A detailed evaluation of the NSW Government’s plan for Aboriginal Affairs has been presented during a ceremonial launch at Parliament House today.
The Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW has conducted extensive research into the NSW Government’s OCHRE program, specifically on how effective it has been in supporting strong Aboriginal communities to participate actively in social, economic and cultural life.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell said she is proud the findings from the report show that OCHRE has been “remarkably successful”.
“The positive conclusions of this evaluation report make it clear that Aboriginal people have always been at the heart of decision making throughout the development of OCHRE,” Mrs Mitchell said.
“Evaluations of OCHRElike this one are significant and unprecedented in government. It’s important because it takes time to truly understand the impact of OCHRE and build the evidence we need along the way.”
Victor Dominello MP and Leslie Williams MP, previous Aboriginal Affairs Ministers who were also instrumental in the establishment and development of OCHRE, joined Minister Mitchell at the ceremony.
Mr Dominello said the report is testament to the Government’s commitment to working with Aboriginal communities to achieve positive educational and employment outcomes.
“OCHRE emphasises collaboration and taking an evidence based approach to policymaking. It’s pleasing to see that ground breaking initiatives like the Language and Culture Nests have been so warmly embraced by Aboriginal communities across the state,” he said.
Mrs Williams said she welcomed the findings from the evaluation.
“Like any thorough evaluation, not only has this one highlighted the successes, but also areas for improvement so that policy and practice can be strengthened,” she said.
“The NSW Government will continue to work alongside Aboriginal peoples to truly transform the relationship between community and government and to continue to make OCHRE stronger.”
Over 30 Aboriginal communities participated in the evaluation and community voices have been instrumental to making sure that the NSW Government is hearing what it is and isn’t doing well and how to make improvements in local areas.
OCHRE stands for Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment and is the NSW Government’s plan for Aboriginal affairs.
For more information, visit the Aboriginal Affairs NSW website.