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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

New remote engagement program

On 11 May 2021, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, announced the Australian Government’s commitment to a new remote jobs program to replace the Community Development Program from 2023. We are now calling this the new remote engagement program. The new program will provide improved employment pathways and economic opportunities for participants in remote communities, so they can realise their social and economic goals and aspirations. The Minister for Indigenous Australian’s announcement of the new program is available at: Budget media release: New Remote Jobs Program to replace CDP and changes to Mutual Obligation Requirements.

Over the next two years, the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) will work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and remote communities to develop the new program. This way, the program will be fit-for-purpose and better match the needs of Indigenous Australians and communities, reflecting the diversity of remote Australia.

Pilot Arrangements

Remote Australia needs a tailored approach to appropriately match participants to opportunities and jobs that are available in their community, and beyond.

In partnership with remote communities, the Australian Government will co-design and trial different approaches that respond to the various needs of remote communities across a small number of pilot sites. The results of these trials over the next two years will feed into the design of the new program, which will be rolled out in 2023.

These different approaches will continue to be developed and adjusted throughout the rollout of pilots to deliver maximum benefit for community.

More information about the pilots will be available here in due course.

Public Discussion Paper

The Government is committed to ongoing consultation over the next two years on the design of the new program. To start the conversation with communities, the Minister for Indigenous Australians has released a public discussion paper on the development of the new program.

The Minister’s media release is available at: New co-design measures to replace CDP

We encourage you and your community to have your say about what is working well and what needs to change for the new program to be a success. The NIAA will collect and consider your feedback in the design and delivery of the new program in 2023.

You can download the discussion paper.

Please submit your response to the paper to with your signed consent form.

To support an open and transparent process public submissions will be updated on the NIAA website (subject to author’s consent).

Closing date for submissions is 30 November 2021.

Roundtables and Town Hall Meetings  

The NIAA is also hosting a series of public consultations with remote communities from early September 2021 to early November 2021. Initial consultations will focus on remote community’s insights and response to the public discussion paper. It will be an exciting opportunity for the NIAA to meet with communities, service providers and all levels of government virtually or face-to-face to discuss what will be required under the new program to support employment pathways and outcomes for Indigenous Australians and their communities.

Consultations will be ongoing until the new program is rolled out in 2023. If you would like to talk to the NIAA about this new opportunity, please submit your inquiry to

More information

  • For enquires about existing CDP services in your region, contact your local provider or the NIAA Regional Offices.
  • You can contact the Job Seeker Hotline 13 62 68 for general information on employment services and the CDP.
  • The Department of Education, Skills and Employment, National Customer Service Line (NCSL) 1800 805 260 can help with questions about jobactive, the Government's employment services program that operates outside remote Australia.
  • Complaints can be sent to

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