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Resetting the Relationship with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community Agenda

Responsible government

  • Tasmania

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children
    • 9 Address both the immediate impacts and deep underlying drivers of family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through collective action with governments, service providers and communities.

What are we doing?

The Tasmanian Government is committed to resetting the relationship with Aboriginal communities. The Reset agenda identifies five key priority areas which are informed by the themes of recognition, reconciliation and real outcomes:

  1. A new approach to Aboriginal eligibility
  2. Focus on Tasmanian Aboriginal history and culture in the delivery of the Australian curriculum
  3. Constitutional recognition of Tasmanian Aboriginal people
  4. Explore joint land management arrangements and review the current land return model
  5. Increased efforts to close the gap in disadvantage between Aboriginal Tasmanians and the wider community.

Key aspects of this work include implementing the Policy on Eligibility for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs and services; working with the Australian Government and other jurisdictions to refresh the Council of Australian Governments’ Closing the Gap framework including economic development and family safety; and consultation on the Aboriginal and Dual Naming Policy, land return and joint land management.

  • The 2019–20 Tasmanian State Budget allocated $542,000 over four years for Supporting the Reset.

What have we achieved so far?

Another step has been taken towards improving outcomes for Tasmanian Aboriginal communities, with the Tasmanian Government signing of the Closing the Gap Partnership Agreement between the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies (Coalition of Peaks) and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). Closing the Gap is a priority for the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to Reset the Relationship with the Tasmanian Aboriginal communities and we are keen to ensure that all organisations can participate.

This historic agreement ensures the equal participation and shared decision making by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on Closing the Gap. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is the Tasmanian representative on the Coalition of Peaks.

What is next?

The Tasmanian Government’s primary focus moving forward will be consideration of joint land management and future land handback arrangements to ensure they support the Aboriginal community to connect to country and culture.

The Tasmanian Government will continue to participate in the Closing the Gap Refresh through the partnership mechanisms that have been established following COAG’s 12 December 2018 commitment to work in partnership with Aboriginal communities to finalise the Refresh. These mechanisms include a formal Partnership Agreement, a Joint Council on Closing the Gap, and a Partnership Working Group. The initial priority of the Closing the Gap Refresh work is to review and revise the current National Indigenous Reform Agreement. This will help to clarify the goals and targets for Closing the Gap, which in turn will inform the development of jurisdictional action plans.

The Stronger Remote Aboriginal Services project will deliver the ongoing sustainable delivery and management of housing on Flinders and Cape Barren Islands, and municipal and essential services on Cape Barren Island. The Flinders Island Aboriginal Association Inc. and the Cape Barren Island Aboriginal Association Inc. have agreed in-principle to a ten-year funding model that will ensure housing and infrastructure upgrades to industry standard, ongoing asset maintenance, and property and tenancy management, within the funding allocation of $17.835 million.

What difference will we make?

Implementation of the Reset agenda is led by a Steering Committee, comprising Heads of Agencies and chaired by the Secretary, Department of Communities Tasmania. The Steering Committee is supported by the Reset Interdepartmental Committee, comprising senior departmental officials, and by inter-agency Reset Working Groups.

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