BY DAKOTA TAIT
Two of the leading Aboriginal organisations in the Hunter have come together to deliver a new aged care facility for the elderly community.
Awabakal Ltd and Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, making a commitment to work with one another on the project.
Awabakal Ltd Deputy Chair Raymond Smith says the project was exciting and a positive step forward.
“We’re in the process of partnerships to link up with all the other Aboriginal organisations, to come together, to pool our resources together, to drive culturally appropriate ideas that we are putting forward,” Mr Raymond Smith said.
“These partnerships, they’re important to us for future growth.”
Biraban LALC is expected to provide the land for the new facility, while Awabakal Ltd will contribute medical care and expand their current infrastructure and services.
“The facility itself will also provide all medical services from Awabakal, for our community, and supporting independent accommodation for the Aboriginal community,” Mr Raymond Smith said.
“That will allow interaction and for that social network between the family members.”
Biraban LALC Chair Edward Smith said the Memorandum would help both parties “ensure that our community and Elders are cared for in a culturally safe environment”.
“There’s a big population within the Lake Macquarie area and Newcastle,” Mr Edward Smith said.
“There’s over 8,000 within Lake Macquarie and four to five thousand in Newcastle – and then you put the rest of the Hunter together, so you’re looking over a 30,000 population of Indigenous people.”
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council has also spoken in support of the partnership.