New centre will do its best to close the gap

THE Shoalhaven now has a new centre to help close the health and education gap for the region’s Aboriginal children.

The Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Centre on Holloway Road in Nowra was officially opened on Monday by South Coast MP Shelley Hancock.

Mrs Hancock said the centre was a great achievement for the local community.

“It will improve services and lives for local Aboriginal children and their families,” she said.

Jim Golden-Brown from Relationships Australia NSW said the Council of Australian Governments had identified nine sites in NSW where early intervention would help close the health gap for Aboriginal children aged up to eight years old and their families.

“This is part of the Closing the Gap Strategy,” Mr Golden-Brown said.

“We’re investing $74 million in these sites to improve the early childhood outcomes of Aboriginal children to give them the best start in life.”

Mr Golden-Brown said the local Aboriginal community and local government was involved from the beginning of planning to fine-tune the centre to local needs.

Centre director Tracey Porter said it comprised two sections, one for early learning and one for families.

“The centre will have access to a clinical psychologist, a paediatrician and health workers,” she said.

Ms Porter said over 100 local families will use the centre.

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