Bagot Aboriginal Community Partnership Program
The Bagot Community is rich with history and heritage including both traditional Aboriginal culture and lore and the more recent 75 years of Darwin history. The Community Medical Centre for example is recognised as historically significant. The medical centre is one of the few surviving buildings in Darwin from the period leading up to the Second World War and the Bombing of Darwin and the oral histories that can be told by the older Bagot residents are priceless.
The Bagot Community is managed by a Community Council whose members are Directors of the Bagot Aboriginal Corporation. This Council provides governance for the community and all associated programs.
Whilst there are a large number of positive aspects to the Bagot Community it is nevertheless a community in need. There are approximately 400 hundred residents – mostly permanent but there is also a large transient population. There are approximately 30 different clan groups and a similar range of language groups. This is a residualised population characterised by a range of social, economic and education issues resulting in an over representation in areas including domestic violence; child protection; low education and school attendance; and juvenile detention.
Child Australia has been working with the Bagot Community since 2011 and have developed deep, healthy reciprocal relationships with the children, families and community. The Bagot Aboriginal and Child Australia Partnership Program addresses the disproportionate disadvantage that exists within the Bagot Community through creating local solutions that will result in:
- Improved community governance, management and safety
- Increased employment rates for Bagot Community residents
- Improved school attendance and educational outcomes for Bagot Community children and young people
- Improved relationships between the Bagot Community and the broader community.
The Program consists of a suite of five interconnected projects:
- Child and Family Education and Support Project – focussed on the primary carers and children from birth to 5.
- Out of School Hours and Vacation Care Project.
- Families for School Attendance Project – supporting families to create a stable home environment for their children which will promote school attendance and success.
- Walking Bus Project – getting young children to school safely and on time.
- Collective Impact Project – improving community governance and management.
Whilst each of these projects can stand alone it is their interconnectedness with each other and with other programs in the community that will result in long term change. The Collective Impact Project is establishing a methodology for coordinating the efforts, and maximising the impact, of all services in the Bagot Community and will build the capacity of the Community Council to manage that process into the future; The Out of School Hours (OSHC) and Vacation Care Project provides education and care in a safe and stable environment for the children of the Bagot Community; The Child and Family Education and Support Project builds on the existing OSHC Program and facility to provide integrated services that will support child health, wellbeing, early learning and school readiness through a families as First Teachers approach; The Families for School Attendance Project supports families to address the deeper issues, including unemployment, domestic violence and substance abuse that result in student poor attendance through a case management approach; and The Walking Bus Project will ensure that younger children in the community get to school each morning safely and in time for the school breakfast program.
The majority of employees in these programs are Bagot Community members. It is envisaged that these programs will grow into the future and become Community run programs. These programs are funded by the Australian Government through the Budget Based and Indigenous Advancement Strategy Funding Programs.