At a time when Aboriginal people now receive educational support in Australia, there is news that Narromine native Brandon Chatfield has earned a special “gambling” scholarship. Chatfield is credited with being one of the first local Aboriginal people to train as a counselor who targets problem gambling in the country’s Aboriginal communities. The scholarship is funded by the local New South Wales government. Chatfield is set to receive one of the 60 scholarships on offer for Australia’s Aboriginal people.
Another aspect of this unique scholarship program is linked to the growing social issues surrounding the negative impact of gambling in indigenous communities such as Narromine in New South Wales. The announcement that Chatfield and other Aboriginal people will receive this gambling awareness program is viewed as “great news,” state comments on local Narromine community websites. Government officials with the “Aboriginal Problem Gambling Training Program” stated in a recent press release that this first group of 60 scholarship winners will share part of the program’s budget of more than $760,000.
Fighting gambling woes in Aboriginal communities
The New South Wales town of Narromine is typical of most small native Aboriginal communities, say locals. For instance, the name “Narromine” is an Aboriginal word for “honey person,” while the region is famed for growing sweet as honey citrus fruits. Narromine is viewed as a stunning beautiful community that is popular for hand gliding, camping and enjoying Aussie nature. Still, there are many Aboriginal people in the town who state online that “we cannot eat the scenery,” and thus there are the usual money issues linked to problem gambling with many frustrated locals.
Overall, this Aboriginal Problem Gambling Training Program is aimed at a real solution involving local Aboriginal’s such as Chatfield and others who received scholarships to train in the all-important social area of gambling addiction awareness and prevention.
Chatfield first to be trained as a gambling counselor
Because problem gambling is a major negative social issue nationwide, and in small Aboriginal communities such as Narromine, there is hope that local Brendon Chatfield and other Aboriginals will be able to help in this program for gambling addiction awareness. For example, there is numerous Australian government programs specifically aimed at fighting serious gambling addiction woes at a time when online gaming is trending nationwide. Moreover, there is a concern that indigenous communities often face much higher gambling addiction issues than in the general Australian population.
Helping Aboriginals fight gambling addiction
There are numerous studies and research that points to the unique cultural point of view of native people not being “comfortable” with non-Aboriginal counselors. Due to various cultural reasons, Aboriginal people “do not want those outside their cultural circle” to assist them with such personal issues as gambling addiction, stated a government official commenting on a New South Wales (NSW) website that serves native peoples.
The program includes:
– Hands on training for Brandon Chatfield and other native peoples selected to become gambling addiction counselors.
– College credit for these new addiction counselors so they can excel in this new undertaking; while earning a college degree if they wish to continue their education in this area of social science.
– Recognition that the local government understands the unique concerns of Aboriginal people when it comes to “who” will assist them with this serious issue of gambling addiction.
– The fact that NSW and the nation is taking ownership of this addiction problem that is hurting both Aboriginal people and the local community.
– An understanding that addiction education is the best way and means to help those Aboriginal people seriously addicted to various forms of legal gambling in the country.
– A focus on local mental health issues at a time when Aboriginal social issues are now being sorted out with a focus on training Aboriginal people to help their own people when it comes to this social cancer called gambling addiction.
In general, there are many positives linked to offering these scholarships to local Aboriginal people at a time when gambling addiction is a clear and present danger to the overall health of New South Wales communities.
Fighting gambling addiction now
Those supporting this NSW initiative are happy there is now a way and means to boost the number of counselors who aid Aboriginals with gambling addiction issues. For instance, Narromine’s Brandon Chatfield will be trained as an “Aboriginal problem gaming counselor” who lives and works in the local community where targeting problem gambling in Aboriginals is a serious social issue. Chatfield and 59 other Aboriginal counselors will aid both the addicted gamblers and their family members.
NSW government rolls out program
The New South Wales government officials involved in this new program to help Aboriginals with gambling addiction is part of an umbrella of other agencies that have teamed up to make this program work. The other members of this initiative include the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) and the national government’s Responsible Gambling Fund (RGF). At the same time, the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney, and the TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute are all on board to help deliver the Aboriginal Problem Gambling Training Program and make it a success.
Overall, this special gambling addiction training scholarships comes at an important time in NSW government that is committed to help its Aboriginal communities with various social service programs.