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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 1 Hansard (11 February) . .

Page.. 258..


Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders—grants programs

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Minister, can you inform the Assembly about the ACT government's grants available to members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community?

DR BOURKE: I thank Ms Porter for her interest in this matter. The ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agreement 2015-18, which was signed in April last year, sets out quality of life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans, including the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, creating self-confidence and self-esteem, and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are fully engaged in lifelong learning and positive generational experiences.

The ACT government offers a wide range of grants for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans. ACT government grants have been provided for funding for a broad range of areas, including to support the cost of education and training, to build leadership skills and provide leadership opportunities, for the provision of sports and arts programs, and inclusion and cultural projects.

In particular, the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs manages the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grants programs. There are three programs: the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership grants program; the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural grants program; and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarship grants program. These programs provide grants for the promotion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and leadership, as well as providing scholarships to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans who are undertaking further studies or vocational training.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups have received financial support to run high-profile events such as the Indigenous showcase, which is a popular part of the annual National Multicultural Festival—and a must-see for this coming weekend—leadership programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young women, legal services, and job expos. These grants have given community members the financial support needed to take part in once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as attending the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York, attending a cultural exchange program in the USA, taking part in the Australian foreign school exchange program to Japan, and completing a PhD.

These grants programs demonstrate the ACT government's commitment, through the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agreement 2015-18, to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to develop a range of opportunities, knowledge and skills to build an empowered, resilient and sustainable future.

Applications for ACT government grants are being streamlined for applicants by providing an online application process, with easy access to application criteria and support documents. More information can be found on the ACT government's SmartyGrants website.


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