are detailed in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Perceived impact of NTER measures on community awareness

This figure shows the perceived impact of NTER measures on community awareness

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2.2 Perceived impact of NTER measures on community behaviours

With regard to the perceived impact of the NTER measures on community behaviours:

  • 78% indicate that the impact in relation to shopping patterns and budgets has been positive, (10% no impact, 11% don’t’ know)
  • 55% indicate that the impact in relation to accessing health services has been positive, (33% no impact, 12% don’t know)

However in relation to other community behaviours the NTER measures are seen to have been of less impact, with a majority indicating that there has been no impact felt in relation to:

  • use of community facilities (54% no impact, 12% don’t know, 34% positive) and
  • parental involvement in schooling (52% no impact, 15% don’t know, 24% positive).

The above findings are detailed within Figure 2.

Figure 2: Perceived impact of NTER measures on community behaviours

This figure shows the perceived impact of NTER measures on community behaviours

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2.3 Perceived impact of NTER measures on community engagement

In relation to the perceived impact of the NTER measures on community engagement with services, the majority of responses indicate that the impact has been perceived as positive in relation to:

  • accessing health and nutrition programs (65% positive impact, 21% no impact, 12% don’t know)
  • youth diversion activities (63% positive impact, 19% no impact, 12% don’t know, 6% negative impact)
  • the police (55% positive impact, 3% don’t know, 17% negative impact).

However:

  • 17% indicate that for some the impact of the NTER measures on community engagement with police had been negative,
  • 19% indicate that the impact of the NTER measures on CDEP activities has been negative, (36% no impact, 6% don’t know, 39% positive impact)
  • 25% indicate that the impact of the NTER measures on Work for the Dole programs has been negative, (43% no impact, 6% don’t’ know, 26% positive impact) and
  • 61% indicate that the NTER measures are perceived to have had no impact on community engagement with small business development activities, (12% don’t know, 16% positive impact, 11% negative impact)

The above findings are detailed within Figure 3.

Figure 3: Perceived impact of NTER measures on community engagement

This figure shows the perceived impact of NTER measures on community engagement

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2.4 GBM perceptions as to overall impact of NTER measures

General comments made by GBMs in relation to the overall impact of the NTER measures primarily focused upon the difficulty they faced in being able to state conclusively as to whether changes within the community were a direct result of the NTER or as a result of other interventions and programmes also occurring.

For many GBMs this perceived difficulty in being able to comment upon the impact of the NTER measures was also due to their arrival within the community post the introduction of the NTER (and as such many felt they did not have an accurate baseline measure upon which to base their perceptions).

A selection of the more specific verbatim responses provided in response to the request for general comments is provided below:

  • “Community feedback indicates that this community perceive that it functioned well before the NTER and NTG Shire council changes. The early withdrawal of the CDEP program and then the later reinstatement has generally given the perception that things may have gone backwards. The push towards real jobs instead of CDEP has not been acknowledged yet by the community as a positive step. NTER Alcohol restrictions have not in my opinion worked here as the community owns a pub just outside the prescribed area and excess drinking and the flow on effects continue to bring this community into crisis situations”.
  • “Community is small population with licensed premise. They have done very well per capita with NTER funding measures but are very angry about how it was rolled out in 2007. The Shire Amalgamations have had an unsettling impact on community governance measures and there is confusion that NTER caused the change in local government authority. There are still violent assaults at least once a fortnight”.
  • “Impacts identified are not only a result of the NTER but it is difficult to separate impacts from Local Govt. Reform or the signing of the Regional Partnership Agreement or the signing of the head lease”.
  • “In many ways this community is just starting to get back onto its feet. The NTER and the local government re-structure took place simultaneously. The community felt that they had lost control and were 'going backward'. The old Council was disbanded and the community lost control of the Arts Centre and Store. It is not possible to view the impacts of the NTER in isolation since there are so many other factors impacting on areas such as health, education, employment which are outside of NTER control. In relation to CDEP and work for the dole. New contracts have been awarded and planning is underway. The picture next year will look dramatically different. A snapshot at this time at least is one of more hope and possibility. The same goes for the NTER - things are just beginning to settle and consolidate”.
  • “It is hard to offer any real comments about what the impact of NTER measures have been given I have no real knowledge of the state of play previously. It may well be that the NTER has had some very positive results compared to what the community was like before the NTER however I am unaware of this. Based on what I have seen in the very limited time I have been in XXX there is still much to be done in terms of Community Engagement”.
  • “Many of the 'no-impact' assessments indicate pre-intervention programs or services”.
  • “NTER measures rely on other service providers to implement programs which can or cannot be successful depending on activities run and resources available”.
  • “Some of the issues for which comments have been sought have never had a negative impact on the community. Alcohol and child abuse have never been problems and school attendance has always been high”.
  • “This community functioned very well under XXX, before the NTER, although there were still some pockets of dis-function. The advent of the Shires, loss of discretionary income from Kava sales, and changes under the NTER have had significant negative impacts, including perceived loss of XXX control. However, the community acknowledges that many good things have come out of the NTER and they support having a full-time GBM and IEO to work with”.
  • “Whilst the community has increased its overall level of awareness of the NTER measures the most positive impact has been on health through Income Management, improvements to the store and the introduction of the School Nutrition Program”.

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3. Food Availability

3.1 Store types found within communities

In 2009, 84% of responses indicated that there was a licensed community store in the community. Other types of food stores that were available within the communities included:

  • other store (24%),
  • road-houses (24%),
  • supermarkets (15%),
  • station stores (3%), and
  • unlicensed community stores (2%).

These findings, are shown in Figure 4, along with the 2008 data for this question

Figure 4: Presence of food stores within community

This figure shows the presence of food stores within community

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3.2 Usage of store types

75% of responses indicated that licensed community stores were the most frequented type of food store, followed by other stores (9%), roadhouses (8%) then supermarkets in regional/ metropolitan centres (6%).

In regard to those responses where it was indicated that the community store was the most frequented, 67% of GMS said that these stores had an active store committee (governing structure).

60% of the responding GBMs reported that they shopped at the local licensed community store.

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3.3 Licensed stores

Of the 56 responses where it was indicated that a licensed community store was present, 54% of these were licensed prior to June 2008 and 19% after this date, with the licensing date of the remainder not established.

There were 11 responses for communities that did not have a licensed community store. Of these, community members were most likely to travel to the nearest licensed community store by car (31%), walk (15%), Taxi (8%) or by other means (46%).

