• 'Riverbank Frank' Doolan at Macquarie Bank, Dubbo (Facebook)Source: Facebook
A humble man with a heart of gold is building a positive place for Indigenous people dreaming of a brighter future.
By
NITV News, Tara Callinan

22 Oct 2015 - 3:30 PM  UPDATED 23 Oct 2015 - 11:57 AM

A Wiradjuri elder living on the banks of Dubbo’s Macquarie River in NSW is tired of hearing his town’s name being dragged through the mud.

'Riverbank Frank' Doolan has partnered with a global, anti-poverty organisation to rebuild an estate he believes is insensitively referred to as ‘the Bronx’ of Central Western NSW.

Founded in 2003, the Gawad Kalinga Foundation has already transformed the lives of half-a million-Filipinos living in poverty.

But now the founder, Tony Meloto, has left his community living with the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda to rebuild the lives of Australia's First Nations Peoples.

“If we can build a template here in Dubbo then it can also be a model for other Indigenous communities throughout Australia,” said Mr Meloto.

The project, which is driven by volunteers, is the first of its kind to be delivered on Australian soil.

“If we can build a template here in Dubbo then it can also be a model for other Indigenous communities throughout Australia."

Mr Meloto has already met with Aboriginal residents to discuss their desire for home ownership and renovations on the estate.

“Maybe we will do 20 gardens and if they want to improve the interiors of their home we can also get volunteers from within the community and outside and do something that is doable,” he said.

With the help of more hands, Mr Meloto believes the project will combat social problems such as drug abuse, increasing crime rates and unemployment in the area.

But, he said, their desire to change the lives of their families must come from the heart.

"Australia was not built with money. It was built with love for country and a lot of people here really sacrificed for this country. Because love is priceless and there is more love in our heart than our pocket," he said.

Gawad kalinga translated into English means 'to give care;' a priceless gesture restoring faith in humanity worldwide.

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