Annual Report
2013–14

Indigenous Affairs

The Indigenous Affairs Group is responsible for most Commonwealth Indigenous specific policy and programmes. The Group works with other Commonwealth Departments, State and Territory Governments, Indigenous communities and organisations, and peak bodies on the Government’s priorities of getting adults into jobs, getting children into school, and ensuring safe communities.

The Indigenous Affairs Group in the National Office consists of six divisions:

  • Schools, Youth and Evidence
  • Land, Housing and Recognition
  • Strategic Policy, Health and Communities
  • Employment and Economic Development
  • Delivery and Network
  • Programme and Support

The National Office structure also includes a Constitutional Recognition Taskforce, an Indigenous Employment and Training Review Taskforce and a Special Adviser for Indigenous engagement.

In addition to the National Office, the Department has six State and Territory Offices:

  • New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • Western Australia
  • South Australia
  • Victoria/Tasmania

The Network is comprised of the State and Territory offices, regional offices, Indigenous Coordination Centres, and staff in communities. It operates from more than 100 locations around Australia, working with communities to implement the Government’s priorities on the ground.

Mr Andrew Forrest, Indigenous Employment Training and Programmes Review, on left and Mr Warren Mundine, Chair,
Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, on right. At the Closing the Gap event at Parliament House in February, 2014.

Photo 2.8 Mr Andrew Forrest, Indigenous Employment Training and Programmes Review, on left and Mr Warren Mundine, Chair, Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, on right. At the Closing the Gap event at Parliament House in February, 2014.

Responsibility for most Indigenous policies, programmes and service delivery transferred to PM&C from eight Australian Government agencies as part of the machinery of government changes in September 2013. This decision reflects the very high priority the Prime Minister and the Government as a whole has placed on Indigenous affairs and supports our ability to improve outcomes for Indigenous people.

Highlights 2013–14

We have contributed to Indigenous policies, programmes and service delivery by:

  • developing the implementation arrangements and new programme guidelines for the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, which replaced more than 150 Indigenous programmes and activities with five streamlined broad-based programmes
  • improving school attendance by implementing the Government’s new Remote School Attendance Strategy in 73 remote and regional schools in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory
  • providing $6.24 million in Indigenous Employment Programme (IEP) funds to Indigenous businesses, individuals, groups and organisations to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people develop sustainable businesses and Indigenous workforce and economic development strategies that support local and regional economic growth
  • establishing 21 Vocational Training and Employment Centres (VTECs) in Sydney, the Hunter region, South Coast NSW, Brisbane, north and central Queensland, Perth, Melbourne, Kalgoorlie, Alice Springs, the Barkley region of the Northern Territory, the Kimberley and Adelaide
  • facilitating 205 community projects across 60 Remote Jobs and Communities Programme (RJCP) regions, including 47 Community Development Fund grants to support the delivery of the Remote School Attendance Strategy
  • helping 16,5911 people into jobs and placing 33,9112 people into structured activities that will help prepare them for employment
  • introducing low aromatic fuel through localised programs and storage facilities in Northern Australia and Palm Island, and achieving agreement on an Alcohol Management Plan under the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012 for the remote community of Titjikala
  • funding the construction of two new police stations in Ramingining and Gapuwiyak, and providing funding to the Northern Territory Government for two further police stations in Yuendumu and Arlparra
  • obtaining agreement from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to a new target to close the gap in school attendance between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students within five years
  • providing 531 new houses, 839 refurbishments, 608 upgrades of houses in remote communities under National Partnership Agreements and the provision of 15 new renewable energy systems, and the maintenance of 240 existing systems in remote communities as part of the Indigenous Housing Initiative
  • providing secretariat services to the Indigenous Advisory Council (the Council) chaired by Mr Warren Mundine, established in September 2013
  • supporting Mr Andrew Forrest to conduct a Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes, deliver a report to the Prime Minister with recommendations aimed at creating parity for Indigenous Australians and advising the Prime Minister and Minister for Indigenous Affairs on the Government’s response
  • preparing the Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report 2014 and supporting the Prime Minister’s statement, both delivered on 12 February 2014.

Schools, Youth and Evidence Division

The Schools, Youth and Evidence Division is responsible for delivery and management of initiatives designed to improve school attendance; support the achievement of the Closing the Gap targets in education; assisting young people transition from education to employment or further education; and support access and achievements in tertiary education.

The Division also supports an effective and sustainable evaluation and performance improvement culture within the Indigenous Affairs Group through implementation of the Evidence, Evaluation and Performance Improvement Strategy; provision of data analysis and enhancement, technical advice, coordination and reporting; demographic and geospatial services; commissioning or undertaking independent evaluation and research; management of evaluation business processes within PM&C; and provision of mentoring and advice to government, organisations and communities.

Since January 2014 the Division has implemented the Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) to improve school attendance of 13,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in 73 remote schools across the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales. Over 500 School Attendance Supervisors and School Attendance Officers are employed, of whom most are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These supervisors and officers are recruited locally by service providers, and use their knowledge of the community to work with families and schools to make sure children attend school as often as possible.

By the end of Term 1 2014 we achieved large increases in attendance at some RSAS schools in Queensland and the Northern Territory, with an increase of nearly 20 percentage points in Doomadgee, Queensland, and more than 10 percentage points at seven schools in the Northern Territory. In other schools attendance has been less responsive, and steps are being taken through schools visits and community discussions to see what needs to change to lift school attendance in these locations.