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3.4 Consumption of takeaway food

Within the 57 communities where it was indicated that a community store was present, 28 of them had a takeaway food outlet.

As Figure 5 shows, in 45% of these communities the GBM said that the majority of community members buy take away food daily and for a further 14% of communities people but take away at least three of more times per week.

Figure 5: Frequency of purchase of takeaway food by community members

This figure shows the frequency of purchase of takeaway food by community members

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3.5 Changes in purchasing habits

Only 34% of responses indicated that there has been a perceived change in where community members shopped since June 2008 (or since the time the GBM arrived in the community if post June 2008), with 45% disagreeing with this statement.

When prompted as to potential causes of changes in purchasing habits, as Figure 6 below shows, the key perceived reason for the change in shopping related to the increased availability and variety on offer.

Figure 6: Reasons for change in community shopping behaviours

This figure shows reasons for change in community shopping behaviours

The introduction of income management (and basic card) and improved management of stores were also widely cited by GBMs as being drivers of change in community members shopping behaviours.

It was also apparent that GBMs see income management and the increased availability and variety of goods to be linked.

A selection of the verbatim responses given in relation to why community members are perceived to have changed their shopping behaviours is provided below:

  • “Availability of fresh product and regular re-supply”
  • “Because the store has started to purchase better quality food. The community now has a stores committee that are receiving governance training. They are starting to take control of the store and not let the store manager control all the operations of the store.The store is improving because of the support to the committee from the stores unit and GBM”
  • “Better range and quality of food at the community store and the store is better presented. This is partly due to NTER and partly due to change of operators in early 2008 who are much more professional in their approach”
  • “With more of the community spending income on food, essentials and the use of the basic card, food outlets are improving to meet the needs”
  • “I am convinced that IM and stores licensing has had a good impact on the amount and quality of food available in the community. Also the store now stocks a wider range essential goods, personal hygiene and cleaning products”
  • “Income management has meant that more money is being spent on healthy food. The IGA store has invested heavily in improving the range of food available, store security and employing locals”
  • “Initial roll out of IM resulted in people visiting Coles and Woolworths to shop with store cards rather than the corner store/deli near the town camp”

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3.6 Availability, quality and quantity of food availability

The GBMs were asked about the availability of goods where there was a community store in the community. As Figure 7 shows, fresh and frozen meat and poultry are always available in the majority of community stores. Fresh vegetables and fruit however were not as regularly available.

Figure 7: Availability of food types within community store

This figure shows the availability of food types within community store

In relation to other staples, as detailed within Figure 8:

  • Baby products and basic household products were cited within 81% and 79% respectively of responses as always being available within the community stores.
  • Baby food was cited within 77% of responses as always being available within the community.

However, over the counter medication was only cited within 40% of responses as being always available.

Figure 8: Availability of staple items within community store

This figure shows the availability of staple items within community store

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3.7 GBM perceptions of community stores

As detailed within Figure 9 below, at an overall level the majority of GBMs reported that in their time within the communities to which their responses related that:

  • The community has a good relationship with the community store (69% agree, 16% disagree, 15% don’t know).
  • Food is available on a more regular basis (63% agree, 21% disagree, 16% don’t know).
  • An improved (wider) range of food is available from the community store (57% agree, 15% disagree, 28% don’t know).
  • The quantity of food has improved (55% agree, 19% disagree, 25% don’t know).
  • The quality of food has improved (55% agree, 16% disagree, 28% don’t know).

Figure 9: GBM perceptions of community store

This figure shows the GBM perceptions of community store


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4. Education

4.1 Levels of attendance, parental engagement and support

In relation to education the majority of responses received from GBMs indicated that in their time within the communities little evidence had been noted as to changes in either:

  • Parental engagement with the school (61% no change, 18% negative change, 12% positive change)
  • Parental support for attendance at school (54% no change, 16% negative change, 21% positive change).

In relation to children’s attendance at school, no change was reported within 46% of responses, a negative change by 18% of responses and a positive change by 28% of responses.

These findings are detailed within Figure 10 below:

Figure 10: Perceived changes in selected educational factors

This figure shows the perceived changes in selected educational factors

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4.2 Drivers of attendance, parental engagement and support

Supplementary comments made as to reasons for changes in children’s school attendance showed that various influences appear to influence the level of attendance at the local schools. These include; teaching personnel and personalities, accommodation facilities for school staff, parent engagement and community engagement with the school. Many of the comments received would need to be further investigated before any conclusions could be drawn in regard to why children are attending or not attending school.

A selection of verbatim responses given in relation to the perceived drivers of attendance are provided below.

  • “A change of Principal has improved attendance levels and parental inclusion”
  • “The old principal left. She had been at the school for 8 years. It has taken a while for this principal to build a relationship. There has been a lot of staff turnover and for about 4 months this year she was the only resident teacher. No entry to store policy is now strongly reinforced, night patrol is involved and there is a ‘no school no pool policy’. Local involvement is increasing in getting kids to school”
  • “Efforts by community members, particularly elders to ensure children are chased up to attend. Varied and interesting school programs”
  • “Food Nutrition program and the Press about linking Welfare payments - but only in certain age groups. Secondary is a real issue with a number of non attendees. Community leaders have asked for Welfare/Attendance rules to apply and be enforced. They think there should be financial penalty against those families that don't send their kids to school - now - not just talking about it”
  • Local teachers drive around the community and pick up the children - I think this was occurring before I commenced as a GBM two months ago”
  • “School and parental assistance has been extremely positive. XXX Nutrition Program and Parent support has contributed to change. XXX maintains their strong focus and empowerment for managing a cohesive community”
  • “School Nutrition Program. School has had extra teachers resourced by DEEWR and has an extra year learning level in 2009. Locals employed at school on NT transition jobs”
  • “Since the return of school after the dry season holidays, school attendance has dropped from 65% to 50%. There is a lack of connection between school and numeracy, literacy, future employment, leadership, improvement in the town etc”
  • “The School Nutrition Program and Income Management has allowed mothers to purchase food regularly which increases the health of children and reduces lethargy”
  • “Variety of factors such as, student behaviour, parents/guardians not engaged with school and parents/guardians do not view schooling as important”
  • “I have discussed lower attendance levels this year (as compared to 2008) with the School Principal and he is 'at a loss' to explain the (not major) drop off. XXX is only a small community and local job opportunities and an employment path (based on education) are virtually non existent. People are reluctant to leave the community to improve their education levels and to seek employment”
  • “Discussions with the previous principal indicated that there were huge concerns around attendance. Contributing factors included issues of alcohol and domestic violence on the community”

It was also apparent that the relationship of the principal and/or teachers within the community was an important contributing factor to attendance levels (both positive and negative). In a similar vein staff engagement was seen to be the key factor driving the level of parental support for attendance within the community, as well as levels of parental engagement (or otherwise) with the school.

