Indigenous Advancement Strategy

The Australian Government has made Indigenous Affairs a significant national priority. The Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) is the way in which the Australian Government funds and delivers a range of programmes targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Introduced on 1 July 2014, the IAS replaced more than 150 individual programmes and activities with five flexible, broad-based programmes:

  • Jobs, Land and Economy
  • Children and Schooling
  • Safety and Wellbeing
  • Culture and Capability
  • Remote Australia Strategies

The Australian Government has set three clear priorities to make sure efforts are effectively targeted:

  • The positive impact that education has on the future success of individuals, families and communities is clear. Children who go to school have better life outcomes.

  • Employment, economic development and social participation improve the lives of families and communities. The right conditions and incentives need to be in place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to participate in the economy and broader society.

  • Growing up in a healthy and safe home and community is essential for families to thrive and reach their full potential. In particular, the violence that too many women and children face must be addressed.

In the 2015-16 Budget, the Australian Government allocated $4.9 billion to the IAS, over four years to 2018-19, for grant funding processes and administered procurement activities that address the objectives of the IAS.

Through the IAS, the Australian Government is working to improve the way that the Government does business with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to ensure funding actually achieves outcomes.

The IAS’s flexible structure supports the new way of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities, industries, business and service providers, allowing for joint development of solutions that will work over the long term, including through regional or local solutions. Funded organisations are expected to work closely with Indigenous communities in the design and delivery of projects.

The IAS is supported by the Regional Network in PM&C, which positions senior decision makers close to the people and communities they work with. Staff in the PM&C Network work closely with funded providers and communities to develop and implement local solutions to improve outcomes in the Government’s priority areas.

Indigenous Affairs funding

The total Indigenous-specific funding managed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is $8.6 billion consisting of:

  • $4.9 billion over four years to the IAS; and   
  • $3.7 billion allocated through National Partnership Agreements, Special Accounts, Special Appropriations. A significant level of grant funding is also available through Indigenous-specific and mainstream programmes delivered by other agencies, as well as PM&C Indigenous Portfolio bodies.

For information on the IAS Guidelines, funding agreement and application forms, please visit the Funding under the IAS page.

Incorporation requirements

Organisations receiving grants of $500,000 or more in a single financial year from funding administered by the Indigenous Affairs portfolio within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet are required to incorporate under Commonwealth legislation.

Find out more about the new incorporation requirements.

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Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6271 5111

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