A man on a mission
GAMBLING can be a problem in many communities but according to Ashley Gordon of the NSW Aboriginal Safe Gambling Program it is a problem which has not begun to be adequately addressed in Aboriginal communities.
But the former Newcastle Knights rugby league star and former member of the Federal Government's advisory group on the proposed introduction of "mandatory pre-commitment" on poker machines is on a mission to change that.
As a one-man band, Mr Gordon is travelling the nation conducting workshops to identify the extent of the problem in Aboriginal communities and to come up with some solutions.
Mr Gordon was in Casino on Tuesday to conduct one such workshop.
"We know gambling is an issue in this area like it is everywhere in Australia, so it is important that we begin to talk about it because we know for a fact that many families and communities are suffering from gambling-related issues," Mr Gordon said.
"Until Aboriginal people discuss and acknowledge gambling as an issue only then will we look at starting to address and sort out the problems.
"What we developed on Tuesday was a community action plan."
Mr Gordon said the inter-connectedness of gambling with other issues such as drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence was one area requiring focus.
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