NCADA: Leading the way for community input into service delivery
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the North Coast of NSW will soon be able to advocate on the delivery of NSW state government services such as health, education and housing, through the North Coast Aboriginal Development Alliance (NCADA). Formerly known as the Regional Aboriginal Development Alliance (RADA). NCADA's service area extends from the Clarence Valley to Tweed Heads.
NCADA is one of eight alliances across NSW set up under the NSW State Government's (Aboriginal Affairs) OCHRE Strategy, specifically its Local Decision Making (LDM) initiative.
Independent (Interim) Chairperson, Andrew Hegedus said that "…. NCADA currently has an interim committee comprised of Aboriginal people from across the Northern Rivers covering the areas of Aboriginal Health, Law & Social Justice, Local Government, Youth, and Aboriginal Land Councils…" He added that "…. positions for Aboriginal housing, Aboriginal education, and Family and Wellbeing are yet to be filled and this will happen in due course as we get things underway…." The interim Chairperson further commented that " … these 'portfolio' areas were agreed to by Aboriginal people from across the region who met in Coffs Harbour in 2013, just after OCHRE was first launched by the then NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon Victor Dominello (MP)…" He further indicated " … the current make-up of the interim committee has been agreed to until 30 December 2021. This will enable Steering Committee members to undertake its role of establishing the format for Aboriginal people to hear more about the LDM concept and commence the process for consultation among Aboriginal people across the north coast, something that should have occurred over three years prior…"
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"… NCADA represents an opportunity for Aboriginal people in the regions to hold government ministers, local members and their agencies accountable…." " … it provides Aboriginal people with access to the most senior ranks of the NSW government and its agencies across the state and the regions…" "… for too long, there has been decisions made about Aboriginal people behind closed doors with very little input from us in the regions…" " … we now possibly have a structure in place to address this…". " … it's up to the people…"
NCADA has recently engaged the services of three local Aboriginal consultants, who will soon commence consultations with Aboriginal people across the north coast about issues facing them, their families and their community, and how State government services can be focused to address these issues. Another major focus of NCADA will be forming partnerships to strengthen and grow Aboriginal leadership across the north coast, particularly among our youth.
Details on consultations dates and venues will be widely advertised. Further information on NCADA, can be obtained by contacting the NCADA Project Officer, Janelle Brown on 0475 961 280.