Working Together to Close the Gap in Wilcannia

Table of contents

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


Artist Acknowledgement

Eddy Harris

Eddy HarrisEddy Harris was born in Wilcannia and is a member of two tribes, the Bakandji, and the Wongaibon. Eddy comes from a family of eight children. Eddy is regularly sought out to provide advice on art, craft and educational involvements for Aboriginal people, as well as for primary and secondary schools.

Eddy’s work has been shown in a range of galleries throughout Australia, including the Australian Aboriginal Art Gallery. During July 2010, Eddy’s works were exhibited in Sydney, in a special NAIDOC exhibition of Wilcannia Arts. Eddy’s artwork has also been published in the book ‘Art of Broken Hill, Outback Australia’, where he is featured alongside many other prominent Australian artists.

Eddy’s most renowned art works include ‘Wiimpatji Hunting Birds’ and ‘Thunchly Hunting’.

As the Wilcannia representative of the Regional Arts Board, Eddy’s role is to promote other local artists to get their work seen beyond the region.

In addition to being an artist, Eddy is currently employed as the Project Support Worker for the Community Safety Research Project for Wilcannia, Broken Hill and Menindee. The project is a partnership between Maari Ma Primary Health Care Service and the University of New South Wales. Eddy is an active community member, where he enjoys mentoring new residents to Wilcannia.

Eddy thanks the ROC, especially the local ROC team, for giving him the opportunity to be involved in having a local Closing the Gap design.

“The Gathering” – Wilcannia, NSW

“The Gathering” – Wilcannia, NSW

This painting shows our people (depicted as “Ants”) coming together on the bank of the Darling River for a meeting. Large ants are the old people, while the small ants are the young ones. White, reds, yellows, purple and pink represent a large campfire that they are sitting around.

"NSW Closing the Gap Artwork"

NSW Closing the Gap Artwork

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


Glossary

AANSW
Aboriginal Affairs New South Wales
ADHC
Ageing, Disability, and Home Care
AECG
Aboriginal Education Consultative Group
AHL
Aboriginal Hostels Limited
AHO
Aboriginal Housing Office
BHLALC
Broken Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council
CDSC
Central Darling Shire Council
CDEP
Community Development Employment Projects
CGRIS
Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services
COAG
Council of Australian Governments
CWP
Community Working Party
DECCW
Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Water, NSW
DEEWR
Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations
DET
Department of Education and Training, NSW
DET STS
DET State Training Services, NSW
DEWHA
Department of Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts
DITRDLG
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
DoHA
Department of Health and Ageing
DPC
Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW
DPI
Department of Primary Industries, NSW
ESL
English as Second Language
FaHCSIA
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
GWAHS
Greater Western Area Health Service
HACC
Home and Community Care (ADHC)
I & I
Industry and Investment NSW
IBA
Indigenous Business Australia
ILC
Indigenous Land Corporation
IPSS
Indigenous Parenting Support Service (FaHCSIA)
ISP
Intensive Supported Playgroups (FaHCSIA)
JSA
Job Services Australia (DEEWR)
LAECG
Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group
LALC
Local Aboriginal Land Council
MHDA
Mental Health Drug and Alcohol unit (GWAHS)
NP
National Partnership
NSWALC
NSW Aboriginal Land Council
OATSIH
Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (DoHA)
ODGP
NSW Outback Division of General Practice Ltd
ORIC
Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations
PACE
Parental and Community Engagement Program (DEEWR)
RFDS
Royal Flying Doctor Service
ROC
Regional Operations Centre (FaHCSIA)
RSD
Remote Service Delivery
SEWB
Social and Emotional Wellbeing
WGCWP
Walgett Gamilaraay Community Working Party
WLALC
Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


Foreword

A message from Mr William Bates Chairperson, Wilcannia Community Working Party

The adoption of the Local Implementation Plan for Wilcannia in June 2010 is the result of more than sixteen years of community consultation and workshops that have been held in Wilcannia over that time.

I must make mention of the 2005 Wilcannia Community Action Plan which was a significant result of that initial consultation process, and which in many ways was the cornerstone for the Local Implementation Plan that has been endorsed by all of community.

I am excited about what we have achieved to date and firmly believe that the time for change and moving forward for Wilcannia has arrived. This document will assist the Wilcannia Community and all of government to move forward for the betterment of Wilcannia and its residents, with real outcomes and stronger commitments by all concerned.

There are many that I could thank over the years for their commitment and dedication to this process, but first and foremost, I wish to acknowledge and thank all members of the Wilcannia Community Working Party for their hard work and dedication.

As Chair of the Wilcannia Community Working Party, it has been my privilege to lead the Wilcannia Community through this process over many years and I now look forward in anticipation to what the future will bring through the all of government approach of the Partnership Programs Two Ways Together and the Remote Service Delivery Program.

Thank you one and All

William Bates
Chairperson
Wilcannia Community Working Party
30 June 2010

A message from the Coordinator General of Remote Indigenous Services and NSW Coordinator General of Remote Service Delivery

As a key output of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) Remote Service Delivery National Partnership Agreement (RSD NPA), a Local Implementation Plan (LIP) for Wilcannia has been developed in full consultation with the community. The purpose of the LIP is to improve government services in Wilcannia, with the aim of contributing to Closing the Gap for Aboriginal people living in this remote town in NSW. Ambitious strategies and actions under the RSD building blocks have been identified and agreed to in this LIP by the Wilcannia Community, the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government.

We would like to acknowledge the hard work of the staff of the Dubbo Regional Operations Centre staffed by FaHCSIA and Aboriginal Affairs NSW Officers and the NSW RSD team of FaHCSIA. They have worked with the community and representatives of Australian and New South Wales Government agencies in a structured consultation process over the past six months in preparing the LIP, including translating community priorities into a comprehensive plan.

We also commend the support and commitment of Australian and New South Wales Government agencies that have been actively engaged in the process. The work of the NSW Remote Service Delivery State Management Committee also needs to be acknowledged, particularly in oversighting the implementation of the RSD NPA in NSW.

Most importantly, we would like to thank the Wilcannia Community Working Party, who on behalf of their community have engaged and challenged the government to respond by developing strategies and activities that address their community priorities, in partnership.

Brian Gleeson
Coordinator General
Remote Indigenous Services

James Christian
NSW Coordinator
General Remote Service Delivery

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


Section 1: Overview of Closing the Gap and Remote Service Delivery

 

1.1 Closing the Gap

In December 2007, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a partnership between all levels of government to work with Indigenous communities to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

The National Indigenous Reform Agreement was established to frame the task of Closing the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage. It sets out the objectives, outcomes, outputs, performance indicators and performance benchmarks agreed by COAG. It also provides links to those National Agreements and National Partnership agreements across COAG which include elements aimed at Closing the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage.

The foundation of the Closing the Gap strategy is the identification of and commitment to targets addressing Indigenous disadvantage and associated building blocks – areas for action.

The six targets for Closing the Gap are:

  • To close the life-expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians within a generation.
  • To halve the mortality gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and other children under age five within a decade.
  • To halve the gap in literacy and numeracy achievement between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and other students within a decade.
  • To halve the gap in employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within a decade.
  • To at least halve the gap in attainment at year 12 schooling (or equivalent) by 2020.
  • To provide all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander four year olds in remote communities with access to a quality pre-school program in five years.

To achieve these targets, COAG agreed to focus on seven building blocks, in which investments would deliver an outcome in more than one target area.

The seven building blocks for Closing the Gap are:

The seven building blocks for Closing the Gap

The NSW RSD communities have developed their own set of building block symbols.

The NSW RSD communities have developed their own set of building block symbols.

The 7 Building Blocks – what are we aiming for?
Building Blocks COAG Indigenous Specific Outcomes COAG Policy and Reform Directions
1. Early Childhood

Indigenous children:

  • Are born healthy.
  • Acquire the basic skills for life and learning.
  • Benefit from better social inclusion & reduced disadvantage.
  • Acquire the basic skills for life and learning.
  • Have access to affordable, quality early childhood education.
  • Quality early childhood education and care supports parental workforce participation.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on TAFE Fee Waivers for Childcare Qualifications
  • COAG National Early Childhood Development Strategy - Investing in the Early Years
  • COAG Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan
2. Schooling
  • Schooling promotes social inclusion & reduces educational disadvantage.
  • Indigenous youth meet basic literacy and numeracy standards, and overall levels of literacy and numeracy are improving.
  • Indigenous young people successfully transition from school to work and/or further study.
  • COAG National Education Agreement.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Low Socio-Economic Status School Communities.
  • COAG National Smarter Schools Partnerships – Improving Teacher Quality.
  • COAG National Smarter Schools Partnerships – Literacy and Numeracy.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions.
  • COAG Building the Education Revolution.
  • COAG Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan.
3. Health

Indigenous people:

  • Achieve health outcomes comparable to the broader population.
  • Have ready access to suitable and culturally inclusive primary health and preventative services.
  • Remain healthy and free of preventable disease.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes.
  • COAG National Healthcare Agreement.
  • COAG National Disability Agreement.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Hospital and Health Workforce Reform.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Preventative Health.
4. Economic Participation
  • The Indigenous working age population has the depth and breadth of skills to enable effective educational, labour market and social participation.
  • Indigenous people of working age participate effectively in all sectors of the labour market.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation.
  • COAG National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Productivity Places Program.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access.
5. Healthy Homes
  • Indigenous children’s living environments are healthy.
  • Indigenous families live in appropriate housing with access to all basic utilities.
  • People have improved housing amenity and reduced overcrowding, particularly in remote areas and discrete communities.
  • Indigenous people have the same housing opportunities as other people.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.
  • COAG National Affordable Housing Agreement.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.
6. Safe Communities
  • Alcohol and substance abuse among Indigenous people is addressed.
  • Indigenous children and parents are afforded basic protective security from violence and neglect.
  • COAG National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.
  • COAG National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery.
7. Governance and Leadership
  • Indigenous communities are empowered to participate in policy making and program implementation.
  • Indigenous communities are represented through credible consultation/ governance mechanisms.
  • Governments work together effectively in remote areas.
COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery.

As an important part of this commitment, the Commonwealth and the NSW State Government (the Governments) have signed up to a number of COAG agreements and will increase their investment in areas such as early childhood, health, housing, education and training. They have also agreed to wide ranging reforms to improve the way they deliver services to Aboriginal people.

1.2 The COAG Remote Service Delivery National Partnership Agreement

The National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery (the Agreement) seeks to improve access to government services for Indigenous Australians living in selected remote locations, throughout Australia. Through this Agreement, the Governments will work together with Indigenous people living in those locations to close the gap in disadvantage.

The Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments (the Governments) signed the Agreement in January 2009. In NSW, this Agreement will be implemented in the priority locations of Walgett and Wilcannia. Both Governments have also agreed to specific outputs against the Agreement which are described in a publicly available Bilateral Implementation Plan. One of those outputs, and potentially the most important, is the preparation of Local Implementation Plans for each priority location.

1.3 How Remote Service Delivery will be implemented in NSW

Both the Australian and State Governments are committed to delivering the Remote Service Delivery (RSD) National Partnership in Walgett and Wilcannia under a Single Government Interface (SGI) which has been established through a collaborative partnership between FaHCSIA and AANSW at the Regional Operations Centre (ROC) at Dubbo. An officer of AANSW is the ROC Director.

Under the Agreement, the ROC is defined as a location in which Commonwealth and state/territory staff work together, and co-locate if possible, to support the development and implementation of Local Implementation Plans. The ROC in NSW is already working towards a more connected and integrated service system in both RSD sites by putting in place mechanisms and processes to ensure improved service delivery. These include the sharing and mobilising of resources for efficiency, reducing duplication, identifying and engaging stakeholders as well as looking for and harnessing opportunities for partnership arrangements.

They do this through:

  • Community engagement to hear from communities about their priorities and to feed back to them about what is happening in response to these priorities
  • Data gathering including identification of service gaps
  • Co-ordination of the delivery of resources and activities which address agreed priorities identified in local implementation plans
  • Employment of Remote Service Delivery Co-ordinators and Partnership Community Project Officers to work locally with the two communities in developing and delivering the LIP’s
  • Employment of an Indigenous Engagement Officer (IEO) to work mainly with the Aboriginal community and liaise between community and government on issues raised by community people. The IEO’s are local Aboriginal people from each community
  • Liaison with the Australian Government, the NSW Government, local governments and other relevant stakeholders to achieve identified outcomes.

1.4 Remote Service Delivery in Wilcannia

In Wilcannia, Governments have agreed to work together with the Wilcannia community to:

  • Improve the access of Aboriginal families in Wilcannia to a full range of suitable and culturally inclusive services
  • Raise the standard and range of services delivered to Aboriginal families in Wilcannia to be broadly consistent with those provided to other Australians in communities of similar size, location and need
  • Improve the level of governance and leadership within Wilcannia Aboriginal community and community organisations
  • Provide simpler access and better coordinated government services for Aboriginal people in Wilcannia
  • Increase economic and social participation wherever possible, and promote personal responsibility, engagement and behaviours consistent with positive social norms..

Aboriginal Affairs NSW and FaHCSIA have engaged staff to work with and in the community to provide a Single Government Interface. Aboriginal Affairs NSW has employed a Partnership Community Project Officer (PCPO) in Wilcannia since July 2009 to build and strengthen the existing Community Working Party.

FaHCSIA has engaged a Remote Service Delivery Co-ordinator (RSDC) in Wilcannia since December 2009 and an Aboriginal Engagement Officer (AEO) since May 2010.

The RSDC and PCPO are the key liaison and consultation point for both the community and government agencies. They work collaboratively with government representatives and the non government/statutory bodies to assist with community planning and delivery making sure that services are coordinated on the ground. They are mandated to report on progress and on local issues and concerns to the Dubbo ROC and the RSD State Management Committee (RSD SMC).

The RSDC, PCPO and AEO form the local ROC Team and work in partnership with the Wilcannia Community Working Party to increase local knowledge and understanding of government business and increase the Governments’ knowledge and understanding of the community. Importantly they remain part of the NSW ROC based in Dubbo.

1.5 Addressing concerns

The local ROC team work closely with the Wilcannia Community Working Party (WCWP) – identifying issues, monitoring progress and communicating to the broader community about what is happening in the Wilcannia RSD. Both the local ROC and the WCWP will escalate issues and concerns as required to the ROC Director and/or the State Management Committee for resolution.

1.6 The relationship between Remote Service Delivery and existing frameworks and plans

The COAG Agreement on Remote Service Delivery builds on a range of initiatives that have been taken over the past decade to improve life outcomes for Indigenous people, particularly in remote areas. One of those was the COAG trials, announced in 2002, aimed at exploring new ways for governments to work together to achieve better outcomes. One of the trial sites was the Murdi Paaki region, comprising remote towns with Aboriginal communities across far western NSW. Wilcannia was included as one of the towns. The trial ultimately led to a number of agreements including a Regional Partnership Agreement signed in January 2009.

The Murdi Paaki Regional Partnership Agreement (MP RPA) is between the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly, on which Wilcannia is represented, the Australian and NSW Governments and is designed to improve the coordination of government services in remote communities. Both governments have agreed for the Assembly to conduct its own review of the MP RPA to ensure it is consistent with the new focus from the Council of Australian Governments on remote service delivery.

Another important initiative is The Two Ways Together framework, the NSW Government’s ten year plan to improve the lives of Aboriginal people and their communities. It has provided the foundations for a new model for community governance in selected Aboriginal communities including Wilcannia and is supported by the Partnership Community Project Officers (PCPO) positions. The strengthening of community governance under Two Ways Together has provided a good basis for RSD in Wilcannia.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


Section 2: Overview of the Local Implementation Plan (LIP)

2.1 Introduction

The Local Implementation Plan (LIP) identifies the service delivery priorities for Wilcannia community, including targets, actions and timelines. The Governments and the Wilcannia community agree to work together to implement the LIP in partnership with one another.

