NACCHO political debate: Do you have a suggestions for a new arrangement in Aboriginal affairs

Dea

Suggestions for a New Arrangement in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Affairs

Please find attached the proposal Suggestions to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott for a New Arrangement in Aboriginal Affairs written by Co-Chair Indigenous People’s Organisation (IPO) Network of Australia Ms Dea Thiele MPH.

DSC_0602 3

Picture above Dea Theale  at the Alta global indigenous preparatory conference for the world conference on indigenous peoples 2014,

This proposal on election eve  is provided to NACCHO members and stakeholders for information and discussion and is not endorsed by NACCHO.

We welcome debate and invite you to leave your suggestions comments or feedback below

 First Proposal

In respect to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples, to close the gaps in life expectancy, infant mortality rates and other continuing markers of disadvantage, the Federal Government needs a new arrangement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

While it is noted that ATSIC was of concern to the government of the day, there was not, as the ATSIC review clearly articulated, the need to dismantle the organisation. Political will is needed to allow Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples to be socially and politically included into all aspects of the Australian system that impinge on their health, wellbeing and economic development.

Given the range of social determinants that impact on the health, spiritual, social, emotional and environmental wellbeing, including the economic development of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples, ATSIC, could not be held responsible for the disparities between Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians. It is a shared responsibility between Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Government and non-government sectors, which requires long term commitment and resources commensurate with need.

It is widely known and acknowledged that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples are the most disadvantaged population group in Australia. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Amendment Bill 2004 abolished ATSIC, and to dismantle the national body without due planning, consideration, consultation and negotiation with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples has left a huge gap in transparency, monitoring and accountability of all programs that impact on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The right to self-determining structures is clearly supported and articulated by a number of United Nations international treaties, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Serious and effective engagement means we need a nationally elected Aboriginal Authority/Commission or a similar structure that is underpinned by a legislative framework that is based on the principle of self-determination that will fully discharge a broad range of functions efficiently and transparently for the benefit of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People being held accountable for the administration of such a body.

Failure to include and effectively engage the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander population and organisational representatives from the beginning and right throughout the policy process risks the development of inappropriately targeted and ill-conceived policy and at worst, may be inappropriate, unhelpful, unsustainable and ineffective for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS Self Determination in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Affairs

1. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples have an inalienable right to a nationally elected self-determining organisation that fully discharges the widest range of functions efficiently and transparently for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. It follows the need for a new arrangement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

2. Real and effective consultation in partnership with Aboriginal communities must inform the entire process of development of a broad based nationally elected Aboriginal self-determining organisation. Aboriginal communities could be represented by their existing bodies in health, land, law and childrens’ services.

These organisations and individuals could nominate others where any additional expertise might be needed. This national structure could stand in the position of the board of commissioners in order to ensure that service delivery to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples is governed by self-determining rather than government controlled processes.

Dea is available for comment and interview on +61 448 123 444.

NACCHO international news: World Indigenous Nations University Launch

IPO WINU 2

The Indigenous People’s Organisation (IPO) Network Australia recently promoted a global first in the launch of the World Indigenous Nations University which was profiled at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York City.

The World Indigenous Nations University will be launched by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) in August after a decade of negotiations and consultations with Indigenous Elders, academics and Knowledge Holders from 8 different countries and many different Indigenous nations across the world.

IPO Spokesperson and WINHEC Executive Committee member, Professor Boni Robertson said the University would establish an education system that honours and respects Indigenous cultural knowledge and knowledge systems and profile the scholarship of Indigenous Elders and Knowledge holders who work in close collaboration with Indigenous academics to address the needs of Indigenous peoples at the local level.

“The World Indigenous Nations University (WINU) programs will be multi modal in delivery, accessible via the internet and face to face to ensure access for local, national and international communities to engage in an education system that is meaningful and relevant to them.

“This is an exciting initiative which will further the education and collaboration of Indigenous Peoples in Australia and across the world,” Professor Robertson said.  It is also an exciting opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous higher education systems to work collaboratively together to address the educational needs of Indigenous students whilst addressing the needs of communities through collaborative evidentiary research.

“The launching of the WINU epitomizes the depth of mobilization that is taking place amongst Indigenous academics, Elders and Knowledge Holders.

“The global members of World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) have worked on the curriculum for the past 11 years in order to allow Indigenous Peoples across the globe access an education system that meets the needs of their own peoples.

“Working together we can protect and promote the sovereign rights of Indigenous Peoples to systems of education that embed the scholarship of their cultural knowledge in the development of curriculum and research.

“The Pacific region has been specifically influential with Australia, NZ and Hawaii in collaboration with Sami in Norway having had a major influence in the development of this initiative. I am proud that Australia has played such a strong role in the development of the University.

“This initiative can play a role in closing the gap in education standards between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Professor Robertson said the establishment of the University will be at the regional and global level and based upon the involvement of local community in the education for and about their own young people.

“Involvement of community Elders and representatives will foster other forms of engagement to address the ongoing disparities that have occurred for Indigenous Peoples, within the sector.

“It is imperative that western education systems committed to working with Indigenous Peoples at the local level, demonstrate respect for the cultural rights of Indigenous Peoples and profiles and promulgates these rights as determined by the people themselves.

“This philosophy is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and underpins the drive by the WINHEC to establish the WINU as a historic and progressive shift in the sovereign rights of Indigenous peoples being exercised.”

The IPO is a broad affiliation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s organisations and individuals, who engage with United Nations mechanisms and frameworks to advocate for the implementation of the Declaration.

IPO Delegation UNPFII 2013 low Res

Further Information:

IPO Media: IPONetworkAustralia@gmail.com

IPO Australia Ph:  +61 409 763 684 (Professor Boni Robertson WINHEC Executive Board)

IPO Australia Ph: +61 425 820 658 (Amala Groom IPO Communications Coordinator)

Other contacts Ph: +64 276 811 221 (Trevor Moeke WINHEC Executive Co-Chair)

Other contacts Ph: +61 424 156 562 (Berice Anning WINHEC Chair Academic Working Party)

IPO Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Indigenous-Peoples-Organisation-Network-Australia/190946244391874

IPO Twitter: https://twitter.com/IPOAustralia