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September 24, 2021

Reforms needed for Aboriginal success: report

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OCHREIn a report to be tabled in Parliament today, the Acting NSW Ombudsman, Professor John McMillan, has recommended measures to ensure that government’s efforts to foster economic development for Aboriginal people in NSW are successful.

‘This report sets out the reforms we believe are needed to deliver tangible and sustainable improvements for Aboriginal people in NSW,’ said Professor McMillan.

‘Government has already started the important work, but success will depend on the development of a robust and flexible framework, and the appointment of a suitable body to implement the necessary changes.’

According to the Ombudsman, the recommendations in the Ombudsman’s report are informed by over ten years of working closely with Aboriginal people to resolve problems with government service delivery, in some of the most disadvantaged communities in NSW.

That experience is supplemented by our research and consultations with Aboriginal leaders and business leaders over the past 18 months, as part of the oversight of the OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Respect, Empowerment) program in NSW.

‘OCHRE’s release in 2013 was prompted by two earlier Ombudsman reports,’ said Professor McMillan. ‘In 2012, my office reported to Parliament on our audit of the NSW Interagency plan to tackle child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities. In 2011, we reported on the need to do things differently in order to address Aboriginal disadvantage.

‘My intention in making this report is to ensure that my office’s insights from working with Aboriginal communities in NSW will inform the important work of the Department of Education (Aboriginal Affairs) this year, as it develops the Aboriginal Economic Prosperity Framework for NSW. That framework will provide an important platform for addressing disadvantage in Aboriginal communities and for promoting economic independence.’

The Ombudsman’s report Fostering economic development for Aboriginal people in NSW will be published on the Ombudsman’s website (www.ombo.gov.nsw.au) after it is tabled in Parliament.

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