Additional support for Indigenous families for in the New England region

Joint Media Release with Deputy Prime Minister Member for New England Mr Barnaby Joyce MP

BEST Employment will be able to provide additional case management services in the New England region of NSW, to assist Indigenous families at risk of breakdown after a traumatic event, thanks to a $526,585 grant from the Coalition Government.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said that BEST Employment would receive funding to provide a restorative family healing project until 30 June 2019.

“Improving the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous families and communities is one of the highest priorities for the Coalition Government – and this investment will enable BEST Employment to provide additional support to people who need it the most,” Minister Scullion said.

Minister Scullion said that through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS), the Government was providing targeted investment to those working on the ground to make a difference in the lives of First Australians.

“This project is a great example of the Coalition working with Indigenous Australians to improve outcomes for First Australians living in the New England region of NSW,” Minister Scullion said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the funding would improve outcomes for local Indigenous families who were working through difficult circumstances.

“All families face certain difficulties from time to time and it is important that there is support there for those families who do need help so that they can overcome those difficulties and stay together,” Mr Joyce said.

“This funding will go towards a new restorative family healing project that will go a long way towards helping local families in times of hardship.”

BEST Employment Chief Executive Officer, Penny Alliston-Hall said: “This additional funding will allow BEST Employment to further grow our grassroots support to local indigenous families who need it the most. This is an absolute priority for us. This boost to BEST’s case management services will be invaluable in our region.”

The BEST Employment project is one of 43 recently funded under the IAS.  Services have been funded to provide intensive support to Indigenous people most affected in the following areas: alcohol and drugs, domestic violence, mental health and wellbeing, and youth offending.

Existing service providers will share $18,019,301 in Government funding through until 30 June 2019 to transition from the Indigenous Community Links programme to new place-based, intensive support services that address specific safety and wellbeing needs. A further $4,239,664 will be provided until 30 June 2019 for new services in areas where a safety and wellbeing service gap has been identified.

The final year of funding is dependent on the projects providing strong outcomes for their clients.

Providers will be asked to collect service data to assess the impact of the service, to better understand what works to overcome Indigenous disadvantage and contribute to the evidence base.