Skip to main content
Young Indigenous girl drinking from a water fountain at school
Young Indigenous girl at school

Our Operating Environment

The NIAA operates in a complex, dynamic environment, contributing to outcomes aligned with the aspirations of the Australian Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. At a regional and sectoral level, we do this through leveraging resources and partnerships, supplemented by targeted funding, working with community leadership and service providers to deliver outcomes. At the Commonwealth and jurisdictional levels, we use our networks and expertise to influence mainstream policy and programs, legislative and structural reform, and funding of priority programs.

Our Environment

We are committed to providing a safe, modern and connected environment for all our staff.

Our Culture

We are committed to building a unified, supportive and creative culture.

Our People

We are committed to investing in our people to build capability and provide opportunities.

Our Vision

NIAA is a reliable and trusted partner contributing to improving the lives of Indigenous Australians.

Our Purpose

The purpose of NIAA is to assist the Australian Government achieve its objectives in improving the lives of Indigenous Australians by leading the development of the Commonwealth’s approach, focusing on place, working in partnership, and effectively delivering programs through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

We achieve this by …

  • Building our influence
  • Identifying economic and human capital development opportunities
  • Building genuine partnerships
  • Investing to deliver the greatest benefit
  • Being a capable, engaged and unified workforce
  • Using data and evidence to inform our approach

Which is underpinned by Our Values

  • We respect multiple perspectives
  • We deliver with purpose
  • We are authentic
  • We invest in each other's success
  • We are professional and act with integrity

Supporting economic recovery post COVID-19

The impact of the global pandemic has shaped government priorities, and will continue to do so as we navigate through this crisis. The Australian Government is investing in services and new initiatives to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have sustained economic and social opportunities as part of Australia’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan. The NIAA will continue to play a key role in shaping and supporting these policies which builds resilience through generating economic opportunities for Indigenous Australians, and stimulate regional economic activity.

In the 2021–22 financial year and beyond, the NIAA will focus on supporting Indigenous jobs and businesses in line with the government’s policy agenda for Australia’s economic recovery. This will help ensure Indigenous Australians can find jobs, grow their businesses, and partner with the industries and sectors that will help improve the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Horticulture workers
Thursday Island

National Agreement on Closing the Gap

In July 2020, the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap was finalised between over 50 members of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (the Coalition of Peaks), the Australian Government, state and territory governments and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). The National Agreement represents a fundamental shift in the way governments of all levels and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities work with each other in partnership to close the Gap.

Throughout 2021–22, the NIAA will continue to work across Commonwealth Government portfolios, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and the Coalition of Peaks, to implement the Commonwealth’s commitments as outlined in its Closing the Gap Implementation Plan. This Plan outlines how the Australian Government will support effort, including reprioritising its efforts to achieve the targets and deliver on priority reforms and will enable clearer lines of sight between practical actions and their impacts on targets. Progress will be articulated in our first Closing the Gap Annual Report, due in mid-2022. The NIAA will continue to work in partnership and across the Commonwealth to embed the four priority reforms in our everyday business. We will work with data agencies and the Productivity Commission to continue to build the data and evidence base to support outcomes under Closing the Gap.

Indigenous woman and girl reading a book
City of Armadale Champion Centre, WA

Working in partnership

Working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is central to the NIAA’s work. It enriches our advice to government, informs decision making, and contributes to better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The NIAA recognises that each community is unique. To this end, our staff are based across Australia to work closely with communities, leaders, organisations and other partners to make sure policies, programs and services address these unique needs and aspirations.

The NIAA is dedicated to ensuring our broader stakeholders have an opportunity to contribute to the policy making process through formal consultation programs and other relationship building initiatives. This includes through governance and joint decision-making structures that we have established, or participate in, at the local, regional and national levels. Building and maintaining these cooperative relationships is key to enabling the NIAA to deliver robust and considered advice to all stakeholders.

In 2021–22 and beyond, we will continue to support local outcomes across Australia. This is underpinned by our regional presence, by funding services across the country, and through the local partnerships that we continue to build.

Our success is also dependent on the leadership we demonstrate when working with organisations across the Australian Government, as well as on the contribution made by these agencies. While there are linkages between our work and many agencies, our key partners include our Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, and agencies where we have linked programs, including the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; the Attorney-General’s Department; Department of Health; Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Department of Education, Skills and Employment; and Department of Social Services and Services Australia.

Letitia Hope and Adam Goodes standing in front of an Indigenous artwork
DCEO Letitia Hope and Adam Goodes CEO iDiC. Indigenous Development and Employment Program event
Three people standing outside
AAAC Program Coordinator, Georga Ryan, Nicky Hayes and AAAC CEO Susie Lowe, NT

Enhancing the way we operate

We continue to build our capacity as a high performing organisation by investing in people, systems and process improvements to support the effective and efficient delivery of outcomes. The roll out of Digital, Data and Information Management and ICT Strategies will support us to better deliver on our Agency objectives. This will improve our use and management of data and information as key Agency assets.

New digital tools such as our Customer Relationship Management system, alongside structures that support strategic, purposeful and well-planned engagement, demonstrate our commitment to strengthening our partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other stakeholders.

We have started implementing the Policy and Investment Framework, to guide our leadership and coordination for policy and program development across all levels of government. This Framework outlines a strategic evidence-based and outcomes-focused approach. Our staff are analysing our current programs and systems to re-evaluate how we can build on our existing tools, capabilities, and expertise, to ensure better design and delivery. We are also developing an operational toolkit to embed the Policy and Investment Framework into our practice.

We will continue to embed our Values and Behaviours into all aspects of our business to build a cohesive culture across our workforce. Our Values and Behaviours represent an extension to the APS Values, by providing standards of behaviour that apply to all staff – leaders and team members – to support the Agency working as one team.

Seven people standing in an office in front of the Australian Aboriginal, Australian and Torres Strait Islander flags and an Indigenous artwork
NITAG (National Indigenous Tourism Advisory Group), Parliament House, Canberra