In 2017, the Premier of Western Australia announced a series of Machinery of Government changes to the public sector commencing with the amalgamation of a number of government departments.

These structural changes are aimed at creating collaborative departments focused on whole-of-government objectives and delivering services in a more efficient and effective way.

The Department of Communities comprises several existing agencies and their components, including:

  • Department for Child Protection and Family Support
  • Department of Housing (including Housing Authority)
  • Disability Services Commission
  • The communities component of the Department of Local Government and Communities
  • Regional Services Reform Unit
  • The regional coordination and engagement component of the former Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

In agreement with the new Department of Justice, components of Youth Justice Services will transfer to the new Department of Communities in the near future.

Until this transition occurs, Youth Justice Services will continue to be part of the Department of Justice.

A message from the Director General

The Department of Communities will provide services to a diverse range of Western Australians, including people with disability, children who are in the legal care of the State and those who need a place to call home.

The newly formed Communities team are focused on ensuring all those who receive our services and support can thrive and have real life choices. 

The Machinery of Government change has provided a unique opportunity to influence and better support the lives of individuals, families and entire communities.

I know that many people are frustrated by trying to access services from multiple government agencies. Our new portfolio will seek to cut red tape and better integrate services that meet individual, family and community needs.

The Communities team will do this with a clear focus on inclusion, building resilience and providing services and support based on individual needs. 

Change of this scale is not easy and it will take time. I am confident that together with our partners, service providers and people that we serve, we will create thriving communities into the future. 

Grahame Searle
Director General