MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
FOR USE AT THE PUBLIC INTEREST ADVOCACY CENTRE
“RESTORING IDENTITY” PRESS CONFERENCE ONLY
SYDNEY NSW 27/9/02
Western Australia’s Commitment to Indigenous Peoples.
The Western Australian State Government has acknowledged the urgent need to provide our Indigenous people with access to information to support, rebuild and strengthen family ties and cultural links.
The historic October signing of Australia’s first Statement of Commitment between the WA State Government and ATSIC laid the foundations for a new partnership between the Government, ATSIC and WA’s indigenous community.
The WA State Government has also established the Indigenous Affairs Advisory Committee, which brings together the heads of major government agencies to work in partnership with Indigenous groups.
In response to the Bringing them Home report (BTH), the Gallop Government has implemented three major components including:
enhancing tracing and information services;
enhancing records management services; and
providing effective counselling services to support the provision of family information.
In response to the immediate need for Indigenous people to re-establish family and cultural links, the following initiatives have also been introduced:
A family reunion program ($55,000) to help reunite Indigenous families;
Tracing services establishment of the Family Information Records Bureau;
Records management services the establishment of a records taskforce to examine existing records from different government and non-government agencies with a view to recording, preserving and retrieving as required;
Family support and counselling services
Community Reconciliation Grants Scheme ($105,000) will allow community groups to promote reconciliation at the grassroots level by undertaking innovative projects that are most effective in their local area.
The return from South Australia of significant historical records relevant to Western Australian Indigenous people – returned in April 2002.
Western Australian Government Media contact: Minister’s office: Vanessa Joynt 08 9213 6800
MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,
Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169