The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today released the Gillard Government’s long-term strategy to increase participation of Indigenous Australians in the economy.
The Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011-2018 was launched in Sydney together with the Minerals Council of Australia, which provides a leading example of private sector partnerships with Indigenous communities and governments to create employment and job opportunities for Indigenous people across Australia.
Ms Macklin said the Gillard Government is committed to increasing economic opportunities for Indigenous Australians, so that they can fully share in the opportunities of our nation’s strong economy and enjoy the financial and social benefits of work.
“The Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011-2018 puts jobs and real economic activity at the centre of our efforts to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage,” Ms Macklin said.
The Strategy recognises:
- the importance of education so that young Indigenous Australians have the best start to their lives and access to broader opportunities for stable and satisfying careers and vocations;
- the importance of skills development and jobs as a pathway to greater economic participation;
- the need to support Indigenous-owned and run businesses to promote economic growth and self-sufficiency;
- the need for improved housing options, including home ownership, and increased opportunities to get into and maintain long-term adequate housing; and
- the need to build financial independence, giving Indigenous Australians greater capacity to successfully manage money and assets to secure their long term future.
The Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Mark Arbib said the Strategy identifies five priority areas which are key to improving the prosperity of Indigenous Australians: strengthening foundations; education; skills development and jobs; business and entrepreneurship; and financial security and independence.
“Each of these priority areas includes a detailed set of objectives which will guide Australian Government decision making, policy and program development through the next eight years,” Senator Arbib said.
“The strategy is the result of extensive consultations with Aboriginal people across Australia.”
The Minister for Skills and Jobs Senator Chris Evans said the Government is working with the private and non-government sectors, state, territory and local government as well as Indigenous communities and individuals to increase Indigenous economic development.
“The Minerals Industry Indigenous Economic Development Strategy also launched today is an example of the important role the private sector plays in Indigenous economic development,” Senator Evans said.
“The minerals industry is working with communities around Australia to create training and job opportunities for local Indigenous communities.”
The Indigenous Economic Development Strategy will also support Indigenous Australians to drive their own economic development and recognises the need to encourage and support personal responsibility as the foundation for healthy, functional families and communities.
Ms Macklin also today announced the appointment of new members to the Board of the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), including a new Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.
Dr Dawn Casey has been appointed as the new ILC Chairperson.
Dr Casey is the current Chairperson of Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and her appointment will strengthen collaboration between the two organisations and their ability to pursue sustainable business opportunities and economic development for Aboriginal people.
Mr Ian Trust has been appointed as Deputy Chairperson of the ILC. Mr Trust is also the Deputy Chairperson of the IBA and has been a member of the boards of both organisations since 2005.
The Strategy is available online at www.indigenous.gov.au.