New head to lead SA’s first stand-alone Aboriginal housing strategy

The Marshall Liberal Government has appointed a new Head of Aboriginal Housing to lead the rollout of South Australia’s first-ever stand-alone Aboriginal Housing strategy, with the aim of improving outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Kuyani-Arrernte woman Erin Woolford was appointed to the head role in the SA Housing Authority to spearhead the development and implementation of a new Aboriginal Housing Strategy.

The new strategy will address the specific housing needs of Aboriginal people and is expected to be released in mid-2021.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said Erin has a wealth of experience working with regional and remote South Australian communities.

“Erin is an accomplished leader in Aboriginal Affairs and policy development, and as Head of Aboriginal Housing she will play a vital role in improving housing for Aboriginal people across our state,” said Minister Lensink.

“She has lived in regional and remote communities over the past four decades, and worked across government, corporate, academic and specialist service sectors.

“Erin’s experience and familiarity with the priorities of Aboriginal communities will be an ongoing asset to SA Housing Authority and our state, as we continue to engage with communities to design and deliver a new strategy.

“It is widely understood that better housing is a key factor in closing the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples within Australia.

“Housing provides a stable place from which to access health services, access and maintain employment, attend school and generally increase social inclusion.

However, securing safe and affordable housing currently is out of reach for many Aboriginal people – the new strategy will aim to change this.”

Ms Woolford is this week travelling around regional and remote South Australia as part of the latest consultation with Aboriginal communities about the new strategy.

“The strong message we have heard so far from our engagement with communities is that they want to work with government and other organisations to create a housing sector that reflects the needs and aspirations of all Aboriginal people living in South Australia,” said Ms Woolford.

“The strategy is about more than just housing – it requires government, Aboriginal communities, service providers and the broader housing sector to work in partnership to create safe, secure and affordable housing outcomes, culturally informed and responsive

services, economic development opportunities, and to strengthen local decision making frameworks to enable Aboriginal people within South Australia to thrive.”

Ms Woolford is also working closely with the Aboriginal Advisory Committee to draft and implement the strategy.

Chair of the Committee, Shona Reid, thanked the community for their contribution to the strategy.

“We would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank all who have contributed to developing the Aboriginal Housing Strategy so far,” said Ms Reid.

“I would like to congratulate Erin on her appointment as Head of Aboriginal Housing.

Together with people across the state we are committed to improving housing outcomes for Aboriginal people.”

Delivering a new Aboriginal Housing Strategy is one of 33 actions under the Marshall Liberal Government’s once-in-a-generation 10-year strategy Our Housing Future 2020-30.

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