Additional support services for First Australians

Release Date: 
15 September 2017
Media release

Joint media release
Senator for New South Wales, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne

  • More social support services for Indigenous Australians in Blacktown, New South Wales
  • Coalition Government investing $329,567 for Marist180 to roll out these additional support measures
  • Programs are part of the Coalition Government’s $5 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS).

Marist180 will be able to provide an extension of case management services in the Blacktown area in Western Sydney, thanks to the Coalition Government’s community investment of $329,567 to better support First Australians and their families.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said that Marist180 would receive funding to provide wrap around support for 30 families per annum. Mudjin Byala means Family Talk in Dharug language, and the program helps young people at risk of dropping out of school by engaging families using culturally grounded techniques like yarning circles alongside case management. The successful program is now funded through until 30 June 2019.

“Improving the safety of Indigenous families and communities is one of the highest priorities for the Coalition Government – and this investment will enable Marist180 to provide additional support to people who need it the most,” Minister Scullion said.

Senator for New South Wales, Marise Payne, 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 Western Sydney," Senator Payne said.

Marist180 CEO Chris Gandy said: “We know that disengaging from school is a strong early indicator that a young person is at risk of choosing the wrong path. Once they stop going to school, not only are their chances of future employment reduced but they are at risk of entering the criminal justice system.

“We work with the school and the whole family, and employ skilled workers who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander themselves and understand the issues. Families can come together, in a safe environment and are empowered to come up with a plan that’s not only going to mean a brighter future for the young person, but helps to address underlying problems in the family that are impacting everyone. Family is central to Aboriginal culture and strong families are at the heart of our approach. Marsit180 is incredibly grateful to the Coalition Government for continuing to support this important work in the aboriginal community for a further two years,” Mr Gandy said.

The Marist180 project, Mudjin Byala Family Yarning Circles for Education 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.

Service 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.