A selection of the verbatim responses given in relation to the perceived drivers of and barriers to parental support and engagement are provided below.

  • “Community Engagement and the drive for better education by the Traditional Owners”
  • “Community engagement by school teachers. Regular community meetings to highlight attendance and health issues. No school no store policy”
  • “Family feuds spill over into the school ground resulting in bullying so children and parents stay away”
  • “Increasing apathy towards the value of education. Community concerns over the future of the bilingual education policy”
  • “Influence of the older people who want the children to go to school. School principal talking to the community about the issues and raising awareness. School nutrition program has also helped. Also consistent application of local policy to support parental wishes. …... Also people have to go to town on business and take kids with them. Attendance at end of week and around pay day is affected as a result”
  • “School nutrition program. Liaison with families to encourage school attendance. Interesting curriculum activities”
  • “There are a small group of caring parents; it seems that those who have drinking issues are those who do not support children going to school”
  • “Change of staff at the school as the parents now believe they are being listened to”
  • “Desire and enthusiasm of the school teachers to make a difference by creating meaningful and enjoyable education activities in an under resourced school environment”
  • “Family feuds discourage parents from interacting….’
  • “…The school Principal has spoken with me at length and is supporting parents coming to school with their kids and staying at the school but this is not happening. I think many parents are intimidated by their own low levels of literacy and numeracy and this is a factor in parents engaging with the school”
  • “Liaison on difficult issues, e.g. Petrol sniffing. Parental involvement in school curriculum activities, e.g. Camps, open day, surf life saving, etc. Income management has had a negative impact on school attendance on pay days. Gambling and kava also have a negative impact’
  • “Proactive programmes put in place by new Principal and teachers’

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5. Supporting Families

5.1 Availability of Family Support Programs

In relation to program and service availability within the communities:

  • 90% of responses indicated that there was a nutrition program present.
  • 60% of responses indicated that there was crèche.
  • 37% of responses indicated that antenatal services were available.
  • 36% of responses indicated that prenatal services were available.
  • 31% of responses indicated that child development services or programmes were available.

5.2 Uptake of family support programs

Based upon those responses where it was indicated that the above services were available, the number of GBMs indicating positive change in the uptake of each such service (as noted by GBMs over their time in the community) was:

  • Nutrition programs (61% positive change, 20% no change, 10% don’t know)
  • Crèche services (38% positive change, 29% no change, 21% don’t know and 12% negative change)
  • Child development programs or services (38% positive change, 42% no change, 17% don’t know and 4% negative change),
  • Prenatal services (7% positive change, 57% no change, 36% don’t know).
  • Antenatal services (7% positive change, 59% no change and 35% don’t know).

These findings are detailed within Figure 11.

Figure 11: Perceived change in usage of community services

This figure shows the perceived change in usage of community services

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6. Law and Order

6.1 General Perceptions of Safety

35% of responses indicated that GBMS perceive their communities to have become safer places since June 2008, with only 2% of indicating that the communities have become less safe (47% no change and 17% don’t know).

92% GBMs reported that they personally felt safe on a day to day basis (with only 3% saying that they felt unsafe and 5% neutral).

6.2 Night Patrols

In 2009, 96% of responses reported the presence of a night patrol, (up from 58% in 2008).

Among those responses where it was indicated that a night patrol was present

  • 67% cited that the presence of night patrols has had a positive impact on the level of awareness of family violence programs within the community, (8% negative impact, 17% no impact, 9% don’t know).
  • 52% cited that such a presence has had a positive impact on the incidence of violence, (5% negative impact, 31% no impact, 12% don’t know).

In associated supplementary comments, mention was made that there is potential for greater interaction and referral to occur between night patrol members and family violence programs.

Supplementary comments also made mention that the positive impact of night patrols upon the levels of violence within communities is largely attributed to night patrols acting as both a deterrent and a means of ensuring safe passage home.

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6.3 Safe Places

33% of responses reported the presence of a women’s safe house.

Among these responses:

  • 68% cited that such a presence has had a positive impact on the level of awareness of family violence programs within the community, (4% negative impact, 20% no impact, 8% don’t know).
  • 40% cited that such a presence has had a positive impact on the incidence of violence, (0% negative impact, 40% no impact, 20% don’t know).

13% of responses reported the presence of a men’s cooling off place. Among those responses:

  • 50% see that it has had a positive impact on the level of awareness of family violence programs within the community, (0% negative impact, 42% no impact, 8% don’t know).
  • 8% see that such a presence has had a positive impact on the incidence of violence, (0% negative impact, 67% no impact, 25% don’t know).

66% of responses indicated that neither a women’s safe house nor a men’s cooling off place was present within their communities.

Supplementary comment suggests that where safe places are present within the community they are seen to have effectively helped reduce violence within the community primarily by providing places of sanctuary in times of need and to a lesser extent are seen by some communities to have also raised awareness of the issue of domestic violence.

However comment was also made that there needs to be increased mentoring and training of staff.

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6.4 Mobile Child Protection Teams

With regard to Mobile Child Protection Teams:

  • 27% of responses cited that this measure has had a positive impact on the level of awareness of family violence programs (5% negative impact, 29% no impact, 39% don’t know).
  • 15% see that this factor has had a positive impact on the incidence of violence (3% negative impact, 39% no impact, 42% don’t know).

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6.5 Remote Aboriginal Family and Community Workers

With regard to Remote Aboriginal Family and Community Workers (RAFCWs):

  • 27% of responses cited that this factor has had a positive impact on the level of awareness of family violence programs (8% negative impact, 30% no impact, 35% don’t know).
  • 13% of responses cited that this factor has had a positive impact on the incidence of violence (5% negative impact, 40% no impact, 42% don’t know).

The key improvement suggestions made by GBMs as to how RAFCWs could operate within the community related to increased promotion and awareness of the service and greater liaison between the RAFCWs and the GBMs.

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6.6 Impact of crime protection activities and actions

At an overall level, the presence of night patrols was seen to have had the biggest impact with regard to reducing criminal activity within communities (56%), followed by income management (50%) and then youth diversion activities (44%), then additional patrols (35%). Of the listed factors, alcohol restrictions were the least nominated cause as having had a positive impact on reducing criminal activity (29%).

