Caring for others, the Maranguka way
Maranguka was the birth child of the Bourke Aboriginal Community Working Party, a grassroots coalition of concerned local Aboriginal residents who wanted to see positive change in their community.
Translated as ‘caring for others’, the Maranguka proposal they developed is a grassroots vision for improving outcomes and creating better coordinated support for vulnerable families and children through the true empowerment of the local Aboriginal community.
It was developed over many years and was based on extensive research, input and expertise from other Indigenous communities in Australia, North America and New Zealand, while also building on existing NSW Government policy initiatives including those from the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Strategic Coordination Group in Bourke, and the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs OCHRE (opportunity, choice, healing, responsibility and empowerment) strategy.
The Maranguka Proposal was endorsed in principle by the Bourke Aboriginal Community Working Party in August 2013. It involves establishing community-led, multi-disciplinary teams working in partnership with relevant government and non-government agencies and organisations to:
- develop a new accountability framework for addressing Aboriginal disadvantage, and
- develop a fiscal framework that ensures the long-term sustainability of effective programs and services
within the focus areas of:
- Safe families
- Connected communities
- Youth and justice reinvestment, and
- Women’s and men’s action.
Since the Maranguka Proposal was developed, the Bourke Aboriginal Community Working Party has been working with their selected partners and Government to evolve the Proposal from concept into a best practice model of an Aboriginal owned and run community organisation, which is now up and running and is called Maranguka.
The organisation Maranguka does not replace existing services or organisations in Bourke but rather aims to complement them by acting as a hub for both individuals and service providers. Everyone goes through Maranguka to get the facilitated assistance and outcomes they need and in doing so, communication is assured and new pathways are being mapped through these changes in behaviour.