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The Significance of Capacity Building for Indigenous Australians

The indigenous Australians suffers more in comparison to their non-indigenous counterparts when it comes to educational development, facing health crisis as well as unemployment. With the life term of 20 years or more considering the increasing impact of health disease, sufferings and illness, the indigenous people in Australia experience economic instability, insecure education support and social relations as well as unemployment reflects the worse conditions in which the indigenous lives (Central Land Council, 2022). Due to their own aspiration and practices that differs from their non-indigenous counterparts, the present conditions are contributing to their poverty. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are a significant community of the Indigenous population of Australia (Australian Government, 2022). This paper performs an analysis of the policies and programs that Australian government is integrating to effectively build their capacity for survival and growth. The purpose of the critical analysis of community development program is to understand the ways in which employment of the indigenous could provide a better future for them in terms of cultural and social assimilation.

Capacity building is discussed as focusing energy, giving support and encouragement as well as providing resources to all members in a community significantly helping them get a better control on their lives in relevance to their development of competencies and skills.  The process is significant in ways where the most disadvantaged and poorest individuals in a community is given equal opportunities so that they can also contribute to the inclusive practices of development. The performance of these individuals after being supported and encouraged will contribute to the community development leading to a better management of the future of the community (Collective Impact Forum, 2014).

Implementation of diverse and inclusive community participation in the form of activities, leadership based must be expanded as well as individual skills of members of the community are a few ways in which capacity building. This is an approach that is based on local support and dependency and by preventing outside dependency, it helps community and its members to identify, address and resolve local issues themselves. It is the process that encourages people to develop a sense of empowerment and ownership based on their cultures and traditions reflecting their sense of belongingness. As community members, it is a way of making the people of the community to experience and practice ownership on their future as well as the community development and growth (Australian Government, 2022).

Capacity building is significant when it comes to working with the community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders because it contributes to the feeling of empowerment, self-determination, collective action, social justice, inclusion and human rights. Capacity building not only contributes to enhancement of social inclusion but also makes the people of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders community feel more connected Ness. Skills in the form of individual and collaborative contributes to acquisition of new knowledge, self-efficacy and empowerment. The community development is encouraged by capacity building leading to resolving of any negative issues in terms of the social and cultural discrimination, oppression and instability (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2022)

Health and Community Development

Health is one of the important aspects of the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders community considering they suffer from severe physical issues of respiratory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal condition. The mental issues that lead to the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into violence, mental illness, suicide, alcohol misuse and abuse impacts their overall growth and cohesiveness in the community. Therefore, it is significant to identify that capacity building contributes to the development of the community by resolving their isolated experiences, loneliness by bringing them together through collaboration and community development (Stuart, 2018).

Every individual must feel connected to the wider community and that is the whole for capacity building proving its significance in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders community. The poverty experienced by aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is resolved by integrating capacity building in terms of encouraging individual skills as well as strength of the community. Integration of power and interpersonal relationships contributes to the minds and hearts of all individuals in the community coming together to live a fulfilling life for the future. Instead of suffering under physical and mental illness, he must come together to help each other out of any undermining and crisis-based situation (Campbell, Browne and Grudnoff, 2018).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been identified as a significant part of indigenous Australians therefore, the Australian government has announced a budget committing towards the indigenous skills and employment program in 2021-22. Under the community development program (CPD), employment services are provided across Australia to Aboriginal and the Torres Strait islanders that are specially designed to address the gap in the mainstream services. Community development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is not only about addressing their identity in Australia but also about looking after their health, education and employment (Kellard et al., 2015). It is about financial well-being and economic compliance of a community therefore; it is the responsibility of the Australian government as well as their representative to establish indigenous participation in business and employment all across Australia.

The social well-being and economic growth of indigenous Australians have significantly worsened over the years when compare to non-indigenous Australians even with effective public investment in labour market programmes as well as assistance in the form of economic and educational support (Stuart, 2018). The community development employment project schemes not only funds indigenous communities in remote and rural Australia would also aim to provide employment in the form of constructing positions that are relatable for the aboriginals and Torres Strait islands as well as help them design their employment activities in relevance to the community needs as well as the job opportunities. It is the successful implementation of services through which capability, monitoring and governance play important roles reflecting the resources and their significance (TEDwomen, 2018).

