Now in its sixth year, the Regional Awareness and Accessibility Program seeks to ensure that the office of the Ombudsman is accessible to people living and working in regional Western Australia as well as Indigenous communities. From 30 July to 1 August 2014, the Program was conducted in Kalgoorlie-Boulder in the Goldfields Region.
Representatives from the office of the Ombudsman were joined by the Information Commissioner, Commissioner for Victims of Crime and staff from the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Office and Health and Disability Services Complaints Office. The regional visit included an information session with Aboriginal communities as part of our initiative to improve access to our services for Aboriginal Western Australians.
Western Australian Ombudsman Chris Field said that improving awareness of the Ombudsman’s role, and strengthening relationships with regional communities, continue to be key priorities for his office.
"We want to ensure that our services are as accessible as they can possibly be to Western Australians living and working in the regions," Mr Field said.
The events in Kalgoorlie-Boulder also included:
- Complaints clinics, which provided an opportunity for members of the local community to raise their concerns face-to-face with the staff from the agencies;
- A seminar for regionally-based public sector agencies and local governments to discuss good administrative practice, effective complaint/dispute resolution and appropriate access to information;
- Visits to community groups and service providers to provide information about how the agencies may be able to assist the community; and
- Training and workshops for regionally-based public sector agencies and local governments.
"The Program is an important collaborative opportunity that allows multiple agencies to efficiently, and effectively, reach out to the communities that we serve." said Mr Field.