Date: 23 January 2020
Today the Prime Minister hosted a historic meeting with a delegation of senior representatives from the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations, a national representative body of fifty community controlled peaks from across Australia.
VACCA CEO, Muriel Bamblett, was part of the delegation who attended today’s meeting.
Progress in developing a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap to replace the National Indigenous Reform Agreement was discussed during the meeting. The new agreement will set out our shared priorities over the next ten years to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Prime Minister also provided an update on the Government’s bushfire recovery efforts and acknowledged the role of the Aboriginal community-controlled organisations in providing support to effected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This includes VACCA’s new Bushfire Recovery Program. The PM also acknowledged the impact the fires are having on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the landscape and wildlife.
This meeting comes after the Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap was signed in March 2019 by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Coalition of Peaks where for the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through their community controlled representatives, and Australian governments share decision making on Closing the Gap.
After the meeting VACCA CEO Muriel Bamblett AO said, "These meetings, including those with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will now be a regular part of the process of the refreshed Closing the Gap Framework and targets."
"All governments across Australia finally acknowledge that genuine progress in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing can only occur with us at the table and at our direction."
View transcript for Remarks, Indigenous Peak Bodies Roundtable here