This work was complemented by COAG’s agreement on 2 May 2014 to commit to a Closing the Gap target on school attendance, to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students within five years.

The Improving School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform Measure (SEAM) was trialled in Queensland and the Northern Territory between 2009 and 2012. SEAM helps identify enrolment and attendance problems in Northern Territory schools and funds assistance to help parents remedy these problems.

A new and improved model commenced rollout in the Northern Territory in term one, 2013. By June 2014, SEAM was operating in 16 communities in the Northern Territory. The communities of Milingimbi, Galiwin’ku, Gapuwiyak, Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala will commence SEAM in term three 2014.

Indigenous Affairs and the Indigenous Advancement Strategy

The Government has made significant changes to the administration of Indigenous affairs in 2013–14, which has resulted in major changes to PM&C.

From the start the Government emphasised the high priority it provided to Indigenous Affairs by bringing the majority of Indigenous specific programmes and policy into the Prime Minister’s own Department.

Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion was appointed as the Cabinet Minister for Indigenous Affairs, ensuring that there is now a Cabinet Minister with dedicated portfolio responsibility for improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Hon Alan Tudge MP was also appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to assist the Prime Minister on Indigenous Affairs.

The Government then announced significant reforms to Indigenous specific programmes in the 2014–15 Budget.

The new Indigenous Advancement Strategy (the Strategy) consolidates around 150 programmes and activities into five streamlined programmes:

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

These streamlined programmes provide much greater flexibility for the Government to target and tailor investment to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

The Government’s reform agenda for Indigenous Affairs centres on increasing practical action to improve key Indigenous outcomes. The consolidation of Indigenous affairs into PM&C, and the introduction of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, removes duplication, inconsistency and unnecessary red tape for providers.

Positive engagement with Indigenous communities is critical to improving Indigenous outcomes. The Strategy will be supported through a redesigned network of regional officers who will work closely with communities to develop practical solutions to local issues focusing on the Government’s priority areas of getting children into school, adults into jobs and ensuring community safety.

Transition arrangements for the Indigenous Advancement Strategy programmes have already commenced. Six and twelve month grant extensions have been executed to ensure that services continue to be delivered in 2014–15 while new arrangements are bedded down.

Implementing these major reforms will be a key challenge for the Department in 2014–15. It is critical that these reforms be implemented well and deliver real and lasting outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

From term three 2014, SEAM will operate alongside RSAS in 16 schools in Northern Territory communities. The two initiatives will offer complementary approaches to improve attendance rates and educational outcomes for students.

We supported Year 12 completions and transition to work through the following three programmes:

  • The Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme under which up to 180 Year 12 completions are expected in 2014. This programme provides scholarships to support students to attend high performing secondary schools and universities to complete Year 12 or an undergraduate degree.
  • The Indigenous Youth Mobility Programme has supported over 486 participants. This programme supports young people between 16–24 years, primarily from remote areas, to move away from home to gain the qualifications they need so they have a greater chance of finding work. At 1 June 2014, 174 of 269 participants were undertaking a Certificate Level III or higher qualification.
  • The Indigenous Remote Service Delivery Traineeships – Schools (IRSDT–S) supported 112 young people aged between 15–24 years, primarily from remote areas, to undertake traineeships. Some 105 of these trainees are at a Certificate Level III or higher qualification.

Through the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory National Partnership Agreement (SFNT NPA) we funded schooling measure activities aimed at closing the educational outcome gaps for people living in remote areas of the Northern Territory.

We funded organisations through the Youth in Communities programme to deliver early intervention services involving prevention or diversionary activities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth from around 60 communities in the Northern Territory participated in this programme.

We supported the Government’s amendments to the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) (IETA) Act 2000 moving to it being administered as an annual appropriation and to provide greater transparency and accountability.

Over the year we funded organisations through the Indigenous Community Links programme to provide information, referrals and related support to more than 180 communities across 88 urban and regional locations, to facilitate better access to mainstream and Indigenous services.

We undertook data analysis for the ‘2014 Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report’ and helped to drive improvements in the quality of governments’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander administrative data through the cross-government National Indigenous Reform Agreement Performance Information Management Group.

We completed the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery Evaluation 2013, which assessed delivery of and access to services and improved engagement across the 29 Remote Service Delivery sites in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

In respect to the Supplementary Recurrent Assistance VET program we had three providers which were funded in 2012 and were no longer funded in 2013 as they were no longer eligible. This meant that 22 institutions were funded instead of the target of 25. One of those providers was also previously funded under the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme, which meant that 10 institutions were funded in 2013 and not 11. This is relevant to the unmet KPI for the number of students receiving tutorial assistance.

Mornington Island elder and School Attendance Supervisor Mr Leon Roughsey who has enjoyed success at improving
school attendance rates in the community, with his grandson Graham.

Photo 2.9 Mornington Island elder and School Attendance Supervisor Mr Leon Roughsey who has enjoyed success at improving school attendance rates in the community, with his grandson Graham.

