ACT Election Announcements

Healing and Reconciliation Fund to support Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community

October 04, 2020

A re-elected ACT Labor Government will work with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to promote healing and reconciliation.

To support our commitment to Closing the Gap, a re-elected ACT Labor Government will establish a $20 million Healing and Reconciliation Fund to be administered in partnership with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to deliver on the priorities identified through the ACT Aboriginal andTorres Strait Islander Agreement.ACT Labor's Healing and Reconciliation Fund will support Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

This will include:

  • Establishing a Ngunnawal Language Centre and continuing to support opportunities to rediscover and share Ngunnawal culture and language.
  • Working with Ngunnawal traditional owners to progress and support a Treaty process for the ACT.
  • Supporting the development of sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations in areas such as child and family services, justice, housing and disability.
  • Returning Boomanulla Oval and Yarramundi Cultural Centre to community control.

A re-elected Labor Government will also work with Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation (Gugan) to deliver a new $10 million purpose-built facility.

We want to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations grow and thrive in the ACT, and a new building for Gugan in Wanniassa will better enable the organisation to deliver vital culturally specific and safe programs and services.

ACT Labor spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Rachel Stephen-Smith said that the fund will ensure that the ACT continues to lead the nation in having an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice to government.

“We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations have the answers and we must work with them and empower them to close the gap in health, wellbeing and economic outcomes.

“The Healing and Reconciliation Fund is a significant commitment to First Nations leadership and addressing the priorities identified by the community.

“A new building for Gugan Gulwan is a clear priority and we’ve worked with Gugan over the last two years to determine that the best solution is a purpose-built facility on the existing site. This is a commitment to Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and families and the dedicated staff who work with them every day.”

A re-elected ACT Labor Government will also establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People’s Commissioner.

The Commissioner will advocate for the interests of all First Nations children and young people in Canberra, including those in out of home care.
ACT Labor is committed to working in partnership with the local community to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans can reach their full potential and remain connected to family, culture and country.