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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 September 2017) . . Page.. 3502 ..


The motion called on the minister by the first sitting day in September, which is today, to report on progress for work to fix each of the extreme and high risk issues identified, the cost of fixing each of the issues, the progress to date on each of the issues, and when each of the problems will be rectified.

The minister today has moved through 149 issues in a broadbrush way, referring to 16 packages. But I am not yet convinced that that complies with the matters brought forward in the original motion. In that regard, I reserve my right to return to the Assembly with a further motion if the opposition is not satisfied, on reflection and on closer study, with the contents of the statement today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm

Ministerial statement

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.17): I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land we are meeting on, the Ngunnawal people, whose sacred lands have so much meaning to their ancestors, kinship connections and families who continue to care for country.

It gives me great pleasure to be able to provide this update and to formally announce to the Assembly that the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm is open, has commenced its client intake processes and will soon be supporting local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This has been a journey of many years for representatives particularly of the United Ngunnawal Elders Council, who came together with a common purpose driven by a deep sadness for the loss of lives within their communities. The Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm is the product of these conversations and will provide a place of healing, a place where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will feel safe and supported by their traditional custodians, community leaders, elders and respected role models. Cultural healers will work to make ongoing and meaningful changes in their lives and to break the cycle of drug and alcohol dependency.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples we understand that acknowledging who they are and where they come from is an intrinsic aspect of their identity. Their identity encompasses the story of their place of belonging, direct family lineage to their cultural identity, and self-empowerment for protecting their spiritual wellbeing. Although the introduction of healing is reasonably new to government service provision, the concept of healing has been part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s culture and way of life for thousands of years.

The concept of healing was first made most clear to the broader public in the Bringing them home report in 1997. Since then there has been growing recognition of the need for a holistic approach to tackle the root causes rather than just the symptoms of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s suffering and disadvantage. Whilst the


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