Figure 2.9 KPIs for the Schools Youth and Evidence Division

Indigenous Community Links Programme Met
Percentage and number of individuals who indicated they were satisfied with Indigenous Community Links and the Community Capacity Building Projects.
99 per cent, or 55,912 individuals, indicated they were satisfied. 59 per cent of individuals accessing the services were surveyed. Only Indigenous Community Links data is reported in the 2013–14 Annual Report for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Community Capacity Building Projects is reported by the Department of Social Services.
Percentage and number of individuals assisted from Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
91 per cent, or 80,924 individuals, were assisted. This includes repeat clients, which was 66 per cent of presenting individuals. Culturally and linguistically diverse background data is not collected for Indigenous Community Links. This information is reported only in relation to Community Capacity Building Projects administered by the Department of Social Services.
Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme (IYLP) Met
Percentage of eligible Indigenous students in receipt of IYLP scholarships who complete Year 12.
98 per cent of eligible Indigenous students completed Year 12 in 2013–14 (estimate was 90 per cent).
Indigenous Youth Mobility Programme (IYMP) Met
Percentage of young people who commence in the IYMP who exit the programme after achieving a vocational education and training or higher education qualification or to take up full time employment.
40 per cent of commencements had a successful outcome in 2013–14 (estimate was 38 per cent).
Supplementary Indigenous Programmes – Higher Education Vocational Education and Training Met
Number of eligible students who enrol and undertake ‘mixed-mode’ studies at funded institutions.
6,946 students undertook ‘mixed-mode’ studies at funded institutions in 2013 (estimate was 6,867).
Number of eligible students who receive tutorial support at funded higher education institutions.
3,530 students received tutorial support at funded institutions in 2013 (estimate was 3,464).
Number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled at funded non-government VET institutions.
4,198 students were enrolled at funded non-government institutions in 2013 (estimate was 3,717).
Number of eligible students who receive tutorial support at funded non-government VET institutions.
While provision was made for over 555 students to receive this support, in 2013 the number of students that the funded VET institutions assessed as eligible and provided this support to, was 515.
Not Met

Land, Housing and Recognition Division

The Land, Housing and Recognition Division supports Indigenous rights to land recognised or provided through Commonwealth land rights and native title legislation, with particular focus on leveraging these rights to improve economic and social outcomes. It is also responsible for the delivery of reforms in remote housing through the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH), and the provision of essential services and related infrastructure. The Division also manages activities related to recognition of Indigenous people and culture.

A joint PM&C and Attorney General’s Department Taskforce has been established to progress the Government’s commitment to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.

Major activities for the Division included:

  • funding the States and the Northern Territory to deliver 2,566 new houses and 6,726 refurbishments and rebuilds in remote Indigenous communities under the NPARIH since 2008
  • assisting over 16,000 people across the country to participate in events to mark the anniversary of the National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples through the work of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation
  • facilitating township lease negotiations in the Northern Territory communities of Gunbalanya, Yirrkala and Pirlangimpi and completing a formal review of the Wurrumiyanga township lease on the Tiwi Islands
  • administering the Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Budget appropriation and delivering major community infrastructure in Fregon, South Australia, through the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP)
  • maintaining public internet access for approximately 50,000 Indigenous Australians in 102 communities and training more than 5,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in internet and computer use since 2009
  • installing and maintaining 546 community satellite phones that were fault free 99.2 per cent of the time
  • installing renewable energy systems, with 15 systems to be completed by October 2014
  • providing municipal and essential services to approximately 290 remote communities
  • administering the National Jobs Creation/Northern Territory Jobs Package which funded a total of 261.5 full time equivalent positions.

We supported Indigenous rights to land being recognised or provided through Commonwealth land rights legislation and facilitated the representation and assistance of native title claimants and holders in the pursuit and exercise of native title rights. There has been a marked increase in the rate of claims settled.

There were 65 native title determinations in 2013–2014 compared to 33 in 2012–2013, an increase of 97 per cent. This is a combination of the efforts of the Federal Court of Australia which, is responsible for managing native title claims, and the work of native title claimants and respondent parties.

We commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to review the role and functions of native title organisations and to examine their needs in the post-determination environment. Following extensive consultation, the report was released in May 2014. Discussions with stakeholders about the review findings and possible directions are underway.

The NPARIH has delivered almost two-thirds of the 10 year target of 4,200 houses by 30 June 2018, and has exceeded the target of 4,876 refurbishments by 30 June 2014. Since 2008 the NPARIH has delivered employment-related accommodation facilities of over 500 bedrooms in more than 125 houses and 7 hostels.

In addition, through the commencement of the National Partnership Agreement on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory, in 2012–2013 we completed 608 upgrades and started an extensive programme of asbestos removal works.

We delivered on matters relating to recognition of Indigenous people and culture, and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by:

  • progressing constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • establishing a Panel as required under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Recognition Act 2013 to review levels of support for proposals to amend the Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the pre-conditions for a successful referendum on the issue.

We supported the work of Reconciliation Australia, and Indigenous and government participation in Indigenous international forums.

During the year we developed and implemented projects to support Indigenous interpreting services, and provided grants for local National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) activities to celebrate Indigenous achievements and promote Indigenous cultures.

