Partnership to deliver Aboriginal-led community housing announced
NAIDOC Week celebrations this week saw the signing of a unique agreement between Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, Tharawal Housing Aboriginal Corporation and Hume Community Housing today at Tharawal’s centre in Airds. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organisations cements a new partnership to improve housing and social outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities across South West Sydney.
Tharawal CEO Darryl Wright and Hume CEO Nicola Lemon signed the agreement, witnessed by representatives from Family and Community Services and the Aboriginal Housing Office.
Under the agreement, Hume, a veteran community housing provider with more than 30 years’ experience, committed to supporting Tharawal Housing Aboriginal Corporation in their goal of achieving Community Housing Provider status. In return, Tharawal promised to develop Aboriginal Cultural Competency Training to build capability and awareness across Hume’s workforce.
On 14 June 2019, registration under the National Regulatory System Community Housing (NRSCH) was achieved with Tharawal Housing Aboriginal Corporation approved to operate as a Tier 3 provider, delivering housing solutions for their Indigenous customers.
“Today is the result of genuine commitment, trust, respect, and shared values between us. This is true reconciliation in action. With Hume’s support we’ve combined our joint resources, knowledge, and experience to achieve important, long-reaching objectives for both organisations,” said Mr. Wright. He cited the work of his team, including Alison Croall and Karen Fischer, in supporting Tharawal Housing Aboriginal Corporation to be recognised as the first NRSCH approved provider in the Sydney South Western district for the Aboriginal Housing Office.
“Our long-term goal of better supporting and improving Aboriginal people’s health is driven by a holistic approach which acknowledges the critical role good quality housing plays in a person’s well-being. Knowing we can not only provide healthcare but also return people home to a better standard of living will significantly improve their quality of life and in turn their health outcomes,” said Mr. Wright.
Ms. Lemon told those at the signing that the opportunity to support Tharawal Housing Aboriginal Corporation in their endeavours was a natural step for Hume. “Our organisation provides opportunities for our customers to prosper. We want everyone to have access to safe, secure housing and we are advocates for Aboriginal controlled service provision. Combining housing with health and well-being is revolutionary and we expect to see long-term benefits for generations to come. I’m pleased we can play a role in achieving better outcomes for Aboriginal people.”
Under the agreement, Hume will also provide support to ensure Tharawal Housing Aboriginal Corporation’s new housing customers receive reliable, high-quality repair and maintenance services. “We know the importance of having a home that is well maintained and Hume have the expertise and capacity to assist Tharawal. However, this is a mutually beneficial partnership and with Tharawal’s expertise and support, Hume have an Aboriginal Cultural Competency plan and training program that Tharawal will deliver, to build capability across Hume’s workforce,” said Ms. Lemon.
Tharawal Housing Aboriginal Corporation is currently in discussions with the Aboriginal Housing Office and hopes to be managing their first properties by the end of the year.