Meeting Communique: Indigenous Advisory Council, February 2015

Meeting Communique: Indigenous Advisory Council, February 2015

Indigenous Affairs Indigenous Advisory Council
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The former Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, met with the Indigenous Advisory Council on 12 February 2015 in Canberra. This was the Prime Minister’s sixth meeting with the Council and he was joined by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Social Services, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, and Mr Ken Wyatt MP.

The Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to constitutional reform to recognise Indigenous Australians. Mr Wyatt, Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, provided an update to members and sought their views on next steps in promoting wide engagement and support for this important issue.

Building on previous advice on achieving quality education for Indigenous children and closing the gap in education outcomes, Council briefed the Prime Minister and Ministers on ways to improve school attendance for Indigenous children so it is consistently at or above 80 per cent. This is a critical issue for all children, particularly for Indigenous children in many remote areas of Australia, as school attendance is critical to students’ educational attainment, future employment and life opportunities. Council’s advice was focused on breaking patterns of non-attendance for all children. This included incentives and compliance measures to encourage parents and carers, schools and communities to take responsibility for ensuring children go to school.

Council discussed options for addressing community safety issues in Indigenous communities and highlighted the importance of protecting women and children including much better support for victims.

The Council will next meet on 23 April 2015.

The Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council is a directly appointed, non-representative group which provides advice to the Prime Minister on Indigenous issues. You can contact the Council via email at indigenousadvisorycouncil@pmc.gov.au, or by writing to:

Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council

PO Box 6500

Canberra ACT 2600