02/02/2021 - 13:00

Aboriginal-led consortium wins $7m contract

02/02/2021 - 13:00

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A consortium led by Aboriginal-owned business Noongar Mia Mia has earned a $7 million contract to help support the state government’s housing first homeless initiative.

Aboriginal-led consortium wins $7m contract
Simone McGurk says Aboriginal-owned businesses have a deep and holistic understanding of the challenges that many Aboriginal people experiencing homelessness face. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

A consortium led by Aboriginal-owned business Noongar Mia Mia has earned a $7 million contract to help support the state government’s housing first homeless initiative.

That initiative, costed at $35 million overall, will provide housing to Western Australia's rough sleepers as well as wrapround support services.

Ruah Community Services, which ranks 20th on Data & Insights’ list of charitable organisations with $27 million in revenue, is the coordinating agency for the initiative.

Noongar Mia Mia, Wungening Aboriginal Corporation and Ngalla Maya Aboriginal Corporation will deliver its services as part of an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations partnership.

Community Services Minister Simone McGurk called the contract an important milestone in the state government’s work to partner with Aboriginal people and help them deliver services to their communities.

“Taking a culturally informed approach to addressing homelessness, and ensuring services are delivered with a view to supporting self-determination, are key to our ongoing efforts to improve outcomes for Aboriginal Western Australians and rough sleepers,” she said.

“These organisations and their staff have a deep and holistic understanding of the challenges that many Aboriginal people experiencing homelessness face.”

News of the contract award comes as Shelter WA chief executive Michelle Mackenzie has brought attention to a surge in assistance requests from Perth’s homeless population in light of the state's five-day lockdown.

She argued the state government should follow the Hotels for Heart program, which helped house some of the state’s homeless population in hotels during the first lockdown, to be reimplemented in response to the current lockdown.

“In 2020 the Hotels for Heart response provided learnings to accommodating people who are homeless,” Ms Mackenzie said.

“We know what to do and how to respond.

“Government must be congratulated for recent initiatives that provided accommodation and service support for people who were living in local parks, providing the foundation for pathways to a permanent home.

“The outpouring of community compassion showed this is what we expect from our leaders – when times are tough, we look out for each other.

“And whilst this might be challenging and difficult at times, we should never give up.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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