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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

NIAA Year in Review

NIAA Year in Review

Indigenous Affairs
Friday, 20 December 2019

National Indigenous Australians Agency

NIAA in 2019

2019 has been an important and productive year for the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA). From the appointment of the first Aboriginal Cabinet Minister, to leading a delegation of senior Australian Public Service Leaders to the Garma Festival and launching the Indigenous voice co-design process, 2019 has seen many milestones and points to an important year ahead for Indigenous affairs policy in Australia.

Perhaps most significantly, 2019 saw the establishment of the Agency itself. NIAA was launched on 1 July 2019, signalling a new era for Government to work in partnership with Indigenous Australians.

CEO Ray Griggs said the establishment of NIAA provides opportunities for growth and advancement across the full scope of Government’s work with Indigenous Australians, and that the first six months have very much been focused on continuing to deliver programs while establishing the Agency and the framework for success.

‘There has been a lot of work which has gone into setting the organisation up to deliver on the Government’s agenda for Indigenous Australians,’ Mr Griggs said.

‘We’re capitalising on the autonomy and authority we’ve been provided to continue to build a coordinated approach across the Commonwealth to remove administrative barriers and deliver improvements to peoples’ lives.’

Since launching in July, NIAA has continued to lead and coordinate Commonwealth policy development, program design and implementation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This work takes place across the country, with NIAA’s regional teams continuing to work in partnership with communities to advance their interests. 

At a recent all staff address, Mr Griggs thanked staff for their work over the year, and took the time to highlight just a few of the Agency’s achievements. These included:

  • NIAA’s key role in establishing and implementing the Barkly Regional Deal, including critical engagement with Traditional Owners
  • Economic Policy and Program Group’s work on the Borroloola Housing Project, which delivered new housing infrastructure to relieve overcrowding
  • The launch of the NIAA Footprints Cultural Learning Program, designed to drive continuous learning about the unique cultures that make up the NIAA and that NIAA staff interact with on a daily basis
  • The development of the revised Indigenous Advancement Strategy Grant Opportunity Guidelines which will help ensure a better service to our stakeholders.

These achievements represent just a taste of the full scope of NIAA’s work, and set the Agency up for a big year ahead.

‘While there remains much to do, and 2020 will be a busy year, as an Agency we have achieved much this year, and that’s something to be proud of,’ Mr Griggs said.