These findings are detailed within Figure 12.

Figure 12: Perceived impact of selected factors upon criminal activity

This figure shows the perceived impact of selected factors upon criminal activity

In discussing the above ratings many GBMs indicated that the reason the above impacts had not been greater was largely due to entrenched community behaviours, which would take time to change, and the lack of police presence or resource for monitoring and enforcement. Alcohol was widely seen to be a key issue.

In terms of behavioural change:

  • 32% cited a positive change in the incidence of violence (19% a negative change and 39% no change).

Positive changes were largely linked to increased police presence and night patrols, as well as community programmes focused on health. While negative changes were largely linked to use of alcohol and or other illicit substances.

  • 24% cited a positive change in the incidence of alcohol use in the community (30% a negative change and 32% no change. 6% reported no existence of this behaviour in the communities associated with the responses provided).

Again positive changes were linked to increased police presence, income management and tighter restrictions in relation to the purchase and consumption of alcohol. Many communities were already dry prior to the NTER and have maintained a no alcohol stance. Negative changes were primarily linked to a lack of police presence within a community, resulting in a perceived influx of members from other communities.

  • 20% cited a positive change in the incidence of alcohol use outside the prescribed area (24% a negative change and 32% no change. 11% reported no existence of this behaviour in the communities associated with the responses provided).
  • 24% cited a positive change in the incidence of petrol sniffing (6% a negative change and 30% no change. 27% reported no existence of this behaviour).
  • 9% cited a positive change in the incidence of marijuana use (24% a negative change and 50% no change).
  • 3% cited a positive change in the incidence of other illicit drug use (5% a negative change and 50% no change. 14% reported no existence of this behaviour).
  • 8% cited a positive change in the incidence of solvent use (3% a negative change and 35% no change. 29% reported no existence of this behaviour).

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7. Welfare Reform and Engagement Measures

7.1 Changes to Employment and Engagement Opportunities

With regard to changes in employment, training and small business between June 2008 and June 2009 (or during the GBMs time in the community):

  • 52% of responses indicated a positive change in the provision of training opportunities (18% a negative change and 24% no change).
  • 49% of responses indicated a positive change in interest in establishing a small business (9% a negative change and 33% no change).
  • 36% of responses indicated a positive change in the availability of employment opportunities (20% a negative change and 30% no change).
  • 35% of responses indicated a positive change in attendance at training activities (20% a negative change and 33% no change).
  • 15% of responses indicated a positive change in attendance at work for the dole activities (30% a negative change and 33% no change).

These findings are shown within Figure 13.

Figure 13: Perceived change in employment and engagement opportunities

This figure shows the perceived change in employment and engagement opportunities

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7.2 Income Management

With regard to income management: 49% of the responses reported that a favourable attitude was held within their communities (44% a mixed attitude, 3% neutral and 5% negative).

Figure 14: Community attitudes towards income management

This figure shows the community attitudes towards income management

58% of responses reported that a positive change in communities’ attitude towards income management has occurred since June 2008 (or during the GBMs time in the community).

Figure 15: Perceived change in community attitudes towards income management

This figure shows the perceived change in community attitudes towards income management

Women were seen to be the group that are most favourably disposed towards income management (81% of responses citing women with children and 64% citing other women), followed by men with children (27%). Other men and young adults were seen to have the lowest levels of support for income management (11% and 9% respectively).

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7.3 Changes in Expenditure Patterns

Changes in expenditure patterns within communities are also apparent, with 43% of responses reporting an increase in big/ expensive items such as freezers having been made since the introduction of Income Management (or since the time of the GBMs appointment to that community).

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7.4 Incidence of Humbugging

With regard to the level of ‘humbugging’, in 45% of responses it was reported that the incidence of humbugging has decreased since June 2008, with 29% of responses reporting no change and only 3% of responses reporting an increase. The remainder of responses did not know of any changes.

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8. Whole of Government Approach

8.1 Understanding the GBM role

As shown in Figure 16 below, 73% of the responses indicate that between June 2008 and June 2009 or since they commenced in the community) there has been a positive change in the level of understanding and acceptance of the GBM role within the communities.

Figure 16: Understanding and acceptance of GBM role

This figure shows the understanding and acceptance of GBM role

With regard to community and government agency perceptions of the GBM role:

  • 82% of responses cited that they perceive that the majority of the communities have either some or a good understanding of the GBM role (up from 65% in 2008).
  • 83% of responses cited they perceive that the majority of government agencies have either some or a good understanding of the GBM role (up from 76% in 2008).

These results are shown in Figure 17.

Figure 17: Understanding of GBM role by community and government agencies

This figure shows the understanding of GBM role by community and government agencies

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8.2 Whole of government approach

As shown in Figure 18 below, 51% of responses reported that the various government agencies are perceived to work effectively together in the community. However it was further cited in 30% of responses that the various government agencies do not effectively work well together.

Figure 18: Perceived effectiveness of government agencies collaboration

This figure shows the perceived effectiveness of government agencies collaboration

Similarly and as shown in Figure 19 below, 48% of the responses cited that there has been a positive change in the effective operational practices between government agencies in the community over time.

Figure 19: Perceived change in operational effectiveness of government agencies

This figure shows the perceived change in operational effectiveness of government agencies

GBMs were asked to provide further feedback in relation to the whole of government coordination of services within the prescribed communities.

With regard as to what is currently perceived to be working, as the verbatim responses detailed below show, such perceptions tended to be highly varied, reflective of the individual circumstances of the communities the comments pertained to.

  • “Agencies that have dedicated remote are field staff and are customer focussed do a great job”
  • “Consistent visiting by GBM - currently not residing on the community”
  • “Developing and maintaining relationships with the community, shire manager and other agencies. Ensuring the community are engaged and supportive of projects and activities within the community and surrounding regions. Ongoing liaison, communication and respect”
  • “Due to the re-design consultation I believe there is improved awareness of the NTER and greater acceptance that it is here to benefit the community and not as perceived as a take over”
  • “Government Business Manager Flexible Funding projects have assisted building strong working relationship and building community capacity on the ground”
  • “Have people living on community that are able to provide the servicing to the community”
  • “It works when the GBM takes a hands on role and attempts to assist and engage. Many are referred to as 'invisible men' because they are rarely seen in the commity”
  • “Liaison at the community level between the GBM, the School Principal, the Health Sister and the Association Coordinator (as reps of the main/only agencies in the community) is at a high (virtually daily) level. The GBM has also facilitated ongoing dialogue with the 'outside' reps of the key Commonwealth, Territory and Local Govt agencies responsible for service provision to Canteen Creek. Communication between all parties is at a high level”
  • “NGOs Amity, AMSANT, Save the Children Take a strong role”
  • “Regular contact and engagement with service providers at the local community level works well”
  • “Respect. Understanding of balance between consulting and not over consulting. When visitors prepare by: giving advanced notice”
  • “The overall acceptance of government agencies in letting the GBM know of their presence in the community and generally what they are performing while in the community”
  • “The people 'on the ground' at community level generally communicate and cooperate well with each other. The NT Government and the Shires appear to be increasingly recognising the roles of GBMs and IEOs in communities and the value of seeking to work cooperatively with the Australian Government and its representatives at the community level”
  • “Getting out and mixing with the community and to be seen. Have a sense of humour, be truthful and speak so they understand”

With regard to suggestions as to what could be improved comments centred on issues of acceptance, collaboration, cooperation and communication.

