Doomadgee will lead Closing the Gap pilot to identify best path for ECEC
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Doomadgee will lead Closing the Gap pilot to identify best path for ECEC

by Freya Lucas

August 17, 2022

Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire will lead a Queensland-first Closing the Gap pilot to identify how best to roll out priority programs like health, housing, and early childhood in First Nations communities.


QLD Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the best chance to reach the 17 targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap was through community-led decision making.


The Doomadgee pilot program was announced ahead of the Path to Treaty launch made by the Queensland Government on 16 August.


“Our approach now places First Nations people at the centre of decision-making,” Mr Crawford said.


“We recognise that a shift in how we develop and implement government policies and programs is needed to ensure significant improvements in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”


The pilot represents a new way of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people together, in partnership, the Minister continued.


“Implementing these priority reforms is key to achieving the 17 ambitious socio-economic targets to improve social and emotional well-being, health, education, employment, family violence, justice, language preservation, housing and land and waters outcomes.”


Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Jason Ned said his community looked forward to taking a lead role in government service reform.


“Our communities are best-placed to determine what they need to improve social, health, housing, employment and economic outcomes, so it is sensible that this process is community-led,” Mr Ned said.


“Our priorities for the local community align with the Closing the Gap Priority Outcomes of Health, Housing, Disability, Early Childhood as well as Children and Justice.”


Throughout the project the people of Doomadgee will benefit from the opportunity to exercise community control through the establishment of a new community company, soon to be launched pending the announcements from both state and commonwealth in regards to place based partnerships under Closing the Gap. 


“My Council appreciates the ongoing partnership with the Department and looks forward to concrete outcomes in improving the lives of First Nations peoples,” Mr Ned added.


Traditional Owner and Doomadgee Elder Mr Barry Walden said the solidarity coming from a local unified approach between the Cultural Authority and Government builds the desire for more success.


“Our one purpose is that Doomadgee is at the front rather than being left behind,” he added.


“The steps towards self-reliance, to self-governance and then onto sovereignty start here with self-determination. This announcement brings us that one step closer.”


The program will be funded from the additional $3.1 million over four years allocated in the 2022-23 State Budget to deliver National Agreement outcomes.


The Queensland Government will provide $0.563 million in 2022-23 to support the place-based partnership in Doomadgee.


More than $74 million is invested in the 2022-23 State Budget for initiatives to support outcomes for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland.


Further details on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives funded in the 2022-23 State Budget, including $16.7 million over four years to continue land administration and planning work to support economic development and home ownership in remote communities, are available here, along with more information about the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

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