2.2 How the LIP has been developed

Both Governments are committed to working with the Wilcannia community to develop a LIP that responds to the needs and issues that the community identified and to develop strategies to address these issues. To ensure this collaborative process took place a number of steps were taken:

  • A range of community consultations with the Wilcannia community were held in August and October 2009 to inform a first draft of the Local Implementation Plan which was presented to the Community Working Party (CWP) in December 2009.
  • It was agreed that wider community consultations were required which led to a broader consultation process that included community members and government and non government agencies.
  • The RSD team held community barbeques in March to May 2010 for the Mallee Mission, Warrali Mission and Wilcannia township to discuss RSD and the LIP.
  • A series of workshops were held in May 2010 to discuss the Closing the Gap Building Blocks and gather information on priorities for the community.
  • Draft priorities and activities were then developed based on the information gathered in the community consultations.
  • To ensure the Plan has been based on evidence, the Governments collected information on Wilcannia relating to:
    • Current government expenditure and investment
    • Current service delivery and supporting infrastructure
    • Existing community networks and decision making structures
    • General information about the community - its people, how healthy they are, how they are going at school and so on
    • The collation of this information is known as baseline mapping. Baseline mapping has allowed governments to identify service gaps and/ or underperforming services. Draft priorities and activities were then workshopped with a range of State and Commonwealth government agencies in early June 2010 to identify commitments and lead agencies.
  • On 18th June, a community cross agency workshop was held in Wilcannia to workshop the drafted priorities and activities together. The Wilcannia community invited agencies to return on the 23rd June for further workshopping of the LIP with the objective of gaining in-principle support from all parties to the LIP.
  • Agreement from the CWP was gained on 23 June once requested changes had been made to the LIP and on 30 June, in principle support was given by FaHCSIA and Aboriginal Affairs NSW.

Development of the Local Implementation Plan is a continually evolving process. The RSD Team will continue to participate in community engagement and undertake consultations in order to identify barriers to improving access to government services for Aboriginal Australians living in Wilcannia.

2.3 Principles of the LIP

The LIP recognises the critical need for collaboration and secures the commitment of all signatories to work together in partnership to achieve better outcomes for all residents of Wilcannia.

The Governments agree to implement the LIP in accordance with the COAG National Principles for Investments in Remote Locations. These are:

  • Remote Aboriginal communities and remote communities with significant Aboriginal populations are entitled to standards of services and infrastructure broadly comparable with that in non-Aboriginal communities of similar size, location and need elsewhere in Australia.
  • Investment decisions should aim to: improve participation in education/training and the market economy on a sustainable basis; reduce dependence on welfare wherever possible; promote personal responsibility, engagement and behaviours consistent with positive social norms.
  • Priority for enhanced infrastructure support and service provision should be to larger and more economically sustainable communities where secure land tenure exists, allowing for services outreach to and access by smaller surrounding communities, including:
  • Recognising Aboriginal peoples’ cultural connections to homelands (whether on a visiting or permanent basis) but avoiding expectations of major investment in service provision where there are few economic or educational opportunities
  • Facilitating voluntary mobility by individuals and families to areas where better education and job opportunities exist, with higher standards of services.

2.4 Duration of the LIP

The term of the LIP will be for the period July 2010 to 30 June 2014.

The Implementation Plan will be reviewed and updated on a six monthly basis for the first 18 months to ensure its continuing relevance to the service delivery needs of Aboriginal people in Wilcannia and the requirements of the Agreement.

2.5 Governance Arrangements for the LIP

The governance arrangements for the LIP in NSW commence at the community level and progress to a formal governance structure known as the RSD State Management Committee (RSD SMC). There are also Commonwealth and NSW Co-ordinators-General for Remote Service Delivery who play a vital role in oversighting and reporting on the implementation of the Agreement.

Community level

The Wilcannia Community Working Party (CWP) is the recognised Aboriginal community governance body for Wilcannia and is the primary mechanism for representation and consultation at the community level.

The Wilcannia CWP, with the support of the RSD Team, will be the governing body for the LIP at the community level.

The Central Darling Shire Council is a key stakeholder in Remote Service Delivery in Wilcannia and there are arrangements in place for the Shire to be represented at CWP meetings and to be regularly briefed and consulted by the ROC to ensure a whole of community approach in delivering the LIP.

Regional level

A RSD Regional Strategic Delivery Group (RSDG) is being established to ensure collaboration, partnership and integrated planning occurs at a regional level. The RSDG is chaired by the ROC Director and its members include Regional Directors, State Managers, and Department Liaison Officers of State and Commonwealth agencies identified in the Local Implementation Plan as lead or partner agencies. The RSDG will report to the RSD SMC through the ROC.

Governance arrangements for Remote Service Delivery in NSW

Flow chart showing inter-relationship of local, regional, state and national government and community governance arrangements for implementation of Remote Service Delivery in NSW.

Flow chart showing inter-relationship of local, regional, state and national government and community governance arrangements for implementation of Remote Service Delivery in NSW.

State level

An RSD State Management Committee (RSD SMC) has been established to oversee delivery of the Agreement. The RSD SMC will provide leadership and set the direction on issues of strategic importance to the achievement of remote service delivery outcomes at Walgett and Wilcannia. The RSD SMC, as a joint government body, will provide high level advice and make recommendations to advance community and government objectives. The RSD SMC will be jointly chaired by the FaHCSIA NSW/ACT State Manager and the Chief Executive of Aboriginal Affairs (NSW), who is also the NSW Coordinator General for the RSD. RSD SMC members are the Commonwealth Departments of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Health and Ageing, and Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. The RSD SMC meets every month to oversight the implementation of the Bilateral Implementation Plan and the LIPs and seeks to resolve any outstanding issues.

2.6 Progress monitoring and reporting of the LIP

' To enable a well coordinated approach to progress, monitor and report on the LIP, a number of reporting methods have been implemented and others are under development.

Methods already in place include the monthly Local Situation Reports considered by the RSD SMC, published six monthly reports of the Australian Government’s Coordinator-General reports for Remote Indigenous Services and the annual review of the NSW Bilateral Implementation Plan of the RSD National Partnership.

Local Situation Reports are provided monthly by the ROC to the Remote Service Delivery Branch and the NSW SMC. The purpose of this report is to monitor and identify issues relevant to the implementation of the RSD, against the priorities expressed in the LIP. The information is provided by the RSD Team, supported by the ROC. The report uses a traffic light rating that flags critical issues and is an early warning system based on how services are progressing overall. This report contains valuable information against the Closing the Gap Building Blocks including the current status of the services, any problems, what action has been taken, is being taken or needed to remedy the problem.

To ensure the monitoring of the LIP involves everyone, the ROC will develop a range of tools to support the CWP, the RSDG and the RSD State Management Committee to monitor activities and their outcomes. The CWP have proposed the establishment of sub groups against the seven building blocks in order to support delivery and to monitor the LIP locally.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


Section 3: Wilcannia Community

Geography

Wilcannia means ‘a gap in the bank where the flood waters escape’ in the language of local Aboriginal people. Wilcannia township is located on the traditional country of the Paakantji (Bakandji) people, in the Murdi Paaki region of remote NSW. The town is situated on the banks of the Darling River, 965 km northwest of Sydney via the Great Western, Mitchell and Barrier Highways (all sealed). Broken Hill is the nearest regional centre, located 190km from Wilcannia.

map location

People

Aboriginal people constitute more than two-thirds of Wilcannia’s total population. The population of Wilcannia (including Warrali Mission and Mallee Mission) in 2006 was estimated to be 628 people, of whom 453 were Indigenous. The main language spoken in Wilcannia is English but the Central Darling area around Wilcannia was once occupied by Aboriginal people who spoke variations of the Bakandji (Paakantji) language. A language revival program is being implemented with the Bakandji language being taught at the local Wilcannia Central School.

Nearly half of Wilcannia’s Aboriginal residents are aged under 20 years, while people aged 50 years or more make up 13 per cent of Wilcannia’s Indigenous population (compared to 31 per cent of the total Australian population).

The Aboriginal population of Wilcannia is projected to grow by 41 per cent from 453 in 2006 to 637 in 2026. The number of Aboriginal people aged under 20 is predicted to increase from 212 to 241 over this period (an increase of 14 per cent). The changing size and age composition of the Aboriginal population of Wilcannia will increase the need for housing, employment opportunities and particularly aged care and health services.

Wilcannia’s Aboriginal community are currently working at creating what is intended to be the first Aboriginal drive-through art gallery in the world. The gallery idea comes from 37 mainly Bakandji men and women who are transforming a town park in Wilcannia. It will become Reconciliation Park; a green, welcoming space with picnic tables, a playground, barbecues and large-scale Aboriginal artworks by local artists. From the comfort of their cars, people will be able to enjoy the art, which will reflect what reconciliation means to the artists.

More demographic information is provided under each Building Block at Section four.

Township

Township history:

Bakandji people have been calling Wilcannia home for at least 40, 000 years. The first European in the Wilcannia area was Major Thomas Mitchell in 1835. The settlement of the area by pastoralists began in the 1850s and by 27 January 1859 a steamer, the Albury, had made its way up the river and reached the current site of Wilcannia which was known at the time as Mount Murchison Station. Mount Murchison had been named by Mitchell. These incursions by settlers onto land inhabited by Aboriginal people resulted in violent and intense conflicts between Aboriginal people and the new settlers.

Wilcannia was proclaimed as a town in June 1866 and was incorporated as a municipality in 1881. In the 1870s, copper, opals and gold were found in the nearby Barrier Ranges, attracting many prospectors to the area. Wilcannia boomed during this period as the prime port for the shipping of wool for the entire western district of NSW. It was also the central supply depot for the opal miners and the major recipient of their spending. Once known as the “queen city of the west”, Wilcannia was the third largest shipping port in Australia. In the boom years of the 1880’s sandstone was quarried locally for the historical buildings that stand today as a reminder of those economically prosperous days. The development of a railway line and road transport caused Wilcannia’s steamboat trade to decline and with it the economic prosperity of the town.

During 1920-1950, the Protection Board implemented a series of forced migrations and dispersals of Aboriginal people in order to concentrate Aboriginal people in segregated reserves and to convert old reserves into land for pastoral use.

Despite this, many Aboriginal people maintained themselves in, or returned to, town camps. Under the Aboriginal Protection Act 1909, an Aboriginal reserve was established at Wilcannia in 1942. Reserves had been established both in and outside of NSW towns as early as the 1880s. Some of these reserves were initially known as ‘stations’ but most came to be known as ‘missions’. There are two former Aboriginal reserves located on the outskirts of town, Mallee Mission (26.16 ha) and Warrali Mission (26.1 ha).

By 1969, the NSW Housing Commission assumed responsibility for Indigenous rental housing in towns and on some reserves. With the reform to Aboriginal Affairs in the early 1970s and the Aboriginal Land Rights 1983 (NSW) Act, many town campers gained freehold tenure and funding to build conventional houses and install infrastructure on their town camp sites. The majority of Aboriginal people in the region currently occupy state rental housing under various mainstream and targeted programs that have operated over the last 30 years.

Mallee and Warrali Estate communities:

Title to two former Aboriginal reserves in Wilcannia, the Mallee which adjoins the township, and Warrali Estate situated on the outskirts of town, was transferred to Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council after NSW Land Rights legislation was passed in 1983.

Industry:

Wilcannia has a strong mining history, with both gold and opals discovered in the area. The township reached its height in the 1880s when it boasted 13 hotels, a population of 3000, and a local newspaper - the Wilcannia Times. The main industry in Wilcannia is health care and social assistance. A lack of employment opportunities is one of the largest challenges facing the Wilcannia community.

Community facilities:

Community facilities in Wilcannia include a hall/meeting area, administration building, shire office, shire library, youth centre, organised place of worship and a women’s refuge. The community also has arts and craft classes, cooking classes, discos, health education and sporting activities. Sporting facilities in Wilcannia include sports grounds, outdoor basketball/netball courts, indoor covered sporting facilities, a swimming pool, tennis courts, golf course, bowling green and skate parks.

Governance

Community Working Party (CWP):

In the Murdi Paaki Region of NSW, strong local and regional governance has enabled Aboriginal people to engage successfully with governments in delivering a range of initiatives over two decades.

The Wilcannia community established an Aboriginal Community Working Party (CWP) in the mid 1990s to enable them to function as the key point of contact with government. CWPs are in many cases viewed by their communities as legitimate and representative structures for identifying community priorities and liaising with government. CWP members (and especially CWP Chairs) have dedicated much time and energy to building community cohesion and governance capacity. Their work includes preparing for and attending CWP meetings, attending regular Community Governance Workshops, and attending meetings of the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly.

Community Working Parties and the Assembly have acknowledged these gains, but have also noted that the engagement has been lacking with several government agencies - local, state and federal. In response, the NSW and Commonwealth Governments have signed a Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) that commits Governments to working with the Assembly and the 16 CWPs in the region to make a difference for Aboriginal people in those communities. The RPA focuses on governance and leadership as a primary achievement. To this effect the NSW Government’s Partnership Community Program and the Australian Government’s Indigenous Leadership Programs work hand in hand with the Assembly and CWPs to formalise and strengthen the governance structures in the communities.

The CWP purpose was originally to provide community liaison relating to the planning and provision of housing under the NSW Government Aboriginal Community Development Program. Membership of the Working Parties was ‘refreshed’, at the commencement of the RSD, and they now have responsibilities for dealing with a wide range of issues affecting the community and its relationships with government bodies. In the present context, the role of CWPs centres on community governance rather than the day-to-day coordination of the delivery of services to each community. The community is seeing more young people participating in both the Murdi Paaki Young Leaders Group and the CWP, which is bringing a fresh view to community matters.

The Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly is made up of the chairpersons of each of the 16 CWPs and is chaired by an independent chairperson. The Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly and CWPs have recognised the importance of young Aboriginal people being involved in decisions made about the current and future needs of Aboriginal people.

Central Darling Shire Council:

Central Darling Shire encompasses an area of over 53,000 square kilometres, making it the largest Local Government Area (LGA) in New South Wales. Conversely, population figures for the Shire are one of the lowest at 2000 residents dispersed throughout and surrounding the towns of Ivanhoe, Menindee, Wilcannia and White Cliffs, and its localities of Darnick, Mossgiel, Sunset Strip and Tilpa.

The principle economic activities within the shire include pastoral, horticultural, agricultural, mining and tourism. Rural grazing properties represent the largest land use within the shire, accounting for 97 per cent of the entire area.

The Central Darling Shire Council is a key stakeholder in Remote Service Delivery and has provided its full support to working with the community, State and Commonwealth Governments to ensure a whole of community approach to the RSD and to making it a success.

Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council (WLALC):

The Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council is established under NSW’s Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 and like other Local Aboriginal Land Councils across NSW, it holds title to former reserves which it is responsible for managing as Aboriginal land for the benefit of local Aboriginal people. The Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council has been under Administration since May 2009 and owns a large number of houses and building lots in the Wilcannia township. Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council also owns two large properties called Weinteriga and Yoebel that have been identified as central within the Economic Participation building block.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


Section 4: Community Story for each Building Block



4.1 Early Childhood

4.1 Early childhood

Data

  • 59 children (10 per cent of the total population of Wilcannia) are aged 0-4 years. 40 children (68 per cent of these children) are Indigenous.
  • 10 per cent of the Indigenous population of Wilcannia is aged 0-4 years.
  • 35 per cent of all Indigenous 0-4 year olds in Wilcannia attend an educational institution.
  • Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) 2009 results show that 34 per cent of Indigenous children in the far west region (including Wilcannia) are considered to be developmentally vulnerable in the Languages and Cognitive skills domain. This compares to 29 per cent of all Australian Indigenous children.
  • The Indigenous rate for live births to mothers aged 15-19 in the Central Darling SLA (82.5 per 1,000 women) was five times the rate in the total Australian population rate (16.4) from 2003-2007.
  • The Indigenous rate of low birth weight babies in the Central Darling SLA (133.3 per 1,000 live babies) was nearly three times the rate for the total Australian population (47.8).
  • The Indigenous rate of low birth weight babies in 2007 for Central Darling was 133.3 per 1,000. This is higher than the rates for Indigenous babies across NSW (108.9) and Australia (116.6).
  • There were 12 substantiated notifications for Indigenous children aged 0-16 years in 2004-05, and 14 in 2005-06 in Wilcannia. This was followed by a significant increase to 36 and 39 substantiated notifications in 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively.

What’s working well in early childhood in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

Preschools

  • There is a government preschool (Barlu Kurli) at the Wilcannia Central School with 23 enrolments reported in 2009.
  • The Remote Mobile Resource Unit provides a support service in Wilcannia to preschool staff and children twice a term, with a toy and book library. It also runs a Wilcannia mothers group in the Wilcannia Community Hall to promote literacy and support mothers in parenting.

