Thursday, December 12, 2019

Draft Aboriginal Community Plan on public exhibition

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Lake Macquarie will gain better access to services and facilities across the City under a draft five year Council plan.

The draft Aboriginal Community Plan 2019-2023 Bayikulinan (to act in the future), outlines six key focus areas and more than 50 actions highlighting the successes and challenges of Aboriginal people living and working in Lake Macquarie.

Council Aboriginal Community Development Officer Maree Edwards said the plan was developed following extensive consultation with the community.

“The draft Plan highlights some of the positive outcomes that have already taken place in our community, and provides actions to be carried out across Council to address some of the community’s ongoing needs,” Ms Edwards said.

Maree Edwards with a Torres Strait Islander performer at Naidoc Week celebrations

The six key focus areas outlined in the draft plan are:

·         Cultural awareness and understanding;

·         Cultural celebrations;

·         Elders and people with disability;

·         Culture, country, heritage, language;

·         Children and young people; and

·         Partnerships, funding and support

Ms Edwards said the draft plan aimed to improve  Aboriginal people’s livelihood and cultural values, as well as enhance relationships between Council, community and service providers.

“We want to build knowledge and understanding of, and respect for, Aboriginal culture and heritage, and improve issues still facing Aboriginal people today,” Ms Edwards said.

Maree Edwards, Shanene Hornery, Mayor Kay Fraser, Anne Pearce at 2018 Naidoc Week celebrations

“This plan will also help us recognise the achievements of Aboriginal people in our community and the organisations that support them.”

Census data shows Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders account for 4.1 per cent of Lake Mac’s population – significantly higher than the national average of 2.8 per cent.

The draft Plan is on public exhibition at all Lake Mac Libraries and at Council’s Administration Building at Speers Point until 30 April.

Have your say at shape.lakemac.com.au/aboriginal-community-plan.