Figure 2.10 KPIs for the Land, Housing and Recognition Division

Infrastructure Met
Percentage and number of programmes and projects that met specified project objectives by 30 June 2014.
All five programmes (100 per cent) met specified project objectives by 30 June 2014.
Native Title and Land Rights 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 Met
Proportion of native title claims assisted. 84% 86% 86%
Proportion of native title claims concluded. 15.2% 12.3% 19%
Number of future act agreements progressed and concluded. 1,704 1,230 5941
1 2013–14 agreements figure relates to six-month period to 31 December 2013.
Indigenous Communications Programme Met
Indigenous Communications Programme - Community Phones: extent to which the phones are in operation, particularly for emergency purposes in remote Indigenous communities.
The community phones element of the Indigenous communications programme is responsible for monitoring and maintaining 546 phones. This comprised 245 fixed line community phones installed under previous programmes and 301 fixed satellite community phones installed under the current Programme. The community phones were fault free on average 99.2 per cent of the time.
Each month, remote Indigenous community phones are fault free 95 per cent of the time.
The community phones were fault free on average 99.2 per cent of the time.
Indigenous Communications Programme - Internet: availability and usage of public internet access facilities in remote Indigenous communities.
The Public Internet Access element of the Programme is delivered in cooperation with the States and the Northern Territory under the Project Agreement for Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access, Training and Maintenance. See results for the two KPIs below.
32,000 people in remote communities with maintained public internet access services.
Approximately 50,000 Indigenous Australians in 102 remote Indigenous communities in New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia have had public internet access services maintained through the Programme.
500 people in remote Indigenous communities participating in computer and internet training.
The training aspect has seen more than 5,000 Indigenous Australians across these communities trained in internet and computer use since 2009.

Indigenous Advisory Council

On 23 November 2013 Prime Minister Abbott established the Indigenous Advisory Council (‘the Council’) and appointed Mr Warren Mundine as Chair. The purpose of the Council is to provide advice to the Government on priority issues in Indigenous affairs. Membership comprises prominent Australians and leaders with significant experience in a wide range of areas, including Indigenous culture, health, business, economic development, employment, education, and youth issues.

By the end of June 2014 the Council had held five meetings, including three with the Prime Minister, providing advice to government on a range of high priority issues, including school attendance, employment and economic development, community safety, constitutional recognition, native title and the new arrangements for Indigenous-specific funding.

To assist with its substantial work programme, the Council has also established three working groups in the areas of school attendance, community safety, and employment and economic development. These working groups usually convene between each Council meeting and provide an opportunity for members to consider specific issues in more detail.

Experts in relevant fields may also be invited to attend Council meetings from time to time, to exchange views with members and inform the Council’s deliberations.

Outside their regular meetings, Council members are actively engaged in outreach activities, seeking the views of interested stakeholders, including Indigenous Australians and, where relevant, members of their own organisations.

The Council is provided with secretariat support through PM&C. Further information on the Council, including its terms of reference and membership, is available online at: https://dpmc.gov.au/indigenous_affairs/indigenous_advisory_council/index.cfm.

The Council can also be contacted via email: IndigenousAdvisoryCouncil@pmc.gov.au.

The Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP,
with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the
Hon Nigel Scullion, greeting Remote School Attendance
staff Ms Miliyika Paddy and Mr Roger Williams at their meeting on 29 May 2014.

Photo 2.10 The Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, greeting Remote School Attendance staff Ms Miliyika Paddy and Mr Roger Williams at their meeting on 29 May 2014.

Council members at their third meeting with the Prime Minister in the Cabinet Room at Parliament House.

Photo 2.11 Council members at their third meeting with the Prime Minister in the Cabinet Room at Parliament House.

Strategic Policy, Health and Communities Division

The Strategic Policy, Health and Communities Division is responsible for strategic Indigenous policy and coordination matters and is the lead area in the Indigenous Affairs Group for intergovernmental coordination. It supports the Indigenous Advisory Council, and key reforms such as the Programme Review. It provides advice, policy and programme delivery relating to Indigenous Community Safety and Health, as well as place-based initiatives.

In 2013–14 we commenced discussions with the Northern Territory Government to revise the National Partnership Agreement on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory to better align with government priorities and ensure funding is used to the greatest effect.

We funded projects under the Indigenous Justice Programme that have early signs of success in reducing offending and recidivism with high-risk clients.

We continued key social services, under the Alice Springs Transformation Implementation Plan, that provide critical on-the-ground support for the Aboriginal community in Alice Springs, particularly in town camps. The nine services delivered under the Implementation Plan between 1 July and 31 December 2013 included alcohol treatment, tenancy, parenting, and safety and wellbeing support services. Collectively, these services received over 900 referrals during this reporting period.

We employed Indigenous Engagement Officers (IEOs) and Government Engagement Coordinators (GECs) in approximately 50 communities, including homelands and town camps. As at 30 June 2014, 38 IEOs and 26 GECs were employed.

We supported the design of a new ‘Empowered Communities’ model aimed at improving the way Indigenous leaders, governments and other partners work together in eight regions across Australia. The Australian Government has committed $5 million to this design process that is being driven by Indigenous leaders and involves Commonwealth, State and Territory governments and representatives from corporate Australia.

Over the year we funded 90 organisations under the Substance Misuse Service Delivery Grants Fund to provide alcohol and other drugs treatment and prevention services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We continued the licensing regime established in 2007 to help ensure community stores support better nutrition and health of people in remote communities.

We tackled alcohol abuse by working closely with the Northern Territory Government to support remote Aboriginal communities to develop and implement Alcohol Management Plans. These plans support communities to identify community-based alcohol management strategies such as supply reduction through alcohol restrictions, demand reduction through educational and diversionary activities, and harm reduction through culturally appropriate health based programs to reduce alcohol-related harm. Minister Scullion approved the first community-endorsed Alcohol Management Plan in May 2014.

We continued to fund over 120 services which provide family tracing, reunion and counselling services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, giving priority to members of the Stolen Generations. Social and emotional wellbeing counselling services provided support to over 10,000 people across Australia. Link up services provided family tracing services to over 500 clients, and hosted over 150 reunions, including large ‘return to country’ and ‘return to institution’ reunions.

