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.