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New aged care service announced for East Arnhem Land

Community consultation is now open until December 2017 following the Federal Government’s announcement of a new Indigenous aged care service for local Elders in East Arnhem Land.

Access to quality and culturally respectful aged care coming to the NT (Source: Shutterstock)
Access to quality and culturally respectful aged care coming to the NT (Source: Shutterstock)

The announced service aims to provide access to quality and culturally respectful aged care to all older Australians in the remote Northern Territory area, as well as employment to help assist in sustaining local jobs.

Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, and Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion say foundation funding of $340,000 will help to begin the project.

“The first stage of development will involve community consultations to discuss job opportunities and the best service model to meet the region’s needs,” Minister Scullion says.

“Recruiting and training local Indigenous people to work in the purpose-built service will be a key consideration, with up to a dozen full and part time positions expected to be created.”

Minister Wyatt says the prospect of jobs for local Indigenous people will empower them through training and employment while maintaining strong connections with their Elders.

“Locals will be involved from the ground up, to design a sustainable, culturally sensitive service, providing residential care and support to older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, so they can stay close to their community and country,” he explains.

“The East Arnhem community will be encouraged to participate in all aspects of the service, from planning through to operation.”

Minister Wyatt adds that working in partnership with locals is vitally important to develop and deliver aged care for the Nhulunbuy community.

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring all Australians have access to high quality aged care services that respect their cultural diversity,” he says.

“The new service is expected to open in late 2018, and will add to the existing 32 services, mainly in rural and remote locations, funded under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.”

The Australian Regional and Remote Community Services Ltd were selected in November last year, following a competitive tender process, to establish the service.

Community consultations will begin immediately and run until December 2017.

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