In late 2007, the four Cape York communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge courageously put their hands up to be part of the radical and innovative Welfare Reform trial – which was proposed in the landmark From Hand Out to Hand Up: Volume 2 report.
Local leaders and community members were driven by the strong desire to rebuild the social and economic fabric of their communities which has declined over the past forty years largely due to passive welfare and widespread alcohol abuse.
A partnership between the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and Cape York Regional Organisations, Welfare Reform strives to build in individuals and families the capabilities to choose a life they have reason to value.
The objectives of Welfare Reform are to:
- rebuild social norms and restore Indigenous authority
- address the welfare pedestal through changing the incentives
- support engagement in the real economy
- move from welfare housing to home ownership
- enable children to make full use of their talents and creativity and to enjoy the best of both worlds
Cape York Welfare Reform is making a real and lasting difference in the lives of Indigenous people. Local leaders and community members, involved in the design and implementation of Welfare Reform, are seeing community driven initiatives improve lives.