Release type: Media Release


Reconciliation Australia Roundtable


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Employment Participation

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, addressed a roundtable of leading organisations which met in Melbourne today to discuss Indigenous employment.

The roundtable was hosted by Reconciliation Australia and included representatives from a range of Indigenous organisations, peak bodies, private sector organisations and state and territory governments.

“Today’s roundtable is a great opportunity to discuss strategies and ways to work together to increase employment for Indigenous Australians,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The Rudd Government is committed to halving the gap in employment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

“That will require an additional 100,000 Indigenous Australians to find and keep jobs over the next 10 years.

“We know that this is an ambitious target and one that Government cannot achieve alone.

“We need to work alongside a broad range of organisations to co-ordinate these efforts to provide more employment and training opportunities for Indigenous Australians.”

Mr O’Connor said the Rudd Government was laying the foundations to deliver stronger employment services for Indigenous Australians with reforms to the Indigenous Employment Programs due to begin on July 1 2009.

“Under the reformed IEP the Government will work with Indigenous communities, job seekers and employers to deliver a broader range of projects suited to their local circumstances,” he said.

Director of Reconciliation Australia, Fred Chaney, said the today’s meeting was an important opportunity to draw on the knowledge and experience of people who know what works and what doesn't. "Getting better outcomes is all about supporting success and helping to replicate it," Mr Chaney said.

"Improving Indigenous employment is not just a matter of creating and filling jobs - it involves changing attitudes and creating work environments where Indigenous people feel welcome, supported and respected."