ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2015-18 

ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2015-2018

Agreement [Designer PDF 11.54MB]
Flyer [PDF 1.3MB]

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Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation and Wellbeing of Communities

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The signatories to this agreement express their commitment to reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and non-Indigenous Australians. The signatories express a commitment to the development of individual action plans incorporating the following principles:

  1. Supporting the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to freely determine their political status and to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development in line with the right to self-determination.
  2. Recognising the ongoing effects of trans-generational trauma, caused by past government policies, on members of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
  3. Acknowledging and valuing the role of the traditional custodians, through the United Ngunnawal Elders Council, as the authority of culture and heritage.
  4. Recognising that the local knowledge, expertise and contributions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, service providers, ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body and the ACT Government are required to meet the diverse needs of the community in a holistic and culturally appropriate way.
  5. Having a mutual obligation to address issues of structural disadvantage within the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, service providers and the ACT Government in a collaborative, inclusive and transparent manner.
  6. Forming and strengthening partnerships and work with individuals, groups, community stakeholders, ACT Government and business to build shared understanding and experience with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
  7. Accountability to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body to provide accessible and equitable services that promote the fair distribution of economic resources by aiming to improve the social, environmental, economic and cultural infrastructure of their local community.
  8. Acknowledging the responsibility to provide opportunities of life-long learning that develop the health, wellbeing and connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families, through formal and informal pathways in education, employment and self-development.

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ACT Relationship Principles

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  1. Respectful interaction with the community. People appreciate being recognised, listened to and understood. Relationships develop when we interact.
  2. Work with different communities differently. Avoid one size fits all solutions. Tailor a response that meets the needs of the individual.
  3. Increase value for the community. Building relationships and capacity increases value for the community, ACT Government and service partners.
  4. Continuously improve the level of service delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Seek and follow up on both positive and negative feedback we receive from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  5. Enable information sharing and interaction across the ACT Government and service partners. Simplify the experience for the community by developing a holistic view of each client’s relationship with government, organisations and services.

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ACT Government Message

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The ACT Government acknowledges that connection to country holds spiritual, social, historical, cultural and economic importance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This Agreement sets out the commitment of the ACT Government, our service partners, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, and most importantly the community, to work together to recognise and respond to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT and surrounding region.

We look forward to the broader ACT community working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT to build strong foundations, resilient families, and to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT and surrounding region to achieve their personal life goals, whatever they may be.

Together we can bridge the gap and ensure all Canberrans receive the opportunities to achieve equitable outcomes in all aspects of their life.

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Elected Body Message

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We the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body have strongly pursued a Whole of Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement to guide the policy direction of the ACT Government and stakeholders. We have embraced the community’s feedback that government and services need to support and build strong, safe, and resilient communities.

We will continue to advocate for the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans in the policy and program development process, in the budget planning process, and hold relevant stakeholders accountable in the delivery of effective services to our communities.

The ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body has been involved in the development process of this Agreement and will remain a partner in its implementation. We strongly believe that together we can achieve more for our community.

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Shared Vision

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The signatories of this Agreement are committed to pursuing equitable outcomes for members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the ACT. The signatories are committed to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the community and their organisations to develop the opportunities, knowledge and skills to build an empowered, resilient and sustainable future.

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ACT Key Focus Areas and Quality Life Outcomes

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It is recognised that every member of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community has their own personal goals and aspirations. We acknowledge that cooperation, consensus and collective action are required by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, service providers, the ACT Government and the wider community to meet the vision of equitable outcomes for individuals and families.

