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Award recognises outstanding service.

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Award Recognises Outstanding Service A leading indigenous accommodation provider has won a prestigious service award for excellence in caring for disadvantaged indigenous Australians.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs John Herron today congratulated Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL) for its demonstrated excellence of service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities by providing specialised medical and education hostels across its network of 131 hostels nationwide.

AHL won Gold last week in the Federal Government's Service Charters - Awards for Excellence 2000 which recognises agencies providing high service standards to the Australian public. The top honour reflects AHL's high-quality service achievements for clients living in rural, regional and remote Australia and follows last year's silver award.

"This is a truly deserving award and I congratulate the management and staff of Aboriginal Hostels for their outstanding service," Senator Herron said.

"This Commonwealth-funded company has provided affordable, temporary accommodation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in culturally-appropriate environments since 1973. That is around 3000 beds every night and more than two million meals every year."

AHL General Manager Keith Clarke said AHL continually strived to improve its quality of service. Recent initiatives included a trial of health-related accommodation services which catered for residents with renal dialysis.

"We are also providing assistance to residential aged care facilities to help ensure they meet the Federal Government's accreditation standards reforms and we are developing partnerships with state and territory agencies' juvenile justice programs," Mr Clarke said.

"For example, since November we have been working in partnership with the ACT Government to provide youth crisis accommodation in Canberra."

14 December 2000