Media Release – Federal funding disappears in full view of Minister Jenny Macklin


Contact Michael Gravener

Telephone 0408115352



April 4, 2013

Where DID the playgroup GO?

Federal funding disappears in full view of Minister Jenny Macklin.

Darwin, NT, April 4, 2013– Two years ago, April 2011 Jenny Macklin, the Minister of FAHCSIA, which includes Indigenous Affairs visited the remote Aboriginal community of Balgo, WA.

As a result of that visit she announced that $264,000 would be granted to the community through the Wirrimanu Aboriginal Corporation (WAC), for the purpose of developing a community women’s initiative playgroup which was being fully sponsored and supported by the BoysTown Charity for over 2 years at a cost of approximately $100,000 per year.   Research suggests that early intervention in the form of playgroups play a vital role in the social and cognitive development of a child as they progress through the early years of their life and the entering of the schooling systems.

Today it would appear after much effort by many concerned people, who informed the Department, that nothing has changed.  No development has occurred for this important work.  BoysTown stood aside, Sept 2012, for WAC to take on the development of this community Women’s initiative.  The $264,000 does not appear on the annual financial accounts, yet Canberra bureaucrats insisted that WAC have been  running the service since October 2011 and under the full view of their Departmental staff.

Where did tax payer’s money go?  What has Minister Macklin, the fund giver, and her team done to address what became such a personal issue for her? Where is the accountability measures for responsible use of federal grant funding?  More importantly where did the essential services of early intervention programs go for severely disenfranchised Aboriginal children in the community of Balgo?

Young Babies and their Mums need this program NOW otherwise another generation of the community’s children will be lost.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Michael Gravener at 0408115352 or email at

4 thoughts on “Media Release – Federal funding disappears in full view of Minister Jenny Macklin

  1. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will talk about this
    site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  2. So glad that someone is following up on this……I just wish someone would also investigate Balgo itself! Apart from disappearing funding, the child/youth suicide rate is a misery and disgrace….I think the Catholic Church could not have much spiritual influence on the community!

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