FRC extended another year
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.”