Empowered Communities is a proposal for an Indigenous Empowerment agenda. We are working with leaders from ten other regions across Australia together with government and corporate Australia to reform how Indigenous policies and programs are designed and delivered.
We believe there needs to be a fundamental shift away from the traditional social policy framework in which Indigenous affairs has been conducted, to a comprehensive Indigenous Empowerment agenda. It is a long-term reform that requires a new partnership of Indigenous leaders, governments and corporate leaders in order to succeed, with all partners prepared to play their roles in a different way. We seek formal agreement to a 10-year Indigenous Empowerment policy framework.
Empowerment, in our meaning, has two aspects. It means Indigenous people empowering ourselves by taking all appropriate and necessary powers and responsibilities for our own lives and futures. It also means Commonwealth, state and territory governments sharing, and in some cases relinquishing, certain powers and responsibilities, and supporting Indigenous people with resources and capability building.
There are two parts to our development goal. They are each of equal importance, and are to be pursued concurrently and constantly tested to determine whether we are most productively using available resources and opportunities.
Firstly, our goal is to close the gap on the social and economic disadvantage of the Indigenous Australians of the Empowered Communities regions.
Secondly, we aim to enable the cultural recognition and determination of Indigenous Australians of the Empowered Communities regions so that we can preserve, maintain, renew and adapt our cultural and linguistic heritage and transmit our heritage to future generations.
A full copy of the report can be found here
An article on the initiative from The Age newspaper can be found here.