Parenting Support Services

  • Maari Ma Primary Health Care service in Broken Hill provides medical and social programs by outreach to Wilcannia. The service will shortly commence a child development inter-agency project to build closer coordination in child development services.
  • Maari Ma Health Service is the Intensive Supported Playgroups (ISP) provider and will sub contract Mission Australia to deliver intensive supported playgroups.
  • Mission Australia provides child family and youth programs to Wilcannia on an outreach basis from Broken Hill. It works in partnership with other organisations and Wilcannia School to deliver the Brighter Futures program, delivered one day per week in Wilcannia - currently serving 10 clients with a further two pending. Mission Australia also runs the ‘Hey Dad’ workshop and activities for men to encourage and support them in interacting with their children.
  • Centacare Wilcannia-Forbes (CWF) is funded through Families NSW to provide a family strengthening service in Broken Hill, Menindee and Wilcannia. Activities include parenting programs, home visiting, supported referrals and networking with other agencies. A fully trained worker is based in Wilcannia and the service is available one day per week.
  • CWF recently received FaHCSIA funding for family workers to deliver additional services under Indigenous Parenting Support Service (IPSS). CWF are establishing a local presence as a base in Wilcannia – aiming to become a place for families to seek information around family related matters, as well as employment, financial counselling and IPSS.
  • Maari Ma, CWF, and Mission Australia will work closely together to provide “one face” to families.
  • Wilcannia interagency being established.
  • Community Services NSW provides child protection services in Wilcannia through Wilcannia Community Services Centre.

This is what the community said:

Ante/post natal

  • Maari Ma Health Service provides a range of health services – ante/post natal, immunisation, transport to/from appointments.
  • New mums supported when back home from Broken Hill hospital. Relationship building between health worker and families ongoing.
  • Health workers - local people are trained as health workers, they have local knowledge of people and their concerns/issues.
  • Dental services available and accessed. Informal settings to engage with families. Builds rapport and trust and is friendly and non threatening.

Service Integration

  • Good dialogue between education and health.

Nutrition

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables transported in via truck from Mildura fortnightly. Cheap, fresh, friendly.
  • Community market day.
  • Butcher transports meat packs in fortnightly.

Early childhood education

  • Toy library in community hall.
  • One preschool.
  • High attendance at preschool (bus driver reported). Mum and kids attend and engaged. Kids dressed, fed and ready for preschool.

What’s not working so well in Early Childhood in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

  • There is no family day care in Wilcannia.

This is what the community said:

Ante/post natal

  • Kids’ dental health. Kids eat too much high sugar food.

Young parents

  • Some teenage pregnant mums remain in school or return to school.
  • Smoking/alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Nutrition

  • Fresh and cheap produce not available on regular basis. Bread and basic, healthy foods are expensive.
  • Local shop expensive and unfriendly. Those barred from pub are barred from shop. Shop owner employs Aboriginal people who act as buffer.

General comment

  • How can we keep kids at the centre of Wilcannia? Culturally kids are important.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

4.2 Schooling

4.2 Schooling

Data

  • 71 per cent of all five-14 year olds in Wilcannia attend an educational institution (lower than NSW total – 89 per cent). 92 per cent of these children are Indigenous. This represents 70 per cent of all Indigenous youth in this age bracket (lower than NSW total – 86 per cent of Indigenous youth in this age bracket attend on education institution).
  • 27 per cent of all 15-19 year olds in Wilcannia attend an educational institution (much lower than NSW total – 70 per cent). 67 per cent of these children are Indigenous. This represents 20 per cent of all Indigenous youth in this age bracket (lower than NSW total – 49 per cent of Indigenous youth in this age bracket attend on education institution).
  • 12 per cent of all people aged 15 years or over in Wilcannia have completed year 12 or its equivalent
  • 27 per cent of Indigenous persons in Wilcannia have a highest level of school completion of year nine or equivalent.
  • School attendance rates 2009:
    • St Therese’s Community School (primary K-2): 69 per cent
    • Wilcannia Central School (combined P-11): 65 per cent
  • There were 21 students in receipt of ABSTUDY at some time during 2009.
  • 35 per cent of all Indigenous 0-4 year olds in Wilcannia attend an educational institution.

What’s working well in schooling in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

Wilcannia Central School - Government school, K to 12

  • Wilcannia Central School (WCS) has been identified as a focus school under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan.

Staffing

  • Training of support staff in early reading program has had a big impact.
  • Temporary teachers have been appointed to Wilcannia CS under the NSW Department of Education’s Rural Area Relief program to cover day-to-day relief teacher needs. The costs for these teachers are jointly funded by the school and the Department. The school was a participant in the Targeted Student Initiative which allowed the hire of temporary staff. The school is now a participant in the Low Socio-economic Status School Communities National Partnership and has used some of this funding to purchase the services of temporary staff.

Curriculum/Resources

  • Primary literacy groups.
  • Physical education and rugby league program with Ken Kennedy have helped with engaging boys.
  • Preschool program seems to be working well.
  • The one-on-one work of the support teacher (learning assistance) with students.

St Therese’s Community School - Catholic school, K to 2

Infrastructure

  • Planned new building will satisfy current space requirements.

Staffing

  • The current staff at St Therese’s are both comparatively experienced and of long tenure at the school. The school’s program as a whole appears to be working well.

TAFE

  • Small TAFE facility in town – two rooms and an ablution block.

Youth

  • Youth Connections: a flexible, individualised and responsive continuum of service to assist young people who are most at risk of disengaging from education or training and therefore not attaining year 12 or equivalent and not making successful transition to further study, training or work. A Youth Connections provider has been contracted to service the NSW far west and Murray Darling region including Wilcannia.
  • School Business and Community Partnership Brokers (Partnership Brokers) Program provider is currently pursuing and establishing partnerships in Wilcannia with the aim of improving education and transition outcomes to support young people to remain engaged, or re-engaged in education or training and realise their full social and economic potential.

This is what the community said:

Teachers/Community

  • Role of teachers/principals. Strong teaching community. Older more experienced teachers. Teachers staying in Wilcannia longer term.
  • Community proud of school – provides accepted informal setting. P and C getting stronger.
  • Principal is highly motivated and involved in improving Aboriginal school life.

Students

  • Preschool to infants’ school transition is well supported.

What’s not working so well in schooling in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

Wilcannia Central School

Infrastructure

  • Wilcannia Central School needs extensive refurbishment. The rooms are small and poorly ventilated and lit. The administrative area is the original town hospital, a heritage building, and not very suitable for current use. The preschool area across the road from the school is in very poor condition and in urgent need of renovation. There is also no science lab or community room.

Staffing

  • Wilcannia Central School has an experienced executive team. However, most of the teaching staff are largely inexperienced. There are seven Aboriginal education workers (six aides and a Home School Liaison Officer) who also do not have lengthy or wide experience. Retaining staff beyond their initial two year appointment is very difficult. Very hard to get an appropriate spread of subject specialisation for the secondary years. The attraction of cheap rent is significantly diminished by having to share accommodation.
  • There is a pressing need for a full time counsellor to support students and their families.

Curriculum/Resources

  • It would be useful to have greater depth and range of resources to support creative and performing arts and other alternative programs, designed to foster student engagement – a continuing problem.
  • There is a need for more hearing testing and support programs.

Governance

  • The school does not have a formal partnership with the community, nor a school council or board, nor a functioning Parents’ and Citizens’ group, although efforts are about to be made to revive the latter.

St Therese’s Community School

Infrastructure

  • It would be useful to have a larger space for staff to work in.

Staffing

  • Teachers with the particular skills required at St Therese’s of working with multiage groups with very wide ability levels, are difficult to locate.

Curriculum/Resources

  • As for the Wilcannia CS.

Governance

  • The school does not have a formal partnership with the community. In terms of governance, it has a school committee which discusses policy and programs and is represented on staff selection panels. This group meets as required several times a year.
  • Both schools have to work around the issue of covering staff absences because of illness, professional learning or other reasons. In both schools it is difficult to cover staffing absences, although the comparative size of St Therese’s makes it a little easier.

TAFE

  • Training provision at Wilcannia declined in 2009 relative to 2008. Limited course offerings are the product of limited facilities, limited qualified staff and limited community interest. While flexible arrangements can be, and are made, it is desirable to have an enrolment of ten students to run a course in a face-toface setting. The community itself has limited locations to be employed as training sites. The establishment of trade training arrangements at Wilcannia CS (in collaboration with other schools in the region) under the Trade Training Centres in Schools Program may support the continuation and expansion of trade training at Wilcannia.

Youth

  • The RSD community consultations identified youth services and increased activities for youth as a key priority.

This is what the community said:

Literacy and Numeracy

  • Poor results across spelling, grammar, writing and numeracy. Noticeable worsening in spelling and writing from year three to year five.

Teachers

  • Young new teachers don’t have necessary life skills to understand complex issues experienced by families.

Students

  • Truancy is a big issue, especially around nine-10 year olds - mostly boys.
  • Children are rebellious, lack of discipline in the homes, lack of role models, drug/alcohol use, strong ‘ring leaders’.

Curriculum

  • Need to adapt curriculum to focus on addressing needs of boys. They need to feel school is important and don’t want to miss it.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

4.3 Economic Participation

4.3 Economic Participation

Data

Figures from ABS 2006 unless otherwise indicated:

  • Wilcannia has a 222 person strong labour force. Of these, 25 persons, or 12 per cent are unemployed.
  • Of the 120 Indigenous persons in the labour force, 25 persons or 21 per cent are unemployed.
  • The overall labour force participation rate in Wilcannia is 51 per cent. For Indigenous persons it is 45 per cent.
  • Health care and social assistance is the largest employment sector for Indigenous persons in Wilcannia, with 42 or 43 per cent of Indigenous workers employed.
  • Public administration and safety is the largest employment sector overall with 49 or 25 per cent of all workers employed.
  • The overall median individual weekly income is $270. The Indigenous median weekly individual income is $228.
  • The overall median household weekly income is $805. The Indigenous median household weekly income is $628, compared to $1,025 in non-indigenous households, and nationally $791 per week for Indigenous people.
  • CDEP participants receive $257.50 per week. Youth participants receive $197.80 per week.
  • In June 2009, there were 242 main income support recipients living in Wilcannia. Fewer than 20 recipients resided in its associated communities. Some 76 per cent of the income support recipients in Wilcannia were Indigenous. Of all income support recipients, around 34 per cent were on Newstart Allowance, 17 per cent were on Disability Support Pension and 16 per cent were on Parenting Payment—Single.
  • 12 per cent of all people aged 15 years or over in Wilcannia have completed year 12 or equivalent.

What’s working well in economic participation in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

Employment Services

  • Job Services Australia (covers the far west region, including Wilcannia).
  • Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation employment services - two days a week.
  • Sureway Employment and Training employment services - two days a week.
  • Centacare Wilcannia–Forbes - Local Employment and Training Solutions (LETS) – at least one day a week, along with a permanent staff member in Wilcannia to engage with the community.
  • Disability Employment Network Services and Vocational Rehabilitation Services are located in Broken Hill.
  • There is a Centrelink Agent in Wilcannia that is supported by the Broken Hill Centrelink Service Centre and irregular visits from the Remote Servicing Team.

Training and Development

  • The NSW Department of Education and Training funds a range of support services in the region to assist Aboriginal trainees and apprentices to finish their training and maintain employment. Services are provided by outreach from larger centres in Dubbo, Bourke and Broken Hill through funded positions in various organisations.
  • Many welfare services in Wilcannia employ Aboriginal staff and have a commitment to recruitment and professional development and support for local Aboriginal workers. Mission Australia is exploring options to expand its local Aboriginal staff capacity and is working with TAFE to develop options for training in child studies.
  • There is a positive and proactive approach to the employment of local Aboriginal people in the cultural and environmental programs of the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, including the involvement of cultural custodians in place management.

This is what the community said:

Employment Services

  • Existing opportunities for employment in CDEP.

Training and Development

  • Robinson College provides horticultural courses.
  • JSAs are already involved in pathways to training.

Other comments

  • Identification of business opportunities for local Aboriginal people.

What’s not working so well in economic participation in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report: Employment Services

  • There is no Indigenous employment program in Wilcannia.
  • Many informants commented that having three JSA providers is excessive for the relatively small population of Wilcannia and providers are competing unnecessarily to receive their staged payments linked to employment placements.
  • The agency model of Centrelink provision in Wilcannia with irregular visits from the Remote Servicing Team does not cater for people who have problems navigating the system and remaining connected to their payment.

Training and Development

  • There is an absence of effective coordination of training and employment linked to relevant labour market and socio-demographic factors.
  • Limited training opportunities available at TAFE because of the minimum class size required to run courses.
  • There is a lack of local staff with the relevant training and skills to provide a wide range of relevant welfare services.
  • There is a limited labour market exacerbated by the extended drought and depressed rural economy.
  • Historically low levels of school participation and consequently low levels of literacy and numeracy.
  • The long-term intergenerational cycles of under-employment, family violence, low educational attainment, and abuse of alcohol and other substances collectively act as barriers to family and individual participation in seeking education and training.

This is what the community said:

Employment Services

  • CDEP needs to relate to what is useful in the community – e.g. first aid, learn to drive, horticulture and drive through art galleries.

Training and Development

  • TAFE - not good relationship developed. Stronger pathways between agriculture in schools to horticultural plot.
  • Need to have drivers licence. No car, no one to take young people for extensive driving to build up hours.

Other comments

  • Interest in getting Lands Council to be operational again. Recognised as being pivotal point for change. Local land council could provide support to families to be independent in paying rent, repairs etc. Could become housing provider.
  • Tyranny of distance – resulting in increased costs and high cost of living, parole services not on location.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

4.4 Health

4.4 Health

Data

  • Between 03-04 and 07-08 the most common principal diagnosis for hospital admissions of Indigenous persons in Central Darling was symptoms, signs and abnormal findings with a rate of 67.8 per 1,000 admissions, followed by mental and behavioural disorders (56.2 per 1,000 admissions) and by injury and poisoning (54.4 per 1,000 admissions) .
  • Between 03-04 and 07-08 for assault related treatment the observed number of hospital admissions for Indigenous persons in the Central Darling SLA was more than 13 times the number that would be expected if national rates for other Australians applied in this SLA - after adjusting for age differences.
  • Between 03-04 and 07-08 the rate of hospitalisation for Indigenous persons in the Central Darling SLA for diabetes was more than double the number that would be expected if national rates for other Australians applied in this SLA - after adjusting for age differences.
  • Between 03-04 and 07-08 the rate of hospitalisation for preventable conditions (hospitalisation for conditions that are thought to be avoidable with preventive care and early disease management) for Indigenous persons in Central Darling was 94 per 1,000 persons. For the total population the rate was 64.9 per 1,000 persons.
  • Between 03-04 and 07-08 the rate of hospitalisation for mental and behavioural disorders for Indigenous Australians in Central Darling SLA was more than four times the number that would be expected if national rates for other Australians applied in the SLA - after adjusting for age differences.
  • In Central Darling SLA, hospitalisation rates for alcohol related conditions for Indigenous Australians in Central Darling SLA were 2.5 times the number that would be expected if national rates for other Australians applied in this SLA - after adjusting for age differences.
  • While there is limited data for specific communities such as Wilcannia, anecdotally there have been several suicide attempts in the past two years. Death rates due to suicide are generally higher amongst the wider Indigenous community when compared to other Australians. Nationally from 2002-2006, 16 per cent of deaths were due to external causes, injury and poisoning (suicide being a substantial component), this percentage was second to circulatory disease at 26 per cent as a leading cause of death for Indigenous Australians.
  • An associated pattern is the high injury and poisoning rates.
  • Between 03/04 and 07/08 the Indigenous population in Central Darling were hospitalised for diseases associated with poor environmental health at a rate of 44.3 per 1,000 compared to the rate for the total population of 18.3 per 1,000.
  • Rates (per 1,000 live births) for peri natal mortality declined from 16.8 for 1997- 2001 to 6.3 for 2002-2006 for Aboriginal people in the Maari Ma region.
  • Rates for smoking during pregnancy are high at 78 per cent for Aboriginal people in the Maari Ma region compared with 19 per cent for the total NSW population in 2008.
  • Teenage births are more common among Indigenous than non-Indigenous females. Data analysis shows the rate of live births for Indigenous women aged 15-19 years in Central Darling SLA was nearly six times the corresponding national non-Indigenous rate.

What’s working well in Health in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

General services

  • Wilcannia Hospital / Multipurpose Service (MPS) Centre provides many of the health services in Wilcannia, in particular hospital and some primary care. It is a good example of integrated services including community health, emergency, in-patient and residential aged care places. The hospital/MPS has eight beds, and is also used for short term aged care (no permanent placements).
  • The hospital works in conjunction with Maari Ma Aboriginal Medical Service and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) who provide some primary and other care in the community.
  • Immunisation Program run by the hospital and clinic.
  • Maari Ma Aboriginal Medical Service provides primary care, medical clinic service, dental services.
  • RFDS provides a GP service, dental services.
  • After hours emergency services are accessed through the ambulance service, paid for out of hospital funding, at a cost of three full time employees a month.
  • An RFDS air ambulance service is available when required, in particular providing speedy access to Sydney and other hospitals. Some every day patient transport is provided using hospital and clinic vehicles.
  • Mental health services are located at Broken Hill and they visit Wilcannia every Wednesday.
  • Dental services are provided by both RFDS and Maari Ma.

