Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams has announced community consultations for the NSW Government’s $20 million Aboriginal Centre of Excellence in Western Sydney.

Mrs Williams said a community forum will be held on 9 November at Rooty Hill RSL, with further consultations to follow, including with young people and elders.

“The Aboriginal Centre of Excellence will be designed and delivered in partnership with the Western Sydney community to support young Aboriginal people making the transition from school into further education and employment,” Mrs Williams said.

“The NSW Government has engaged an Aboriginal business to undertake the consultation process with the community and other stakeholders. Aden Ridgeway and his team at Cox Inall Ridgeway will lead this important foundation stage. Aden is well known across NSW and he has undertaken similar consultations with other communities.”

Junior Aboriginal Education Consultative Group President, and St Clair High School student, Jasmyn Irwin, participated in preliminary discussions and is excited about the opportunities the Centre will provide.

“I believe the Aboriginal Centre of Excellence should be about the coming together of a culture, allowing the youth and the elders to bond through stories and education,” Ms Irwin said.

The consultations will include: Aboriginal and community organisations; peak bodies, businesses and service providers within the region; and young Aboriginal people and students. Specific feedback will be sought on a potential site for the Centre and the services and programs it will deliver.