The Australian government program known as “Work for the Dole” is a form of work-based welfare and it was enacted in 1998 where job seekers can receive the Newstart allowance especially when they have obligations identified in terms of part-time work, volunteer work, accredited study and Australian Army reserves. The scheme is identified as how old government where it targets and is made compulsory for long-term unemployed individuals (Collective Impact Forum, 2014). In a community like a boy original and Torres Strait Islanders, it has been observed that it is often difficult to get effective employment providing financial stability. Therefore, as assets to the community, individuals belonging to aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders community supported informal inclusion in terms of employment in a wide range of areas such as arts, community care, heritage, environment, sports, government services, facilitation of army and security, wisdom and others (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2022).

The Role of Capacity Building in Resolving Poverty and Isolation

While providing services in these positions, individuals from this community will feel more inclusive and effectively contribute to the growth and the development of the overall community in the future. Participating into this scheme will contribute to their eligibility and credibility of being an asset not only to the community but also to the nation encouraging them to identify themselves as eligible and active individuals. Individuals such as David Gulpilil came from the practices and traditions of communities reflecting the significance of individual skills and its representation of community cohesion (TAYLOR, 2014). Capacity building is observed in this project reflecting the allowance that they will be receiving and the significance of their participation effectively helping them make a position for themselves in the community. Essential training, safety training, occupational health support, transportation costs and protective clothing are all provided for sponsorship under this project. This reflects the mutual obligation of the project towards its target community (Turner, 2020).

When addressing community and social issues, it can be stated that it is about bringing change on a neighbourhood level or the community level so that members of the community can feel safe, provide a better future of children, reduce in social isolation as well as increase in community cohesion. Evaluating the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities, it is significant that they are one of the grassroots community groups therefore, it is the responsibility of the Australian government to contribute to their employment (Jordan et al., 2016). Evaluating their long-term growth and development, planning of community cohesion and engagement of individual skills and significant capacity building process that is ensuring their employment through community building schemes. The project identified such as “Work for the Dole” is an engaging way of making the members of the community feel involved and inclusive of the overall development and growth process (Campbell, Browne and Grudnoff, 2018).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be stated that the disadvantage and the oppression experienced by the indigenous group aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders must be resolved by providing them economic development and stability. Opportunities in terms of employment that targets their individual and community skills must be increased. Training activities as well as educational and knowledge acquisition must be granted to them so that they can represent themselves among the population of Australia and acquire a stable lifestyle. Not only development in health and education services but also equal economic rights will contribute to the Australian labour market and the involvement of indigenous people such as the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

References

Australian Government. (2022). Employment | National Indigenous Australians Agency. Niaa.gov.au. Retrieved 8 April 2022, from https://www.niaa.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/employment.

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2022). Community Development. Australian Government. Retrieved 8 April 2022, from https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/expert-panel-project/what-community-development.

Campbell, R., Browne, B. and Grudnoff, M., 2018. Remote control: the Community Development Program, remote Australia’s work for the dole scheme. https://apo.org.au/node/143351

Central Land Council. (2022). Home - Central Land Council. Central Land Council. Retrieved 8 April 2022, from https://www.clc.org.au/?%2Farticles%2Finfo%2Fcommunity-development.

Collective Impact Forum. (2014). Tackling Complex Social Problems through Collective Impact [Video]. Retrieved 8 April 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzmMk63ihNM&t=2s.

Jordan, K., Fowkes, L., Kral, I., Sanders, W., Altman, J., Klein, E., ... & Paterson, J. (2016). Job creation and income support in remote Indigenous Australia: moving forward with a better system. https://apo.org.au/node/70960

Kellard, K., Honey, N., McNamara, T., Biddle, N., & Gray, M. (2015). Evaluation of Work for the Dole 2014-15. report prepared for Department of Employment by the Social Research Centre, ANU Downloaded, 19, 15. https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/rsss/WFD_14_15.pdf

Stuart, G. (2018). A video introducing asset-based community development (ABCD). Sustaining Community. Retrieved 8 April 2022, from https://sustainingcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/abcd-video/.

TAYLOR, B. (2014). DAVID GULPILIL: SCREEN LEGEND. NFSA. Retrieved 8 April 2022, from https://www.nfsa.gov.au/latest/david-dalaithngu-screen-legend.

 TEDwomen. (2018). Public art that turns cities into playgrounds of the imagination [Video]. Retrieved 8 April 2022, from https://www.ted.com/talks/helen_marriage_public_art_that_turns_cities_into_playgrounds_of_the_imagination?language=en.

Turner, B. (2020). This was published 1 year ago 'The world's greatest psychological experiment': Loneliness in the age of the coronavirus lockdown. Smh.com.au. Retrieved 8 April 2022, from https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-world-s-greatest-psychological-experiment-when-the-loneliness-epidemic-met-the-coronavirus-pandemic-20200806-p55j8g.html.

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