We provided Indigenous Parenting Services funding to organisations to support almost 50,000 clients in 2013–14 to help achieve better outcomes for Indigenous children, families and communities, by addressing underlying barriers to effective parenting and supporting children to transition to school. The organisations provide services such as supported playgroups, early childhood services, nutrition programmes and parenting support programmes.

Figure 2.11 KPIs for the Strategic Policy, Health and Communities Division

Indigenous Parenting Service
The Indigenous Parenting Service is a component of a mainstream programme, the Family Support Programme, delivered by the Department of Social Services. This component came to PM&C as part of the move of Indigenous affairs policy and programmes. The following assesses the Indigenous Parenting Service against the key performance indicators for the Family Support Programme.
Met
Percentage of clients with improved family functioning, including child wellbeing, safety and development.
Of the clients surveyed during the year, 96 per cent (1,066 out of 1,115) reported improvement.
Percentage of clients with improved knowledge, skills, behaviours and engagement with services.
Of the clients surveyed during the year, 91 per cent (1,980 out of 2,175) reported improvement.
Percentage of clients from priority target groups.
Of the total number of clients seen during the year 90 per cent were from the priority target group.
Percentage of clients from disadvantaged or targeted communities.
A significant majority of clients were from disadvantaged or targeted communities.
Indigenous Family Safety Programmes Met
Percentage of clients satisfied with assistance received.
Of the clients surveyed during the period 1 July – 31 December 2013, 87 per cent of clients (735 out of 848) reported they were satisfied with services provided.
Percentage of clients reporting increased knowledge and skills.
Of the clients surveyed during the period 1 July – 31 December 2013, 82 per cent of clients (695 out of 848) reported increased knowledge and skills.
Improved access to justice for Indigenous people (various programmes) Met
Improved access to justice for Indigenous people.
Contribution of Family Violence Prevention Legal Services to above KPI - As at 30 June 2014 the 14 Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLS) providers had delivered services to 5,352 clients. Legal assistance services were provided to 2,673 clients, non-legal services (such as counselling and support) were provided to 748 clients and both legal assistance and non-legal services were provided to 1,931 clients. In addition, 1,305 Community Legal Education and Early Intervention Prevention activities were undertaken. These activities include community workshops, community sessions advising on legal rights for different topics, and educating young people as to how to recognise family violence, that family violence is unacceptable behaviour and action to be taken if they are victims of family violence.
Contribution of Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory – Community Safety and Justice – Remote policing to above KPI - During 2013–14, the Commonwealth continued to support the NT Police to provide an additional 60 police officers to provide a permanent police presence in 18 priority remote communities. The Substance Abuse Intelligence Desks and Dog Operations Units continued to work on reducing the supply of drugs and alcohol to communities. Two new police stations, funded by the Commonwealth under this initiative, were officially opened in Gapuwiyak and Ramingining in November 2013.
Contribution of Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory – Community Safety and Justice – Community Night Patrols to above KPI - As at 30 June 2014, community night patrols, providing services across 81 Northern Territory communities, undertook more than 237,168 instances of assistance. The Aboriginal Employment Target for the Community Night Patrol Programme is 90 per cent, established by Schedule C of the National Partnership Agreement on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory. Over 2013–14 the programme has met the target, with an average of 92 per cent Aboriginal employment. This figure includes management positions as well as those team leaders and patrollers delivering services on the ground.
Contribution of Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory – Community Safety and Justice – Supplementary Legal Assistance to above KPI - Supplementary Legal Assistance funding increases the availability and access to legal assistance services. In the period July to December 2013, funding was used to provide 946 legal advices and 1,231 case and duty matters.
Contribution of Indigenous Interpreter Services in the Northern Territory – Aboriginal Interpreter Service to above KPI - As at 30 June 2014, the Aboriginal Interpreter Service (AIS) completed 4,227 jobs for law and justice agencies totalling 18,625 hours of interpreting. The AIS employed 551 Aboriginal Interpreters under contract. The AIS has interpreters for 105 Aboriginal languages with a core service of 15 major languages to ensure geographical coverage of all areas.
Contribution of Indigenous Justice Programme to above KPI - In 2013–14, funding was provided to 34 projects under the Indigenous Justice Programme to reduce the contact of Indigenous Australians with the criminal justice system and improve community safety. Eighteen organisations were supported to provide intensive case management to offenders and prisoners, 13 organisations to provide alternative activities for Indigenous youth at risk of adverse contact with the criminal justice system or volatile substance misuse, and three organisations to deliver restorative justice and mediation services. During the period 1 July – 31 December 2013:
  • 1,247 offenders were provided with intensive case management, including 1,072 prisoners
  • 6,769 Indigenous youth were engaged in alternative activities that reduced their risk of involvement in antisocial or offending behaviour
  • 132 disputes were mediated.
Mobile Outreach Service Plus Met
The number of case-related services delivered (reported on a calendar year basis).
We funded the delivery of culturally safe counselling and support for Aboriginal children and their families and communities in remote NT who are experiencing trauma associated with any form of child abuse or neglect. For reporting against this KPI refer to www.dpmc.gov.au. Data is expected to become available post the printing of the annual report.
Breaking the Cycle of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Indigenous Communities Met
Number and type of services delivered to support Community Alcohol and Substance Abuse Plans.
Through the Breaking the Cycle of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Indigenous Communities programme we funded and supported 10 remote Indigenous communities to address alcohol and substance misuse issues by identifying and implementing community-based harm reduction strategies. This was achieved through the development and implementation of Community Alcohol and Substance Abuse Management Plans (CASPs) and the funding of activities that support these plans. This programme ended on 30 June 2014. Further details on this KPI are available on the PM&C website.
Number of clients accessing these services.
See above response. Further details on this KPI are available on the PM&C website.
Stronger Future Northern Territory – Department Social Services – Commonwealth Owned-Purpose Expenditure - Administered KPIs Met
Percentage and number of communities in the food security area served by a licensed store.
85 of the 108 (79 per cent) major and minor Aboriginal communities and towns in the food security area are served by a licensed store.
Additional staff working on prevention and management of chronic disease including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander outreach workers.
We provided funding to the Northern Territory Department of Health and Families in 2013–14 to develop a model to deliver alcohol and other drugs services, including engaging additional full time equivalent, locally based Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) workers in remote Aboriginal communities until 30 June 2015 to provide prevention, early intervention and referral and follow up services in communities where the need is high. This funding will bolster the existing NT Remote AOD Workforce Program and provide targeted support to communities that have requested the support of an AOD worker in their Alcohol Management Plan or where a need for additional alcohol and other drugs support is identified.

