Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Lands

    McGowan Government investing in Aboriginal community safety

    8/10/2020 2:50 PM
     
    • $6.8 million to continue the successful Aboriginal Community Connectors Program
    • Program contributes to community safety and wellbeing in 14 locations State-wide
    • 2020-21 State Budget funding Aboriginal-led organisations to help keep WA communities safe and strong 

    The McGowan Government is extending the successful Aboriginal Community Connectors Program which services 14 communities across Western Australia.

     

    This year's State Budget includes $6.8 million for the continuation of the Aboriginal Community Connectors Program (formerly known as the Aboriginal Community Patrols program) to further improve personal and community safety in those locations.

     

    The program connects vulnerable people with culturally responsive crisis support, as well as local employment opportunities in metropolitan and regional areas across the State.

     

    The services provided include patrols and safe transport options for at-risk Aboriginal people in 14 communities across WA, as well as:

    • prevention and mediation services;
    • referrals to other agencies and service providers;
    • engagement and support for at-risk youth;
    • support for community events and activities; and
    • a medical transport service in collaboration with health and medical services. 

    To date, the Aboriginal Community Connectors Program has successfully reduced the number of Aboriginal people coming into contact with the justice system. It has also reduced crime and violence and improved co-ordination with other support and law enforcement services.

     

    Crucially, the program supports the development of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations across WA, helping to build their capability to deliver culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal people, families and communities.

     

    It also directly aligns with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap's priority to build the community-controlled sector. 

     

    Service providers for the Aboriginal Community Connectors Program also played a valuable role in assisting the Government and Department of Communities to implement the COVID-19 Return to Country project.

     

    Comments attributed to Community Services and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:

     

    "Aboriginal Community Connectors Program services are community-led, and the providers are local Aboriginal organisations that employ local respected people.

     

    "This community buy-in contributes to the program's overall success and is vital to ensure its work to keep at-risk people safe from harm continues.

     

    "Agencies funded under the Aboriginal Community Connectors Program, such as Perth's Nyoongar Outreach Services and Bloodwood Tree Association in the Pilbara, provide an invaluable service to vulnerable Aboriginal people in their communities."

     

    Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:

     

    "This funding builds on the McGowan Government's commitment to shift the State Government's relationship with Aboriginal people towards one of a genuine partnership.

     

    "This program works because the operators are deeply connected to the communities they work in and enjoy widespread recognition and support because of this.

     

    "It is provided by Aboriginal-led organisations that have a proven track record and tailors services across multiple locations to meet local needs."

     

    Community Services and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister's office - 6552 6600

    Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5900