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Another Premier’s Awards win for the Department

​​The Department's team celebrating their Premier's Awards success on 6 November (L-R) Peter Lonsdale, Director, Housing Program
​​The Department's team celebrating their Premier's Awards success on 6 November (L-R) Peter Lonsdale, Director, Housing Programs; Ruth Charles, EKDP Transitional Housing Program Manager; Premier Colin Barnett; Housing Minister, Bill Marmion; Director General, Grahame Searle; Stewart Kestel, Director, Complex Projects; and Mike Goode, Manager Affordable Sales

​The Department of Housing has received the State’s top public sector management prize in the Improving Aboriginal Outcomes category at this year’s Premier’s Awards. The prestigious win was for the East Kimberley Development Package (EKDP) Transitional Housing Program.

“The Department is very proud of this achievement as it is recognition at the highest level of our exceptional performance in the implementation and delivery of this program,” Grahame Searle, Director General said.

“The Program provides stable, affordable housing to motivated Aboriginal people to help them develop independence and take a significant step towards creating personal wealth and achieving home ownership.

“Our staff have worked very hard over the past three years on this project to deliver the many benefits of the program to Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley.”

Program participants must be engaged in employment or training, ensure children attend school regularly and participate in the associated support program.  The support program includes setting lifestyle goals, financial management and progressing referrals to community support networks like health agencies. 

To date, four participants have already had their home loans approved with another eight in progress.  

All participating households (100 per cent) meet the employment requirements of the Program, and school attendance is at 92 per cent for children involved in the Program.

Mr Searle said the Program was a great success due to the Department’s effective partnerships with the private sector.

“The Wunan Foundation was instrumental in developing this program in partnership with the Department and in running the support services,” he said.

“Community Housing Limited (CHL) was also engaged to manage the tenancies for the Program.”

All homes will be available for purchase when participants are ready to transition to private home ownership.

“We have gone outside the box by partnering with the private sector to deliver services that help empower participants to remain employed and ensure that their children stay in school,” Mr Searle said.

“Some participants never imagined that they could ever become home owners, but through the Program’s support services delivered by Wunan, especially financial counselling, they are well on their way to achieving this dream.”

The Premier Colin Barnett announced the winners for the 2013 Premier’s Awards at a ceremony held at Hale House on 6 November 2013. The Department’s Opening Doors Shared Home Ownership Scheme was also recognised this year as a finalist being in the top three in the Developing the Economy category.

The Transitional Housing Program was funded as a part of the Commonwealth’s East Kimberley Development Package that provided $20 million for the construction of 40 transitional housing dwellings in Kununurra.

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