GK Australia believes that aspects of the GK template may offer a path for marginalised communities in Australia to escape welfare dependence and afflictions such as substance abuse. Such aspects include:
- An approach to development based upon strengthening values.
- Empowering communities so they can direct the provision and proper co-ordination of support.
- Engaging long and short term volunteers to support the community and build confidence within it.
- Having outside resources matched with active labour contributions from the community, especially the men.
- Reframing the government’s role from being largely sole director and provider to a true partner working in close collaboration with both the affected community and partners from other sectors.
There is nothing in the model which is new or unique. For those who have been engaged with marginalised communities, it strikes as common sense. Yet, in this country at least, it has never been applied in a consistent, concerted or holistic way.
In other contexts the model can enable people to rise out of poverty and despair. It also ensures that external resources being offered to support a community’s development are used in the most effective and sustainable manner possible.
We are currently working in one community in Dubbo, NSW, and have other groups interested in adapting the GK template to other parts of Australia.
At the invitation of ‘Riverbank’ Frank Doolan, GKA volunteers have traveled to Dubbo to begin building relations with the local community. These trips aim to talk with individuals on the Apollo Estate about GKA on a one-on-one basis with the aim of getting more people in Dubbo to know about GK. These trips have been led by the Chair of GKA, Andrew Chalk, and involved a small cluster of volunteers.
Currently we have been able to build a strong relationship with the local community, and have started to build a local team and bring ideas of how to grow interest in the community.
If you would like to help the work in Dubbo, please contact:
Andrew - 0427 270 555