Cape York Welfare Reform – the Family Responsibilities Commission

The Family Responsibilities Commission, which is established under Queensland Government legislation, is a key plank of Cape York Welfare Reform. It receives funding from PM&C and the Queensland State Government to support its operations, and provides the following roles:

  • rebuilding and promoting respect for local authority through early intervention and authority as decision maker
  • outlining and reinforcing community-agreed values and expected behaviours
  • determining appropriate actions to address dysfunctional behaviours
  • providing mentoring and support as well as integrated case management
  • referring individuals to community support services and income management.

Indigenous Local Commissioners lead honest, robust conversations during the Family Responsibilities Commission conferencing process. These Local Commissioners challenge people about their behaviour, they encourage and support them to take up opportunities and to make fundamental changes in their lives—changes that mean children are getting to school more often, and families are managing their money so food can be put on the table.

More local Indigenous leaders are now training to be Local Commissioners. Most community members and stakeholders believe that the Family Responsibilities Commission has strengthened leadership and supported the rebuilding of Indigenous authority to tackle antisocial behaviour through the Local Commissioners.

The leadership of the Local Commissioners demonstrate what can be achieved when local authority is restored and operating in conjunction with a suite of support services and opportunities, individuals and families are able to identify and start to address problems that affect their lives.

a photograph of Cape York residents

Photo 2.12 Cape York residents

Employment and Economic Development Division

The Employment and Economic Development Division provides positive employment, training and community development services for Indigenous Australians. The Division assumed responsibility for the Indigenous Employment Programme (IEP), Community Development Employment Project and the Remote Jobs and Community Programme (RJCP), following the machinery of government change in September 2013.

We supported 16,5913 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into employment and 33,9114 into further education and training and provided $6.24 million to businesses to assist them in the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Through the GenerationOne Employment model we commenced the implementation of the Government’s election commitment to invest up to $45 million to support the Vocational Training and Employment Centres (VTECs). The initiative will see up to 5,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive practical training for a guaranteed job. Many of the guaranteed positions come from the employer job commitments received under GenerationOne’s Australian Employment Covenant initiative, which has received over 60,000 job pledges for Indigenous Australians from employers across Australia. Some 21 VTECs have commenced operation in Sydney, the Hunter region, South Coast NSW, Brisbane, north and central Queensland, Perth, Melbourne, Kalgoorlie, Alice Springs, the Barkley region of the Northern Territory, the Kimberley and Adelaide.

We provided funding through the IEP to increase employment outcomes and participation in economic activities for Indigenous Australians. The IEP complements the services available through Job Services Australia and Disability Employment Services. In 2013–14 the Department had a target of 12,900 employment commencements, and 23,500 total commencements in employment, training and other assistance. Actual employment commencements achieved were 10,083, and total commencements in employment, training and other assistance were 17,645.

The Department focused the IEP on funding projects that directly provide jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our target for commencements was not achieved largely due to the impact of the election, including the review of Indigenous services and the machinery of government changes.

We delivered, through RJCP providers, jobs, participation and community-development services in 60 remote regions across Australia. This helped support people to build their skills and get a job, or to participate in activities that contribute to their communities. It also helped remote-area employers to meet their workforce needs and supported remote communities to plan and build a better future.

The number of participants in RJCP increased over the year from 34,176 to 37,256. In June 2014, 16,088 of these participants were engaged in RJCP activities, including 10,607 in structured participation activities, such as participating in courses to improve employability, helping out in community events or undertaking work experience.

Figure 2.12 RJCP outcomes

RJCP outcomes, 1 July 2013–30 June 2014
Job Placements 7 Week Job Outcomes 13 Week Job Outcomes Outcomes 26 Week Job Outcomes Outcomes Education Commencements Education Completions
6,508 1,476 1,167 387 3,563 718

We also provided advice to the Government on Indigenous economic development, government procurement and public sector Indigenous employment. We worked with the Department of Finance and other key procurement agencies to increase the use of the Government’s Indigenous procurement policies including the Indigenous business exemption to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and the Indigenous Opportunities Policy. We fostered relationships with stakeholders including the Business Council of Australia, the Minerals Council of Australia, the Accommodation Association of Australia, Supply Nation and Reconciliation Australia to promote Indigenous employment in private sector.

