Championing change in remote communities

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships The Honourable Craig Crawford

A program that connects 18 remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with Palaszczuk Government Ministers is set to continue delivering positive outcomes.

Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford today announced the renewal of the Ministerial and Government Champions Program — keeping communities connected with government to plan and direct service delivery.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to reframing our relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, especially with remote and discrete communities through this initiative,” Mr Crawford said.

“In 2015, we re-established the Government Champions Program and in 2016 expanded the program to include Cabinet Ministers,” he said.

“Our renewed commitment will ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, especially those living in the most remote corners of the state, have a say in the issues, solutions and aspirations for their communities.

“Consistent with the principles that underpin Path to Treaty and Closing the Gap, the Champions Program helps to promote the strengths, knowledge and rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“The Palaszczuk Government remains committed to closing the gap by ensuring First Nations people have access to improved health, education, housing and wellbeing services. To support the Closing the Gap targets, the Champions Program enables on the ground contact between Ministers, departmental Directors-General and community leadership.

“The Champions Program continues to support community development aspirations, employment opportunities and the delivery of quality frontline services. At the height of COVID-19 Ministerial and Government Champions also played an important role in ensuring ongoing dialogue with councils and community representatives via virtual meetings and teleconferences.

Achievements of the Champions Program include the Kowanyama Men’s Shed and Women’s meeting place, supporting renewable energy under the Decarbonising Remote Communities Program, airport upgrades in Mapoon, dialysis services in Mornington Island and road infrastructure upgrades across each community to name a few.

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