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Australia Hub to be set up in Adelaide Parklands for APY Lands residents stranded in city

06:30  21 october  2021
06:30  21 october  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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A hub will be created in Adelaide's southern Parklands for Aboriginal people from South Australia's remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands stranded in the city.

More people from the APY Lands have gathered in Adelaide's CBD since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, following restrictions on returning to the area that began last March.

Staff from government and non-government services will be based at the hub, to be called Puti on Kaurna Yerta, or Bush in the City, in Veale Park.

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The South Australian government will set up a “silver corridor” so Aboriginal people from remote communities caught in Adelaide when the pandemic struck may safely return home to Country. When the threat of Covid-19 became clear in Australia in February, the remote region of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara ( APY ) While it has yet to be announced, it is expected these restrictions on movement will be extended through to September as a precautionary measure. Richard King, general manager of the APY lands , said he would be taking no risks, especially after South Australia

When access to the APY Lands was restricted in February to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a group of Indigenous women and children were locked out of their remote communities and are now being accommodated at a campsite near Adelaide . With the campgrounds expected to be occupied for six months, there are plans to provide education for children in language while city -based Aboriginal-controlled healthcare service Nunkuwarrin Yunti is currently setting up to provide on-going healthcare.

Department of Human Services chief executive Lois Boswell is the chairwoman of a task force set up to manage what she described as "anti-social and sometimes violent behaviour associated with visitors to Adelaide from remote Aboriginal communities".

She described the new hub as a "temporary multi-agency outreach and case management service for Aboriginal visitors from remote areas".

She said some APY Lands residents had experienced difficulty finding places to stay in Adelaide since the start of the pandemic and some among them had been "caught in heavy drinking cycles".

Alcohol is banned at night in the Adelaide Parklands and at all times in Veale Park.

Ms Boswell said the hub would likely be at the Greenhill Road end of Veale Park for six to eight weeks.

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The APY Lands will go into lockdown at midnight tonight. Only approved essential services will be allowed entry. Border closures forced bus services to cease, leaving some stranded . "It makes me feel sad and worried, because I left my family, and my father," she said. Ms Miller has been caught by snap border closures triggered by the coronavirus cluster that emerged in Adelaide over the He wants the NT Government to speed up an exemption process for what he sees as his essential service. For Ms Miller and other APY Lands residents stuck in Alice Springs, the next few weeks look uncertain.

General manager Richard King says APY Lands will be closing its borders from midnight Tuesday after a COVID-19 outbreak in Adelaide . Source: ABC News. Indigenous women and children camping near Adelaide after being stranded outside of closed APY Lands . “The state health department has to be absolutely rigorous in making sure that they can prevent infection. It's called infection control. They have to have all the measures to ensure that people are not infecting others." She said Indigenous peoples understand acutely the affects the virus poses for communities most at risk and urged people to keep

"This is a process to create a space — a culturally-safe space — to sit and yarn to hear people's stories and work through what they might need as support to disrupt the cycle that's been going on for people," she said.

Hub created with elder support

The hub was created after consultation with both APY and Kaurna elders.

Kaurna elder Jeffrey Newchurch said it was good to have a "united approach to Aboriginal people working with Aboriginal people".

"The importance of having this hub is we have got a controlled space," he said.

"We know the migration through the parklands of Adelaide is not only Whitmore Square, you've got the River Torrens, you've got West Terrace, you've got East Terrace.

"To have this controlled area then we can bring all those service providers together where those Aboriginals can have that choice.

"We know it's not going to be an easy area because you're battling against all these habits that are forced upon us and the easy way out is to resort to those habits and dwell within your mind, so to have this controlled area — the Puti on Kaurna land — is great for us because people can come there and we'll attract that attention and those service providers where we've got a central place."

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Move out of Whitmore Square

Discussions around the congregation of homeless people within the CBD, particularly at Whitmore Square, have been ongoing.

In August, a soup kitchen run by the Australian Communist Party was told it would need to relocate to deliver its outreach program.

The group told the ABC Ms Boswell had approached them to move along.

Ms Boswell lives near Whitmore Square and is the part owner of a pub on its boundary.

The soup kitchen claimed Ms Boswell had a conflict of interest, which was strongly denied by Ms Boswell who said her intention was to reduce violence and anti-social behaviour in the area.

She said at the time that there were "concerns that some services in the area may not be assisting vulnerable people in the way they were intended to".

But, today, she attributed the push to council redevelopment work around the square.

"I think it's fabulous when young people are passionate and idealistic, but some complex issues require some careful working through and working together to try to resolve some problems," she said.

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