'If it wasn't for CDEP': A case study of Worn Gundidj CDEP, Victoria.
|Collections||ANU Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR)|
|Title:||'If it wasn't for CDEP': A case study of Worn Gundidj CDEP, Victoria.|
Community Development Employment Projects
Technical and Further Education
Aboriginal Study Assistance Scheme
|Publisher:||Canberra, ACT : Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Research School of Social Sciences, College of Arts & Social Sciences, The Australian National University|
|Series/Report no.:||CAEPR Discussion Paper: No. 210|
The Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) is a scheme where working-age Indigenous people forgo their welfare payments to take up employment in their local Aboriginal community organisation. The variations on this basic outline are many, ranging from the provision of full-time work fulfilling private contracts, to CDEP as an income support mechanism where participants receive the same remuneration as they would on welfare. Often these poles of CDEP participation are to be found within the one community organisation. This case study discusses a corporate or regional CDEP scheme called Worn Gundidj. The scheme is located in Warrnambool, a rural city with a population of 28,000 people. Warrnambool has a rich agricultural hinterland and services a wide area of south-west Victoria through its light industry, retail outlets, government services, and educational facilities. Worn Gundidj has rapidly, and successfully, expanded over the last four years from a single-location CDEP scheme working out of rented premises to a corporate, multi-site CDEP scheme with its own large, well equipped central office and workshops. Worn Gundidj now also has a set of five attached 'satellite' schemes. In the same period there has been a general decline in funding to other Aboriginal service delivery co-operatives in the region. Worn Gundidj has become an organisational hub in south-west Victoria, linking with Aboriginal service delivery co-operatives and providing them with administration staff on CDEP wages. Indeed, across Victoria, CDEP schemes are integrating with training providers and other Aboriginal service delivery co-operatives. This has ensured the survival of co-operatives that might very well have closed if it were not for the expansion of CDEP. Worn Gundidj's central office has also become strongly linked to Technical and Further Education (TAFE) accredited trade and craft courses, and is in part reliant on ABSTUDY as a form of top-up money for participants who undertake these courses. The overall picture shows a complex set of organisational and funding interdependencies being developed over south-west Victoria.
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