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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1374 ..

an Aboriginal liaison officer within Bimberi. Can the minister please advise if there is an officially identified Aboriginal liaison officer working at Bimberi?

MS BURCH: We do prepare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children that are in care and protection. We have an Aboriginal liaison position at Bimberi that focuses on the residents and the residents’ needs. There is staff training. Indeed, all people involved with youth justice at Bimberi are prepared in relation to dealing with Aboriginal and Torres Strait people, in dealing with their cultural issues, and appropriate supports are offered. There is a departmental liaison officer there.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary?

MS HUNTER: Thank you. Minister, given there are also concerns regarding the funds allocated towards this position within the overall Bimberi budget, is there a specific allocation of funding for this position and, if so, is it being used for the purpose of working with other Aboriginal organisations and the delivery of culturally appropriate programs within Bimberi?

MS BURCH: I would have to take some advice on the particular budget line or cost line for that position, but certainly the Aboriginal liaison officer works with other services, and service relationships have been established with the Aboriginal Justice Centre, local Indigenous service agencies and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services unit within the Office of Children, Youth and Family Support. So it is around working not only within Bimberi but the services that relate to Bimberi and are connected on a referral basis when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are indeed not in Bimberi and back in the community.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, can you describe how young people are referred to the Aboriginal liaison officer within Bimberi and how the community is given information about this position?

MS BURCH: I do not know the detail of the mechanics of the referral to the DLO but I would say that, on entry into Bimberi, staff are alerted that there is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young person coming in and that the DLO is informed of that. As far as how the broader community is aware of the DLO position, I would say that that works through communication channels with those other service relationships which I have just spoken about—the Aboriginal Justice Centre, Gugan, Winnunga, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service unit and the broader support networks that the department, the office, has established in responding to vulnerable families, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, and individuals within the care and protection and justice systems.

MR COE: A supplementary?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

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