The State Government recently announced a long-term regional services reform plan, led by Child Protection Minister Helen Morton and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman, to enable better education, health, social wellbeing and employment outcomes for Aboriginal people living in regional and remote areas.
Housing Director General Grahame Searle, a respected public servant with extensive experience in service delivery and public administration, was approached and after lengthy discussions accepted the role and left his position at Housing.
Mr Searle said he was very excited to be a part of this opportunity and saw it as a real chance to make a difference.
"Mr Searle is an excellent choice for this role. He has been a public service leader and innovator for many years, with a particular focus on non-traditional accommodation and housing models," Mr Redman said.
"Mr Searle has collaborated with key Aboriginal organisations in the Kimberley and Pilbara to develop innovative housing solutions that support Aboriginal families to successfully take up education and employment opportunities."
Mrs Morton said, under Mr Searle's leadership, the Department of Housing had led the nation in achieving targets set under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing, exceeding indigenous employment targets for the fifth consecutive year in 2014.
"Under Mr Searle's leadership his department has achieved double the public sector average of Aboriginal employment," she said.
"It has also run a very successful Aboriginal trainee program and this year recruited its first indigenous graduates."
Housing is pleased to announce that Paul Whyte has stepped in as Acting Director General and will fill this role until a permanent appointment is made.
“Grahame has held these positions since August 2008 and his departure is obviously a significant milestone for Housing. During that time Grahame has worked tirelessly and courageously to improve housing outcomes for individuals, families and communities; to develop our staff, and to improve Housing’s performance and reputation,” reflected Mr Whyte.