The Building Blocks (Continued)
The Australian Government is investing in Indigenous governance and leadership at the individual, community, and national level.
If communities, organisations and corporations are not well–governed, they will not be effective. Good leadership is closely connected to good governance. Individuals can lead in their families, in their communities or by how they live their lives. The quality of Indigenous governance and leadership sets the environment in which efforts across all the building blocks will make a difference.
We also recognise that governance can be supported by the way governments deliver services and engage with the community.
2012‑13 Budget initiatives to close the gap in governance and leadership
Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory — Remote Engagement and Coordination
The Government is providing $427.4 million over ten years to:
- increase the numbers of Indigenous Engagement Officers in communities from 30 to 54 over the next two years, creating full and part–time job opportunities for up to another 60 local Aboriginal people
- continue staff working and living in communities to support Indigenous Engagement Officers and become more involved in engaging with local people, including working in a more joined–up way at the regional level
- continue support for the Northern Territory Aboriginal Interpreter Service, so local community members can get equitable access to the services they need
- involve communities in planning and measuring what is happening in their communities under the Stronger Futures package.
This includes $14.0 million of existing funding over three years to support governance and leadership development in communities in the Northern Territory, including to:
- build the capacity of local Indigenous organisations to be involved in the delivery of services
- provide increased opportunities to develop personal, family and community leadership.
The Government is providing $10 million for a grass roots initiative to build community understanding and support for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Since 2008 the Australian Government has been supporting the formation of a new national representative body for Indigenous Australians. The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples held its first national forum in June 2011 and is providing national leadership in advocating for the status and rights of Indigenous peoples.
The Government is providing funding of $29.2 million over five years from 2009‑10 to 2013‑14 to assist the Congress in providing effective and well–developed policy advice which reflects the views of its members from around Australia.
The Government also develops and delivers leadership programs for Indigenous people around Australia, with a focus on communities identified under the Remote Service Delivery National Partnership Agreement. The training is assisting Indigenous people to develop the skills and capacity to engage effectively with government on the programs and services that affect their lives. More than 400 community members from these communities have participated in 22 regional workshops.
As well as the work being done by communities, the Australian Government recognises that the way we manage our business in Indigenous communities is also important and can support better local planning and governance. Indigenous people have told us that they want government workers to continue to live and work in communities, and that they want to work better with government.
The Australian Government will continue to employ people to live and work in communities. These people work locally to make sure services are effective and to help support local planning processes.
As we move ahead, we will be asking these staff to become even more involved in engaging with local people. We will also be supporting our people to work in a more joined–up way at the regional level.
In remote areas, the Remote Service Delivery National Partnership Agreement is delivering a placed–based approach to service design and delivery in 29 priority locations. With funding of up to $291.2 million over five years from 2009‑10 to 2013‑14, the agreement involves cooperation between and across multiple government agencies and six jurisdictions to work in partnership with communities to deliver on local priorities. The RSD NPA aims to improve access to services, raise the level of services, improve governance and leadership and increase economic and social participation.
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