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Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2005

Second Report on Indigenous Disadvantage

Media Release

This media release was issued with the Steering Committee report, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2005, on 12 July 2005.

The second in the series of reports Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators, has been released. Commissioned by the Council of Australian Governments, the report’s function is to provide indicators of Indigenous disadvantage "that are of relevance to all governments and Indigenous stakeholders, and that can demonstrate the impact of program and policy interventions".

The vision behind the Report is that Indigenous people will one day enjoy the same overall standard of living as other Australians. The Report’s strategic framework will help track over time where government policies or actions have had an impact on Indigenous disadvantage — and where work still needs to be done.

The Chairman of the inter-governmental Steering Committee responsible for the Report, Gary Banks, said "the Report works on the fundamental premise that prevention is a better strategy for reducing disadvantage than ‘fixing up’".

Commenting on this second edition, Mr Banks said, "while it is heartening to see improvements in some of the economic and social indicators, many show little or no movement. In all areas, the gap between the experience of Indigenous peoples and other Australians is still wide. This was of deep concern to the many people in government and within Indigenous communities who were consulted during the preparation of this Report".

Gary Banks observed, however, that the aggregate data can hide some significant developments. "Our consultations across the country have also revealed that there are initiatives occurring at the community level where positive outcomes are being achieved. These are often at the instigation of Indigenous people themselves. Many involve constructive new relationships with government and non-government bodies, as well as with the private sector."

Mr Banks praised the cooperation behind the Report, noting that "it has benefited greatly from the feedback of many people within government and the wider community, and particularly from Indigenous people".

The Report is a product of the Review of Government Service Provision. It is overseen by a Steering Committee comprising senior officials from the Australian, State and Territory governments and supported by a secretariat drawn from the Productivity Commission. The report is available at:

02 6240 3330 /