CONFERENCE: Remote Housing and Homelands Conference – April ’23
Healthabitat was invited to speak at the Remote Housing and homelands conference in Darwin.
The annual conference is organised by new peak body Aboriginal Housing NT (AHNT) and had the theme ‘towards a regulated, resilient, and sustainable Aboriginal community-controlled housing continuum in the Northern Territory’.
The conference under the theme, had a focus on homelessness, housing, and homelands, including town camps and community living areas. Healthabitat was invited to speak on findings and lessons learned from our recent Housing for Health projects in the NT.
As well as other notable presenters, Clayton Reeves and Phil Hespe from SA Aboriginal Housing spoke about Housing SA’s model across the APY lands, including SA Remote Maintenance Program and Construction Program. Together, they have over 35 years of experience in Aboriginal housing and deliver an efficient remote housing construction and maintenance program in SA. Their work and talk focused on the preventative, regular repairs and maintenance program they run and their interests in how they can improve their work and assets. They are particularly interested in product trials through industry collaborations in response to the forecasted threat of climate change making central Australia largely unliveable. For more information on their work, you can read the AHURI report – ‘Sustainable Indigenous housing in regional and remote Australia’ .
Momentum is building in the NT for a return of housing from public management (following the 2007 NT Intervention) to Aboriginal Community controlled housing management. Work has begun to slowly rebuild local decision-making and capacity for organisations to ensure when (not if) this transition occurs. Residents enjoy greater control over their housing along with quality tenancy and maintenance services. A massive yet exciting task ahead after the decimation to local governance structures wrought by draconian government Intervention policies.
Thank you AHNT for convening the event and inviting such a wide range of speakers and organisations to be a part of the event.