Aged and disability services

  • Home and Community Care (HACC) services run within Wilcannia (Ngangana Home Care Services of NSW). It provides meals on wheels, domestic assistance, laundry, transport and handy man on contract. HACC services has bus transport with bus modifications for the elderly.
  • Clients come to the Ngangana aged and disability facility for showers, breakfast, and respite during the day. There are no overnight stays. Ngangana also provide craft, video days and would like to set up a men’s shed. The facility has eight workers and 32 clients in Wilcannia and eight in Menindee. Six clients have dementia and less than five children have a disability.

Public education

  • Hospital and clinic staff investigate disease outbreaks, provide advice, coordinate and assist with screening / treatment, provide surveillance of communicable diseases and maintain a notifiable disease register.
  • Hospital and clinic staff provide education / in-services to staff and community groups on public health aspects, lifestyle issues, diabetes and healthy eating and exercise in particular. Resources for human development training and education are provided including trachoma education and training. Trachoma screening is provided and where needed community treatment is given.
  • The clinic also liaises with Environmental Health Officers regarding health issues.

Strategies/Government

  • Chronic Disease Strategy planned for the region, prompted by the high chronic disease profile in Wilcannia and similar communities in far Western NSW. The strategy focuses on prevention, early detection, and management of chronic disease.
  • Maari Ma Healthy Start program launched in 2006. This was followed in 2009 by the creation of the Far West Aboriginal Child Development and Wellbeing Group.
  • The Department of Health and Ageing provides funding for a range of programs and initiatives for Wilcannia.

This is what the community said:

Services

  • Maari Ma Health Service is a respected health service in the area. Specialists come in from Broken Hill. Have trust and respect in the community.
  • Maari Ma Health Service and Sydney University are doing a survey on mental health in Wilcannia for both men and women. It will survey men and women – their understanding and awareness of mental health issues – identifying causes and solutions.
  • Good dentists available. Dental therapist is accessed by families with children.
  • Chronic Disease Management - home visits – doctors, HACC and health workers in place. Practical support available from outside to assist in care. Day care centres utilised.
  • Difficulties in accessing appropriate diagnostic services and health services for children under five in Wilcannia.

Aged care

  • Culturally, families and communities see it as their responsibility to care for their elders in their homes. Can build on this cultural strength with the right kind of support to enable caring arrangements in homes to occur.

What’s not working so well in Health in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

Infrastructure

  • The hospital suffers frequent power outages, and it does not have a backup generator.
  • Hospital staff undertake carpet/floor cleaning themselves as it is too expensive to get a carpet cleaner out to Wilcannia.
  • Inadequate fencing around the airstrip is a problem for the RFDS as kangaroos enter the landing zone.
  • There is no public transport between Wilcannia and Broken Hill however, there is a health bus between communities Monday-Friday at $7.50 per person for nonmedical usage, it leaves at 8.00 am and returns at 5.30 pm.
  • Old X-ray machine but no batteries ($20-30,000 replacement cost). No permanent x-ray reader medical staff in the community.

Staffing

  • The hospital and clinic find it difficult to attract staff to work in Wilcannia. Management maintain that if better transport linkages, such as a bus service, could be accessed, people might be more interested in commuting to Wilcannia from Broken Hill. It was observed by a health service provider that remuneration for services/incentives to live in Wilcannia has never been successful.
  • Poor quality of housing for health staff.
  • There is an identified need for a resident GP and increased provision of mental health and alcohol and other drug services. Keeping individuals at risk of suicide over night is a problem as there is no resident GP.
  • No private dentist in Wilcannia.

Community

  • Increased health education in the community may reduce the high rate of avoidable and preventable illnesses.
  • There have been a number of suicide attempts in the past few years according to hospital staff, when individuals are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Environmental health issues are an ongoing concern in the community.

This is what the community said:

Services

  • Specialists from outside come in and are seen as ‘outsiders’.

Infrastructure

  • Re-admission to hospital for short term care – due to inability of families to care for older members.
  • Poor housing environment – difficult to care for chronically sick family members. Repair and maintenance of houses is poor,– dust and cold gets in to homes – can’t get well in this environment.

Community

  • Cost of medication – community unaware of low cost for PBS drugs. Centrelink/ health service could provide correct info about cost of drugs.
  • Need further support within families and communities to take responsibility for health and lifestyle choices.
  • Poor eating habits – high sugar content foods.
  • Alcohol, marijuana, and petrol sniffing remain big issues.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

4.5 Healthy Homes

4.5 Healthy Homes

Data

  • ABS 2006 Census data indicates there are 172 houses in Wilcannia.
  • The Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council and NSWALC have 84 properties.
  • There are 16 properties (9 per cent) rented from the State housing authority (NSW AHO). This represents a much higher concentration of social housing than can be found across NSW where only 4.7 per cent of houses fall into this category. Overall 35.2 per cent of households are fully owned or being purchased. 27.8 per cent of Indigenous households are fully owned or being purchased.
  • In Wilcannia, 27 per cent of all households are one family households (couple with children). 16 per cent are one family households (one parent families). 26 per cent of all Indigenous households are one family households (one parent families).
  • The median rent for Indigenous persons in Wilcannia is $100 per week. For other persons in Wilcannia, it is $30 per week. These median rents represent 16 per cent of the median household income for Indigenous households in Wilcannia and 3 per cent of the median household income for non-Indigenous households.
  • 7 per cent of all dwellings in Wilcannia are being purchased (mortgage holders). 3 per cent of Indigenous dwellings are being purchased. The overall median housing loan repayment in Wilcannia is $477 a month, which represents 14 per cent of median household incomes. For Indigenous mortgage holders it is $650 per month, which represents 24 per cent of median household incomes.
  • 31 per cent of Indigenous homes in Wilcannia are overcrowded - defined here as having two or more usually resident persons more than the number of bedrooms. Indigenous household overcrowding is more prevalent in Wilcannia than in NSW overall, where the rate of overcrowding is 15 per cent.

What’s working well in Healthy Homes in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

Housing

  • NSW AHO owns 16 properties in Wilcannia. Wilcannia LALC owns 84 properties - of these 65 are separate house dwellings and 19 are vacant blocks.
  • Between May 2000 and August 2001 ATSIC invested $2,800,000 in housing on Warrali, the Mallee, and in town. Between 2003-2007 NSW DAA invested $7,930,000 for home construction and repair on the Mallee.
  • A Fixing Homes for Better Health (FHBH) project, funded by FaHCSIA has been approved for Wilcannia, with preliminary meetings in the community scheduled for 7 June 2010.
  • Wilcannia LALC houses are now being managed by Compass Housing – may be eligible for repair and maintenance funding through the “reform” component of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH) or for refurbishment funding under the capital works component of the NPARIH.
  • The competitive bids process for capital funding under the NPARIH for 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 requires jurisdictions to include provision for RSD communities in their bids. The outcome of this process will be announced in late June, at which time the further information will be available on housing investment strategies for Wilcannia under the NPARIH.

Infrastructure

  • Wilcannia town, Warrali mission, and Mallee houses within the town boundaries are provided with filtered and raw water and reticulated sewerage by Central Darling Shire Council. Annual maintenance cost for all houses in town is estimated to be $29,500 for water and $142,600 for sewage. Annual maintenance cost for services to Warrali is estimated to be $18,700 for water and $119,400 for sewage.

This is what the community said:

  • Funding investment for sewerage and water from DEWHA should make it possible to have cleaner and healthier homes.

What’s not working so well in Healthy Homes in Wilcannia?

This is what the community said:

  • Overcrowding, sleeping in cars, caravans, beside houses.
  • Don’t have necessary skills around rent paying, budgeting, repair and maintenance work.
  • Unsuitable houses for young couples, elderly. Flooding issues.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

4.6 Safe Communities

4.6 Safe Communities

There is overwhelming evidence based on consultations to date that government agencies need to recognise that for the community to fully embrace and commit to their community and in developing and implementing a comprehensive LIP, there needs to be a strategic focus in supporting the community to address community healing.

During April and May 2010, Barbara Asplet was engaged to run a series of healing consultations with both men and womens’ groups within the Wilcannia community to inform a process of acknowledging the past to move forward. Barbara reflects that the spirits and self-esteem of family members within the Wilcannia community are in a very low state. However, despite the adversity families face, she recognises strengths in the sense of unity and caring for each other. There was overwhelming agreement from within the community as reflected in the report that they want to empower their [our] community, gain dignity, self-esteem and identify their [our] strengths through ownership.

To move forward, the community in the first instance needs to focus on healing “we can’t put a block in place until we heal ourselves”. The report reminds us that when working with the community it is necessary to acknowledge the past as they “… cannot heal the future until they [we] confront the past which involves addressing trauma, anger, shame, grief and loss.”

The report prepared by Barbara Asplet has developed a number of recommendations in consultation with the community that can be progressed through working with both the men and women in the community. These recommendations have been encapsulated in a healing strategy which outlines activities for both men and women and also supports elders to take on a critical role in this process.

Data

Policing

  • Non-offence incidents recorded between 04-05 and 08-09:
    • 43 attempted or successful suicide/self-harm incidents
    • 136 incidents classified under the Mental Health Act
    • 118 intoxicated persons incidents
    • 61 personal violence, not domestic related matters
    • 568 child/young person at risk reports
    • 669 domestic violence incidents where no offence was recorded.

Substance abuse

  • 57 per cent of all offences recorded between 04-05 and 08-09 were alcohol related. 81 per cent of all domestic violence related offenses were alcohol related.
  • Central Darling LGA has a relatively high rate of alcohol related assaults. According to the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, the rate of alcohol related assaults in 2006 was 6295 assaults per 100,000 persons in Central Darling. By comparison, the rate for NSW was only 506 assaults per 100,000 persons.

Domestic violence

  • There were 109 recorded cases of domestic violence related assaults in 2009 in Central Darling Shire. This represents an assault rate of 5494.0 per 100,000 residents. 53 (89.8 per cent) out of the 59 persons of interest in these cases were Indigenous.
  • NSW Police recorded 30 per cent of the 2,790 offences in Wilcannia during 04- 05 – 08-09 as being domestic or family violence-related.
  • Rates of non-domestic violence related assault (2469.8 assaults per 100,000 residents) and sexual assault (705.6 assaults per 100,000 residents) were also high.
  • In 2008, there were 83 Domestic Apprehended Violence Orders granted where the person of interest resided in Central Darling.

What’s working well in Safe Communities in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

Policing

  • There is a police station in Wilcannia with a permanent NSW police presence. Nine officers are allocated to the station; however, according to the NSW police service there are currently 10 officers stationed at Wilcannia and three administrative officers, bringing the total to 13.
  • There are two unsworn Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers (ACLOs) based at the station and an Indigenous person in an unsworn general and administrative support role.
  • Fortnightly Blue-Light movie night for young people.
  • Night patrol: safe transport and outreach service for young people on the streets late at night – only operates two days per week.

Substance abuse

  • In September 2009, a mid strength beer trial was started. This involved restricting the sale of full strength beer. There are several ‘alcohol prohibited zones’ which have been established by the local council which are reported by local police to be very effective.
  • Lyndon Community – Murdi Paaki Drug and Alcohol Network - drug and alcohol information sessions.

Legal services

  • Legal services are available to Wilcannia residents on a visiting basis. There are no services located in Wilcannia. There is an Aboriginal Legal Service and a Family Violence Protection Legal Service located in Broken Hill.
  • A local court operates in Wilcannia two days per month as part of the Broken Hill court circuit. Circle sentencing is not conducted in Wilcannia.
  • Corrections - the area is serviced by staff from the Broken Hill District Office, who travel to Wilcannia on a fortnightly basis to undertake the supervision of offenders using facilities at the Wilcannia courthouse.
  • Local agencies are available in the Wilcannia community for offenders to undertake community service work.
  • Juvenile Justice Service is provided by the Broken Hill JJ/CS office located approximately 100 km away. A Juvenile Justice Officer attends Wilcannia on a weekly or fortnightly basis to undertake supervision of young offenders subject to court orders.
  • All NSW Communities receive visitation by other specialist staff (Forensic Psychologist and Sex Offender Counsellor) based at Dubbo JJ/CS on a needs basis.

Domestic violence

  • Wilcannia Women’s and Children’s Safe House (Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi) provides a broad range of culturally appropriate support services to women, children and families affected by domestic and family violence, including pre- and post- crisis, early intervention and prevention and immediate crisis response. Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi does not provide accommodation but has an on-call service, and is delivered from premises owned by community services. The service is staffed by three full time equivalent employees and three casual employees.
  • The Commonwealth Government Attorney-General’s Department funds the Far West Community Legal Centre to provide a Family Violence Prevention Legal Service in Broken Hill. This service is provided to Wilcannia residents on a visiting basis.
  • Lifeline ‘anger management’ program.
  • Centacare Wilcannia-Forbes family counselling sessions.

This is what the community said:

  • Alcohol management plan in place. Police keen to come along to community gatherings. Alcohol free zone in park – has led to more visitors stopping – cleaned up area – pride increased. Police to be encouraged to attend forums to break down barriers talking about alcohol and domestic violence issues.

What’s not working so well in Safe Communities in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

Policing

  • Lack of funding and available staff for the night patrol has reduced its effectiveness.

Substance abuse

  • Alcohol and substance abuse remains a problem in the community with associated family stresses and mental health issues.
  • There are no sobering-up/detoxification facilities nor a specific drug and alcohol service in Wilcannia. There are limited drug and alcohol services operating through the hospital. The nearest rehabilitation centre is located in Orange which is seven and a half hours away.

Legal services

  • There is no community corrections office at Wilcannia and only outreach services available.

Domestic violence

  • Limited victim support services are available in Wilcannia. There is a Domestic Violence Safe House in the community. However, it is unable to provide services beyond short term accommodation.

This is what the community said:

  • When community members return following incarceration – there is nothing to support them to break cycle. Community need to see those who have done ‘wrong’ are doing their bit to ‘pay back’ to community.
  • Teenage drinking and smoking – especially during pregnancy.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

4.7 Governance and Leadership

4.7 Governance and Leadership

Data

  • Indicators on governance and leadership are not provided as there is no reliable data available to measure this building block at a community level.

What’s working well in Governance and Leadership in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

  • Young Leaders Program has recently been started in Wilcannia, auspiced by the Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation. Funded by FaHCSIA and DEEWR over three years (2008-11) with funds from Aboriginal Affairs NSW for projects. The Project funding is for all 16 Murdi Paaki communities including Wilcannia.
  • The Wilcannia Community Working Party (CWP), the major community governance and engagement body for the community has been established since the late 1980’s. It has continued operation after the Murdi Paaki COAG initiative. Several local agencies and community members attend and participate in the CWP as ex-officio members, including the school, Council, police, health services etc.
  • The Strong Women’s Project funded by Community and Early Years (NSW) and FaHCSIA is developing strong leadership among Aboriginal women in the 16 communities of the Murdi Paaki region of New South Wales, so that they can effectively deal with the issues that arise around families in their communities such as domestic violence and parenting.

This is what the community said:

  • Indigenous leadership workshops held on 27/28 April 2010 were a success and will be continued after the LIP has been finalised.

What’s not working so well in Governance and Leadership in Wilcannia?

This is what it said in the Baseline Mapping Report:

  • Only eight people attended the Indigenous leadership workshop – need to ensure more attend.
  • Need governance training across all spheres (e.g. mens’ group, etc).
  • Concern around sharing information and the need to answer questions repeatedly to agencies.
  • Lack of protocols between government and community which engender respect.

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


Section 5: Outputs and Activity Table


Section 5: Outputs and Activity Table

5.1 Early Childhood

COAG targets

  • Closing the life expectancy gap within a generation.
  • Halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade.
  • Ensuring all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities have access to early childhood education within five years.
  • Halving the gap for Indigenous students in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade.

What are we trying to achieve (Closing the Gap outcomes)

  • Indigenous children are born and remain healthy.
  • Indigenous children have the same health outcomes as other Australian children.
  • Children benefit from better social inclusion and reduced disadvantage, especially Indigenous children.
  • Quality early childhood education and care supports the workforce participation choices of parents/caregivers in the years before formal schooling
  • Indigenous children acquire the basic skills for life and learning.
  • Indigenous children have access to affordable, quality early childhood education in the year before formal schooling as a minimum.

