Wunan delivers report on Living Change initiative in Halls Creek
5 June 2012
In the next two months, Wunan will deliver a report on the feasibility of implementing its Living Change initiative in Halls Creek and seek to secure funding to continue the initiative.
As regular readers will know, Living Change is a Wunan initiative to rebuild family responsibilities and local authority in East Kimberley communities. Since beginning work on Living Change in early 2011, Wunan has primarily focused on how it could be trialed in the town of Halls Creek. With the introduction of alcohol restrictions in May 2009, the community there has been able to halt what appeared to be an inexorable decline. Now, there is a chance “to create a prosperous, caring, safe, inclusive and proactive community” (Halls Creek Community Strategy 2008- 2018)
Wunan sees Living Change as a key part of building that future. Since February, Wunan has been undertaking formal community consultations in Halls Creek on the possible implementation of Living Change. Wunan has started those consultations by discussing the key responsibilities that individuals and families must meet, such as caring for kids and sending them to school every day. Conversations have then turned to how to support individuals and families who are not meeting those responsibilities. Wunan has proposed the establishment of a community panel to initially meet with those people and coordinate appropriate services to assist them. In this model, if people continue not to meet their responsibilities, the panel would be able to put them on income management to ensure that they are purchasing essential household goods and paying expenses.
As part of Living Change, Wunan is also looking to develop and expand initiatives that provide opportunities for responsible families in Halls Creek, such as its Dural Education Excellence and Transitional Housing programs.
To date, Wunan has not been able to secure government or philanthropic funding to continue its Living Change work in Halls Creek after July 2012. However, Wunan is determined to do so, as it believes that success for Halls Creek (and other communities in the East Kimberley) will come from encouraging and rewarding aspiration, independence and responsibility.