Department of Family and Community Services NSW

Strengthening the role of Aboriginal people in the delivery of homelessness services

In July 2019 the Department of Communities and Justice NSW (DCJ) (formerly Family and Community Services) engaged Cox Inall Ridgeway to undertake research and provide strategic advice about ways to strengthen the role of Aboriginal people in the homelessness sector.

The focus for community engagement activities was Aboriginal organisations representing Aboriginal people in NSW (i.e. state-wide and peak Aboriginal community-controlled organisations), and Aboriginal organisations or staff working in the homelessness sector. Other priority stakeholder groups were: DCJ staff, agencies involved in District Housing Implementation Groups, peak homelessness bodies and non-Aboriginal homelessness service providers.

Community engagement was undertaken over July to September 2019 and took the form of:

  • Phone interviews and phone meetings,
  • Face-to-face meetings held at our Ultimo office or at the offices of specialist homelessness service providers in Sydney,
  • Group face-to-face meetings in Newcastle,
  • An Aboriginal state-wide forum held in Redfern, and
  • Exchange of information through email.

CIR also completed desktop research, which included homelessness program evaluations and internal NSW Government funding agreement data. The comprehensive reports completed by CIR included recommendations for action which could be implemented at the State, DCJ District and local levels. The final reports are due to be authorised for release to community stakeholders later in 2020.