Closing the Gap outputs

  • Increased provision of antenatal care services targeted at young Indigenous women.
  • Increased provision of sexual and reproductive health services for Indigenous teenagers.
  • Increased provision of maternal and child health services for Indigenous children and their mothers.
  • Provision of early learning, childcare and parents/caregiver and family support services to Indigenous families

Our work needs links to the following frameworks and policy

Commonwealth

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on TAFE Fee Waivers for Childcare Qualifications
  • COAG National Early Childhood Development Strategy -Investing in the Early Years

State

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education
  • COAG National Early Childhood Development Strategy
  • NSW State Plan
    • Clever State
    • School readiness
    • Stronger communities
    • Strengthen Aboriginal communities

Regional

  • Murdi Paaki Regional Partnership Agreement:
    • Education forum outcomes
    • Literacy and numeracy
    • Valuing education
  • PaCE programs

Wilcannia Priorities – what are we going to focus on?

  1. Healthy Young Families.
  2. Supporting Families and Parents/Caregivers.
  3. Early Learning and Care.
  4. Integration and Improve Collaboration of the Early Childhood Service System
Early Childhood
Priority 1: Healthy Young Families
  Activities Agencies Involved (Lead Agencies in bold) Timeframe
1.1 Output: Families have access to and use culturally appropriate antenatal and postnatal care
1.1a

Undertake review of the current antenatal and postnatal care services, mapping all services from birth to school age. The purpose of the review is to provide the basis for identifying gaps and issues in the service system from birth to school age, in order to identify what to invest and where.

The proposed review will need to have regard to, but not be limited to, the Wilcannia Baseline Mapping Report, Maari Ma’s priority review, DoHA data and service information, recommendations of the systems assessment, Indigenous Early Childhood National Partnership Agreement, Families NSW and GWAHS data.

  • Families NSW (Lead)
  • NSW Health
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
  • DET (pre School)
  • AECG
  • AMIHS
By December 2010
1.1b Develop recommendations from the review to respond to gaps and coordinate issues that arise from the review.
  • Families NSW (Lead)
  • DoHA
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
  • DET (pre School)
  • AECG
By March 2011
1.1c Sustainable training and support for health workers to increase their capacity to deliver antenatal care. This may require additional support for the AMIHS and associated AHW’s. Support Maari Ma in increasing Aboriginal Health Worker workforce in Wilcannia in antenatal care. Link to Economic Participation Priority 1.
  • Maari Ma
  • DET – State Training Services (STS)
  • AECG
  • DoHA
Ongoing and make sustainable
1.2 Output: Families have access to and use culturally appropriate birthing settings
1.2a Establish accommodation for pregnant mothers and their families in Broken Hill.
  • GWAHS
  • Housing NSW
  • Maari Ma
  • AHL
By December 2010 a feasibility study is complete and recommendations brought to the CWP
1.2b Investigate ways of strengthening discharge planning from BH Hospital so that patient care is a primary concern.
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
By September 2010
1.3 Output: All children have access to and utilise culturally appropriate health assessments and follow up allied health treatments, including NSW Personal Health Record Child Health Checks for zero-four years and StEPS four year vision screen
1.3a

Integrated allied health follow-up post health checks.

Options include ‘Kids Pit Stop’; Health Surge; re-introducing School Nurses model (as appropriate).

Investigate whether schools can provide facility for allied health follow-ups. (Central school has a temporary set up which needs to be made permanent).

Encourage use of Blue Book.

Make stronger links to the Murdi Paaki Family Wellbeing component of the MP Health strategy.

  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
  • GPs
  • DET – School AECG
Ongoing
1.4 Output: All children have access to early intervention & social and emotional well being services
1.4a

Investigate participating in pilot sites for Kidsmatter – Australian Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative which would enable preschool and day care to plan and implement evidence based social and emotional well being promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies that aim to:

  • Improve the social and emotional wellbeing of children from birth to school age
  • Reduce social and emotional wellbeing problems among children
  • Achieve greater support for children experiencing social and emotional wellbeing difficulties and their families.
  • DET
  • Preschool
  • Early Childhood Australia
  • AECG
  • Maari Ma
  • GWAHS
  • RFDS
By September 2010, establish the Early Childhood Reference Group to drive this strategy
1.4b Early childhood services (including associated services like Mission Australia, Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi (Women’s Safe House), Centacare Wilcannia-Forbes, Safe Families etc) access SNAICC’s training and culturally appropriate resources and training materials to support the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in their care.
  • Early Childhood Reference Group (see 4.1a below) Pre School
  • DET – School
  • AECG
Ongoing
Priority 2: Supporting Families and Parents/Caregivers
2.1 Output: All families have access to information on the importance of early childhood development
2.1a

Coordinate the review of available early childhood development resources ensuring engagement and support of Aboriginal families in this review.

Target:

  • Specific focus on young parents/ caregivers and dads
  • Universal messages.
  • FaHCSIA - through Indigenous Parenting Support Service (IPSS) / Intensive Supported Playgroups (ISP)
  • Maari Ma / Mission Australia
  • Preschool
  • AECG
  • Save the Children
  • CWP
By June 2011
2.2 Output: Parents and caregivers have access to and use parenting support services when needed
2.2a

Implement new parenting services in response to community need. Ensure service is child centred and family focussed. Targeting – at risk/vulnerable families, young parents and dads.

Link to Country Rugby League Parenting Through Sport as an engagement strategy for dads and the Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda (men’s group - Wee-mi-ja Maa-li Ya-paa—rrda).

  • FaHCSIA through IPSS / ISP
  • DET - School
  • DEEWR – through PACE Maari Ma
  • AECG
  • Safe Families
  • Sport and Recreation NSW
Review By March 2011
2.2b Implement Positive Parenting Program (PPP) in innovative ways (for example all participants in CDEP could undertake PPP).
  • Families NSW
  • All service providers in Wilcannia
Ongoing
2.2c More intensive strategies to engage parents/ caregivers who are not accessing services and link to existing parenting services. Link to Country Rugby League Parenting Through Sport as an engagement strategy for dads and the Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda (men’s group).
  • FaHCSIA through IPSS
  • Maari Ma
  • Centacare Wilcannia- Forbes
Ongoing
2.3 Output: All families have access to child friendly places
2.3a Audit and identification of establishing child and family friendly places such as parks and engage families in this process. Link to Healthy Homes - work with Job Services Australia (JSA) to link work experience and skills development as part of this activity.
  • CDSC
  • DEEWR
  • JSA
  • FaHCSIA
 
2.3b Develop a whole of government response to explore using schools as a hub for early childhood activities and to become more family friendly in school ground. Learn from the Integrated Child and Family Centre in Lightning Ridge and Brewarrina.
  • Families NSW
  • DEEWR
  • DET – School
  • AECG
 
2.3c Implement Protective Behaviours Strategy for people with a disability.
  • Community Services NSW
 
Priority 3: Early Learning and Care
3.1 Output: Families with children zero-five years know of and attend preschools and playgroups
3.1a Develop a two tiered information strategy on early learning services available linking to PaCE activities and/ or additional early learning options. Tier 1: Targeting services. Tier 2: Targeting parents/caregivers. Include the engagement of parents/caregivers in discussions with preschool in developing sustainable creative options for parents/ caregiver contribution to assist in the delivery of a quality service. e.g. Parents/caregivers doing gardening, assisting in delivering language, music and art activities.
  • DEEWR
  • DET – School
  • AECG
  • Community Services NSW
  • Parents/caregivers
  • Community
By December 2011
3.2 Output: High quality trained staff in early childhood settings, including preschools and playgroups, have access to sustainable training and skill development
3.2a Explore options for TAFE or universities to deliver innovative child care courses responsive to Wilcannia in partnership with FaHCSIA funded IPSS and LSP. Identify potential options of linking with Charles Sturt University and Western TAFE.
  • DET – STS
  • AECG
  • DEEWR
  • FaHCSIA
Commence January 2011
3.2b Identify innovative ways to build the capacity of community members to engage effectively with young children in early childhood settings. Engage families in developing these innovative approaches.
  • Families NSW
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
  • Preschool
  • Maari Ma
  • Centacare Wilcannia-Forbes
By December 2010 have an approach agreed to by CWP for implementation
3.3 Output: Options for additional learning settings explored
3.3a

Implement recommendation of the current scoping study of existing services (all early learning services) – which includes recommendations for individual services (including staffing), options for different business models (such as community management models) as well as expansion of new services (including before and after school care and vacation care).

Identify options of an integrated child and family centre and preschool by learning from the Integrated Child and Family Centre in Lightning Ridge and Brewarrina.

  • DEEWR
  • DET School
  • AECG
  • Community Services NSW
  • Families NSW
Underway with a report to the CWP by January 2011
3.3b

Develop a strategy to ensure universal access to early childhood education for children two years before school by 2013 is achievable. Link to Early Childhood:

2.1 Culturally relevant early childhood development messages

3.1 An information strategy on early learning services

3.3a Implementation of recommendation of scoping study.

  • DEEWR
  • DET School
  • AECG
  • Community Services NSW
By December 2010
Priority 4: Integration and Improve collaboration of the Early Childhood Service System
4.1 Output: A range of quality early childhood services (playgroups, preschool, long day care, health services, family support services) are coordinated to be delivered in a number of locations, at different times, targeting a range of high risk groups
4.1a

Strengthen and support the Child and Family Interagency to identify when and where services are being delivered to prevent duplication and identify gaps of locations and times, as well as ensure services are universal.

Establish the Early Childhood Reference Group from this Interagency with strong CWP representation.

  • Families NSW
  • DEEWR
  • DET – School AECG
  • FaHCSIA
  • Maari Ma
  • Centacare Wilcannia-Forbes
By December 2010
4.1b

Develop a Community Early Childhood Education and Development Action Plan that clearly identifies roles of health and education in early childhood.

As part of the plan, develop referral pathways between adult-focussed services and early childhood services.

The action plan will be informed by an analysis of the data available from the Australian Early Development Index and, as appropriate, in conjunction with ESL/D (English as a Second Language or Dialect) specific assessment tools to identify priorities for community-based early childhood development.

  • Early Childhood Reference Group
  • CWP
By June 2011 (Reference Group established by September 2010)
4.1c Targeted training to all agencies on supported referrals.
  • Early Childhood Reference Group
By June 2011
4.2 Output: Early learning services (playgroups, preschool, long day care) are linked to maternal and child health and family support services
4.2a Use all early childhood settings as a soft entry point for maternal and child health and family support services ensuring a no-wrong door philosophy. For example, Child and Family Health Nurse providing a talk at playgroup.
  • Early Childhood Reference Group
  • All Agencies
Ongoing
4.3 Output: Adult-focussed services (for example mental health and substance abuse) need to be child-centred
4.3a Deliver awareness training to existing adult services on child centred – family focussed approaches, in order to increase understanding and capacity of staff to ‘think of the children’.
  • Families NSW
  • DET – School
  • AECG
  • Early Childhood Reference Group
  • All Agencies
Ongoing
4.3b Community capacity building for community members to enable them to take on child-related positions in the community. Link to 1.1c above.
  • DEEWR
  • DET - School
  • Families NSW
  • AECG
By June 2011 have an approach

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

Section 5: Outputs and Activity Table

5.2 Schooling

COAG targets

  • Ensuring all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities have access to early childhood education within five years.
  • Halving the gap for Indigenous students in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade.
  • Halving the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates by 2020.

What are we trying to achieve (Closing the Gap outcomes)

  • Schooling promotes the social inclusion and reduces the educational disadvantage of children, especially Indigenous children.
  • Indigenous children and youth meet basic literacy and numeracy standards, and overall levels of literacy and numeracy are improving.
  • Indigenous young people successfully transition from school to work and/or further study.

Closing the Gap outputs

  • Improve school retention and completion rates from year nine up.
  • Support for parents/caregivers to actively participate in children’s education.
  • Professional development in quality and culturally appropriate teaching methods.
  • Early intervention and specialist teachers for low achievers.
  • Holistic services offered through school hubs.
  • School meals programs.
  • Provision of innovative and tailored learning opportunities and external partnerships with parents/caregivers, other schools, businesses and communities.

Our work needs links to the following frameworks and policy

Commonwealth

  • COAG National Education Agreement
  • COAG National PartnershipAgreement on Low Socio-Economic Status School Communities
  • COAG National Smarter Schools Partnerships – Improving Teacher Quality
  • COAG National Smarter Schools Partnerships – Literacy and Numeracy
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions COAG Building the Education Revolution
  • COAG Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan

State

  • COAG National Education Agreement
  • COAG National Smarter Schools Partnerships – Improving Teacher Quality
  • COAG National Smarter Schools Partnerships – Literacy and Numeracy
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions
  • COAG Building the Education Revolution
  • COAG Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan
  • NSW State Plan
    • Clever State
    • Literacy and numeracy skills
    • Year 12 achievement
    • Access to higher education
    • Improved access to jobs and training
    • Stronger Communities
    • Strengthening Aboriginal communities

Regional

  • Murdi Paaki Regional Partnership Agreement:
    • Education forum outcomes
    • Literacy and numeracyvaluing education
    • PACE programs
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan

Local

  • 2009-2011 Wilcannia Central School Management Plan

Priorities – what are we going to focus on?

  1. A child, family, community centred approach to schooling in primary school.
  2. A child, family, community centred approach to schooling in high school.
  3. Vocational education and training.
Schooling
Priority 1: A child, family and community centred approach to schooling in primary school
  Activities Agencies Involved (Lead agencies in bold) Timeframe
1.1 Output: Activities and supports within the school that enhance our children’s overall wellbeing and readiness to learn
1.1a

Continue to implement and strengthen evidence-based transition programs for zero to eight year olds. Link to Early Childhood Building Block:

2.4b:  Develop a whole of government response to explore using schools as a hub for early childhood activities.

3.3a:  Under the scoping study, identify options of an integrated child and family centre and preschool by linking to the Integrated Child and Family Centre in Lightning Ridge and Brewarrina.

  • DET - School
  • AECG
  • Families NSW
  • Community Services NSW
  • DEEWR
Ongoing
1.1b

Develop a Community, Early Childhood Education Development Plan focussing on transition points: 0-2 to kindergarten, Kindergarten to year one, year one to year two. Link to Early Childhood 4.1b Community Early Childhood Education and Development Action Plan.

  • DET - School
  • AECG
  • Families NSW
  • Community Services NSW
  • DEEWR
By January 2011
1.1c

Continue to implement activities and programs that engage children within the school, such as breakfast clubs, homework centres, lunch programs etc.

  • DET - School
  • AECG
  • ADHC
  • DEEWR
Ongoing
1.1d

Report to the CWP on:

  • the outcomes of the education forum held in Wilcannia
  • School attendance report
  • Eight Ways program.
  • DET
By Sep 2010
1.1e

Support the hospitality unit at the Central School, including use it to provide catering for meetings etc.

  • CWP
  • Central Darling Shire Council (CDSC)
  • All agencies
Ongoing
1.1f

As part of core business, implement the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan and the NSW Aboriginal Education Plan.

  • DET – School
  • DEEWR
  • AECG
Ongoing
1.1g

Social and emotional well being strategy in primary schools. Investigate participating in and accessing resources available under Kidsmatter. Primary school to implement a comprehensive approach to addressing students’ mental health which is tailored to local needs in the school.

  • DET - School
  • DoHA
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
  • AECG
By January 2011
1.2 Output: Parents/caregivers have access to supports that will empower them to support their children to engage and be happy at school
1.2a Implement Parental and Community Engagement Program (PaCE) in a cooperative way.
  • DEEWR
  • DET – School
  • AECG
  • Parent/caregivers
  • Community
Ongoing
1.2b Work with community to inform and deliver a better understanding of the school suspension policy and develop strategies to support children to continue school work (homework classes at youth centre etc) when suspended and enable them to return to school.
  • DET and Central School
  • AECG
  • CWP
  • Parents/Caregivers
Ongoing
1.3 Output: School and its environment welcomes and celebrates diversity of culture and abilities
1.3a Staff to complete the Aboriginal Knowledge and Practice Centre programs in relation to Eight Ways, Aboriginal Education, Early Childhood, Middle Years and Senior Program.
  • DET – School
  • AECG
Ongoing
1.3b Continue to support and enhance the Welcoming Project.
  • DET – School
  • AECG
  • CWP
  • CDSC
Ongoing
1.3c Audit of supports and services within the school for students with a disability, including mental illness and development of an application for additional investment if required. Conduct regular audits and report back to the CWP on the audit findings and response regularly.
  • DET - School
  • ADHC
  • AECG
  • CS NSW
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
Ongoing
1.3d Develop and implement a plan that identifies a preferred model of delivering Allied Health Services in primary and secondary schools.