The following key focus areas are the priorities for the life of this agreement:

Strong Families

  1. Cultural identity - Community members celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
  2. Healthy minds, healthy bodies - Focused and effective services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ACT
  3. Feeling safe - Improved family and community safety, and families’ and communities’ perceptions of feeling safe
  4. Connecting the community - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members are connected to strong family, social and support networks
  5. Employment and economic independence - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members are connected to strong family, social and support networks
  6. Education - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are fully engaged in life-long learning and positive generational experiences
  7. Leadership - Empowering people, creating confidence and self-esteem

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Actions and Initiatives

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  1. All directorates will support and participate in community events that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural identities.
  2. Service directorates and service partners will collaborate to provide culturally appropriate holistic service delivery through strategies and programs such as the Strengthening Families Project, Throughcare and Human Services Better Services Initiative.
  3. Directorates will embed prevention and early intervention and diversionary approaches into law and justice responses, and family and child support services.
  4. Community organisations and services which are contracted to provide services on behalf of the ACT Government will incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander outcomes into their service funding agreements.
  5. Service directorates and service partners will support community members and families to navigate avenues for education and real skill development.
  6. Develop pathways to equal employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples including developing mentoring and leadership programs to achieve better outcomes in employment. Increased opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to move towards economic independence.
  7. Support and facilitate the development of youth representation and leadership, broaden support for all community leaders and facilitate the ATSIEB leaders’ and CEO forums.

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ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Strategic Priorities 2012-2017

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Priority 1 Communication and Engagement
Ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans are engaged and kept informed of progress throughout the life of this Agreement.

Priority 2 Representation and Advocacy
Continue to represent the concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans in partnership with the ACT Government and relevant stakeholders.

Priority 3 Focused Policy and Services
Continue to advocate for efficiencies in responses to policy, programs, and services throughout all ACT Government directorates and community agencies.

Priority 4 Capability and Leadership Building
Continue to improve the Elected Body’s ability to lead and engage with the ACT Government and relevant stakeholders.

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ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Community Priorities 2014-2017

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Health
These align with the ATSIEB Strategic Plan 2012–17, PRIORITY 1: Communication and engagement; PRIORITY 2: Representation and advocacy; and PRIORITY 4: Capability and leadership building.

Schooling and Early Childhood
These align with the ATSIEB Strategic Plan 2012–17, PRIORITY 1: Communication and engagement; PRIORITY 2: Representation and advocacy; and PRIORITY 4: Capability and leadership building.

Safe Communities
These align with the ATSIEB Strategic Plan 2012–17, PRIORITY 1: Communication and engagement; PRIORITY 2: Representation and advocacy; and PRIORITY 4: Capability and leadership building.

Governance and Leadership
These align with the ATSIEB Strategic Plan 2012–17, PRIORITY 1: Communication and engagement.

Economic Participation
These align with the ATSIEB Strategic Plan 2012–17, PRIORITY 1: Communication and engagement.

Healthy Homes
These align with the ATSIEB Strategic Plan 2012– 17, PRIORITY 1: Communication and engagement.

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Headline Indicators

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  1. Provide opportunities to showcase, celebrate and increase community understanding about the cultural diversity of Canberra. ACT Multicultural Strategy 2010-13.
  2. Action Area 1- A multi-component smoking cessation and reduction program based on an outreach model that prioritises family, social and workplace networks. ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tobacco Control Strategy Action Plan.
    1. 2014-2015: 80%
    2. 2015-2016: 85%
    3. 2016-2017: 90%
  3. 90% or more of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sentenced offenders released from the Alexander Maconochie Centre entering the Throughcare program by 2017.

ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Partnership 2015-2018

  1. Reduce the re-substantiation rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care and the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children coming into care. Out of Home Care Strategy 2015-2020.
  2. Increase the Year 12 completion rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and the higher level qualification (Certificate III and above) commencements by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Education Capital: Leading the Nation Strategic Plan 2014-17.
  3. In conjunction with the Elected Body, support for Indigenous enterprise development will be established to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to start or grow their own businesses, and to develop business acumen and business confidence. Growth, Diversification and Jobs: A Business Development Strategy for the ACT.

The above Strategic Priorities, Community Priorities and Headline Indicators form a holistic and strategic response for all stakeholders to commit to. The Headline Indicators represent significant outcomes for the ACT Government, whilst the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body’s Strategic Priorities and Community Priorities represent the Elected Body’s commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Together this will form the framework, which will guide the partnership response and provide a holistic structure to achieving equitable life outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans.

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