FRC ex­tended an­other year

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

THE Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has ex­tended the Fam­i­lies Re­spon­si­bil­i­ties Com­mis­sion an­other year to con­tinue to change lives and em­power Moss­man Gorge com­mu­nity mem­bers.

The com­mis­sion aims to re­store so­cially re­spon­si­ble stan­dards of be­hav­iour and as­sist com­mu­nity mem­bers to main­tain re­spon­si­bil­ity for the well­be­ing for all in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity.

The trial has been go­ing in the four Cape York com­mu­ni­ties, Arukun, Hope Vale, Coen and Moss­man and within the Moss­man Gorge com­mu­nity there are sev­eral com­mis­sion­ers, in­clud­ing Karen Gib­son.

“FRC is ba­si­cally de­signed for fight­ing fire with fire, lo­cal com­mis­sion­ers are from here or have fam­ily here and you can’t get away with things in a small com­mu­nity,” she said.

“Be­ing a com­mis­sioner is a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity, you could be ca­pa­ble of mak­ing

FRC com­mis­sioner Karen Gib­son en­e­mies with fam­ily mem­bers but also could make stronger re­la­tions with fam­ily mem­bers.

“You don’t want to hurt them be­cause they’re your fam­ily and as a com­mis­sioner we ac­knowl­edge that and at the same time take re­spon­si­bil­ity and stand up and say­ing that’s wrong, that’s right.”

Ms Gib­son de­scribed be­ing a com­mis­sioner as be­ing a role model for other mem­bers of the Moss­man Gorge com­mu­nity and this is the next step in the FRC in­ter­ven­tion - to em­power in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies to as­sume re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

The trial started in 2008 and this year the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has again sup­ported the ground-break­ing re­form al­lo­cat­ing $15.8 mil­lion.

FRC com­mis­sioner David Glas­gow said the next step for the FRC in the Moss­man Gorge com­mu­nity is to con­tinue progress on the is­sues of school at­ten­dance and sub­stance abuse.

“Moss­man com­mu­nity is fairly vi­able and has had this huge cap­i­tal in­vest­ment in the Gate­way project and we’ve been work­ing hard to make sure all jobs avail­able are of­fered to the lo­cal peo­ple first,” Mr Glas­gow said.

“We’ve worked very hard to get peo­ple out of old habits and mak­ing sure the over-con­sump­tion of al­co­hol and drug use for some peo­ple in these com­mu­ni­ties is over­come with in­come man­age­ment.

“There has been an im­prove­ment and school at­ten­dance is very good out there, they know the rules and get their kids to school.

“The lo­cal peo­ple are tak­ing con­trol and man­ag­ing their own af­fairs - they have some in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sions with their own peo­ple but are strong enough and don’t put up with any non­sense these days.”

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