Link to Health Strategy.
  • DET - School
  • AECG
  • ADHC
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
By June 2011
1.3e

Review the school buildings and upgrade the school including the preschool.

  • DET - School
  • AECG
  • DEEWR
  • FaHCSIA
Ongoing
1.4 Output: Community embraces education and the local schools
1.4a Develop a sport oriented after school and vacation care program. Consider organisations such as National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) and other similar groups.
  • DET – School
  • Tourism NSW
  • AECG
By December 2010
1.4b Support the Parenting Through Sport Program being delivered by the Country Rugby League and Netball NSW.
  • Sport and Recreation NSW
  • Tourism NSW
  • CWP
Commence June 2010
1.4c Develop other structured after school and vacation care programs that can be offered at the school.

Ensure Working with Children Checks are undertaken.

3.3a scoping study of existing services.

  • DET - School
  • Community Services NSW
  • AECG
  • FaHCSIA
  • DET – State Training Services (STS)
  • Community (for volunteering)
  • NSW Police

By December 2010 to commence

December 2010
1.4d Communicate procedures to the community for utilising the school for community events including youth activities, training and adult education.
  • DET - School
  • All agencies
  • CDSC
Ongoing
1.4e Work with students to identify ways of sharing good news stories about children and the schools.
  • DET - School
  • CWP
  • Wilcannia News
Ongoing
Priority 2: A child, family and community centred approach to schooling in high school
2.1 Output: Activities and supports within the school that enhance our children’s overall wellbeing and readiness to learn
2.1a Continue to implement and strengthen evidence-based school transition programs.
  • DET - School
  • Families NSW
  • Community Services NSW
  • DEEWR
  • AECG
Ongoing
2.1b Continue to implement activities that engage children within the school – such as breakfast clubs, lunch and homework programs etc.
  • DET - School
  • ADHC
  • DEEWR
  • AECG
Ongoing
2.1c Continue the delivery of a holistic model that aims to fully engage students in active learning and remain in the school environment using different strategies for boys and girls.
  • DET - School
  • DEEWR PACE
  • Parents/Caregivers
  • Community
Ongoing
2.1d Social and emotional wellbeing strategy in high school that focuses on:
  • Accessing support from project officer in Mind Matters to develop a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing that includes promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies to support high school students experiencing mental health difficulties.
  • Accessing professional development training and resources provided through Mind Matters to enhance capacity of staff to respond to students presenting with mental health matters.
  • DET – School
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
  • DoHA
  • AECG
By June 2011
2.1e As part of core business, implement the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan and the NSW Aboriginal Education Plan.
  • DET – School
  • DEEWR
  • Other relevant agencies
VARIOUS
2.2 Output: Parents/Caregivers have access to supports that will empower them to support their children to engage and be happy at school
2.2a

Implement Parental and Community Engagement Program (PaCE) in a cooperative way.

  • DEEWR
  • DET – School
  • AECG
  • Parent/Caregivers
  • Community
From June 2010
2.2b

Work with community to inform and deliver a better understanding of the school suspension policy and support students to return to school and continue their education whilst on suspension.

  • DET – School
  • AECG
Commence by September 2010
2.3 Output: School and its environment welcomes and celebrates diversity of culture and abilities
2.3a

Staff to complete the Aboriginal Knowledge and Practice Centre programs in relation to Eight Ways, Aboriginal Education, Early Childhood, Middle Years and Senior Program.

  • DET – School
  • AECG
  • CWP
Ongoing
2.3b Implement Eight Ways in School Curriculum P-12.
  • DET – School
Ongoing
2.3c

Continue to support the Welcoming Project at Central School.

  • DET – School
  • AECG
  • CWP
Ongoing
2.3d

Audit of supports and services within the school for students with a disability, including mental illness and development of an application for additional investment if required. Conduct regular audits and report back to the CWP on the audit findings and response regularly.

  • DET - School
  • ADHC
  • Community Services NSW
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
Ongoing
2.3e

Develop and implement a plan that identifies a preferred model of delivering Allied Health Services in primary and secondary schools

Link to Health Strategy.
  • DET - School
  • Maari Ma
  • ADHC
  • GWAHS

By December 2010 to commence in School by Term 1 of 2011

2.3f

Review the school buildings and upgrading the school including the preschool.

DET - School

DEEWR

AECG

FaHCSIA
By June 2011
2.4 Output: Community embraces education and the local schools
2.4a

Develop a sports oriented after school and vacation care program. Consider organisations such as National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) and other similar groups, also noting that the Commonwealth supports structured after-school hours physical activities through the Australian Sports Commission’s Active After Schools Communities program.

  • ROC
  • Tourism NSW
  • Sporting organisations
From December 2010
2.4b

Support the Parenting through Sport Program being delivered by the Country Rugby League and Netball NSW.

  • Sport and Recreation NSW
  • Tourism NSW
  • CWP
Commenced June 2010
2.4c

Develop other structured after school and vacation care programs that can be offered at the school. Link to Early Childhood Strategy

3.3a scoping study of existing services.
  • DET - School
  • CDSC
By December 2010
2.4d

Communicate procedures to the community for utilising the school for community events including youth activities, training and adult

education.
  • DET - School
  • All agencies
  • CDSC
Ongoing
2.4e

Work with students to identify ways of sharing good news stories about children and the schools.

  • DET - School
  • CWP
  • Wilcannia News
Ongoing
2.5 Output: Young people have access to programs that provide education on pregnancy choices and build life skills
2.5a

Implement sexual and reproductive health education in schools and other settings. Identify different approaches for parents/caregivers and for children.

  • DET - School
  • AECG
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
Ongoing
2.5b

Implement Core of Life and provide Train the Trainer for local service providers and their staff.

  • FaHCSIA
  • Maari Ma
Ongoing
2.5c Implement Protective Behaviours Strategy for people with a disability.
  • ADHC
  • Community Services NSW Sport and Recreation NSW
  • Tourism
Ongoing
2.5d Implement Cross Roads Program and investigate other appropriate programs for younger children and implement (e.g. Breakaway).
  • DET – School
  • AECG
Ongoing & compulsory for Year 11 currently
Priority 3: Vocational Education and Training
3.1 Output: Access to supports and services for kids to remain in schools and then transition to work or further study
3.1a The School Business Community Partnership Brokers Program will support the development of partnerships to implement evidence based transition activities.
  • DET – School
  • AECG
  • DEEWR
  • (Partnership Broker – Centacare Wilcannia-
  • Forbes)
Commence June 2010
3.1b The Youth Connections program will identify at risk young people who require support to remain engaged in school and provide case management for those individuals.
  • DET – School
  • AECG
  • DEEWR
  • (Youth Connections provider – Mission Australia)
Ongoing
3.1c Explore options of implementing a trade training school in Wilcannia.
Link to Economic Participation 1.1b.
  • DEEWR
  • DET – School
  • DET – STS
By June 2011
3.1d Actively encourage young people to participate in Indigenous Youth Leadership Program, the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, and access the Indigenous Youth Mobility Program.
  • DET – School
  • DEEWR
  • AECG
Ongoing
3.2 Output: Children have access to courses and training that meets their interests and enhances their skills
3.2a Delivery of a Wilcannia Economic Participation Expo.

Link to Economic Participation 2.1a
  • ROC
  • DEEWR
  • DET – STS
  • FaHCSIA
By December 2010
3.2b Undertake an ‘audit of interest’ of professions and courses (what do kids actually want to study?). Link to 3.1a above and Economic Participation 1.1a, and report to CWP and ROC for further action.
  • DET – School
  • SRC
  • AECG
By December 2010
3.2c Courses are offered on the school site, by TAFE OR OTHER REGISTERED TRAINING ORGANISATIONS (DVET Framework). Link to 3.1a above.
  • DET – School
  • DET – STS
  • DEEWR
From January 2011
3.2d Continue and expand training opportunities established under the Economic Participation Building Block.
  • DET – STS
  • DEEWR
Ongoing
3.2e Respond to the needs of transient students, with a regular report to the CWP.
  • DET – School
  • All other agencies
  • Community
Ongoing

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


5.3 Economic Participation

COAG targets

  • Halving the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates by 2020.
  • Halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

What are we trying to achieve (Closing the Gap outcomes)

  • The Indigenous working age population has the depth and breadth of skills and capabilities required for the twenty first century labour market.
  • Indigenous people of working age participate effectively in all sectors and at all levels of the labour market.

Closing the Gap outputs

  • Increased employment participation impacts positively on life expectancy.

Our work needs links to the following frameworks and policy

National

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation
  • COAG National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Productivity Places Program
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access

State

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation
  • COAG National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Productivity Places Program
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access
  • State Plan:
    • Supporting Business and Jobs
  • Job Compact Strategy (Murdi Paaki Mining Job Compact)

Regional

  • Murdi Paaki Regional Partnership Agreement
  • Economic Development Strategy
  • Charter of Engagement with Local Government – Aboriginal employment strategy in each shire
  • Murdi Paaki Mining Job Compact

Local

  • Central Darling Shire 10 year Strategic Plan

Priorities – what are we going to focus on?

  1. Community has access to training that meets their interest and job opportunities.
  2. Innovative economic participation opportunities are established.
  3. Enhance the contribution of employment services to increase economic participation.
  4. Government agencies provide employment opportunities to the community.
Economic Participation
Priority 1: Community has access to training that meets their interest and job opportunities
  Activities Agencies Involved (Lead agencies in bold) Timeframe
1.1 Output: Provide opportunities to identify training and job interest and needs of community
1.1a

Undertake an audit of :

  • Skills (focussing on what is available and what is needed as per this Plan e.g. cultural training program requiring community members to be trained in CERT IV)
  • Interest
  • Existing training positions within local services
  • JSA Clients.
  • DEEWR
By December 2010
1.1b

Identify opportunity and feasibility for implementing a Trade Training Centre in Wilcannia and seek to implement recommendations.

  • DEEWR
By June 2011
1.2 Output: Provide access to training that meets their interest and job opportunities
1.2a

Hold business workshops about Introduction to Business.

Where appropriate, ensure engagement with CDEP and JSA.

  • DEEWR
  • I and I
Commence by September 2010
1.2b Provide training in the mining industry as informed by the Audits of 1.1a above. Where appropriate, ensure engagement with CDEP and JSA.
  • DET STS
Commence in January 2011
Priority 2: Innovative economic participation opportunities are established
2.1 Output: Opportunities are provided to the community to increase awareness of available economic participation options
2.1a

Hold an innovative Wilcannia Local Careers and Economic Participation Expo.

Establish a working group that includes CWP representation to plan and deliver this Expo.

Two tiered approach – schools and community (base expo on Economic Participation 1.1b and Schooling 3).

Demonstration projects.

Develop follow up strategies which would include shadowing/mentoring programs.

Use Birth Certificate Program to increase participation.

  • ROC
  • DEEWR (will fund)
  • DET – STS
  • FaHCSIA
  • I and I
By December 2010
2.2 Output: Economic participation opportunities are established
2.2a Explore the opportunities for a viable community owned cooperative to be established that will manage businesses in Wilcannia.
  • ROC
  • DEEWR
  • I and I

Commence viability assessment by

September 2010
2.2b

Review the Enterprise Projects Wilcannia Feasibility Study (June 2006).

Four options have been identified in the initial study:

  • Post Office Project
  • Heritage Trail Project
  • Bush Tucker Project
  • Caravan Park Project.

Include also:

  • Bush Medicine
  • Enhancement of the equipment, management and production of the radio station
  • Food outlet that is open all hours.

As part of review identify lead agencies and/or providers to drive the implementation.

  • DEEWR / DET – School (Co-lead)
  • I and I
  • ROC
Review completed by February 2011
2.2c

Implement bread shop / coffee shop / laundromat / internet café that are community owned enterprises. Link to 2.2a above. Refer to Council Economic Plan.

Where appropriate, ensure engagement with JSA, and linkage to the Indigenous Employment Program initiatives such as preparing for work training and mentoring.

  • DEEWR
  • I and I
  • DET – STS
  • AA NSW
  • CDSC
Once 2.2a is completed
2.2d

Establish a small business enterprise for home maintenance and repairs using the available skilled workers in building trades as identified in the Audit in 1.1a.

Refer to CDSC Economic Strategy.

Where appropriate, ensure engagement with CDEP and JSA, and linkage to the Indigenous Employment Program initiatives such as preparing for work training and mentoring.

  • DEEWR
  • CWP
  • ROC
  • CDSC
Commence the work by September 2010
2.2e Explore the viability of establishing a Shearing School, using the Brewarrina experience as mentors – at Winteriga Station.
  • DEEWR
  • LALC Administrator
  • ILC
  • DET – STS
  • FaHCSIA
  • Private AgriBusiness Industry
By December 2010
2.2f

Support the establishment of the community garden to ensure it is a cohesive initiative. Investigate opportunities provided at James Street and Central School Ag plot, with the purpose of having fresh fruit and veg available for the community. Create training and employment opportunities around this enterprise.

Where appropriate, ensure engagement with JSA, and linkage to the Indigenous Employment Program initiatives such as preparing for work training and mentoring.

  • ROC
  • DEEWR
  • DoHA
  • Maari Ma
  • CDEP
  • Central School
Commence by September 2010
2.2g

Identify opportunities for Indigenous Employment Program projects based on skills audit of 1.1a.

Where appropriate, ensure engagement with CDEP and JSA, and linkage to the Indigenous Employment Program initiatives such as preparing for work training and mentoring.

  • DEEWR

Commence immediately on completion of

skills audit
2.2h Revisit the feasibility study into Yoebel Station with a view to utilising it as a sport and recreation facility or as an ag plot to grow fruit and veg to supply Wilcannia, Menindee, BH, White Cliffs etc.
  • I and I
  • Wilcannia LALC
  • CWP
  • I and I -Agriculture NSW
  • I and I - DPI
Commence July 2010
2.2i

Support the implementation of the Reconciliation Park.

Where appropriate, ensure engagement with CDEP and JSA, and linkage to the Indigenous Employment Program initiatives such as preparing for work training and mentoring.

  • FaHCSIA
  • CWP
  • CDSC
Commence in September 2010
2.2j

Re-establish the brick making facility in Wilcannia – bring back the machine from Condobolin to Wilcannia.

Where appropriate, ensure engagement with CDEP and JSA, and linkage to the Indigenous Employment Program initiatives such as preparing for work training and mentoring.

  • Administrator WLALC
  • Aboriginal Affairs NSW
  • NSWALC
Commence action in July 2010
2.2k

Identify opportunities in cultural tourism. e.g. emu nest hunting.

Identify whether it could be a possible CDEP project.

Where appropriate, ensure engagement with CDEP and JSA, and linkage to the Indigenous Employment Program initiatives such as preparing for work training and mentoring.

  • Sport & Recreation NSW
  • Tourism NSW
  • FaHCSIA
  • CWP
  • CDSC
Commence as part of 1.1a and 2.2a
2.2l

Support economic enterprise for the Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda.

Where appropriate, ensure engagement with CDEP and JSA, and linkage to the Indigenous Employment Program initiatives such as preparing for work training and mentoring.

  • DEEWR
  • I and I
Commence July 2010
2.2m Horticultural strategy as a youth diversionary strategy including the establishment of a garden and linking to training opportunities and CDEP options. Link to 2.2f above.
  • GWAHS
  • CDEP
  • FaHCSIA
Commence with 2.2f
2.2n Establish apprenticeships rather than traineeships in all local, state and commonwealth jobs in Wilcannia. Shire to particularly focus on supporting Aboriginal people to participate in apprenticeships not just in the trades, but also in management services.
  • ROC
  • CDSC
  • DET
  • NSW Police
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
 
2.2o Participants from Indigenous Youth Mobility program are supported to enter into the workforce.
  • DEEWR
Ongoing
Priority 3: Enhance the contribution of employment services to increase economic participation
3.1 Output: Employment services are integrated
3.1a Review the service level agreement between JSAs and CDEP Providers.
  • FaHCSIA
  • DEEWR
Immediately
3.1b FaHCSIA / DEEWR joint meetings with JSAs, CWPs, local Aboriginal organisations and councils to increase participation rates and extend training opportunities linked to local business activities. There is a drive to increase private sector work experience.
  • FaHCSIA
  • DEEWR
  • CWP
  • Local Aboriginal organisations
Immediately
3.2 Output: Implement CDEP Community Action Plans
3.2a Uncle Ray Hunter Park – up to 10 participants will be involved in the beautification of Uncle Ray Hunter Memorial Park (URHMP), also general repairs and maintenance to the River Walk Trail. FaHCSIA / Griffith Skills Ongoing
3.2b Provide appropriate facilities for CDEP services FaHCSIA / Griffith Skills By December 2010
3.2c CDEP participants access a range of training opportunities: including Certificate II Horticulture, personal health, finance, numeracy and literacy training.
Link to training opportunities in Healthy Homes.
FaHCSIA / Griffith Skills Ongoing
Priority 4: Government agencies provide employment opportunities to the community
4.1 Output: Government agencies provide employment opportunities to the community
4.1a Government agencies introduce apprenticeships (already agreed to in the Indigenous Economic Participation NP).
  • All agencies
  • ROC to monitor and report
Commence July 2010
4.1b When implementing services, government agencies to include within funding agreement that service providers are to have local trainees working alongside skilled workers.
  • All agencies
  • ROC to monitor and report
Ongoing
4.1c Include in contract clauses with Building and Trade Sector the requirement to employ local Aboriginal workers in keeping with Aboriginal participation in Construction Guidelines for NSW.
  • All agencies
  • ROC to monitor and report
Commence 1 July 2010

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

5.4 Health

COAG targets

  • Closing the life expectancy gap within a generation.
  • Halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade.