Examples include:

  • “A local coordinating group consisting of all Government Service Providers meeting on a regular basis, sharing ideas and offering support in problem solving would be beneficial”
  • “Agencies need to communicate more with the GBM about the purpose of visits and outcomes to be achieved”
  • “All levels of Government use of the Visiting Officer Notification (VON) system”
  • “Allowing sufficient time for a full or proper consultation to occur instead of having a 'flying' officer and then meeting on that day. And the officer wanting support from the community on that day”
  • “Better consultation with community members, very difficult due to competing interests of Departments and Agencies”
  • “Communication protocols with agencies and the Shire. Any process / protocol that is developed needs to be regarded as a living document and adapted to suit the needs of the community (in broad terms encompassing all agencies as well as community members) at any point in time - this is process is ongoing”
  • “Communication. There is no whole of government approach. We need to get tougher on Shires and non profits as we are treating them with kid gloves instead of expecting professional behaviour and outcomes. I am finding many staff still think they are not accountable as it was in the old days”
  • “Community protocols written by the IEO in consultation with the community. This could be distributed then to all visitors. Adherence to providing adequate notice”
  • “Coordination - this is often within the individual organisation itself. Too often an organisation will have 2 lots of individuals working on the community simultaneously and neither knows of the others presence until they arrive at the GBM complex.”
  • “Coordination of service delivery across local, NTG and AG services Delivery of staff training across all levels of govt and local organisations”
  • “Head of agency meetings, however, this is due to commence shortly”
  • “I feel that there needs to be reinforcement for many central staff in Australian Government agencies of the presence and role of GBMs on communities and the value of having the GBM 'in the loop' in considering/determining matters affecting service delivery at the community. My feeling is that, unless GBMs are vigilant and proactive, they are not contacted / consulted as a matter of course about matters to which they could add enormous value. I believe this relates to the cultures existing within agencies that they know their own business best and don't need others 'interfering' in their business”
  • “Improve NT Government and local shire service providers to improve poor understanding of the roles of GBM's and need taking on board notification of non-functional services so those services can become functional”
  • “More Australian Government Department placed in the ICC”
  • “More coordination with services and shire service manager as well as community”
  • “More detailed information given to GBMs regarding services being delivered to the community. This would include contractual obligations that need to be met by service providers so that GBMs can be more effective with monitoring of programs etc”.
  • “There could be more inter departmental information shared”
  • “Understanding by the Shire of the role of the GBM”
  • “Visit coordination for Territory Government officers. Information sharing (Service Mapping) between Australian and Territory governments, Shire council and NGOs”.
  • “We need to improve our communication, trust and be able to work on the same level of understanding of the community needs and directions at all levels”
  • “When the NTER first commenced there was an attitude within the Operations Centre of 'How do we make this work'. Now that we are under the ICC it is a matter of 'This is why it wont work'”

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8.3 Use of Interpreter Services

With regard to the usage of interpreter services by GBMs, 77% of the responses it was cited that such services are used within the communities. Local interpreters were the most common form of service used (56%), followed by Aboriginal Interpreter Services (32%).

However, usage of such services tends to be infrequent. Among those where an interpreter services are used, 55% stated that such usage was spasmodic and 18% said they were used rarely.

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8.4 Population changes

The majority of GBMS stated that while some changes in population had occurred this was largely unrelated to the NTER measures and more due to work and/ or family commitments.

Population movement that was attributed to the NTER measures was considered to be largely anecdotal and to have typically have occurred prior to the actual introduction of the measures. More specifically, alcohol restrictions / bans were seen to be the key drivers of population.


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Appendix 1: Profile of Responses

67 responses were received, with the communities represented by each unique survey response as per the below.

  1. Ali Curung
  2. Alice Springs Town Camps & Outstations
  3. Alpurrurulam (Lake Nash)
  4. Amoonguna
  5. Ampilatwatja
  6. Angurugu
  7. Areyonga
  8. Barunga
  9. Belyuen
  10. Binjari
  11. Borroloola town camps
  12. Bulla
  13. Bulman
  14. Canteen Creek (Owairtilla)
  15. Daguragu
  16. Darwin Town Camps
  17. Elliott
  18. Engawala
  19. Finke (Aputula)
  20. Galiwin'ku
  21. Gapuwiyak (Lake Evella)
  22. Gunbalanya (Oenpelli)
  23. Gunyangara
  24. Haasts Bluff (Ikuntji)
  25. Hermannsburg (Ntaria)
  26. Imanpa
  27. Jilkminggan (Duck Ck)
  28. Kalkarindji
  29. Kaltukatjara
  30. Katherine Town Camps
  31. Kintore
  32. Kybrook Farm
  33. Lajamanu
  34. Laramba
  35. Maningrida
  36. Milikapiti
  37. Milingimbi
  38. Minjilang
  39. Minyerri
  40. Mt Liebig (Watiyawanu)
  41. Mutitjulu
  42. Nauiyu (Daly River)
  43. Nguiu
  44. Nturiya (Ti Tree)
  45. Nyirripi
  46. Palumpa
  47. Papunya
  48. Peppimenarti
  49. Pirlangimpi
  50. Pmara Jutunta
  51. Ramingining
  52. Robinson River
  53. Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte)
  54. Tennant Creek Town Camps
  55. Titjikala
  56. Umbakumba
  57. Wadeye
  58. Wallace Rockhole
  59. Warruwi
  60. Weemol
  61. Willowra
  62. Wilora (Illewarr)
  63. Yarralin
  64. Yirrkala
  65. Yuelamu
  66. Yuendumu

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Appendix 2: Abbreviations Used

The following abbreviations have been used within this report

  • OIPC - Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination Group
  • FaHCSIA - Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
  • GBMs - Government Business Managers
  • NTER - Northern Territory Emergency Response
  • CDEP - Community Development Employment Projects
  • RAFCWs - Remote Aboriginal Family and Community Workers

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Appendix 3: 2009 GBM Survey

Introduction

Thank you for participating in the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) Whole of Government Monitoring Government Business Manager (GBM) Survey (September 2009), which TNS Social Research, (an independent research company), has been commissioned by FaHCSIA to undertake on their behalf.

