Oxfam has welcomed the Federal Government’s engagement with the Aboriginal community-controlled sector to deliver more than $1 billion in new funding to improve the wellbeing of First Peoples.
“It’s pleasing to see significant contributions to support critical improvements in key areas, such as more than $250 million to support Aboriginal medical clinics and $75 million to support remote education,” said Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain.
“This new level of policy focus, engagement and action marks a big step forward.”
Ms Morgain also acknowledged $7.6 million of funding to create a Justice Policy Partnership to drive national action to reduce incarceration rates.
“This funding will allow for the creation of a secretariat – so while it’s not putting funding into communities, it’s still an important first step,” she said.
“We urge the government to urgently and substantially step up its investment in this critical area.
“Oxfam and its coalition partners have been calling for funding to expand justice reinvestment programs. These community-led initiatives have been cutting rates of offending and imprisonment in trial sites in New South Wales and Western Australia.
“Reducing the massive over-representation of Aboriginal people in Australian prisons, including children as young as 10 years of age, must become a top priority of the Closing the Gap agenda,” Ms Morgain added.
As a founding member of the Close the Gap campaign, Oxfam has long called for governments to involve Aboriginal leaders in finding solutions to improve the wellbeing of First Peoples.
Oxfam’s report, In Good Hands, provided compelling evidence showing that community-controlled organisations were playing a positive and cost-effective role to close the gap.
For interviews, contact Lily Partland on 0418 118 687 / firstname.lastname@example.org