What are we trying to achieve (Closing the Gap outcomes)

  • Indigenous Australians and those living in rural and remote areas or on low incomes achieve health outcomes comparable to the broader population.
  • Indigenous people have ready access to suitable and culturally inclusive primary health and preventive services.
  • Indigenous people remain healthy and free of preventable disease.

Closing the Gap outputs

  • Improved quality and coverage of primary health services.
  • Prevention, early detection and management of major chronic diseases.
  • Address key behavioural chronic disease risk factors (e.g. smoking, risky drinking, poor diet and obesity).

Our work needs links to the following frameworks and policy

National

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes
  • COAG National Healthcare Agreement
  • COAG National Disability Agreement
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Hospital and Health Workforce Reform
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Preventative Health

State

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes
  • COAG National Healthcare Agreement COAG National Disability Agreement
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Hospital and Health Workforce Reform
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Preventative Health
  • State Plan:
    • Healthy Communities
    • Stronger Communities

Regional

  • Murdi Paaki Regional Partnership Agreement:
    • Murdi Paaki Health project
    • Strong Women’s project
    • Murdi Paaki Aboriginal Young Leaders project

The National Health and Hospitals Network Agreement

On 20 April 2010, the Commonwealth and all State and Territory Governments (with the exception of Western Australia) agreed to fundamental reforms to restructure and improve the way that health services are funded, operated and delivered. These reforms include the establishment of Local Hospital Networks to run hospitals across the country on a day-to-day basis, and the consolidation of policy and funding responsibility for primary health care and aged care services under the Commonwealth Government.

The implications of the reforms for local and regional services are not yet clear. Over the next twelve months, NSW will work with the Commonwealth to resolve the boundaries of Local Hospital Networks (LHNs) and Medicare Locals (primary health care organisations), determine the final scope of primary health and aged care services to be transferred to the Commonwealth, and how these will operate alongside LHNs.

Priorities – what are we going to focus on?

  1. Comprehensive Health Strategy.
  2. Health Across the Building Blocks
Health
Priority 1: Comprehensive Health Strategy
  Activities Agencies Involved (Lead agencies in bold) Timeframe
1.1 Output: Planned approach, collaboration and coordination across the Wilcannia Health Service System
1.1a Review and strengthen the patient care, referral and discharge planning of Wilcannia community members when they access acute care in BH and Adelaide.
  • DoHA
  • Maari Ma
  • GWAHS
  • RFDS
By September 2010
1.1b Support the transport of the patients (not in patients) to and from BH with medical expertise in the vehicle.
  • DoHA
  • Maari Ma
  • GWAHS
  • ADHC
ASAP
1.1c

Develop responses to key (priority) health issues in Wilcannia including strategies to address gaps in service provision:

  • Chronic disease
  • Sexual health
  • Support for mums (ante natal, birthing and post-natal care and support)
  • Access to birthing accommodation in Broken Hill
  • Mental health and substance misuse
  • Child and adolescent social and emotional well being
  • Improved health literacy to reduce avoidable hospitalisations and chronic illness
  • Discharge planning
  • Aged care
  • Environmental health – food storage – domestic and commercial, animal health management plan, housing repairs
  • Food Security Strategy (including education, access to fresh and affordable produce).

Draw on the Murdi Paaki Health Project to build on the work that has been done over the last four years with respect to chronic disease, social and emotional wellbeing and family wellbeing. Draw on Maari Ma's – Continous Quality Control – Audit of Best Practice in Chronic Disease (ABCD).

Partners and stakeholders relevant to priority issues:

  • Sexual health – GWAHS, Maari Ma, RFDS, Safe Families, DET
  • Young mums – GWAHS, AHO, BHLALC, Maari Ma, Brighter Futures
  • Mental health – GWAHS MHDA, Maari ma SEWB, Murdi Paaki Drug and Alcohol Network (MPDAN), Lifeline, Mission Australia (Reconnect program)
  • Improved health literacy – Maari Ma, GWAHS, RFDS
  • Discharge planning: GWAHS – Broken Hill Hospital, Dubbo Base Hospital, Bloomfield, Maari Ma
  • Aged Care – Housing, Central Darling Shire, HACC – (Ngangana) GWAHS, Maari Ma, DoHA

ROC as driver in partnership with State and Commonwealth agencies

Ongoing
1.1d

Enable re-establishment of x-ray service in Wilcannia Hospital.

  • Identify and train local RN as a remote x-ray operator
  • Liaise with GWAHS Medical Imaging and Broken Hill Hospital to develop and implement process for reading X-rays
  • Replace batteries or upgrade X-ray machine.
  • GWAHS
By September 2010
1.2 Output: Workforce is supported and given professional development opportunities resulting in retention of staff
1.2a

Provide support and access to professional development and training to health staff, e.g:

  • Community health nurses and community health workers to train together
  • Release of health workers to work in / through other services (e.g. mental health workers to work in housing)
  • Shared clinical forums in Wilcannia – e.g. case presentations.
Coordinated case management.
  • Maari Ma
Ongoing
1.2b Support community members to engage in training and employment within the health service system in Wilcannia e.g. Aboriginal Health Worker traineeships.
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
  • CWP
Commence September 2010
1.2c Enhance collaboration between Area Health Service and Maari Ma in accessing medical assets e.g. telemedicine facilities available to Maari Ma in Wilcannia.
  • ROC
  • GWAHS
  • Maari Ma
Ongoing
Priority 2: Health Across the Building Blocks
2.1 Output: That health strategies are incorporated into Early Childhood
2.1a

Early Childhood Priorities: 1; 4

Early Childhood Activities: 1.1a – 1.4a; 4.1a-4.3a
2.2 Output: That health strategies are incorporated into Schooling
2.2a

Schooling Priorities: 1; 2; 3

Schooling Activities: 1.1e; 1.3c; 1.3d; 2.1d; 2.3c; 2.3d; 3.1b
2.3 Output: That health strategies are incorporated into Economic Participation
2.3a

Economic Participation Priorities: 1; 2; 3

Economic Participation Activities: 1.1a; 1.1b; 2.1a; 2.2d; 3.1a; 3.1b
2.4 Output: That health strategies are incorporated into Safe Communities
2.4a

Safe Communities Priorities: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5

Safe Communities Activities: 1.1c; 1.3a; 2.2b; 2.3a; 2.3b; 2.3c; 3.1a; 3.1b; 4.1c; 5.1a; 6.1a
2.5 Output: That health strategies are incorporated into Healthy Homes
2.5a

Healthy Homes Priorities: 1; 2; 3

Healthy Homes Activities: 1.1a; 1.1b; 1.1c; 1.1e; 1.4; 2.2a; 2.3; 2.4; 3.1

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

5.5 Healthy Homes

COAG targets

  • Closing the life expectancy gap within a generation.
  • Halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade.

What are we trying to achieve (Closing the Gap outcomes)

  • Indigenous children’s living environments are healthy.
  • Indigenous families live in appropriate housing with access to all basic utilities.
  • Indigenous people have improved housing amenity and reduced overcrowding, particularly in remote areas and discrete communities.
  • Indigenous people have the same housing opportunities as other people.

COAG outputs

  • Address overcrowding and environmental health through: maintenance and repair of existing housing.
  • Increased stock of social housing and private rentals.
  • Home ownership assistance.

Our work needs links to the following frameworks and policy

National

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing
  • COAG National Affordable Housing Agreement
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness

State

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing
  • COAG National Affordable Housing Agreement
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness
  • State Plan:
    • Healthy communities
    • Green State
    • Stronger Aboriginal Communities
    • AHO Build and Grow
    • NSW Housing, Social and Community Housing

Regional

  • Murdi Paaki Regional Partnership Agreement:
    • Murdi Paaki Housing

Priorities – what are we going to focus on?

  1. Healthy Homes.
  2. Suitable Homes (in response to overcrowding).
  3. Serviced and maintained community.
Healthy Homes
Priority 1: Healthy Homes
  Activities Agencies Involved (Lead agencies in bold) Timeframe
1.1 Output: Individuals and community have capacity for ongoing maintenance of a healthy home
1.1a Deliver a home maintenance (covering safe maintenance tasks) skills program / course.

Develop and deliver a basic course in minor maintenance in Wilcannia.

Under the Tenant Participation Resource Service Program (support for public and social housing tenants), work with Centacare Wilcannia-Forbes to develop and deliver a basic course in minor maintenance in Wilcannia.

  • GWAHS
  • Compass Housing CDSC
  • DET - School
  • DET - STS
Commence By October 2010
1.1b Deliver a tenant support and education program in Wilcannia.
  • AHO
Commence By September 2010
1.1c Review Healthy for Life baselines to focus on health and hygiene, property care and basic living skills.

Identify funding options to deliver a healthy living practice skills program / course.

  • GWAHS
  • CDSC
  • DoHA
  • DET - STS
By October 2010
1.1d Implement financial well-being services
  • FaHCSIA
June 2010 and ongoing
1.1e Establish and deliver healthy home environment services on a fee for service basis for the elderly and people with a disability – ie. build capacity for local people to be skilled in gardening / cleaning / handyperson to deliver these services

If appropriate, link to :

CDEP, JSA clients, and Corrective Services Programs (Parole).

  • Western Institute of TAFE(and providers)
  • ADHC
  • FaHCSIA
  • DEEWR
  • GWAHS
Commence July 2010
1.1f Identify need for, as well as existing skills of local trades people and deliver training in innovative ways in response to needs identified.

Engage CDEP and JSA.

Link to Economic Participation: Skills and Interest Audit.

Identify links to Country Rugby League Model.

Link to Economic Participation: Skills and Interest Audit.

  • DEEWR
  • DET - School
  • I and I
  • Compass Housing
December 2010
1.2 Output: Individuals have access to home ownership options
1.2a Provide information and assistance sessions for community to own their own homes.
  • IBA
Commence August 2010
1.2b Feasibility study into home ownership. Seek to implement recommendations.

Implement whole of community comprehensive home ownership strategy, once labour-force participation is strengthened.

  • IBA
  • ROC
Commence August 2011
1.3 Output: Women and children have access to safe homes
1.3a Implementation of Safe Families program.
  • AANSW
Ongoing (commenced August 2009)
1.4 Output: People living with mental illness are supported in their home
1.4a Investigate extension of Bourke HASI model to Wilcannia for families affected by mental illness. Link to Health: mental illness.
  • Housing NSW
  • Mission Australia
  • Richmond Fellowship
Commence January 2011
Priority 2: Suitable homes (in response to overcrowding)
2.1 Output: Access to appropriate and accurate housing information
2.1a Under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH), build three new houses in 2010-2011 and three new houses in 2011-2012.
  • Housing NSW
  • FaHCSIA
3 – By June 2011 3 – By June 2012
2.1b Under the NPARIH, refurbish 30 houses in 2010- 2011 and 37 houses in 2011-2012.
  • Housing NSW
  • FaHCSIA
30 - By June 2011 37 – By June 2012
2.1c Streamline social housing policy and service delivery in Wilcannia in consultation with the housing providers.
  • AHO
  • WLALC
  • Community housing providers
Ongoing
2.1d Develop and implement policies and a tenant education strategy on housing, rights and responsibilities in relation to rent and tenancies consistent with the Build and Grow Aboriginal Community Housing Strategy.
  • AHO
  • Compass Housing
  • WLALC
Commence August 2010
2.1e Identify repair and maintenance needs and undertake appropriate repairs once the housing providers have met requirements under the Build and Grow Aboriginal Community Housing Strategy.
  • AHO
  • Housing NSW
  • Wilcannia LALC
By December 2010
2.2 Output: Access to appropriate housing, including climate control
2.2a Air-cooling implemented in Wilcannia LALC houses.
  • FaHCSIA
  • DSTA
  • WLALC
  • Compass Housing
Commence September 2010
2.2b Identify strategies to save electricity and reduce electricity bills through the NSW Home Power Savings Program. Explore alternative thermal control features.
  • DECCW
  • DEWHA
  • Compass Housing
Commence September 2010
2.2c Identify repair and maintenance needs and undertake appropriate repairs once the housing providers have met requirements under the Build and Grow Aboriginal Community Housing Strategy.
  • AHO
  • Community housing providers
  • FaHCSIA
Ongoing
2.2d Feasibility study of alternate power supplies for Wilcannia (renewable energy sources). Seek to implement recommendations.
  • ROC
Feasibility Study by December 2011
2.3 Output: Strategies to reduce overcrowding
2.3a Identify housing need in relation to overcrowding and develop actions to address needs for different population groups; young people, elderly, those affected by domestic violence.

Access and incorporate best practice methodology being developed under the Overcrowding Project for Bourke and Coonamble (developed under the Homelessness National Plan).

The competitive bids process for capital funding under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH) for 2011-11 and 2011-12 requires jurisdictions to include provision for RSD communities in their bids. The outcome of this process will be announced end June, at which time further information will be available on housing investment strategies for Wilcannia under the NPARIH.

  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
  • Housing NSW (Policy and Strategy and Homelessness Unit)
  • Community Services NSW

Survey completed by the Safe House

Consultation with AHO and Housing NSW to be organised by Aboriginal Affairs NSW ASAP.

2.4 Output: Elders are cared for in an appropriate setting
2.4a Work with community to identify different options for Elders accommodation. Undertake feasibility study into preferred options and seek to implement.
  • ROC
  • AHO
  • NSW Housing
  • NSW Health
  • AHL
By June 2011
Priority 3: Serviced and maintained community
3.1 Output: Access to essential services
3.1a Support the fencing of the airstrip.
  • ROC
  • DITRDLG
By September 2010
3.1b Examine the findings of the MES Audit report and develop options for implementing appropriate responses where required.
  • DPC
  • FaHCSIA
December 2011
3.1c Establish community transport system using existing resources. For example, school buses available for hire during the hours it is not being used for school purposes.

Review conditions placed on buses funded by agencies so that their use for community purposes is possible.

Audit of all buses / bus services in Wilcannia with a view to improving availability and developing appropriate strategies to address the same. Deliver driver (car and bus) training in Wilcannia.

  • Transport NSW
  • ROC
  • All agencies who fund transport
By September 2010
3.1d Public transport to Broken Hill is addressed to support the health and wellbeing needs of Wilcannia, including the attachment of a mobile cooler to the bus (link to Health – Food Security). Investigate subsidies for private operators.
  • Transport NSW (Aboriginal Project and Liaison Officer)
By June 2011
3.1e Seek to replace weir.
  • DPC
Ongoing
3.1f Review of the postal service to make it more effective (audit of the services provided by the agent by Australia Post to see if the agency meets with the policies of Australia Post).
  • ROC
  • CWP
By December 2010
3.2 Output: Beautification of Wilcannia
3.2a Develop and implement a beautification project in Wilcannia (link it to youth activities and Child and Family Friendly Places activity).
  • CDSC
  • ROC
  • Community
By September 2010
3.2b Whole of community approach to look after our community assets – facilities and sporting grounds.
  • CDSC
  • Community
  • CDEP
Ongoing
3.2c Increase seating on the streets.
  • CDSC
  • ROC
  • CDEP
By June 2011

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

5.6 Safe Communities

COAG targets

  • Closing the life expectancy gap within a generation.
  • Halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade.
  • Halving the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates by 2020.
  • Halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

What are we trying to achieve (Closing the Gap outcomes)

  • Indigenous children and families are safe and protected from violence and neglect in their home and communities.
  • Alcohol and other drug abuse among Indigenous people is overcome.
  • Breaking cycles of criminal behaviour and violence normalisation.

