Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 August 2016) . . Page.. 2631 ..
DR BOURKE: I thank Ms Burch for her question and her ongoing interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. The ACT government will be investing an additional $2.3 million over the next four years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT as part of the 2016-17 ACT budget. The ACT budget includes new initiatives that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and addresses disadvantage through strong connections to culture through supporting people through the justice system, through health care and by ensuring career opportunities.
The ACT government made a commitment to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage at the signing of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agreement for 2015-18 on 23 April 2015. The ACT budget initiatives respond to the agreement’s strong key focus areas.
To improve the agreement’s key focus area of feeling safe, the ACT government is funding a $1.99 million package, which includes $1.3 million from the confiscated assets trust fund, which will support the Indigenous guidance partner for adults undertaking restorative justice; the justice reinvestment trial; a pilot bail support service; a life skills program supporting sentencing options at the Galambany court; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience reports to inform courts’ sentencing decisions.
To improve the agreement’s key focus of connecting the community, the ACT government is currently advertising to employ a communications and engagement coordinator to forge stronger connections with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Additional funding of $149, 000 has been provided for this initiative.
To improve the agreement’s key focus on leadership, the ACT government will be funding a new position for an Aboriginal staff member to manage the recently created ACT parks Aboriginal advisory group. The occupant of this position will provide leadership and mentoring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff; conduct high-level stakeholder engagement; and oversee operational, cultural interpretation and visitor service programs.
To improve the agreement’s key focus area of education, the ACT government will fund the strengthening Ngunnawal culture and history in schools initiative. This will provide $300,000 for a new two-year pilot to increase opportunities for local youth to build their connection and engagement with Ngunnawal culture and history. Educational programs involving guided nature tours with local youth in schools will be undertaken during the school term.
To improve the agreement’s key focus area on employment and economic independence, the ACT government will invest $107,000 in additional mentoring and training for ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public servants to improve their career development outcomes.