MEDIA RELEASE: Aboriginal leaders seek new relationship with government through historic Redfern Statement

Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peaks will today demand a new relationship with government as they deliver the historic Redfern Statement direct to the Prime Minister at Parliament House.


In the lead up to today’s 9th Closing the Gap Report to Parliament, the leaders will call on the Prime Minister to support the historic Redfern Statement, a road map to better address the appalling disadvantage gap between Australia’s First Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians by working with them as genuine partners.


National Congress of Australia’s First People’s co-chair Mr Rod Little comments: “After 25 years, eight Federal election cycles, seven Prime Ministers, eight Ministers for Indigenous Affairs, 400 recommendations, and countless policies, policy changes, reports, funding promises and funding cuts it’s time to draw a line in the sand.


“We need a new relationship that respects and harnesses our expertise, and guarantees us a seat at the table as equal partners when governments are making decisions about our lives.”


The Redfern Statement was released during last year’s Federal Election campaign on 9 June by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from health, justice, children and families, disability, and family violence prevention sectors.


The statement calls for changes across these sectors through structured engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and is supported by more than 30 major mainstream organisations including the Australian Medical Association and Law Council.


National Congress of Australia’s First People’s Co-chair Dr Jackie Huggins said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations have worked with our people on the ground for decades and have shown they have solutions.


“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations deliver 2.5 million episodes of care a year in their local communities – and are the only health and leadership models making inroads on Close the Gap targets.


“Our teachers, education professionals and family violence experts are delivering real results on the ground in their communities every single day – despite chronic underfunding and an ad hoc policy approach based on three year election cycles.


“Today we are seeking a new relationship, a genuine partnership and a commitment to ongoing structured engagement,” Dr Huggins said.


Read the full Redfern Statement here.




First Peoples Disability Network’s  leadership and staff are in Canberra today for the Redfern Statement Breakfast with the Prime Minister and will then attend the PM’s Closing the Gap address.

This morning, the Redfern Statement was presented to Prime Minister Turnbull and Aboriginal leaders stood together calling on the PM to work with us because #WeHaveTheSolutions.

The Redfern Statement is an historic document that was launched in the lead up to the 2016 Federal Election.





DPO AUSTRALIA MEDIA RELEASE: Don’t fund the NDIS with cuts to social services and childcare

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13 February 2017
Don’t fund the NDIS with cuts to social services and childcare
Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia), is alarmed and concerned that the Federal Government is linking budget cuts in the Omnibus Bill, now before the Senate, with funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).“We are shocked and troubled about this announcement from Treasurer Scott Morrison that once again links cuts to social security with funding for the NDIS,” said Ms Therese Sands, Director, DPO Australia.

“We have stated clearly, including in our pre-budget submission, that we reject any ties to funding the NDIS by cutting social security. We strongly reject measures that would seek to fill any perceived or potential shortfall in NDIS funding through a shift in revenue from other human services. ”

“We have campaigned over the last year against the creation of an NDIS Special Savings Fund because of our fear that it would be used in exactly this way, creating an expectation that the NDIS will be funded from ongoing trade-offs against other equally important human services expenditures. This is exactly what is happening, even before the Bill for the establishment of the Special Savings Fund has passed the Senate.”

“The NDIS provides essential ongoing support for many people with disability in Australia. These same people with disability will also be hurt by the proposed cuts to income support, childcare and family payments. These cuts are counterproductive to the aims of the NDIS, and it is simply unacceptable that funding for the NDIS should be linked to measures that will see so many other people in our community worse off.”

“The Government must stop this kind of politicisation of the NDIS and restore certainty to people with disability across Australia by taking the funding out of the budget cycle,” said Ms Sands.

“Trading off essential and vital disability support with cuts is a false economy that will hurt many people with disability and is simply not on, completely unfair, and goes no way to ensure the long term sustainability of the NDIS, which the Government says is the intention.”

“The NDIS is not a political football to be tossed around like this. People with disability across Australia will be rightly very angry and concerned about this decision. We call on Senators to block these measures and halt this ongoing trade-off for NDIS funding,” said Ms Sands.

Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) is an alliance of four national Disabled People’s Organisations (organisations made up of and led by people with disability). 
DPO Australia was founded by, and is made up of the First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDNA) representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) representing culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability, People with Disability Australia (PWDA) a national cross disability organisation and Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), the national organisation representing women and girls with disability.