Closing the Gap outputs

  • Addressing alcohol/substance abuse and harm through prevention, diversion and treatment service.
  • Mental health treatment that is culturally sensitive, in liaison with substance abuse and criminal justice services.
  • Healthy living programs focusing on harmful/hazardous consumption of alcohol and smoking cessation.
  • Support youth at risk of contact with justice system.

We need to work within the following policy and strategic frameworks

National

  • COAG National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children
  • COAG National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children
  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery

State

  • COAG National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children
  • Keep Them Safe
  • Regional Violence Prevention Strategy
  • NSW Attorney General’s:
    • Aboriginal justice groups
    • Youth conferencing
    • Circle Sentencing
    • Corrections NSW - probation and parole services to reduce recidivism

Regional

  • Murdi Paaki Regional Partnership Agreement:
    • Law and Justice sub group
    • Men’s Yarn Ups
    • Strong Women’s group
    • Murdi Paaki Aboriginal young Leaders

Priorities – what are we going to focus on?

  1. Elders are to be supported.
  2. Healing For Women-Back to the Bush.
  3. Healing for Men-Back to the Bush.
  4. Coordinated approach to addressing community safety.
  5. Children.
  6. Youth.
  7. Reconciliation.
Safe Communities
Priority 1: Elders are supported
  Activities Agencies Involved (Lead agencies in bold) Timeframe
1.1 Output: Elders group is established and supported to function effectively
1.1a Establish the Elders group.
  • ROC
  • CWP
  • Elders
By September 2010
1.1b Specific assistance that supports Elders to be involved in community activities.
  • ROC
  • ADHC
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
  • WLALC
Ongoing
1.2 Output: Elders are respected and their knowledge and skills respectfully used by community and agencies
1.2a Assist Elders in developing and implementing a plan of action that captures their aspirations for the Wilcannia community.
  • ROC
  • Elders
  • DEEWR
  • DEWHA
  • DECCW
  • WLALC
By March 2011
1.3 Output: Elders are provided opportunities to increase their capacity to work with their community
1.3a Bush gatherings between Elders, Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda, Wilcannia Women’s Group: Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi and the Young Leaders.
  • ROC
  • DECCW
  • DEWHA
From September 2010
1.3b Specific assistance that supports Elders to be involved and lead the men, women, and young people forward.
  • Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda & Elder’s Group
Ongoing
Priority 2: Healing for Women – Back to the Bush
2.1 Output: Women have access to women’s gatherings and yarn-ups
2.1a Engage a female co-ordinator three days a week to facilitate the Healing Strategy, based at Safe House (Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi – Ny-unga Moo-roopa Mu-ra Ma Koo-loo-yi).
  • ROC
  • Strong Women’s Project
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
  • WLALC
Ongoing
2.1b Plan and provide access to women’s gatherings and yarn-ups in bush settings.

ROC with contribution from:

  • DECCW
  • ADHC
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
Commence by December 2010
2.2 Output: Women are provided with opportunities to tell their story
2.2a Women are supported to document their history, both oral and visual with the support of the Elders.
  • DECCW
  • DEWHA
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi ADHC
  • CDSC
  • DET – School
  • LOCAL AECG
  • Wilcannia News, River Radio
  • WLALC
Commence December 2010
2.2b Work in partnership with the school to support the children to be involved in the history project.
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
  • DET – School
  • CDSC
  • AECG
  • WLALC
From December 2010
2.3 Output: Provide opportunities to strengthen the bond between mothers and daughters
2.3a Discussion in supportive environment about sexual health and reproduction and personal care (self-esteem). Link to Early Childhood: 2.3 Supporting Families’ and parents’/caregivers’ strategies to reduce teenage pregnancy.
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
  • Maari Ma
  • GWAHS
  • DET – School
  • LOCAL AECG
Ongoing
2.3b Build on healing therapy through arts and crafts, massage and pampering days.
  • ROC
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
 
Priority 3: Healing for Men – Back to the Bush
3.1 Output: Structure for Men’s Gathering is established
3.1a Engage male co-ordinator three days a week to facilitate the Men’s Healing and other strategies including an employment strategy, to be based at the proposed Transition House (funded under the NP RIH). In the interim, a place needs to be identified.
  • ROC
  • WLALC
  • Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda
By December 2010
3.1b Establish a gathering place for men.
  • ROC
  • WLALC
  • Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda
  • CDSC
By June 2011
3.1c Investigate a cultural business enterprise with the Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda.
  • ROC
  • Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda
By December 2010
3.2 Output: Men are provided opportunities to get back to land
3.2a Opportunities are provided including bush tucker, story telling, learning survival tactics in bush settings.
  • DEWHA
  • DECCW
  • Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda, Wilcannia Women’s Group: Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi, Elders Group, Young Leaders
By December 2011
3.2b Access and visits to successful healing programs to develop ideas that support the Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda in working with their community.
  • ROC
Ongoing
3.3 Output: Opportunities are provided for men and women to get together to move forward with regards to domestic violence
3.3a Men’s Group take a stand against violence in families, in sport and in the community.
  • Men’s Group
ASAP
Priority 4: Coordinated approach to addressing community safety
4.1 Output: Develop a plan which includes a coordinated approach to addressing safety by building on the Wilcannia Crime Prevention Plan as well as national, state, regional and local frameworks and plans to develop a coordinated whole of community, community safety plan
4.1a

Establish a Working Group that would include:

  • Community Working Party
  • Safe Families Local Aboriginal Reference Group
  • Central Darling Shire Council
  • Youth Wings Drop in Centre
  • Police
  • Communities NSW
  • Community Services NSW
  • ADHC
  • DPC
  • Department of Juvenile
  • Justice Department of Health
  • Department of Corrective Services
  • Department of Education and Training (including Principals)
  • Department of Health and Ageing
  • DPC
  • FaHCSIA (in relation to National Frameworks on Violence Against Woman and Children and Protecting Australia’s Children)
  • Department of Justice and Attorney General NSW
  • Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department
  • Community Housing Providers
  • Brighter Futures Provider – Mission Australia
  • Wilcannia LALC
  • Maari Ma (Research into violence)
  • Safe House (Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi).
  • ROC
By September 2010 have the first meeting. Planning workshop held by December 2010, with plan confirmed by February 2010.
4.1b

Key Issues to be addressed in the Community Plan include:

  • Policing (community policing that is visible, regular and responsive)
  • Safe House Project
  • Night Patrols – review different models of night patrols
  • Young People
  • Substance abuse reduction strategies and management (including addressing a cooling-down accommodation for men)
  • Adult offenders (focus on rehab and reintegration into the community)
  • Family violence
  • Child protection (Brighter Futures, Keeping Them Safe Program, Safe Families, development of a specific Child Sexual Assault Prevention Plan)
  • Integrated service system
  • Safety Audit
  • Whole of community education and awareness campaign.
  As above
4.1c Implement plan.
  • All agencies
  • CDSC
  • Community
From Plan adoption – March 2011
4.2 Output: Address violence in the community
4.2a Men, women and young people get together to move forward with regards to domestic violence. Develop a Community Safety Strategy. Build on Journey to Respect initiative, Tackling Violence.
  • Regional Violence Specialist (NSW Police)
  • Community Services NSW
  • NSW Juvenile Justice
Ongoing
4.2b

Continue to support the police in implementing the Liquor Accord.

Review the structure of Bourke’s Alcohol Working Group.

  • CWP
  • CDSC
  • NSW Office of Liquor Gaming & Racing
  • Murdi Paaki D and A Network
  • NSW Police
  • NSW Juvenile Justice
  • Mission Australia (Reconnect)
  • Lifeline
Ongoing
4.2c Make Wilcannia a violence free community – Develop strategy and include strategies to raise awareness and education.
  • CWP
  • Community
  • CDSC
  • Services
Commence by August 2010
4.2d Maintain sporting facilities so that sporting groups have a home and community have facilities to congregate and play at (e.g. ensure that the Wilcannia Boomerangs have a proud home).
  • CDSC
  • ROC
Ongoing
Priority 5: Children
5.1 Output: Access to services and supports that prevent child sexual assault and for victims of child sexual assault
5.1a Keep Them Safe Program – ensure linkages are made to other programs / services.
  • DPC – Keeping Them Safe coordinator
Ongoing
5.1b Safe Families Program – ensure linkages are made to other programs / services.
  • Safe Families Program
  • Safe Families Local Aboriginal Reference Group
Ongoing
5.1c Establishing community driven strategies to raise awareness of preventing child abuse and neglect. Link to Early Childhood Parenting Strategy.
  • Safe Families
  • Community Services NSW
  • DET - School
  • FaHCSIA
Ongoing
Priority 6: Youth
6.1 Output: A sustainable business plan for Wings Youth Drop-In Centre
6.1a

Develop a sustainable business plan for Wings Youth Drop-In Centre (WINGS) to ensure it provides support for the community addressing:

  • Operating hours;
  • Staffing;
  • Finances;
  • Volunteer models;
  • Identify community resources available to support the plan;
  • Link to school’s holistic model of education for young people.

Need to discuss a sustainable funding option by reviewing different options of funding WINGS (currently funded under SAAP but may need to be reviewed under a different model).

  • ROC
  • DEEWR
  • FaHCSIA
  • Community Services NSW
  • Maari Ma
  • DET
  • LOCAL AECG
  • Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi
  • CDSC
Commence September 2010
6.1b Implement the business plan.   From completion of 6.1a
6.2 Output: Youth diversionary activities
6.2a

Review of sport and recreational activities and identify options for a regional sports competition, including structured activities at the pool and other facilities.

Explore feasibility of skate park, BMX bike tracks, canteen at pool, and an after hours food outlet to support children and young people getting snacks after hours (link to Economic Participation – 2.2b) etc.

Seek to implement recommendations.

  • Central Darling Shire Council
  • NSW Sport and Recreation for expert advice
  • DoHA (Indigenous Sport and Recreation Program)
 
6.2b Parenting through sport – with CRL and netball and other such strategies.
  • NSW Sport and Recreation
Commence from September 2010
6.2c Investigate and implement midnight basketball.
  • ROC
  • FaHCSIA
  • Tourism NSW
Commence, if feasible, from September 2010
6.2d

Diversionary activities under different Building Blocks:

  • Horticultural strategy (Economic Participation Building Block).
  • After schools activities that leverage health, sport and recreation funding and Schools National Partnership funding and are tied to school attendance (Schooling Building Block).
  • As identified in relevant Building Blocks
As identified in the relevant Building Blocks
6.3 Output: Address youth substance abuse including petrol sniffing
6.3a Implement the Petrol Sniffing Report recommendations (Report to CWP at July 2010 meeting).
  • ROC
  • Maari Ma
From August 2010
6.3b Ensure that 5.1 addresses substance abuse strategies for youth.
  • ROC
  • Murdi Paaki D&A Network
  • GWAHS
Ongoing
6.4 Output: Murdi Paaki Young Leaders Program is supported
6.4a Actively engage young people in the Murdi Paaki Young Leaders program.
  • ROC
  • DEEWR
  • FaHCSIA
Ongoing
Priority 7: Reconciliation
7.1 Output: A healthy, strong community
7.1a Re -establish the Reconciliation Group.
  • ROC
 
7.1b Develop and implement a community driven Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • ROC
 

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]

5.7 Governance and Leadership

COAG targets

  • Halving the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates by 2020.
  • Close the gap in life expectancy within a generation.
  • Halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade.
  • Ensuring all Indigenous four-year olds in remote communities have access to early childhood education within five years.
  • Halving the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for Indigenous children within a decade.
  • Halving the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 equivalent attainment by 2020.
  • Halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

What are we trying to achieve (Closing the Gap outcomes)

  • Indigenous communities are empowered to participate in policy making and program implementation.
  • Indigenous communities are represented through credible consultation/governance mechanism.
  • Connecting the way government agencies work in remote areas (the governance of governments) and developing community capacity.

Closing the Gap outputs

Strong community governance which through engagement with governments makes a difference for the Aboriginal people of Wilcannia.

Our work needs links to the following frameworks and policy

National

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery

State

  • COAG National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery
  • State Plan:
    • Stronger Communities
  • NSW Partnership Community Program Project Officers
  • Western Institute of TAFE governance training

Regional

  • Murdi Paaki Regional Partnership Agreement
    • Murdi Paaki Regional
    • Assembly
    • Community Working Parties
    • Strong Women’s Group
    • Murdi Paaki Aboriginal young Leaders

Local

  • Central Darling Shire Council Social Plan 2004-09

Priorities – what are we going to focus on?

  1. Governance
  2. Leadership
Governance and Leadership
Priority 1: Governance
  Activities Agencies Involved (Lead agencies in bold) Timeframe
1.1 Output: Community Working Party is recognised and functions as the local community representative body
1.1a Provide support and capacity building opportunities to the CWP as required.
  • ROC
Ongoing
1.1b Governance and leadership training for CWP and community members to occur regularly.
  • ROC
Ongoing
1.1c CWP is formally recognised as the Community Governance Body under the Partnership Community program.
  • CWP
  • ROC
By June 30th 2010
1.2 Output: Government agencies and service providers recognise the Community Working Party, its structures and protocols
1.2a Development of clear structure and robust protocols for the CWP and disseminate to government agencies and service providers.
  • CWP
  • ROC
By June 30th 2010
1.2b All government employees and service provider employees complete cultural competency training specific to Wilcannia. There will be local cultural trainers employed to do the training by TAFE/RTO.
  • ROC
  • CWP
  • DET-STS
  • FaHCSIA
Ongoing
1.2c All government funding agreements include a deliverable that service providers must work within the structures of Remote Service Delivery, including participating in working groups and referral systems as established by the CWP.
  • ROC
  • All agencies
  • CWP
Ongoing
1.3 Output: The Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) has access to supports to increase their capacity to become a functional body
1.3a Establishment of a Board for Wilcannia LALC.
  • NSWALC
  • WLALC Administrator
  • Community
By December 2010
1.3b Provision of governance training for the Board and community members.
  • NSWALC
  • DET - STS
Ongoing
1.3c Support the efforts of the Wilcannia community to make its land council a strong and effective organisation.
  • WLALC Membership
  • WLALC Board
  • NSWALC
  • ROC
Ongoing
1.4 Output: Aboriginal agencies have access to supports to increase their capacity to operate efficiently and effectively
1.4a Provide sustainable governance training to Aboriginal organisations. (Link to 1.1b above).
  • ORIC
  • DET - STS
  • FaHCSIA
Ongoing
1.5 Output: Interagency group is a strong cohesive group with a strong relationship with the Community Working Party
1.5a Provide support and capacity building opportunities to the Interagency Group as required.
  • ROC
Interagency group established by September 2010 and then ongoing
1.5b Develop engagement and collaboration between Interagency and CWP.
  • ROC
  • CWP
  • Interagency
From September 2010
Priority 2: Leadership
2.1 Output: Support the critical role of Elders in the community
2.1a Specific assistance that supports Elders to be involved in Healing Activities. Link to Safe Communities.
  • ROC
Commence 1 July 2010
2.1b Activities that increase the profile and awareness of all Elders in the Wilcannia community enabling increased participation of all Elders in community. Link to Safe Communities.
  • ROC
  • ADHC
Commence 1 July 2010 and ongoing
2.1c Support Elders to network in the region, strengthening connections across the communities in the region - based on advice from the Elders.
  • ROC
  • ADHC
Commence 1 July 2010 and ongoing
2.2 Output: Young people have access to leadership capacity building opportunities
2.2a Actively engage young people in the Murdi Paaki Young Leaders program. Link to Schooling and Safe Communities.
  • ROC
  • DEEWR
  • FaHCSIA
  • DET - School
Ongoing
2.2b Actively engage young people to participate in the Indigenous Youth Leadership program and the Indigenous Youth Mobility program
  • DEEWR
  • ROC
  • DET - School
 
2.3 Output: Support targeted community groups
2.3a Support targeted community groups for example Wilcannia Men’s Group: Wiimpatja Maali Yaparrda, Wilcannia Women’s Group: Nunga Muurpa Maari Maa Kulyi, Elders Group and Young Leaders.
  • ROC
  • FaHCSIA
Ongoing
2.4 Output: Celebrate good news stories
2.4a Support the Wilcannia News to be a strong voice of the community celebrating successes and engaging with services to make a difference in Wilcannia.
  • ROC
  • CWP
  • Wilcannia News
  • CDSC
Ongoing

[ Return to Top   Return to Section ]


Content Updated: 17 July 2013