The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples is the peak representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Established in 2010, National Congress has grown to comprise over 180 organisations. The Redfern Statement of 9th of June 2016, was made in Redfern where in 1992 Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating made his famous Redfern Park speech and spoke truth about this nation – that the disadvantage faced by First Peoples affects and is the responsibility of all Australians. This speech is considered one of the most important speeches in history, certainly the most important Australian speech in history. The Redfern Statement was made because in 2016 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak representative organisations noted with a deep concern that First Peoples continue to experience unacceptable disadvantage.
Health - national peak organizations[edit | edit source]
SNAICC (Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care) is a national non-government peak child care body in Australia that represents the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
NACCHO (National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation) is the peak body for Aboriginal health. It supports State and Territory peak Aboriginal Community Controlled Health bodies and works collectively with them to address shared concerns on a national basis.
The Healing Foundation is an independent, national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation with a focus on family and community healing from the effects of intergenerational trauma caused by the Stolen Generations.
National peak organizations websites:
- National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
- SNAICC - National Voice for our Children
- NACCHO - Aboriginal Health in Aboriginal Hands
- HealingFoundation - Strong Spirit, Strong Culture, Strong People
New South Wales[edit | edit source]
The Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations (CAPO) represents the seven largest Aboriginal organisations in NSW. While CAPO first launched in 2007, an Indigenous leader said in August 2018 "back then it was so ego-driven and we were all fighting”. But now we have a “once in a generation opportunity” to push positive change for Aboriginal people. The NSW/ACT Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) was the seventh organization to join CAPO. It joined symbolically during Reconciliation Week (27 May–3 June 2018). Hopefully together with the original six members, the ALS can inject leadership, purpose and vision into CAPO so that it can effectively serve its community.
NSW CAPO websites:
- The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)
- Link Up NSW
- NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group
- NSW Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council
- NSW Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat
- First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN)
- Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) NSW/ACT
Northern Territory[edit | edit source]
The Aboriginal Peak Organizations Northern Territory (APO NT) alliance is between the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT (AMSANT), Central Land Council (CLC) and Northern Land Council (NLC)
APO NT websites:
- Aboriginal Peak Organizations Northern Territory (APO NT)
- Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT (AMSANT}
- Central Land Council (CLC)
- Northern Land Council (NLC)
Western Australia[edit | edit source]
There is no coordinating peak body for Western Australia, only individual peak organizations.
WA peak organization websites:
- The Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA)
- South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC)
- Kimberley Land Council (KLC)
Other states[edit | edit source]
As with WA, there is no coordinating peak body for the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.
AIATSIS[edit | edit source]
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) was established by act of parliament in 1989 as an independent Australian Government statutory authority. It has a council consisting of nine members with the AIATSIS Act specifying that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people hold a minimum of five of these Council positions. It is a collecting, publishing and research institute and is a leader in ethical research and the handling of culturally sensitive material. It is considered to be Australia's premier resource for information about the cultures and societies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. AIATSIS grew out of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, which was formed by a group of academics in 1961 to preserve and study Indigenous culture. This institute keeps the archives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
National Native Title Conference[edit | edit source]
Organized yearly by AIATSIS, upcoming and past conferences can be found at the AIATSIS conferences website.
ATSIC[edit | edit source]
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) (1990–2005) was the Australian Government body through which Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders were constitutionally involved in the processes of government. A number of Aboriginal programs and organisations were sheltered under the overall umbrella of ATSIC.
The agency was shut down in 2004 amidst allegations of corruption, embezzlement and nepotism. The Liberal Prime Minister John Howard announced the agency's abolishment on 15 April 2004 saying that "the experiment in elected representation for Indigenous people has been a failure". Labor accepted that ATSIC had not worked, proposing in March 2004 (before the Howard Government) that ATSIC should be abolished. In 2009, Lowitja O'Donoghue expressed her opinion that reform of the agency would have been better than establishing a new agency which would be costly and might suffer similar problems as its predecessor. In a backward step oversight of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander affairs is now the responsibility of the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination, a division within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Land Councils[edit | edit source]
Land councils, also known as land and sea councils, are community organisations who represent the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Nation or Nations that occupied a particular region before the arrival of European settlers. Some states, such as the Northern Territory, have laws that provide for the existence of land councils and allocate them responsibilities for representing Aboriginal people in various matters. Other states do not have such laws, or have laws that provide for the existence of other Aboriginal organisations to provide functions similar to those provided by land councils.
The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) are a native title service provider to the Noongar people. SWALSC works with members to progress the resolution of Noongar native title claims, while also advancing and strengthening Noongar culture, language, heritage and society.
The Kimberley Land Council (KLC) - Getting back country, looking after country, and getting control of the future.
Western Australia Land Council websites:
- International Indigenous Organizations. Only when we have effective national Indigenous organizations can we be an effective part of the International Indigenous community, able to make our voice heard in the International Indigenous community and in the wider world.
- "Unforgettable Speeches : The nation has voted". ABC Radio National. Retrieved 16 April 2019
- "The Redfern Statement". The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. Retrieved 14 April 2019
- "Redfern Speech (Year for the World's Indigenous People) – Delivered in Redfern Park by Prime Minister Paul Keating, 10 December 1992" - Transcript pdf. ANTaR. Retrieved 16 April 2019
- Maggie Coggan. "NSW Indigenous Coalition Reunites to Push Change for Aboriginal People". Pro Bono News. 13 August 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2019
- "Aboriginal peaks to sharpen advocacy efforts". New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2019
- Melissa Coade. "Aboriginal Legal Service joins Indigenous coalition in advocacy promise". Lawyers Weekly. 30 May 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2019
- AIATSIS Act 1989, Section 12, retrieved 17 November 2014
- Louise Maher. "50 years of collecting, protecting and sharing Indigenous culture at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies". ABC News. 17 Jul 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2019
- "Clark vows to fight as ATSIC scrapped". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 April 2004. Retrieved 16 April 2019
- "ATSIC claim a beat-up says Labor". The Age. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 16 April 2019
- Pia Akerman "We should have kept ATSIC: Lowitja O'Donoghue". The Australian. 22 October 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2019