Meeting Communique: Indigenous Advisory Council, April 2014

Meeting Communique: Indigenous Advisory Council, April 2014

Indigenous Affairs Indigenous Advisory Council
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council (the Council) held its third meeting in Sydney on 2 April 2014. The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Hon Alan Tudge MP attended the meeting.

The Council discussed a range of priority issues:

  • School engagement and education remains a focus area for the Council.
    • Members were pleased to note the improvements in school attendance being achieved under the Remote School Attendance Strategy and the extension of that programme to a further 30 schools in Term 2.
    • They were also pleased to note the cooperation of jurisdictions in sharing data on remote school attendance.
    • Members discussed other ideas around improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students including support for families, early childhood strategies, improving measurement and improving compliance.
  • The Council had a broad discussion around community safety and focussed on the report back from its working group on juvenile justice.
    • Members noted the lack of evidence based programmes and the importance of taking a culturally relevant, holistic approach along the lines of a public health model.
    • They acknowledged that the justice system belongs to the States and Territories and some jurisdictions are working on innovative models of prevention and diversion. The Commonwealth should look to what levers it has that can complement or work with States and Territories.
    • Members noted some of the key elements to successful prison-to-work programmes, such as early intervention and continuing assistance.
  • The Council reiterated its advice to ensure investments in Indigenous Affairs have a measurable impact in priority areas and make a real difference.
    • Members agreed that significant efficiencies could be gained in programme simplification and in clearly identifying outputs and outcomes.
    • Members agreed efforts should be made to streamline and simplify programme arrangements and reduce red tape and inefficiencies wherever possible.
    • The Council noted its role as the Ministerial Advisory Council on Deregulation for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and agreed to identify ways to reduce the burden of administration and compliance on Indigenous communities, businesses and service providers.
  • The Council discussed employment and economic development, including the Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes being led by Mr Andrew Forrest.

The Council noted the exposure draft of the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act and encourages all interested parties to make their views known through the community consultation process which runs until 30 April 2014.

The Council will next meet on 29 May 2014 in Canberra.

The Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council is a directly appointed, non-representative group which provides advice to the Prime Minister on Indigenous issues.