A respected public servant with extensive experience in service delivery and public administration has been appointed to lead major reforms to the way infrastructure and human services are provided to Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.
The State Government recently announced a long-term regional services reform plan, led by Child Protection Minister Helen Morton and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman, to enable better education, health, social wellbeing and employment outcomes for Aboriginal people living in regional and remote areas.
Today, the Ministers announced that Department of Housing Director General Grahame Searle has left his position in order to take up the appointment to lead the reform.
"Mr Searle is an excellent choice for this role. He has been a public service leader and innovator for many years, with a particular focus on non-traditional accommodation and housing models," Mr Redman said.
"Mr Searle has collaborated with key Aboriginal organisations in the Kimberley and Pilbara to develop innovative housing solutions that support Aboriginal families to successfully take up education and employment opportunities."
Mrs Morton said, under Mr Searle's leadership, the Department of Housing had led the nation in achieving targets set under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing, exceeding indigenous employment targets for the fifth consecutive year in 2014.
"Under Mr Searle's leadership his department has achieved double the public sector average of Aboriginal employment," she said.
"It has also run a very successful Aboriginal trainee program and this year recruited its first indigenous graduates."
Mr Searle said he was very excited to be a part of this opportunity and saw it as a real chance to make a difference.
"There is an alignment in which State and Federal governments and respected Aboriginal leaders recognise that business as usual is not good enough," Mr Searle said.
Mr Redman said Mr Searle was widely respected in the State Government and by Aboriginal leaders for his capacity to drive collaboration and achieve results, two traits that would hold him in good stead for this new role.
Mr Searle will lead engagement with Aboriginal people in the regional services reform process.
A call for nominations for Aboriginal leaders to join Strategic Regional Advisory Councils in the Kimberley and Pilbara recently closed.
Mr Searle was appointed director general, Department of Housing on October 21, 2008. He was reappointed from October 21, 2013 for a term of five years
Paul Whyte will remain acting director general at the Department of Housing
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Child Protection Minister's office - 6552 6900