Start­ing to put a strat­egy in place

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

Lo­cals had the chance to have their say on is­sues af­fect­ing the lo­cal abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity for a new strate­gic ap­proach.

A two day fo­rum was held last month with lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers dis­cussing hous­ing, law and jus­tice, cul­ture, health and liv­ing.

More than 30 peo­ple from lo­cal indige­nous ser­vice providers, as well as mem­bers of the lo­cal indige­nous com­mu­nity at­tended the fo­rum, which was or­gan­ised by Werk­itya Kul­pal De­niliquin Abo­rig­i­nal Com­mu­nity Work­ing Party and Rive­rina Mur­ray Re­gional Al­liance (RMRA) del­e­gate Karen Wil­son.

‘‘It is im­por­tant there are op­por­tu­ni­ties for the De­niliquin abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity to iden­tify lo­cal is­sues, pri­ori­tise those is­sues and de­velop strate­gic ac­tions to ad­dress them across mat­ters that af­fect their lives,’’ Ms Wil­son said.

‘‘Lots of great work was started at the fo­rum where we iden­ti­fied pri­or­i­ties for the three fo­cus sub-groups for our com­mu­nity work­ing party.

‘‘The next phase is to con­firm the mem­ber­ship of the sub-groups and to set up the meet­ing times for these groups to kick off at the start of Fe­bru­ary.’’

The first sub-group will be for hous­ing — which looks into stream­lin­ing pro­cesses as well as ed­u­ca­tion and en­gage­ment for the com­mu­nity and ten­ants.

The law and jus­tice sub-group in­volves cul­tural strength­en­ing and iden­tity, life skills and ed­u­ca­tion, and men­tor­ing and peer sup­port; while the cul­ture, health and heal­ing sub-group will fo­cus on el­ders, ser­vice map­ping and cul­tural com­pe­tency.

‘‘To move for­ward we need a solid group to lead this plan­ning and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the iden­ti­fied ac­tions,’’ Ms Wil­son said.

‘‘Any­one not at the fo­rum is wel­come to join a sub-group and work with us on the iden­ti­fied pri­or­i­ties and ac­tions.

‘‘The ini­tial work has been started so each group will start the year with a set of pri­or­i­ties and ac­tions out of the fo­rum.

‘‘Each sub-group will re­ceive a draft ac­tion tem­plate that will guide their pur­pose.

‘‘Over­all the fo­rum was a mas­sive suc­cess.

‘‘It was great to see non-indige­nous and indige­nous peo­ple work­ing to­gether and see­ing both sides of is­sues in our com­mu­nity.

‘‘We went away feel­ing we achieved a lot from the fo­rum.’’

(From left) Liti­cia Ross, Nigel Smith, Tony O’Hal­lo­ran, Karen Wil­son, Dean Heta, Stephen Charles, Justin Noel, David Crew and Lenore Jones at the fo­rum.

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