About The Survey

Through this survey we are trying to gain an understanding of the level of effectiveness of the NTER through the experience and knowledge of the Government Business Managers in the Northern Territory. Based on your experience of managing the NTER in your community, community feedback, and your observations of life in the community, we would like you to tell us through this survey how you think things are going.

The results from this survey will be used for two main purposes. Initially a report will be compiled and aggregated information will be incorporated into the June 2009 Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory (formerly NTER) whole-of-government Monitoring Report. Analysis from this survey and future GBM surveys will also feed into the Whole of Government Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory whole of government Evaluation which is due for completion in 2011.

You will be asked a number of questions relating to the <INSERT> community. (If you manage more than one community, complete a separate survey for each). The survey is divided into seven sections, with some questions about yourself included at the beginning for demographic purposes only.

Please be completely honest in your answers so that the information we collect is accurate. This isn’t a test and there are no right or wrong answers: it’s your views that count. We want you to answer based on your experience and observations while working in the community – you are not required to access additional information or undertake any consultation to complete this survey.

The survey will take approximately 30-40 minutes depending on your answers. Your opinions are valued and appreciated, and the information you provide will be treated confidentially. Reporting will not involve individual communities; however de-identified anecdotes may be used to illustrate findings. A GBM report will be compiled based on the results and will be published on the FaHCSIA websitealongside the last GBM survey.The final report will be provided GBMs.

We hope that you enjoy the survey and thanks again for your help.

To Complete The Survey

  • To answer a question: Most questions have a round button to click or a tick box to check. Click on the box or button that best describes your answer to each question. Sometimes you may need to type in your answer in the spaces provided.
  • If you forget to answer a question, or miss part of a question, then a message reminding you that the question needs to be answered will appear. If this happens, you need to complete your answer to carry on with the survey. Sometimes you'll need to scroll across or down the page to see all of the possible answers.
  • To change an answer: For questions with a single choice, click on a different button. For questions with multiple choices (tick boxes), click again on your original answer to clear the box and make a new choice. Please note you won’t be able to revisit screens you have completed.
  • To go to the next question: When you've finished answering a question, click the Next button at the bottom of the screen.
  • To pause the survey and return to it later: Simply close the window and click on the link in the invitation e-mail to resume.
  • Dial-up users: If you are on a dial up modem or other slow connection, some of the questions may take a few moments to load.
  • To commence the survey, click on the button below. As you move through the survey please do not use your browser buttons (i.e. back and forward buttons on top left of screen) please do use the buttons at the bottom of each screen (i.e. next buttons).

Introduction and Community Details

To commence the questionnaire we firstly have a few questions about your role and the community about which you are providing information.

The survey will then move on to ask more detailed information regarding that community

  1. Please enter your NAME AND telephone number – please note that this will be kept confidential will only be used for administrative purposes.

FREE RESPONSE – NAME

FREE RESPONSE – TELEPHONE

  1. Please confirm that you are the GBM for [COMMUNITY]?
    • Yes
    • No – TERMINATE WITH SCRIPT

OUR APOLOGIES FOR THIS ERROR – UNFORTUNATELY WE WILL NEED TO SEND YOU A REVISED LINK TO THE SURVEY WHICH REFLECTS YOUR CORRECT COMMUNITY. WE WILL BE IN TOUCH WITH YOU WITHIN THE NEXT WORKING DAY TO RECTIFY THIS.

  1. When did you become the GBM for [COMMUNITY]?

NUMERICAL FIELD – MONTH AND YEAR

  1. Did you complete the June 2008 GBM survey for [COMMUNITY]?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. DATE OF SURVEY TO BE APPENDED AUTOMATICALLY

Overall view

  1. Please indicate on a scale of one to five the level of positive impact the NTER measures have had on community awareness around the following issues as at September 2009. 1 indicates a negative impact, 3 indicates no impact and a 5 indicates a very positive impact.
 
Measure Negative   No Impact   Very
Positive
Don't
know
  1 2            3 4            5  
Health            
Nutrition            
Child abuse            
Drug and alcohol related violence            
Education            
  1. Please indicate on a scale of one to five the level of positive impact the NTER measures have had on community behaviours around the following issues as at September 2009. 1 indicates a negative impact, 3 indicates no impact and a 5 indicates a very positive impact.
 
Measure Negative   No Impact   Very
Positive
Don't
know
  1 2            3 4            5  
Child attendance at school            
Parental involvement in schooling            
Assessing help for drug and alcohol problems            
Accessing health services            
Shopping patterns and budgeting            
Use of community facilities            
Community identity            
  1. Please indicate on a scale of one to five the level of impact the NTER measures have had on community engagement with the following services as at September 2009. 1 indicates a negative impact, 3 indicates no impact and a 5 indicates a very positive impact.
 
Measure Negative   No Impact   Very
Positive
Don't
know
  1 2            3 4            5  
Police            
Youth diversion activities            
Health and nutrition programs            
Work for the Dole programs            
CDEP activities            
Small business development opportunities            
  1. Do you have any general comments in relation to the answers you have given so far? Please type these below.

