The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) was officially established today as an Executive Agency under the Prime Minister’s portfolio, marking a new era of co-design and partnership.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP said the new agency represented a fundamental change in the way of doing business with Indigenous Australians by forming partnerships with Indigenous Australians at all levels, from children in remote communities to peak national organisations.
“Establishing this agency solely dedicated to the advancement of Australia’s First Nations is a significant opportunity for the Government to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the ground to provide opportunities for growth and advancement, in education, employment, suicide prevention, community safety, health and constitutional recognition.” Minister Wyatt said.
“Over my life I have seen progress made but there is still more to do to find solutions and make a difference at the community level.
“The NIAA will play a critical role in supporting me, as the first Indigenous Cabinet Minister and Minister for Indigenous Australians, to meet the changing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their leaders and communities” Minister Wyatt said.
“All of us must work together with State and Territory Governments to bring about change and close the gap in Indigenous communities.”
Minister Wyatt also announced that the inaugural Chief Executive Officer will be Mr Ray Griggs AO, CSC whose entire career has been in service to Australia and its peoples.
“NIAA is privileged to have such an experienced leader at the helm,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Ray Griggs will lead a dedicated team of some 1200 staff committed to making a significant contribution to an Australia that respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and peoples.”
Chief Executive Officer Ray Griggs, said evolving the Indigenous Affairs Group of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet into an Executive Agency in its own right was a natural progression.
“This change provides the opportunity to enhance the way we work across Government and ensure we have better coordination across the Commonwealth on matters that affect Indigenous Australians,” Mr Griggs said.
Minister Wyatt said he was looking forward to strong working partnerships with all levels of the team at NIAA to walk and work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“Together we can build on our shared successes but also do many things differently, to deliver real change,” Minister Wyatt said.