Submission to the Senate Select Committee on the Administration of Indigenous Affairs Aug 2004

Part One of the submission specifically discusses the effect of the proposed changes to the administration of Indigenous affairs to AIATSIS.       

AIATSIS has a key role in the proposed whole-of-government coordinated approach to service delivery. Specifically, this relates to its capacity to provide research, policy advice and resources to government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the development of regional and local governance structures, as well as in the design, implementation and monitoring of the delivery of services by mainstream agencies.

With the proposed Amendments to the ATSIC Act, the onus for the development and distribution of information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures will now rest more heavily on AIATSIS. AIATSIS can anticipate an expanded role as a national institution and, consequently, a significantly higher profile.

Part Two of the submission makes a number of observations on the wider implications of proposed changes to the administration of Indigenous affairs, beginning with the fact that reasons for the perceived failures of ATSIC are historically complex and multi-faceted. Development and implementation of new arrangements to replace ATSIC structures should be taken only after full and open consultation with Indigenous peoples. Any new structure will require the free and informed consent of Indigenous people. If not, the legitimacy of replacement representative bodies will be at risk. 

Within the submission a total of 20 recommendations are made. See the submission for these recommendations in detail.

Last reviewed: 12 Sep 2016