Figure 2.13 KPIs for the Employment and Economic Development Division

Indigenous Employment Programme Met
Proportion of job seekers in employment and/or education/training (positive outcomes) 3 months following participation in Indigenous Employment Programme (65 per cent target set for 2013–14).
The Indigenous Employment Programme achieved a rate of 75.6 per cent of job seekers still in employment/education/training 3 months following participation in an Indigenous Employment Programme project.
Community Development Employment Projects Programme Scheme Met
Number of wage participants in remote regions (CDEP).
There were 2,555 wages participants in remote areas at 30 June 2014.
Number of wage participants in non-remote regions.
There were 65 wages participants in non-remote areas at 30 June 2014.
Community Development Fund: Number of regions that have received grants.
CDF grants were approved during 2013–14 for projects in 55 of the 60 RJCP regions at 30 June 2014. In addition, 60 CDF grants were approved during 2013–14 as a contribution to the development of a Community Action Plan for each RJCP region.
Community Development Fund: Number of grants that have been made.
205 Community Development fund grants were made in the 2013–14 financial year.
Remote Jobs Met
Development of Remote Jobs KPIs.

KPI performance measures were developed for the RJCP following a public submission process and industry consultation. Implementation was deferred pending the outcome of the Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes and the need to ensure alignment with the policy priorities of the Government. Provider performance has been regularly reviewed with the main focus being working with providers to build capacity, establishing and consolidating service delivery arrangements and employer servicing and engaging job seekers in activities that improve work readiness. The KPIs developed and to be reported against in 2014–15 are:

  • KPI 1 Community engagement and participation
  • KPI 2 Employment and education
  • KPI 3 Activity quality

Delivery and Network Division

The Delivery and Network Division is responsible for supporting the State Office Network and Indigenous Portfolio bodies, and development and delivery of environment and leadership and capability programmes. The Division represents the interests of the Network together with coordinating requests for information and performance reporting.

We oversaw the implementation of the final year of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery in 29 remote priority locations across the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

In partnership with communities and other stakeholders we worked to develop tailored long-term strategies to achieve results in the priority areas of school attendance, jobs and community safety under the National Partnership Agreement Remote Service Delivery (NPA RSD).

We engaged with World Vision Australia, to help us to assess how approaches, administrative frameworks and systems used to attain development internationally can be drawn on to increase the effectiveness of service delivery and funding approaches in Indigenous affairs.

We supported 330 Indigenous people in leadership activities, including 180 certificate qualifications delivered by the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre. This number excludes individuals involved in activities which were not due to be completed until 2014–15, for which participation numbers were not provided in the reporting period.

We shifted our focus on leadership development to include activities that strengthen the leadership and governance of Indigenous organisations so that they are better placed to deliver services in response to the needs of Indigenous communities. While this shift extended the reach and benefits of the Programme to include Indigenous institutions, it impacted on achieving the original target of 800 individuals supported in leadership activities.

We provided almost $68 million of funding to Indigenous land and sea management activities such as the Indigenous Heritage Protection and Working on Country Indigenous rangers. We also invested over $13.8 million in Indigenous Protected Areas. The resulting benefits are many, and include strong social and cultural benefits, employment and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the protection and conservation of Australia’s environment and heritage assets.

Assisting Indigenous Australians into employment

Thiess is a large mining, construction and services company that delivers an Indigenous Employment Programme (IEP) Project on the NSW mid north coast. The project puts young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a pre-employment certificate III in civil engineering before they embark on traineeships that involve working on the Pacific Highway, the funding of which is part of the Government’s Building Australia’s Infrastructure Programme.

Through the IEP Thiess has supported many young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to gain employment. One such success story is that of a young man from the mid-north coast region of New South Wales, who was in the juvenile justice system when his supervisor got him into the Thiess IEP project. This young man is now working as a fulltime trainee on the highway north of Kempsey. Thanks to the partnership between Thiess and the IEP, he is enjoying learning new skills every day, meeting new people, and earning money to support his family.

The Vocational Training and Employment Centres have been established as a part of the Better Employment Outcomes for Indigenous Australians election commitment. Working closely with GenerationOne, a national network of employer demand-led Vocational Training and Employment Centres (VTECs) is being created. These VTECs will see up to 5,000 Indigenous job seekers receive training leading to a guaranteed job.

One of the first VTECs was opened in southern Brisbane through BoysTown in January 2014. This VTEC has provided support to many Indigenous job seekers, including a young disadvantaged Indigenous job seeker from an Indigenous community in the outer southern suburbs of Brisbane, Queensland.

This young man wanted to get a job in the building industry. The BoysTown VTEC provided him with a range of pre-employment training and support, including work experience, mentoring, literacy and numeracy training. After completing his training, he was employed by a Construction Warehouse as a full-time labourer. BoysTown is continuing to support him, including by helping him get his driver’s and forklift licences. He is very proud to be able to be a positive role model for his family and community.

We developed a strategy and implementation plan for the establishment of specialised Indigenous compliance rangers in North Queensland and the Torres Strait, in line with the Government’s election commitment. We are investing $2 million over two years as part of the Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan. The resulting benefits include the protection of turtle and dugong from the threat of illegal poaching while building career pathways for Indigenous men and women into compliance roles that respond to incidents along the Great Barrier Reef.

