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

Other practical measures taken by the Tasmanian Government to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people in Tasmania include projects addressing family violence; early childhood engagement through schools; support for emerging Aboriginal enterprise such as the Wukalina Cultural Walk; and investment in recruiting Aboriginal people to the Tasmanian State Service through the Tasmanian State Service Aboriginal Employment Strategy.

  • The 2020-21 Tasmanian State Budget allocated an additional $1.34 million over four years for supporting Reset activities.

‘The Reset’ with Tasmanian Aboriginal people, announced in 2016, is being renewed through the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, which came into effect in July 2020.

The new National Agreement on Closing the Gap sets priorities that challenge all government agencies and Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to work differently to overcome the entrenched inequality faced by too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so that their life outcomes are equal to all Australians.

What have we achieved so far?

Throughout 2019-20, the Tasmanian Government coordinated involvement in negotiations with other jurisdictional governments and the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (the Peaks) to develop a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, including new targets and four Priority Reform areas. The Tasmanian Government has since officially endorsed the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap on 25 July 2020.

In January and February 2021, the Tasmanian Government, through the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, hosted four Closing the Gap Roundtables, covering all targets of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, and with a focus on the four Priority Reform areas. The first Roundtable covered the theme of family violence, amongst others. At this Roundtable the Tasmanian Government had the opportunity to learn from Aboriginal people about the changes needed to meet the national family violence target. A summary report of the insights delivered at this and other Roundtables will be finalised following its endorsement by Roundtable participants.

The Government engaged with Tasmanian Aboriginal organisations early in the COVID-19 emergency; and followed up with the preparation and distribution of two fact sheets for Tasmanian Aboriginal people providing information and links to services providing up-to-date medical advice, psychosocial support and financial relief.

The Stronger Remote Aboriginal Services Project (SRAS) is responsible for the delivery of housing on both Cape Barren Island and Flinders Island, and municipal and essential services on Cape Barren Island. Since the project commenced in 2018, twelve new houses have been built on Flinders Island and all are currently occupied. All scheduled housing upgrades have been completed on both islands, and practical completion certificates issued. So far in 2020-21, the Water Treatment Plant replacement and Power Station upgrade works on Cape Barren Island have also been completed.

The Tasmanian Implementation Plan for Closing the Gap was finalised in August 2021.

What is next?

The Tasmanian Government will continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal community-controlled organisations on the five priority areas of ‘The Reset’, including through the Tasmanian Implementation Plan under the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

The focus of the new National Agreement is to recognise that Aboriginal community-controlled organisations are best placed to determine and deliver services.

The Tasmanian Government and the Tasmanian representative on the Coalition of Peaks, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, will continue to engage with Tasmanian Aboriginal people, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, and other service providers about how we can work together to best deliver the Closing the Gap outcomes in Tasmania.

What difference will we make?

The Closing the Gap Implementation Plan will support Tasmanian Aboriginal people to build the capacity of the Aboriginal community-controlled sector and organisations and enable these to deliver more and better services to Tasmanian Aboriginal people. It will also increase involvement of Aboriginal organisations in State Government decisions which affect Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

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