Starting to put a strategy in place
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.