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Engagement Plan

Table of Contents

Introduction.

My interest in community.

Why this community is important

Community mapping.

Needs assessment

Needs.

Needs priorities.

Goal setting.

Skills needed.

Conclusion.

References.

Introduction to Professional Community Needs Assessment

This report represents the Professional Community Needs Assessment and Engagement Plan to recognize the needs of the people living in Saibai Island, Australia. Saibai Island is 6km wide and 20 km long, made from alluvial sediment. It is 4 km away from Papua New Guinea Mainland near Kauamag Island. This location is a mangrove Island which is prone to flooding with its highest point as 1.7m. Locals at this Island focuses on trading with Papuan villages (Commonwealth of Australia 2020). The issue of flooding area and infectious diseases is a major concern which can be highlighted through this report with a need for social inclusion and fragmentation of networks. It is necessary to ensure a positive and healthy community in the nation (Torres Strait Island Regional Council 2016).

I am interested in this community because as one of my friend belongs to this community and I have an interest in studying the lives of Aboriginals and Torres Islanders. This research can help in shaping the future of the community of Saibai Island with a leading growth.

My Interest in Community

 Saibai Island is a small island near Queensland. It is located in the northwestern Torres Strait which is 140 kilometres away from Cape York. Kalaw Kawaw Ya is the popular language of Saibai including English and Torres Strait Creole (Commonwealth of Australia 2020). The approximate population of the community is 500 wherein the inhabitants of the island are considered as traditional owners of Saibai. It is a part of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA). This community aims at the establishment of sporting facilities and building communities to promote better facilities for children. Different facilities available at Saibai Island are Airport, health centre with two permanent nurses, Holy Trinity Church, Power station, Regional council office, Fuel bowser, Cemetery, Sewer plant, Telecom tower, Water plant reservoirs and IBIS grocery store (Torres Strait Island Regional Council 2016).

The geographical location of the community represents significant disadvantages related to coastal hazards. Frequent highest tides created inundation in several parts of the island. With the increased concern of climate change, the frequency of coastal hazards can increase which requires additional protection for the community. Saibai Island is filled with brackish water wherein the larger interior is flat and mud-filled. This island the largest area in the Torres Strait with approximately 10,400 hectares (Torres Strait Island Regional Council 2016; Torres Strait Regional Authority 2020).

Why This Community Is Important?

This community plays an important role in national border security. It is considered as an early detection zone that helps the country in the transmission of diseases and exotic pests. Through an important part of Australia’s defence, it controls the shipping channel of east-west (Torres Strait Island Regional Council 2016; Torres Strait Regional Authority 2020). Continuous involvement of the community with its neighbouring regions enhances its importance for the nation. With a low population of the community, it seeks for better suburb opportunities in the area (TSRA n.d.).

Community Mapping

As per the Census of 2016, the population of Saibai Island is determined as 465 wherein 45.1% female and 54.9% male are available. A total number of 92 families are in the community where the average number of children in each family is 3. The average household income for the individuals is $1,149 per week (TSIRC n.d.; Torres Strait Regional Authority 2020).

The average age of State Suburbs is 20 years and around 41.5% of people attend an educational institution in Saibai Island. Wherein 22.5% of children were in secondary school and 39.8% of children were in primary school. Additionally, the technical education has been attained by only 9.9% people of the community (TSRA n.d.).

Needs Assessment

The community of Saibai Island faces several challenges based on the living conditions, basic infrastructure, population, employment opportunities and climate change issues. Certain challenges can be identified as follows:

  • Maintaining and securing the communities through basic infrastructure.
  • The high cost of living due to population size, the distance of transportation and reliance on imports.
  • Complex requirements for transportation because of the remote area.
  • Planning and managing the growth of population is a big challenge for the community which increases the need for land (TSIRC n.d.; Torres Strait Regional Authority 2020).
  • Lack of opportunities presents a challenge for the community which leads to moving away from young people to other regions.
  • Flooding issue and highest tides require a need for better infrastructure.

These challenges raise a need for economic development to increase employment and growth opportunities. Improvement in the wealth of individuals is essential to meet the desires of the individuals and making them equivalent to the other Australian communities. Adequate and affordable infrastructure needs can help in meeting the regional needs to housing and protecting from climate issues. Health-based needs are also a need for the community of Saibai Island where essential services can support the healthy future of individuals. The health standards of the community are lower than average Australian people which leads to reduce the life expectancy. Through lower health facilities, people face chronic diseases related to obesity. It requires a close understanding of the needs and fulfilling the gaps with commonwealth direction.

