26 September 2023

Pilot project on the path to equality

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A State-first Closing the Gap pilot project has been launched to identify how best to roll out priority programs like health, housing, and early childhood in First Nations communities.

The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships is to run the pilot in Doomadgee ahead of the Government’s Path to Treaty launch on 16 August.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Craig Crawford said the Government’s approach placed First Nations people at the centre of decision-making.

“We recognise that a shift in how we develop and implement Government policies and programs was needed to ensure significant improvements in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Mr Crawford said.

“Implementing these priority reforms is the key to achieving the 17 ambitious socio-economic targets to improve social and emotional well-being.”

Mayor of Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council, Jason Ned said his community looked forward to taking a lead role in Government service reform.

“Our communities are best-placed to determine what they need to improve social, health, housing, employment and economic outcomes, so it is sensible that this process is community-led,” Councillor Ned said.

“Our priorities for the local community align with the Closing the Gap priority outcomes of health, housing, disability, early childhood as well as children and justice.”

Traditional Owner and Doomadgee Elder, Barry Walden said the main purpose was that Doomadgee should be at the front rather than being left behind.

“The solidarity coming from a local unified approach between the Cultural Authority and Government builds the desire for more success,’’ Mr Walden (pictured) said.

“The steps towards self-reliance, to self-governance and then onto sovereignty, start here with self-determination. This announcement brings us that one step closer.”

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