The Australian and Queensland governments are committed to Closing the Gap around the health disadvantage experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
However, on the 16 August, 2011, The Cook Shire Council, against the advice of their own planners, unjustly rejected the Commonwealth Government's proposal for a much needed residential centre to help Cape York families affected by alcohol and drug use. You can help overturn this decision with your support at the end of this page.
Recent changes in Indigenous communities relating to alcohol and welfare reform have highlighted the critical need for residential rehabilitation services to help individuals and their families to overcome alcohol and drug addictions.
While clients from the Cape currently access rehabilitation services in Cairns, Mt Isa, Townsville and Brisbane, this means that clients are often far from their communities and families. Currently there are very limited residential rehabilitation services in the Cape area.
On 23 April 2010, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health announced the establishment of a new residential rehabilitation service near Cooktown.
The announcement followed ongoing calls from Cape communities for expanded drug and alcohol services and is part of a bigger package of services which has included the establishment of Wellbeing Centres in four communities, more drug and alcohol counsellors in many Cape communities and improved detoxification services in Cooktown and Weipa.
The Australian Government has dedicated in excess of $12 million over four years to support Indigenous residential rehabilitation in the Cape.
This funding provides an exciting opportunity to create custom built facilities to deliver world class, family-centred residential rehabilitation services to support clients from all Cape communities.
The Cook Shire Council, however, has blocked the development of this much needed Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Centre 30km outside of Cooktown. This decision goes against national moves from the Government and many people who want to see such programs established to help 'Close the Gap' on adverse Indigenous health outcomes.
You may wish to view the short community messages below
(you can click the expand button to view them full screen)
1. Rev Shayne Blackman: Chairman CCDEU Ltd
2. Bruce Adams. Short Interview: (Bruce Adams from Mornington Island has been successfully rehabilitated and urges the establishment of a new centre to service the Cape and Gulf Communities. Bruce is now employed and enjoying a life free from alcohol and drugs and wants other Indigenous people to follow in his footsteps).
3. Associate Professor John Pead: is leading the establishment of the new Centre for CCDEU Ltd. Assoc Prof Pead has a reputation for service development in challenging situations. In 2009-2010 John Pead led a team from the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, University of Melbourne, in Townsville that received the Weary Dunlop Prize from the Australian Military Medicine Association for a project funded by Minister Snowdon to improve support services for families of combat personnel serving in Afghanistan. CCDEU Ltd aspires to progressively develop the service in Cooktown to become a recognized national centre of expertise in Indigenous family practice. John Pead can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or Mobile: 0402 858 326.
4. Bruce Adams. Extended Interview.
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