Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 11 May 2017) . . Page.. 1699 ..
One way we are doing this is through the ACT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grants program. This program provides funding to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT to undertake activities that will celebrate and strengthen their culture and enhance their leadership skills to equip them to better lead and engage on behalf of their communities and organisations.
Last month I announced 33 grants worth more than $90,000 to support initiatives for Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community across cultural, leadership and scholarship grants. Successful programs and activities in the cultural grants field included the Tjillari Aboriginal Justice Corporation’s project titled “Strong Culture, Strong Families’, Belconnen Art Centre’s celebration of NAIDOC by the Lake, a community awareness project related to growing and using bush foods, and the publication of new book on Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT. I was pleased to share an interview with the author of that book on ABC Radio Canberra recently.
These grants aim to celebrate the cultures of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT by developing innovative projects that contribute to sustainable communities and promote cultural diversity. It is important, though, not only to continue protecting and promoting the rich cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ACT but also to empower new leaders and champion opportunities to develop skills and increase employment prospects.
MS CHEYNE: Minister, can you give the Assembly further information on the kinds of projects that the government has funded to support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership training and development opportunities?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cheyne for her supplementary question. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grants program that I was speaking about aims to celebrate the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It also focuses on building strong families and realising our shared vision for excellent outcomes. The leadership grants provide an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT to undertake learning activities to enhance their leadership skills and abilities to better equip them, as I said, to lead and engage on behalf of their communities and organisations.
From this recent funding round, we will assist members of that community, including Ms Kerry Reed-Gilbert to produce a second edition of A pocketful of leadership in the ACT, and to support a local leader to attend the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. The round also included scholarship grants funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who reside in the ACT to undertake study and training that will further develop their skills and qualifications, to help them increase their employment prospects.
There were a large number of things supported in this round. They include support for doctoral research for a project called boarding school business—the experiences of Aboriginal girls attending boarding schools—and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans to undertake such educational activities as a bachelor of