By Keira Wallace

The Queensland government announced today it would spend $150 million over the next five years in a plan to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

The action plan, which includes a heavy focus on indigenous children and youth, was announced at the launch of Queensland’s first Family and Child Connect service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in Zillmere.

Minister Fentiman (centre) Minster Pitt (left)
Shannon Fentiman (centre) Curtis Pitt (left) address media before the  official opening ceremony

Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said the service was a wonderful step in the right direction.

“People will be able to access the new Wellbeing Services from a range of referral points, including this very facility here in Zillmere,” she said.

“The rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children coming into out of home care is nothing short of a crisis and that is why I’m so pleased we are dedicating $150 million over five years for these new fantastic well being centres that will support our vulnerable families.”

Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt joined Minister Fentiman at the launch.

Minister Pitt
Curtis Pitt at the opening ceremony

“It’s an exciting day for this local organisation and we’re very pleased as a government to be continuing what we now is a challenging area but making sure we are developing an action plan which is going to be based on world’s best practice,” he said.

The opening ceremony included a musical demonstration from Australia’s Got Talent finalist Chris Tamwoy.

Chris Tamwoy
Musical demonstration by Chris Tamwoy

The first of the new Wellbeing Services is expected to launch across 19 locations in Queensland and intend to be fully operational by 2017.