The Redfern Statement

23 Sep 2016

Australia’s peak Indigenous organisations released a Statement calling for urgent government commitment and action to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage and act on the recommendations of past reports and inquiries.

The Redfern Statement, led by the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples and seventeen other peak Indigenous organisations calls on the federal government to:

  • Commit to resource Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led-solutions
  • Commit to better engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through their representative national peaks
  • Recommit to Closing the Gap in this generation, by and in partnership with COAG and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Commit to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to establish a Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs in the future
  • Commit to addressing the unfinished business of reconciliation

"The health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cannot be considered at the margins.

It is time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices are heard and respected, and that the following plans for action in relation to meaningful engagement, health, justice, preventing violence, early childhood and disability, are acted upon as a matter of national priority and urgency."

In September the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, met with Indigenous leaders and signatories of the Redfern Statement to "forge a pathway for engagement and to demand that our solutions be co-designed".

“We have a contribution to make and what we want from engagement is to co-design solutions with the Government in a collaborative and respectful way that recognises the values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples” said Rod Little, Co-Chair of National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

The National Congress concluded that the next steps must include:

  • A meeting between the Prime Minister and the leading signatories of the Redfern Statement;
  • At least an annual National Summit with the Prime Minister and his cabinet to share knowledge between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Government representatives;
  • A whole of Government approach to co-construct policies to ensure that our pathway forward is co-designed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Government; and
  • A commitment from the Government to develop intergovernmental mechanisms to ensure First Peoples have a voice at the highest levels of Government to ensure the Government’s focus reflects our values and priorities.