Responding to findings from the Productivity Commission’s new report today on Indigenous disadvantage, Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said:
“With the release today of the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report, it’s clear Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must take a leadership role in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and recommit to closing the gap.
“He needs to meet with the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and the other leaders of the Redfern Statement and agree to attending, with his ministers, their proposed National Summit.
“Oxfam Australia supports the report’s findings that flexibility in program design and delivery, community involvement, a focus on trust building, a well-resourced workforce and the continuity and coordination of services are all important principles and practices that contribute to successful programs addressing Indigenous disadvantage.
“We know Indigenous organisations deliver services that are valued by Indigenous people – the focus needs to be on evaluating what works and supporting organisations that are delivering services that work.
“It’s time for better engagement, focused resourcing of peak Indigenous bodies and on the ground Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, and new comprehensive Closing The Gap targets for incarceration, child welfare, community safety and disability to address this crisis.
“Policy and programs must be Indigenous led and evaluated. It’s time to do with and not to, as the PM suggested in February.”
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