This evening, upon my return from Canberra, I attended the second community workshop in regard to the 1967 Referendum and to identify the issues facing both mainstream and indigenous Australia.
While the first workshop focused on identifying a number of goals required to improve the wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, the second workshop focused on the challenges that stand in the way of achieving this vision and the potential resources that exist to help overcome these issues.
Like all sectors of society, issues surrounding a lack of mobility and onerous bureaucratic processes, are significant barriers and these must be overcome. A lack of public transport, particularly within townships of the Yarra Ranges, makes it difficult for Indigenous Australians to access services that are commonly located in Lilydale and a lack of cultural awareness coupled with bureaucratic paperwork can make it difficult to deliver these necessary services.
Issues such as these can be overcome and in particular there is a need for government to streamline duplication and to focus on service delivery, programs need to be provided with a sustainable funding basis and all levels of government need to work in a cooperative manner. These issues are in fact quite similar to mainstream society where wasteful duplication costs taxpayers both in terms of service delivery and service costs.
The feedback from these workshops will aim to serve as a discussion point for the forum organised for Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday the 19th of September. As part of these proceedings I have been invited to participate in a panel discussion on the 18th.