Next steps to Closing the Gap welcomed by Aboriginal peaks

Wednesday 31 August 2022

The NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations (NSW CAPO) has welcomed today’s launch of the 2022-2024 NSW Closing the Gap Implementation Plan and a $15 million Community and Place Grants Program.

The announcements were made this morning by NSW CAPO Co-Chair and NSW Aboriginal Land Council Councillor, Charles Lynch and NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Ben Franklin at the Aboriginal Legal Service in Wagga Wagga.

“This represents the next step forward in our shared journey to create transformational changes in Aboriginal communities,” said Cr Lynch.

“The initiatives included in this plan have been driven by principles of self-determination, based on what communities have told us in consultations, and developed through shared decision-making with our government partners,” he said.

Today’s announcements include $15 million in the NSW Government budget for a Community and Place Grants Program, which will support Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and groups to deliver tangible local benefits contributing to the Closing the Gap targets.

“These grants directly respond to needs identified by our communities that must be addressed in the short term, while NSW CAPO continues its longer-term work,” Cr Lynch said.

“By empowering Aboriginal communities to invest in projects that reflect their individual priorities large and small, the program can meaningfully shift the dial on Closing the Gap at a local level,” he said.

NSW CAPO Co-Chair Robert Skeen from the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council said today’s announcements are a crucial step in the right direction, but there is a long way still to go.

“We know that our communities are hurting, that there needs to be more support, more accountability and more transparency,” Mr Skeen said.

“These cannot be only words or symbolism; they must be backed up by transformative changes that are felt on the ground and in communities across the state,” he said.

ENDS

Media contact: NSWALC Media – media@alc.org.au