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MP backs indigenous initiative

Friday, 16th May, 2014

Member for Murray Darling, John Williams on a recent trip to Wilcannia Central School with Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello. PICTURE: Wilcannia News Member for Murray Darling, John Williams on a recent trip to Wilcannia Central School with Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello. PICTURE: Wilcannia News

Member for Murray-Darling, John Williams has backed legislation he believes will improve the delivery of programs aimed at supporting Aboriginal people throughout the state.

The proposed Bill amendment will allow the NSW Ombudsman to appoint a Deputy charged with monitoring the delivery of Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment (OCHRE) initiatives.

Mr Williams believed the move would help adjust government programs to suit the varying needs of Aboriginal people throughout the state.

“The problem that we face is to consider the particular elements that exist within communities and to develop and adapt programs to suit communities in different locations,” Mr Williams said.

“The challenges for Aboriginal people living in remote areas are greater than for those who live in the inner city,” he said.

“The Government needs to be dynamic and to be constantly reviewing the programs that are put in place.

“The deputy Aboriginal Ombudsman will oversee these programs to consider how they are working and whether they are providing the benefits that they were designed to achieve.”

After a recent trip to Wilcannia with the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello, Mr Williams said it was apparent young people were ready to take an active role in determining the direction of their community.  

“These are the people who are going to determine the future direction of the communities in which they live and demonstrate the best way forward and the opportunities that are obtained from a change in lifestyle,”  he said.

Mr Williams said one of the greatest challenges facing young indigenous people was dealing with exposure to traumatic incidents.

“The situations they experience and the things that they see are a real challenge to their personal development and have an impact on their lives,” he said.

“The opportunities that we might be able to create though our programs are discounted by the fact that those young Aboriginal people have a lot of difficulty in engaging with the community and in the processes that we want in place.

“I do know that we want a better environment for Aboriginal people. We want to see them have greater enjoyment of life and participate in every way in our communities.

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