Wyndham African Communities’ Network (WACN)
The Wyndham African Communities Network (WACN) has followed with interest the community consultation session organised by the African Australian Task Force (AATF) on Wednesday 5thSeptember in the city of Wyndham.
WACN members believe that the Task force is a good initiative, which may help address many issues affecting youth at risk and troubled youth within African communities.
We are encouraged by the high turn up during the consultation meeting, which demonstrates high interest by Wyndham’s African communities in relation to the work of the AATF.
We note the elevated number of heated interventions by some of the attendees during the meeting, which appears to indicate that many people in the community have not yet connected with the purpose and objectives of the Task force.
Many members of the WACN also see an issue with the the timing of the consultation. Consulting the community more than six months after the Task Force was established is not best practice in the circumstances. We believe that the delay in consulting the communities may partly explain the reservations or hostility that some community members may have demonstrated during the consultation night.
We urge the leadership of the Task Force to take urgent steps to improve its communication and feedback mechanisms with the rest of the African community. Doing so will help to improve community ownership of the issues that the Task Force is trying to resolve.
We have no doubt that better communication between the Task Force and the broader African community will also help more African individuals, families and communities to better connect with the work of the Task Force and feel encouraged and empowered to contribute to its success, directly or indirectly.
We call on African individuals, leaders and advocates in Wyndham and beyond to demonstrate goodwill and give the Task Force a chance to prove its usefulness. Recent events affecting young Africans, including many residents of Wyndham, require more collaboration between the community, Victoria police and other relevant stakeholders to address youth offending successfully.
Last, but not least, we urge all levels of government to work together with the African communities and various service providers to put together a clear, robust and comprehensive strategy to assist African individuals and families who are being challenged by various issues affecting their settlement and integration into the Australian society.
Media Contact : Clyde Sharady
WACN brings African-Australians residing in the city of Wyndham and interested in working together and with relevant stakeholders to promote matters of mutual interest, at a local level.
This media release has been endorsed by the following members of the WACN
Dr William Abur
Dr Santino Deng
Disclaimer: Not all members of the WACN endorsed this media release and some members who endorsed the release did not wish to have their names listed.