Today I attended a forum as part of the discussion surrounding 40 years of citizens where to next? Today’s discussion focused around a number of key themes, including citizenship, governance, business development, justice, education and health.
The morning began with a Ministerial Address by the newly appointed Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Richard Wynne. While the Minister referred to the leadership role local government needs to provide, little was spoken about the leadership required from the State Government. Most disappointing was the Minister’s abrupt departure at the conclusion of his speech.
While a number of local councillors were present at the two-day event, there was a complete absence of State Government MPs or Ministerial advisors.
The forum provided a useful insight into the issues facing Indigenous Australians, particularly in discussing the need to engage the business community and to ensure that our health and educational systems are mindful of Indigenous Australia. As a council, we need to explore our practices to help engage with Indigenous Australians and to serve as a conduit between different levels of government and community organisations.