A group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations across Australia are receiving a total of $1.27 million in grants to improve the delivery of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support services.
The $22,000 Indigenous Business Support Funding grants have been awarded to 57 organisations.
Awarded for the first time this year, the scheme was administered by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), which represents 143 community health organisations.
The grants are being provided as part of the Federal Government’s NDIS Ready project.
NDIS Minister Senator Linda Reynolds said the funding would strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s participation in the NDIS – as well as increase the number of culturally-appropriate service providers.
“We can improve the lifetime wellbeing and quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability by ensuring earlier and better access to the NDIS,” Senator Reynolds said.
The funding will help Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCO) to build their national capacity to deliver NDIS services.
“The grants will improve access to reasonable and necessary support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability and improve their choice and control of those supports,” she said.
Organisations will be helped to address challenges in registering and delivering NDIS services and/or engaging business or technical advice, to develop better systems of service delivery.
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chief Executive Officer Pat Turner welcomed the funding.
“These grants will enable the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation sector to expand into the NDIS, to provide additional essential support for people with disability,” Ms. Turner said.
Northern Territory grant recipient Danila Dilba Health Service will use the money to further its work in supporting people to access disability services.
South Australian West Coast Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Network Chairperson Cindy Zbierski said access to culturally respectful and Aboriginal-led disability services was vital to improving life outcomes and achieving equity.
“The funding gives us the opportunity to scope future Aboriginal-led disability solutions within our communities,” Ms. Zbierski said.
Chief Executive Officer of Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Michael Graham said the grant would also enable the service to operate its NDIS program within governance frameworks, and to expand it.
A list of successful applicants will be made available on the NACCHO website.