Minister visits UNSW to discuss new Aboriginal Affairs Taskforce

Wednesday, 22 February 2012  Features

University of New South Wales staff and students were given the opportunity to contribute to a new Aboriginal Affairs strategy for NSW at a forum hosted by the Australian School of Business.

The Hon. Victor Dominello, NSW Minister for Citizenship and Community and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, attended the forum to discuss the new Ministerial Taskforce on Aboriginal Affairs.

Minister Dominello was confident the taskforce would successfully address the disparities between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal people, "The focus will be on supporting evidence-based programs and initiatives. The NSW government policy up until this point has failed to correct the poor employment, health and education outcomes for Aboriginal people. This will be the first government taskforce to truly be a community partnership involving both senior Ministers and Aboriginal leaders. Effective reforms around employment and education are vital for generational change, as they will help to address many critical issues including access to housing, juvenile detention and health."

The Minister was encouraged to see a large number of students at the forum were studying business. "I am an advocate for having more Indigenous business leaders in both the public and private sector. I believe economic empowerment is key to improving outcomes for Indigenous communities."

Corey Smith, a UNSW Indigenous student and intern in Minister Dominello’s office, said, "I think it’s important that we, as young Indigenous people are involved in these kinds of processes – especially when over half NSW’s Indigenous population is under the age of 25. However, the Taskforce can’t be about politics; it doesn’t matter what party you support – this is about creating a better future for our people."

Professor Martin Nakata, Director of Nura Gili, and Professor Richard Henry, UNSW Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), also attended the event. Professor Henry said it was a great opportunity for UNSW and Nura Gili to discuss new ways to help bridge the gap in terms of access to tertiary education for Aboriginal people.

For more information on ASB Indigenous programs and scholarships please contact Rebecca Harcourt, ASB Indigenous Program Coordinator, email: ph: +61 2 93859746.

Watch NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs video (Youtube) of Corey Smith talking about the Ministerial Taskforce on Aboriginal Affairs.