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The Coalition's support for the Jawun Empowered Communities initiative



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PRESS RELEASE

THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

THE COALITION’S SUPPORT FOR THE JAWUN EMPOWERED COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE

The Coalition will match the Government's $5 million to the Jawun Empowered Communities initiative which seeks to strengthen local Indigenous leadership and build stronger, healthier, more prosperous and safer communities.

The first priority of an incoming Coalition government in this area will be to get the kids to school, the parents into work and the ordinary law of the land observed.

Then of course we need to tackle indigenous recognition in the Constitution.

Over time, though, better governance structures will be important to delivering better services and empowering indigenous people to take control of their lives.

This initiative builds on the good work that I am familiar with in Cape York and seeks to take those lessons more widely around Australia.

The communities that already work with Jawun are Cape York, NSW Central Coast, Inner Sydney, Goulburn-Murray, East Kimberley, West Kimberley, APY/NPY Lands and North East Arnhem Land.

Empowered Communities will potentially give more authority to local indigenous leaders so that we can achieve Closing the Gap targets more quickly.

As everyone who has been in Aboriginal communities knows, there's no shortage of government, but often a shortage of anyone who seems to really be in charge.

The Jawun Empowered Communities initiative recognises that institutions play an important role in giving communities structure and in establishing shared social norms and expectations.

I'm looking forward, should we win the election, to working with Noel Pearson and the Jawun team to explore how we can help to ensure indigenous communities run better.

Building healthier, safer, stronger, prosperous and happier indigenous communities is part of our commitment to build a stronger Australia - and a better future for all Australians.

28 August 2013