During 2013–14 we developed and delivered a targeted funding round for Indigenous Heritage activities and 19 projects were funded.

We conducted a competitive funding process for the establishment of 19 new Indigenous ranger positions in the Northern Territory.

We provided advice and support to 10 Indigenous Portfolio Bodies (IPBs) and three Statutory Office Holders. In addition to the regular support provided to these bodies (such as accountability and transparency; compliance with legislative requirements; best practice governance arrangements; facilitation of statutory appointments; improved alignments with government objectives and priorities and the Minister’s expectations (statement of expectations and statement of intent processes); and Annual Report compliance and tabling), in 2013–14 support was provided to effect the September 2013 machinery of government changes as well as the introduction of the Public Governance and Accountability Act 2013.

The IPBs and Statutory Office Holders include Aboriginal Hostels Limited, the Indigenous Land Corporation, Indigenous Business Australia, Outback Stores, the Torres Strait Regional Authority, the Northern Land Council, Central Land Council, Anindilyakwa Land Council, Tiwi Land Council, Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council, Aboriginal Land Commissioner, Executive Director Township Leasing and Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.

We produced two reports (the Eighth and the Final Biannual Reports) to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs by the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services (CGRIS). Covering the period April to October 2013, the Eighth Report reviewed previous recommendations, action areas and lessons for the remainder of the National Partnership Agreements on Remote Service Delivery (NPS RSD), and identified five key areas where continued momentum would yield significant results. The Final Report, published in January 2014, reflected on the successes and lessons of the NPA RSD. It urged governments not to ‘press the reset button’ in considering a future remote service delivery model.

Figure 2.14 KPIs for the Delivery and Network Division

Indigenous Remote Service delivery Special Account Met
Percentage and number of flexible funding projects that have met specified project objectives.
Of the 34 projects, 30 were completed at the end of the reporting period with 100 per cent meeting the specified project objectives.
Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund – Capacity Building and Business Support
The Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund is supporting Indigenous participation in the CFI through the development of methodologies and tools that will enable crediting of abatement activities likely to have high Indigenous participation.
42 Indigenous organisations received feasibility and assessment support in 2013–14.
Working on Country
By June 2014, a national target of over 715 Indigenous rangers will be employed, with an overall target of 730 by June 2015.
As at June 2014, 729 Indigenous ranger positions were contracted nationally.
Learning and Capability
Percentage and number of participants in Indigenous leadership programs who reported that they benefited from increased knowledge, skills and capabilities gained from their participation.
98 per cent or 178 participants out of the 181 that were enrolled.
Percentage and number of flexible funding projects that have met specified project objectives.
Of the 76 projects, 36 were completed at the end of the reporting period with 100 per cent meeting the specified project objectives.

Programme and Support Division

The Programme and Support Division provides enabling and support services to the Indigenous policy and programme delivery areas of the Department. In addition to programme support we provide legal, compliance and deregulation advice and budgeting and financial services to the Indigenous Affairs Group.

We developed the implementation and administration arrangements for the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, which commenced on 1 July 2014. A range of contracts and funding agreements which were due to cease on 30 June 2014 were extended for either six or 12 months to ensure important services on the ground continue to be delivered during the transition to the new arrangements.

To support the new arrangements, we established governance structures in the form of a high-level Project Board to oversee the implementation of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy. New programme guidelines and streamlined funding agreements were also developed.

Our focus has been to ensure that programmes and services continue to be delivered and administered effectively and efficiently while working to develop a consistent approach across the programmes.

We also developed Indigenous workforce strategies within the Department, including a Cultural Appreciation Programme. The Cultural Appreciation Programme focuses on working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues to build individual skills, knowledge and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, cultures and issues.

The Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes

In October 2013 the Prime Minister appointed Mr Andrew Forrest to lead an independent Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes (the Review). The Review, which reported to the Prime Minister in June 2014, was established to provide recommendations on how training and employment services could better link to the commitment of employers to provide sustainable employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

A taskforce was established within the Department to support Mr Forrest in undertaking the Review. The Taskforce’s key roles were to:

  • provide policy advice, briefings and drafting support to assist Mr Forrest to develop his report
  • facilitate an extensive consultation process.

From November 2013 to April 2014, the Taskforce facilitated an extensive consultation process to inform the Review. Over 1,600 people attended public forums, 349 written submissions were received and over 100 roundtables, site visits, and individual meetings with state premiers and ministers, industry representatives, business leaders, Indigenous leaders and service providers were undertaken.

The Taskforce provided extensive policy advice, in consultation with relevant policy areas within the Department and in other Commonwealth agencies, on a wide range of policy issues in welfare, housing, land, economic development, community governance, early childhood, school education, employment and training, that Mr Forrest elected to address in his report.

Ms Jody Whitby, a School Attendance Supervisor from Meekatharra with the Prime Minister. School Attendance
Supervisors from the Remote School Attendance Strategy visited Canberra to present to the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council on 29 May 2014.

Photo 2.13 Ms Jody Whitby, a School Attendance Supervisor from Meekatharra with the Prime Minister. School Attendance Supervisors from the Remote School Attendance Strategy visited Canberra to present to the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council on 29 May 2014.

1 Includes all IEP and RJCP job placements in the 2013–14 financial year.

2 Includes all IEP and RJCP training, education and structured participation activities.

3 Includes all IEP and RJCP job placements in the 2013–14 financial year.

4 Includes all IEP and RJCP training, education and structured participation activities.