Checks to avoid ATSIC scandals

Patricia Karvelas; 3/5/10; (2 Items)

Members of Australia’s new national Aboriginal representative group will be subject to police checks and its decisions will be vetted by an ethics council in an effort to avoid the scandals that destroyed the reputation of the former indigenous body ATSIC. The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, launched in Sydney yesterday, is the first indigenous representative body since 2005, when the Howard government abolished the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission amid corruption scandals. The Rudd government has bankrolled the new group, pledging $29.2 million in keeping its election promise to establish a national Aboriginal body. The group will represent Aboriginal interests in government, business and international forums, and establish a wide-ranging agenda based on thorough research and “evidence.” It will aim to also become a think tank, creating visionary leadership on issues affecting Aborigines.

See;;; New indigenous ‘company’ structured to keep politicians at arm’s length; Debra Jopson;

Changing of the guard for Australia’s First Peoples
Jodie Minus; 3/5/10
A father of two from Brewarrina in northwest NSW and a former social worker from the ACT are the new faces of indigenous representation in Australia. Sam Jeffries, 46, and Kerry Arabena, 42, were yesterday announced as co-chairs of the executive board of the newly established National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. The announcement was made at The Australian Hall in Sydney – scene of the milestone Aboriginal Day of Mourning and protest in 1938 – and attendees smiled and hugged each other on what they called another “landmark day”. Dr Arabena, who was recently awarded a doctorate in human ecology from the Australian National University, has an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research.