FREE TEXT RESPONSE

Food Availability

  1. Which of the following types of food outlets or stores are present / available within or around your community? Please select all responses that apply.
    • Licensed community store
    • Unlicensed community store
    • Station Stores
    • Roadhouse
    • Supermarket in regional / metropolitan centre
    • Other (Please specify)_______________

ASK Q11 IF MULTIPLE RESPONSE GIVEN AT Q10 – IF SINGLE RESPONSE ONLY GIVEN SKIP TO Q12

  1. Which one type of food outlet or store is used most often by people?

ALLOW SINGLE RESPONSE ONLY

    • Licensed community store
    • Unlicensed community store
    • Station Stores
    • Roadhouse
    • Supermarket in regional / metropolitan centre
    • Other (Please specify)_______________

ASK Q12 IF LICENSED COMMUNITY STORE CHOSEN AT Q11 - OTHERS SKIP TO Q13

  1. Was the Licensed Community Store licensed before or after June 2008?
    • Before
    • After
    • Don’t know

ASK Q13 IF LICENSED COMMUNITY STORE NOT CHOSEN AT Q11 - OTHERS SKIP TO Q15

  1. Where is the nearest licensed community store? Please type the community name below

FREE TEXT RESPONSE

  1. How do people usually get to the nearest licensed community store?

ALLOW SINGLE RESPONSE ONLY

    • Car
    • Taxi
    • Bush bus
    • Plane
    • Walk
    • Other (Specify) _______

ASK Q15 IF EITHER LICENSED OR UNLICENSED COMMUNITY STORE CHOSEN AT Q11 - OTHERS SKIP TO Q20

  1. Is there an active store committee (governing structure) for the community store?
    • Yes
    • No
    • Don’t know
  2. Does the community store have a takeaway (i.e. an outlet located within the community store that sells prepared, hot meals)?
    • Yes
    • No
    • Don’t know
  3. How often is takeaway food (i.e. prepared, hot meals) purchased by people in the community?
    • Daily for majority of community
    • Daily for some in the community
    • Three or more times per week for majority of community
    • Less than once a week for majority of community
    • Don’t know
  4. Do you shop at/visit the community store?
    • Regularly
    • Sometimes
    • Never – SKIP TO Q20
  5. On average how often are the following available in [COMMUNITY]?
 
Item Always Several
days a
week
At last
one day a
week
At least
one day a
fortnight
At least
one day a
month
Don't
know
Fresh fruit            
Fresh vegetables            
Frozen vegetables            
Fresh/frozen poultry            
Fresh/frozen meat            
Baby foods            
Baby products            
Over the counter medication            
Basic household products (health hardware) cleaning            
  1. Please tell us which of the following statements you agree or disagree with. Answer based on what you’ve seen in the community since you arrived/since the last GBM survey. If you are not sure about a statement, answer “Don’t Know”.
 
Item Agree Disagree Don't know Not
Applicable
There has been a change where community members are buying their food        
The community has a good relationship with the community store        
A better range of food is available from the community store        
Food is available on a more regular basis (rather than an irregular basis)        
The quality of food has improved        
The range of food has improved        
The quantity of food has improved        

IF AGREE TO STATEMENT 1 – THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE WEHRE COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE BUYING THEIR FOOD ASK Q21 – OTHERS SKIP TO Q23

  1. What do you think has caused the change in where community members buy their food?

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  1. Why have community members changed where they shop?
 
Item Agree Disagree Don't know
Previous shop not licensed      
Can't pool/afford transport costs      
Competitive pricing / affordability      
Increased availability/variety      
Convenience to do 'bigger shops      
Combination of reasons      

Education

  1. For each of the following education factors please indicate on a scale of one to five if there has been change since June 2008 (or since you came to the community). Three indicates a neutral position (no change), 1 is a strong negative change and 5 is a strong positive change.
 
Item Strong
negative
  Neutral   Strong
Positive
Don't
know
  1 2            3 4            5  
Children's school attendance            
Parental support for attendance at school            
Parent engagement with the school            
  1. What do you think has contributed to the change in children’s school attendance since June 2008 or since you came to [COMMUNITY]?

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  1. What do you think has contributed to the level of parental support for children’s school attendance to change since June 2008 or since you came to [COMMUNITY]?

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  1. What do you think has contributed to the level of parental engagement / involvement with the school to change since June 2008 or since you came to [COMMUNITY]?

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Supporting families

  1. Which of the following programs/services are available in [COMMUNITY]?
 
Item Available Not available Don't know
Prenatal      
Antenatal      
Child development      
Nutrition program      
Crèche      
  1. For each of the following programs/services available in [COMMUNITY] please indicate on a scale of one to five if there has been change in the use if these services since June 2008 or since you arrived in [COMMUNITY]. Three indicates a neutral position (no change), A ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change.

ONLY INCLUDE THOSE SERVICES AVAILABLE AT Q27

 
  Strong
negative
  Neutral   Strong
Positive
Don't
know
Item 1 2            3 4            5 6
Prenatal            
Antenatal            
Child development            
Nutrition program            
Crèche            

Law and order

  1. Are there Night Patrols operating in [COMMUNITY]?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. Are there Safe Place(s) in [COMMUNITY]? A Safe Place is either a women’s safe house, or a men’s cooling off place.
    • Yes – women’s safe house
    • Yes – men’s cooling off place
    • No – neither
  3. For each factor below (where present) please indicate on a scale of one to five, the impact this factor has had on the level of awareness of family violence programs available in the community between June 2008 and June 2009. ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change.

ONLY INCLUDE NIGHT PATROLS IF YES AT Q29, AND SAFE PLACES AS SELECTED AT Q30

 
  Strong
negative
  Neutral   Strong
Positive
Don't
know
Item 1 2            3 4            5 6
Night Patrols            
Safe Place (women's safe house)            
Safe Place (men's cooling off place)            
Mobile Child Protection Team            
Remote Aboriginal Family & community Workers            
  1. For each factor below please indicate on a scale of one to five, their impact on the incidence of violence since June 2008 or since you arrived in the community. ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change.

ONLY INCLUDE NIGHT PATROLS IF YES AT Q29, AND SAFE PLACES AS SELECTED AT Q30

 
  Strong
negative
  Neutral   Strong
Positive
Don't
know
Item 1 2            3 4            5 6
Night Patrols            
Safe Place (women's safe house)            
Safe Place (men's cooling off place)            
Mobile Child Protection Team            
Remote Aboriginal Family & community Workers            
  1. Considering the factors below please comment on any unintended consequences in the community as a result of the introduction of these programs, between June 2008 and June 2009.

ONLY INCLUDE SAFE PLACES AS SELECTED AT Q30

    • Safe Place (women’s Safe House)

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    • Safe Place (men’s Cooling – Off Place)

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    • Mobile Child Protection Team

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    • Remote Aboriginal Family & Community Workers.

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ONLY ASK Q34 IF ONE OR BOTH TYPES OF SAFE PLACES SELECTED AT Q30 – OTHERS SKIP TO Q37

  1. How effectively have Safe Place(s) operated in the community in reducing violence?

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  1. Can you give any examples of where the Safe Place(s) in the community have been successful?

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  1. Can you give an example of improvements that could be made to the way Safe Places operate in the community?

