Aboriginal Community Engagement Group
Closing the Gap:
The Urban and Regional Service Delivery Strategy
The National Urban and Regional Strategy is a plan to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in cities and towns. The Australian, State and Local Governments will work with community to ensure that the Strategy makes a difference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in South Australia.
Four out of five Aboriginal South Australians live in cities and regional communities.
The Urban and Regional Strategy is a way to improve services for Aboriginal people and so contribute to the COAG Closing the Gap targets.
The targets we are aiming to achieve are:
- closing the life expectancy gap within a generation;
- halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade;
- ensuring all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities have access to early childhood education within five years;
- halving the gap for Indigenous students in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade;
- halving the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates by 2020; and
- halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.
If we are to overcome the disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people, we need to tackle issues related to the 7 building blocks:
- Early Childhood
- Economic Participation
- Healthy Homes
- Safe Communities and
- Governance and Leadership
To do this the Urban and Regional Strategy has 5 priority Action Areas.
- Integration and governance – improved coordination of services and cross-government collaboration.
- Effective Services – improved access to services, delivery of services that are culturally competent and increased linkages between Indigenous specific and mainstream services.
- Focusing on Local Need/place-based Approaches – identify priority locations, undertake focused place based work there, prioritise investment in services and programs in those locations.
- Strengthening Indigenous Capacity, Engagement and Participation – support community leadership, strengthen cultural respect and recognition and develop responses to local needs which are driven by community and government.
- Building Effective Accountability and Sustainability – ensure programs and services have regular transparent performance monitoring, review and evaluation, share good practice and collect quality data.
The Urban and Regional Strategy Port Augusta Initiative will include the development of a Local Action Agreement. The Local Action Agreement will be based on community views such as priority areas for change. The intent of the Port Augusta Initiative will be in align to local resources and networks to deliver more effective services to Aboriginal people, in a way that will work towards Closing the Gap.