Needs

Distinguished needs of the Saibai Island community are as follows:

  • Educational opportunities are low on the island which increases a gap with the other communities. The literacy rate of the community if lower than the average Australian people which raises a need for better schooling and employment opportunities (TSIRC n.d.; Torres Strait Regional Authority 2020).
  • Traditional languages of the community are not understandable by other people which creates a challenge in strengthening the culture and heritage. With the involvement of different languages and cultures, a decline in the use of traditional languages can be seen.
  • Relevant support to elders and children are needed as per the laws. Health care services are also required by the community group to enhance the development of children and reduce the chances of chronic diseases with appropriate medical facilities.
  • Infrastructure facility is also necessary for the community as the area of Saibai Island is prone to flooding and high tides (TSIRC n.d.; Torres Strait Regional Authority 2020).

Needs Priorities

As per the needs assessment of Saibai Island community, the priority needs are as follows:

  • Promote better health services to enhance the life expectancy rate of the community and provide an appropriate facility to meet the needs of children, elderly people and chronic disease people (Waltham et al. 2018).
  • Ensure a safe infrastructure that can prevent flooding situations and protect people from natural hazards.
  • Increase the opportunities for children and young people for better education and employment facilities that can minimize the unemployment rate (TSIRC n.d.; Torres Strait Regional Authority 2020).

Goal Setting

To enhance better opportunities for the children in Saibai Island, effective educational opportunities can benefit from the inclusion of other community groups. Some field trips and option to study with other Australian children and enhance their paths. Infrastructure can be built with the sea wall to protect the community with additional bund walls. It can help in protecting the community from floods and high tides (Torres Strait Island Regional Council 2016; Torres Strait Regional Authority 2020).

Thus the key goals for Saibai Island are:

  • To protect from floods and high tides with additional bund walls.
  • To promote better education and employment opportunities for children.
  • To provide effective medical facilities with the necessary child care centres (Davis 2018).

Skills Needed

Substantial development of the community is possible with the required skills of the individuals. With the help of Queensland Government, TSRA and TSIRC can promote skills development of communities that can help the people in developing the required infrastructure, promote environmental management, lead the people and fulfil the needs of schooling (Torres Strait Island Regional Council 2016; Torres Strait Regional Authority 2020).

Below mentioned skills are needed for the community:

  • Environmental management
  • Infrastructure development
  • Effective communication skills
  • Social services skills
  • Teaching skills

Conclusion on Professional Community Needs Assessment

It can be concluded that the future of the region is based on the fulfilment of essential needs such as infrastructure, health care facilities and food. The community of Saibai Island can attain sustainable development through the support of government and promoting communication skills with education to communicate about the matter of challenges faced by the region. Key challenges faced by the region are based on flooding, high tides, chronic diseases, lack of opportunities and impact of climate change on land availability. Transportation can be effectively promoted through government consultation to meet the needs of the communities. Children from the community can meet with other Australian students via filed trips which can help them in promoting social inclusion and understanding the needs of development. These facilities can provide strength to the community and help in proceeding towards a positive and prosperous future.

References for Professional Community Needs Assessment

Commonwealth of Australia. 2020. Saibai Island. [Online]. Available at: https://www.indigenous.gov.au/community/saibai-island-0 [Accessed on: 16th September 2020].

Davis, R., 2018. Looking beyond the borderline: Development performance and prospects of Saibai Island, Torres Strait. [Online]. Available at: https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/145511 [Accessed on: 16th September 2020].

Torres Strait Island Regional Council. 2016. Saibai. [Online]. Available at: http://www.tsirc.qld.gov.au/communities/saibai [Accessed on: 16th September 2020].

Torres Strait Regional Authority. 2020. Saibai Island. [Online]. Available at: http://www.tsra.gov.au/the-torres-strait/community-profiles/httpwww.tsra.gov.authe-torres-straitcommunity-profilessaibai.aspx [Accessed on: 16th September 2020].

TSIRC. n.d. Saibai Island. [Online]. Available at: http://www.tsirc.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/70%20-7.2.12%20Saibai%20Island%20-%20local%20plan%20code.pdf [Accessed on: 16th September 2020].

TSRA. n.d. Torres Strait & Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan. [Online]. Available at: http://www.tsra.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/1773/ts-npa-rp-09-29.pdf [Accessed on: 16th September 2020].

Waltham, N.J., Schaffer, J., Buist, J., Geyle, M. and Toby, D., 2018. Working with land and sea rangers to tackle tropical wetland restoration and conservation on the north-western islands, Torres Straits, Australia. Wetlands Ecology and Management26(6), pp.1143-1156.

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