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Sarra, Mason big winners in advisory council ‘refresh’

Malcolm Turnbull has appointed Australian of the Year finalist Andrea Mason and education leader Chris Sarra to his peak Indigenous advisory group, ending speculation about the future of the controversial council.

The Prime Minister has deliberately not appointed a chair and instead intends to create a consultative “two step” process which involves Indigenous Australians and re-sets the fragile relationship the Federal Government has had with the Indigenous leadership of this country.

The new Council will play an important role by engaging at the heart of Government, including with the Indigenous Policy Committee of Cabinet, collaborating with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, and ensuring the Government is well positioned to renew the expiring Closing the Gap targets in the year ahead.

The appointments reflect the expertise and innovation that exist in Indigenous Australia and we look forward to working with the new Council to drive better outcomes for our First Australians, Minister Nigel Scullion said..

The following Council members have been appointed for a period of three years:
Andrea Mason – CEO of the NPY Women’s Council
Susan Murphy – CEO of Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation
Ngiare Brown – Professor of Indigenous Health at the University of Wollongong
Roy Ah See – Chair of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council
Chris Sarra – Founder and Chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute
Djambawa Marawilli – Traditional owner from Baniyala.
All members of the Council appointed are highly respected in their chosen fields and bring strong practical policy knowledge, according to the minister’s office.

“This will ensure the Council is able to provide the Government with a range of advice to help deliver better outcomes in partnership with Indigenous people and communities,” it said.

“The appointments are part of a two-staged appointment process. The new Council members will meet and provide advice to the Government on the final makeup of the Council and its terms of reference. This will include engaging with other Indigenous Australians who have requested to be on the Council.

“This is a strong endorsement for the continuation of the Council and demonstrates that Indigenous Australians are very focused on working in partnership with the Government on the issues impacting their communities, the minister said.

With ABC Online

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