After several years of a worthy effort at community engagement WHY is the Victorian Government taking such a heavy-handed non-communicative approach to merging two hard-working community-based groups achieving heaps ‘on the smell of an oily rag’!
It seems Reconciliation Vic heard some weeks ago ‘from a reliable source’ that they would be not be funded beyond June 2009.
The key argument:
“The government is funding ‘Closing the Gap’ activity via grants to Indigenous community orgs etc. We fully support any such initiatives if they are wanted by Indigenous communities, but this is only part of what needs to be done. www.antarvictoria.org.au
The Victorian Government’s Approaches to community strengthening state three basic principles:
Does the last point need revisiting I wonder?
The Brumby Government sent out an official notification a fortnight ago about not being funded in the next financial year, though they made the offered of ‘interim’ funding from the Aboriginal Affairs budget on the morning of Sorry Day on the understanding that it would ‘merge’ with Stolen Generations Victoria in two years time.
On Tuesday night, the Board of Reconciliation Victoria voted unanimously to reject the offer as ‘inadequate’ and ‘inappropriate’.
This offer is now regarded by many as a face-saving exercise as both the Liberal-National Opposition and the Greens are supporting the continued and indeed increased funding.
SURELY it’s time to straighten out exactly what the issues are – and the need for change – and then to address this in a timely, respectful manner?
You can check out what one Victorian community had to say about their ‘dialogue to change’ via a series of community wide conversations. ‘Dialogue To Change’ Action Outcomes From Hobsons Bay Study Circles
One of the many comments:
“I learnt that spending the time to explore big issues is respectful and rewarding for all. I learnt that everybody can have their voice heard and find common ground. I learnt that diversity brings richness and satisfaction to the process and the outcomes. I learnt that there is a lot of planning and preparation behind what appears like an easy and simple technique. I also learnt that I want to know more.”
Over to our leaders!