The Productivity Commission has released the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report, which measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people against 52 indicators across a range of areas including education, economic participation, health and governance.
While the report shows improvement in some outcomes, it has also highlighted the alarming rise in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care - a number that has almost tripled in the past 15 years.
VACCA CEO Muriel Bamblett says that Indigenous children in out-of-home care truly benefit from "a connection to culture", which is the foundation of VACCA's services. Aboriginal-led programs were reuniting children at double the rate of non-Indigenous services.
The report also identified connection to culture as key to building the wellbeing, strength and identity of Indigenous Australians, indicating that approaches which enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to share in decision-making and provide access to culturally safe services are among the most successful in improving these outcomes.
Outcomes in justice were similarly concerning, showing the rate of youth detention is 22 times higher for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when compared to non-Indigenous youth.