THE HON JENNY MACKLIN MP
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
4 August 2011
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, is in Darwin today to continue discussions about the next steps in building stronger futures for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.
These discussions are an important part of a consultation process that began in late June following the launch of the Australian Government’s discussion paper, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory.
Community meetings have been held with Aboriginal people in more than 80 communities and town camps across the Northern Territory along with large numbers of one-on-one meetings with individuals and family groups in those communities.
Meetings have also been held with Aboriginal leaders and organisations that support Aboriginal people as well as with non-Indigenous Territorians and interested stakeholders.
Public meetings have been held in Katherine, Tennant Creek, Darwin and Alice Springs and one will be held in Nhulunbuy tonight.
Throughout the consultation process, Aboriginal people have made significant contributions to discussions about how to work together to address disadvantage and build stronger futures for families and communities in the Northern Territory.
The Government will now begin analysing the information and views provided by individuals and communities and developing policy proposals for the future.
This process will take time, and the Government will continue to welcome views from individuals and communities as we go about this work. People are able to provide their comments at any time to Government Business Managers and Indigenous Engagement Officers in communities, and these views and ideas will be passed on.
To date, people have shared suggestions on how to improve school attendance and the educational experience for children; ways to tackle alcohol and substance abuse and what needs to be done to create sustainable employment opportunities in remote locations.
Creating a stronger future for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory is a long term process and will require investment and commitment from all parties to work together to achieve lasting change.
We know that stronger futures can only be built in partnership with Aboriginal people and communities because the issues we want to tackle are the same issues that many Aboriginal people face every day.
To view a copy of the discussion paper, visit: www.indigenous.gov.au/index.php/stronger-futures-in-the-northern-territory
Media Contact: Kate Thwaites 0429 067 500