Illawarra Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA)
|Date: ||9 December 2010|
|Date To: ||9 December 2013|
|Sub Category:||Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) |
|State/Country:||New South Wales, Australia|
|This Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) applies with respect to the Illawarra region in the state of New South Wales. This region includes the local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Wingecarribee. It is home to a number of different groups that represent traditional owners in the area, including the Dharawal people, and also the Wodi Wodi and Gundungaurra people (Clause 1.1.1).|
|Payments:|| - Proposed funding by parties across different elements of the Agreement amount to over $600,000 over 3 years.|
|Subject Matter:|| | Economic Development | Education | Health and Community Services | | Leadership|
|Summary Information: |
|The Illawarra Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) was signed on 9 December 2010 by the following parties:
the Commonwealth government (represented by the Hon Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs);
the New South Wales government (represented by the Hon Paul Lynch, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs);
the Illawarra Aboriginal Community Based Working Group; and
16 Aboriginal organisations in the Illawarra region, including the Wodi Wodi Traditional Elders Group, the KEJ Traditional Elders Group, the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Illawarra Koori Men's Support Group, the Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation, the Shellharbour Aboriginal Community Youth Association, the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation, the Illawarra Dubays, the Kula N'Gadu Association, the Kullila Welfare & Aboriginal Housing Corporation, the Boolarng Nangamai Aboriginal Corporation, the Yamanda Association and Moyengully.
The purpose of this RPA is to set out a three-year action plan for the governments and the Aboriginal community groups in a number of priority areas such as employment, sustainability and housing. According to a joint media release by the Hon Jenny Macklin MP and others, the RPA is intended to enable the parties to 'work together to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage' in the Illawarra area (Macklin, 2010).|
|Detailed Information: |
|Background to this RPA
The Illawarra RPA is the product of over five years of negotiations between the Australian government, the New South Wales government and the Illawarra Aboriginal Community Based Working Group, which was established in 2003 by members of the Illawarra region's Aboriginal communities and their elders. These negotiations have also been supplemented by extensive community consultation, with four community advocates joining the Delegates, Advocates and Government Steering Committee charged with preparing a final version of the agreement.
As per Clause 1.1.1 of this agreement, the RPA was intended to develop a strategy for dealing with the following kinds of issues:
Poor education outcomes: in 2006, only 21% of Greater Wollongong's Aboriginal population aged 15 years and over completed Year 12, as compared with 37% of the area's non-Aboriginal residents.
High unemployment rates: in 2006, the Aboriginal employment rate for the Wollongong area was 46%, as compared with 66.5% for non-Aboriginal residents. Also, Aboriginal people aged between 15 and 24 years experienced an unemployment rate that was 17% higher than that for non-Aboriginal young people.
Public housing use: the rate of residence in public housing in the Greater Wollongong area is 3.6 times higher among Aboriginal households than it is among other households in the region.
In addressing these issues, the RPA builds on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Agenda on Indigenous Reform and the 'Closing the Gap' strategy (as expressed in the National Indigenous Reform Agreement of 2008). In particular, it seeks to implement the six life expectancy, infant mortality, education and employment targets agreed upon by COAG. It also aims to reinforce commitments made in the Service Delivery Principles for Services for Indigenous Australians (COAG 2008), the Urban and Regional Service Delivery Strategy for Indigenous Australians (COAG 2009) and the 2005-2010 Overarching Agreement on Aboriginal Affairs between the Commonwealth government and the New South Wales government, which ratified the NSW Two Ways Together Framework.
Roles of the parties to this RPA
The roles of the parties to this RPA are set out in Clause 4 of the agreement.
The Commonwealth government
Pursuant to this agreement, the Commonwealth government will provide $274,000 in funding over the coming year to enable initiatives in a number of priority areas (Macklin, 2010).
Through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) (which will, in turn, work through the Sydney Aboriginal Coordination Centre), the Commonwealth will make an input to the negotiation, development and implementation of its agreed action plans under this RPA. It will also evaluate the implementation of these plans, while providing support for community leadership.
The New South Wales government
Like the Commonwealth government, the New South Wales government will coordinate the input of state government agencies into the negotiation, development and implementation of its agreed action plans under this RPA. It will also provide support and direction for community leadership.
The Illawarra Aboriginal Community Based Working Group and the Aboriginal organisations
The Illawarra Aboriginal Community Based Working Group will have the role of keeping the lines of communication open between all levels of government and the local Aboriginal organisations that are party to this RPA.
Key action areas and commitments under this RPA
Pursuant to this RPA, the parties have made the following commitments in priority areas related to their central goal of 'Closing the Gap' (as it is expressed in the National Indigenous Reform Agreement):
Action Area 1: leadership and governance
Funding of a regional coordinator for the Illawarra Aboriginal Aboriginal Community Based Working Group;
Identification of needs and opportunities for the implementation of FaHCSIA programs; and
Employment of a Place Based Project Officer to work with the Illawarra Aboriginal Aboriginal Community Based Working Group.
According to the media release by the Hon Jenny Macklin and others, the Commonwealth government has allocated $80,000 for these initiatives (Macklin, 2010).
Action Area 2: employment
Development and implementation of an action plan for increasing opportunities for health and community services-related work experience for Aboriginal people, improving job marketing to the Aboriginal community and implementing partnerships between training and job service providers and employers in this industry;
Implementation of the Making it our Business, NSW Aboriginal Employment Action Plan 2009-2012 as a means of increasing the employment of Aboriginal people in the Illawarra region;
Development of a Job Compact on Aboriginal employment; and
Contribution to initiatives that develop employment opportunities for Aboriginal people in the green economy. These opportunities are likely to be developed in areas such as bush regeneration and ecotourism (Macklin, 2010).
Action Area 3: education
Expansion of the number of work experience opportunities and school-based traineeships available to Aboriginal people in the region;
Promotion of initiatives intended to build up a relationship between Aboriginal parents and school comunities; and
Provision of practical measures such as breakfast clubs, homework centres, lunch programs and financial support for parents to assist Aboriginal children in staying engaged with schooling.
Action Area 4: access to housing
Establishment of an Independent Living Project for young Aboriginal people with disabilities through a partnership between the Aboriginal Housing Office, NSW Housing, ADHAC and FaHCSIA; and
Development of a model of Supported Accommodation for Aboriginal young people.
According to the media release by the Hon Jenny Macklin and others, the Commonwealth government will commit $20,000 towards upgrading housing for Aboriginal people wiht a disability in Shellharbour (Macklin, 2010).
Action Area 5: strengthening capacity of Aboriginal organisations
Consultation with Aboriginal organisations that express an interest in being part of a support and training program for Aboriginal community groups in the areas of governance, management and/or program implementation; and
Planning and implementation of such a program.
Action Area 6: culturally competent services
Formation of a reference group comprised of representatives from the Illawarra Aboriginal Community Based Working Group, FaHCSIA and other government and community bodies; and
Joint development of a process for identifying cultural barriers to access to appropriate services from mainstream agencies.|