Aboriginal Tasmanians welcomed the first ever Tasmanian Aboriginal Community Organisations and Heads of Agency Forum held this week in Hobart.
More than twenty Aboriginal Tasmanians representing organisations from across Tasmania, including TRACA members, met with Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jacquie Petrusma and Heads of Government Agencies to build better understanding and engagement.
Featuring in the presentation were Heads of Departments (or their representatives) from Treasury and Finance, Communities, Education and Health.
Patsy Cameron, TRACA Co-Chair said, “We are delighted that Minister Petrusma has delivered on her promise to provide Aboriginal communities from across Tasmania with access to Heads of Government Departments. We see it as a great beginning to ongoing, authentic engagement about issues that matter to our communities.”
Rodney Dillon, TRACA Co-Chair said, “It’s an important step towards Premier Hodgman’s resetting the relationship in practical terms so that regional Aboriginal groups feel their issues can be addressed by Government. We also discussed a more equitable distribution of funding for Aboriginal programs and policy to ensure future expenditure is allocated in the fairest way.”
Minister Petrusma said while there is still a lot more to be done, “This historic forum represents another significant milestone in our efforts to reset the relationship with the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.”
Participants were positive and buoyed by these first steps and the prospect of ongoing dialogue with State Government. Plans are underway to have a follow-up meeting before the end of the year.