Message from the Chief Executive Officer
As the accountable authority of the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), I am pleased to present the 2022–23 corporate plan, which covers the periods of 2022–23 to 2025–26 as required under paragraph 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.
The NIAA’s corporate plan sets out the priorities, activities and expected performance required to achieve our purpose over the respective period.
The change of Government brought with it an ambitious agenda for Indigenous affairs, emphasised by a strong commitment to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full - Voice, Treaty and Truth.
The NIAA has a critical role in delivering on the Government’s commitment to hold a referendum to enshrine a First Nations’ Voice in the Constitution in the current parliamentary term. The NIAA is leading, in partnership with the Attorney-General’s Department, a process comprising important procedural steps to enable a referendum to occur. In addition, the NIAA will play a critical role in facilitating strong engagement with First Nations peoples as we deliver on this commitment.
We will leverage our partnerships and relationships to ensure First Nations Voices are heard
Truth-telling is a practical step towards reconciliation and healing in Australia. The NIAA will support the process for an independent Makarrata Commission and work in partnership with First Nations peoples to determine a suitable model and terms of reference for the commission. Once established, the commission will develop a national framework for agreement-making and support local models of truth-telling in partnership with First Nations communities and other levels of government.
The NIAA continues to build the foundations for working effectively with First Nations peoples, leaders and communities. We will leverage our partnerships and relationships to ensure First Nations voices are heard. We are committed to supporting aspirations of First Nations peoples and removing barriers to ensure full and equal participation in the social and economic life of Australia.
Shared decision-making and partnering with First Nations peoples and communities will be central to our ability to deliver the agenda and intention of the Government. We will broaden our focus and leverage the solid foundations we’ve already laid through our work on the Indigenous Voice and the National Agreement on Closing the Gap (National Agreement) to accelerate action in the following ways:
- Consider the full detail of the final report of the Indigenous Voice, including how a Voice would function and connect to communities at all levels. This important work will drive targeted solutions and practical action plans to improve outcomes in communities.
- Continue to work in partnership with the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations, other Indigenous organisations, and all levels of government to raise ambitions and ensure sustained progress against the Priority Reforms and socio-economic outcomes in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
- Ensure the First Nations Voice and Closing the Gap arrangements will complement each other and help meet commitments under the National Agreement, including helping realise Priority Reform One on formal partnership and shared decision-making. These place-based partnerships between regional Voice arrangements and all levels of government will provide whole-of-government mechanisms to progress the Closing the Gap agenda with local communities.
- Establish a new employment program, delivering real jobs in communities — developed with First Nations peoples — that will give communities more control to determine local projects and increase economic opportunities and jobs in remote areas.
- Work with the Attorney-General’s Department and First Nations communities and organisations, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and the Family Violence and Prevention Legal Services, to establish an independent national justice reinvestment unit, and tailor justice re-investment initiatives to meet local needs. With those same partners, and state and territory governments, design and convene a National Justice Summit to ensure coordinated action to reduce the incarceration rates of First Nations adults and youth, and deaths in custody.
- Improve housing in remote Indigenous communities, commencing with the negotiation of a new remote housing agreement with the Northern Territory, including homelands. Work will start immediately on urgent housing and essential infrastructure on NT homelands to improve water, power and community facilities, as well as housing upgrades, extensions, and new builds.
- Strengthen First Nations economic and job opportunities, working ambitiously with business, and in the public sector to increase representation of First Nations peoples.
- Administer the Territories Stolen Generations Redress Scheme, which has been funded $378.6 million over five years as part of the Closing the Gap Commonwealth Implementation Plan with investments that total more than $1 billion. The scheme represents a major step towards truth-telling and the full implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart — supporting the healing process for members of the Stolen Generations and their families.
- In partnership with the Australian Public Service Commission, continue to implement the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy 2020–2024 to contribute to the Government’s commitment of improving First Nations representation in the Commonwealth Public Sector.
Beyond these priorities, the NIAA will continue to collaborate with partner agencies, departments and key stakeholders to influence and align our collective efforts to shape national and local agendas that have the greatest impact for First Nations peoples.
I am very proud of the work we do, striving to deliver a reconciled Australia and a future for First Nations peoples, families and communities.
I look forward to building on the NIAA’s successes, and reporting our results against the corporate plan in the annual report.
Chief Executive Officer
National Indigenous Australians Agency