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Source: Australian Executive Government Ministers

Today marks the first anniversary of the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) which has made a great start in its role supporting Government while meeting the challenges that 2020 has presented.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said NIAA works across Commonwealth, State and Territory Departments and Agencies to ensure the unique circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are considered and that policy development and program delivery is better coordinated.

“We signalled a year ago that NIAA would change the way Government interacts with and supports Indigenous Australians,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Establishing the NIAA as an Executive Agency is more than a rebrand. This last year has seen a transition towards co-designing programs and working in partnership with communities and peak organisations to deliver projects that impact people’s lives for the better.

“NIAA continues to strengthen its regional presence to underpin a growing place-based model of operating and is seeking to bring more people into the process of setting priorities and delivering outcomes.

“This is exemplified in its work over the first half of 2020, where NIAA provided tailored assistance to Indigenous communities hit by cyclones, the tragic bushfires, and the threat of COVID-19, making sure people and businesses had the support they needed to get through these unprecedented sequence of crises. This approach will continue to be implemented across Australia.

“In particular, NIAA’s work with jurisdictions and community leaders from across Australia to support the quick introduction of the necessary measures to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in remote communities and help ensure food security has so far kept our mob safe during the pandemic.

“All the while, NIAA has continued to administer the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, ensuring it remains flexible to sustain funded organisations that have needed to adapt their programs and service offerings this year.

“The Agency has achieved a lot in just one year and will continue this pace of delivery as it progresses work on the Indigenous Voice, constitutional recognition, Closing the Gap and improving mental health and wellbeing, education, economic and employment outcomes.

“As the Agency continues to progress the Government’s priorities and support individuals and communities to recover from the challenges that we have all faced this year, the people of NIAA is committed as ever to implementing the Government’s approach to making a real difference to improving the lives of Indigenous Australians.”