Interim Evaluation of the Northern Territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Aged Care Workforce Development Projects - Attachments
4. The Northern Territory Emergency Response Employment and Welfare Reform Measure
4.1 BackgroundOn June 21st 2007 the former Australian Government announced the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), also known as the ‘Intervention’ with the aim of protecting children and making communities in the Northern Territory safe52. The implementation of the NTER was primarily instigated in response to the ‘Little Children are Sacred’53 report completed in 2007 that recommended that Aboriginal child sexual abuse in the NT be designated as an issue of urgent national significance and that the underlying social and community factors contributing to the disadvantage of Aboriginal people be addressed. The NTER was to have three key phases:
- Stabilisation – the first year to 30 June 2008
- Normalisation of services and infrastructure – years two to five; 2009-12
- Longer term support to close the gaps between these communities and standards of services and outcomes enjoyed by the rest of Australia54.
- The development of innovative employment training options for Aboriginal communities in such areas as the creation of support of local industries, use of cultural skills and knowledge....and that this be supported through adequately resourced adult education and training
- That efforts be made to develop a local workforce to address health and welfare issues within communities
- That support be provided for the development of Aboriginal people as local community development workers to improve capacity, problem solving and administrative self sufficiency within communities55.
- The need to continue to increase employment opportunities for Indigenous people in remote communities through economic development and partnerships with industry and governments
- The need to identify, convert and establish ‘real jobs’ in communities and that market wages be paid for these jobs
- That the option of part time and job-shared positions be available
- That educational facilities need to be provided for Indigenous people of all ages to access education including those seeking technical and further education and training
- That adults have access to literacy and numeracy programs.
The Australian Government appointed the NTER Review Board to conduct an independent and transparent review of the NTER by 30th September 2008 through:
- Reviewing evidence of actual progress in improving the safety and wellbeing of children and in improving the education, health, community safety and employment outcomes for citizens in remote communities and town camps in the NT57. Evidence reviewed was submitted through public submissions and consultations with Indigenous people.
- Consider what is and isn’t working and whether the current suite of NTER measures will deliver the intended results. In addition, unintended consequences and better ways of working were explored.
- In relation to each NTER measure, make an assessment of its effects to date and recommend required changes to improve each measure and monitor performance58.
- The Australian and Northern Territory Governments recognise the continuing need to address the unacceptably high levels of disadvantage and social dislocation experienced by remote communities and town camps in the Northern Territory
- Governments reset their relationship with Indigenous people based on genuine consultation, engagement and partnership and
- Government actions respect Australian human right obligations and conform with the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.
Literacy and numeracy specific training is not provided through the Workforce Development Projects; however, support of literacy and numeracy through the provision of training and experiential training with community care workers forms the approach being delivered by the four trainers delivering training to the 61 communities. This is further explored in Section 5: Training in the NT for the Community Aged Care Workforce and the Workforce Development Approach.
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52. Commonwealth of Australia 2008 Northern Territory Emergency Response Report of the NTER Review Board Canberra
53. Northern Territory Government 2007 Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle Little Children are Sacred: Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse Darwin
54. Commonwealth of Australia 2008 Northern Territory Emergency Response Report of the NTER Review Board Canberra
56. Northern Territory Emergency Response Taskforce June 2008 Final Report to Government Canberra
57. Commonwealth of Australia 2009 Northern Territory Emergency Response Report of the NTER Review Board Canberra