On Tuesday 10 November, the State Government released the 2020/21 State Budget. The Budget included several commitments to support Aboriginal people and communities in South Australia and promote Aboriginal culture. Key measures included:
- $3.3 million to support the Aboriginal Community Controlled Sector in South Australia to deliver services and programs to First Nations people under Priority Reform Two of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, with a further $1.8 million to support the functions of the South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations Network (SACCON).
- Funding Aboriginal Community Housing to deliver 40 long-term housing outcomes in Bedford Park as part of a broader $13.6m commitment to support rough sleepers.
- $873k ‘Return to Country Program’ to support Aboriginal people from remote communities to remain safe and avoid homelessness and displacement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $9.9m to upgrade municipal infrastructure in regional and remote Aboriginal communities, including road repairs, improvements to waste management and community infrastructure upgrades.
- $50 million to complete the new Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre to be located at the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site (Lot Fourteen).
Additionally, key government agencies also committed to achieving the following targets:
Department of Human Services
- Commission non-government agencies and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to deliver new Intensive Family Support Services.
- Develop a new Aboriginal Language Interpreting Service within the Interpreting and Translating Centre.
- Improve outcomes for Aboriginal young people through culturally responsive services and an enhanced staff training and recruitment strategy.
Department for Health and Wellbeing
- Embed and sustain Closing the Gap initiatives into core business, including partnering with consumers and non-government organisations to develop collaborative, culturally sensitive care pathways across the northern Adelaide region
- Review and redesign the model of care for the APY Lands for its implementation.
Department for Child Protection
- Implement a new pilot service led by one or more Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to provide culturally specific support and training to kinship carers of Aboriginal children and young people.
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
- Finalise and implement a Closing the Gap (South Australian) jurisdictional action plan.
- Develop a new South Australian Aboriginal Action Plan for 2021-22.
- Continue to engage with Aboriginal community leaders and health authorities to help keep remote Aboriginal communities COVID-19 free.
For further analysis of these and other measures of interest to the health and community services sector, you may like to read the State Budget Analysis released by our member organisation, the South Australian Council of Social Service.