Consultation report gives a greater voice to remote Aboriginal communities

Frog Hollow community, East Kimberley
Image: Frog Hollow Community, East Kimberley

2 November 2017

Community leaders and residents embraced the opportunity for open and honest conversation with government in the most extensive on-the-ground consultation process ever undertaken with remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.

Meaningful engagement with Aboriginal people, communities and organisations is central to regional services reform. This report shares the concerns and aspirations of Aboriginal people living remotely, and the learnings will inform the on-going implementation of the 'Resilient Families, Strong Communities' roadmap.

The report marks another step towards strengthening the voice of Aboriginal people, with the release of key findings from consultation with 138 communities, representing some 92 per cent of the population in remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.

Department of Communities Executive Director, Regional Services Reform Unit, Paul Isaachsen said consultation was designed to give local community leaders and residents a voice.

“We heard from both leaders and residents that empowering and supporting Aboriginal people and their governance structures is critical for government to help improve life outcomes.

“Communities have emphasised the need to be a part of the solution and want to collaborate with government to re-design government-funded services. Most importantly Aboriginal people expect us to take their insights seriously, and partner with them.” Mr Isaachsen said.

In the coming weeks, the Regional Services Reform Unit will release a response to these findings to identify the next steps for engagement and priority actions for some of the State’s most disadvantaged communities.