Voice of the village

In November, Palmerston Indigenous Village, an indigenous community residing five kilometres from the Palmerston City Centre in the Northern Territory, launched its first community plan. Voice of the Village is the result of two years of development and consultation between village residents, Palmerston City Council and service providers.

Palmerston CEO, Rodney Donne, said the plan identifies priority issues and strategies to address them.

“Issues affecting village residents include lack of sustainable housing and facilities, access to health services, lack of transport, lack of activities for young people and related issues such as substance abuse and petty crime,” he said. “Some of the methods used to develop the plan have included music workshops with young people and a painting project for the whole community.”

Palmerston Indigenous Village, formerly known as 15 Mile Camp, is 22 kilometres from Darwin CBD. About 85 people permanently live in the community, having moved from more than 50 Northern Territory community centres since the 1970s. Around 54 per cent of village residents are under 25 years old with an average age of 20, compared to Palmerston’s average age of 27 years.

A full time Community Development Officer based at Council has been employed through Commonwealth Government Shared Responsibility Agreement funding for 12 months. The Community Development Officer’s role will be to implement strategies and an action plan that Council is now developing to address identified issues.