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ONLY ASK Q37 IF NIGHT PATROLS AT Q29 – OTHERS SKIP TO Q38

  1. How effectively have Night Patrols operated in the community in reducing violence?

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ONLY ASK Q38 IF ONE OR BOTH TYPES OF SAFE PLACES SELECTED AT Q30 AND NIGHT PATROLS AT Q29 – OTHERS SKIP TO Q37

  1. In your opinion, do the Night Patrol and Safe Houses operate well together in the community?

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  1. To your knowledge, is there a Safe Place Cultural Reference Group operating in your community?
    • Yes
    • No – SKIP TO Q41
    • Don’t Know – SKIP TO Q41
  2. How well does the Safe Place Cultural Reference Group function in relation to the Safe Place(s) ?

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  1. Do you think there are any issues with or improvements that could be made to the way RAFCWs (Remote Aboriginal Family & Community Workers) operate in the community?

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  1. For each of the following, please indicate on a scale of one to five if there has been any change in the level of the following behaviours in community since June 2008 or since you arrived in the community. ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change.
 
  Strong
negative
  Neutral   Strong
Positive
Don’t
Know
Doesn’t
exist in my
community
Item 1 2            3 4            5    
Violence              
Alcohol use in the community              
Alcohol use outside the prescribed area              
Petrol sniffing              
Marijuana use              
Other illicit drug use              
Solvent use              
  1. What has contributed to any change in violence in the community?

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  1. What has contributed to any change in alcohol use in the community?

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  1. What has contributed to any change in drug and substance abuse in the community?

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  1. What impact have the following factors (where present) had in reducing criminal activity in the community? Please indicate on a scale of one to five if there has been change between June 2008 and June 2009. ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change.
 
  Strong
negative
  Neutral   Strong
Positive
Don't
know
Not present
in
community
Item 1 2            3 4            5    
Income Management              
Alcohol restrictions              
Youth diversion activities              
Night Patrols              
Additional Patrols              
  1. Please comment below why you have given the above ratings?

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  1. Please indicate on a scale of 1 to 5 how you feel about your personal safety on a day to day basis? A ‘1’ indicates ‘Unsafe’ and a ‘5’ indicates ‘Very Safe’.
 
Unsafe   Neutral   Very Safe Don't
know
1 2            3 4            5  
  1. Please indicate on a scale of one to five, if you think the community has become safer since June 2008 or since you arrived in the community. ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change. ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change.
 
Unsafe   Neutral   Very Safe Don't
know
1 2            3 4            5  
  1. Do you have any other general comments about Law and Order in [COMMUNITY]?

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Welfare reform and engagement measures

  1. Please indicate on a scale of one to five if there has been change in any of the below factors between June 2008 and June 2009. ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change?
 
  Strong
negative
  Neutral   Strong
positive
Don't
know
Not
applicable
Measure 1 2            3 4            5    
Employment opportunities              
Provision of training opportunities              
Attendance at training activities              
Attendance at Work for the Dole activities              
Interest in establishing a small business in the community              
  1. In your opinion what is the community’s attitude towards income management since June 2008 or since you arrived in the community?
    • Majority have a favourable attitude
    • Majority have a negative attitude
    • Majority have a neutral attitude
    • Mixed attitude
  2. Please indicate on a scale of one to five if there has been change in any of the attitude of people in the community towards income management since June 2008 or since you arrived in the community? ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change?
    • 1 – Strong negative change
    • 2
    • 3 – Neutral
    • 4
    • 5 – Strong positive change
  3. Are there any particular groups of people within the community who have a favourable attitude towards income management?
    • Women with children
    • Other women
    • Men with children
    • Other men
    • Young adults
    • Other (specify)
    • None
  4. Have you noticed an increase in big/expensive items such as freezers since the introduction of Income Management or since you arrived in the community?
    • Yes
    • No
    • Don’t know
  5. Are you aware of an increase or decrease in “humbugging” in the community since the introduction of Income Management?

Humbugging – refers to the practice of harassing others for money. This should not be confused with legitimate social obligations between kinsfolk for exchange of goods/services in traditionally-oriented communities.

    • Increase
    • Decrease
    • No change
    • Don't know

Whole of Government approach

  1. Do you think the majority of community members understand the role of the GBM in the community?
    • Majority has a good understanding
    • Majority has some understanding
    • Majority has a limited understanding
    • Don't know
  2. Please indicate on a scale of one to five if there has been change in understanding and acceptance of the GBM role in the community between June 2008 and June 2009. ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change.
 
Strong
negative
  Neutral   Strong
positive
Don't know
1 2            3 4            5  
  1. Do you think other government agencies understand your role?
    • Majority has a good understanding
    • Majority has some understanding
    • Majority has a limited understanding
    • Don't know
  2. On a scale of one to five do you think that the various government agencies (federal, state, ICCs etc) work well together in this community? A ‘1’ indicates ‘Not very effectively’ and a ‘5’ indicates ‘Very Effectively’.
 
Not very
effectively
      Very
effectively
Don't know
1 2            3            4            5  
  1. Please indicate on a scale of one to five if there has been change in effective operational practices between various government agencies in the community between June 2008 and June 2009. ‘3’ indicates a neutral position (no change), ‘1’ is a strong negative change and ‘5’ is a strong positive change.
 
Strong
negative
  Neutral   Strong
positive
Don't know
1 2            3 4            5  
  1. Do you use any of following interpreter services in relation to your duties in the community?
    • Aboriginal interpreter service
    • Local interpreter
    • Language centre
    • Other - Please specify
    • None - don't use interpreters – SKIP TO Q64
  2. How often do you use interpreter services?
    • Daily
    • Weekly
    • A few times a month
    • Spasmodically
    • Very rarely
    • Don't know
  3. Thinking about the whole of government coordination of services in your community, what is working? What could be improved? What is not working?
  4. What works?

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  1. What could be improved?

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  1. What is not working?

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  1. Please indicate on a scale of one to five how involved you think the community is in its own management? A ‘1’ indicates ‘Not involved’ and a ‘5’ indicates ‘Very involved’.
 
Not involved       Very involved Don't know
1 2            3            4            5  

Other issues, Demographics and Close

  1. Has anyone moved out of the community as a result of the NTER measures? What caused them to move out?

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  1. How would you describe your management style in relation to the NTER in this community – what works for your role as GBM?

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  1. Finally, do you have any other comments you’d like to make in relation to the NTER and this community?

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Thank you for your time and responses. Please hit Submit below to finish the survey RE-DIRECT TO FAHCSIA home page.

 

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Content Updated: 22 July 2013