Next week is NAIDOC Week, a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, urged all Australians to take the time to pause and reflect on the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.
“The national theme this year is Songlines – the living narrative of our nation and I encourage everyone to take the time next week to learn more about Songlines and the important role they have in Indigenous history and culture,” Minister Scullion said.
“The Turnbull Coalition has supported NAIDOC Week by providing more than 540 grants totalling $1.46 million to organisations across Australia to help them celebrate the week.
“These grants range from $165 for the Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation to support a flag-raising ceremony, to $4,750 for the Tamworth NAIDOC March and Family Fun Day, and $55,000 for the Top End NAIDOC Committee to stage a range of celebrations in Darwin, including a march, family day and a lunch for elders.”
Minister Scullion said a returned Coalition Government would continue to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to improve outcomes for First Australians.
“We will continue to focus on getting children to school and adults to work and making communities safer. The policies we have implemented are what communities have identified as their priorities and our work is now leading to better outcomes,” Minister Scullion said.
“More children are attending school today as a result of our Remote School Attendance Strategy and our reforms through the Community Development Programme have seen a fivefold increase in the number of jobseekers engaged in training or work-like activities.
“Indigenous businesses have also greatly benefited from the Coalition’s procurement policy which has seen contracts worth more than $150 million being awarded to Indigenous businesses in just 10 months – up from just $6.2 million in 2012-13.
“Despite this progress, we know there is much more to be done, and a returned Coalition will continue to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and implement policies Indigenous communities have been calling for.”
The NAIDOC grants have been provided from existing resources within the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.