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Overcoming indigenous disadvantage - key indicators



Overcoming indigenous disadvantage - key indicators


Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




The OID report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have been actively involved in the development and production of the report. Section 1.1 describes the origins of the report, and section 1.2 describes its key objectives. Section 1.3 provides contextual information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Section 1.4 includes a brief historical narrative to help put the information in the report into context. Section 1.5 summarises some recent developments in government policy that have influenced the report and section 1.6 provides further information on the Steering Committee and the OID Working Group that advises it.


"These reports generally uses the term ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ to describe Australia’s first peoples and ‘non-Indigenous Australians’ to refer to Australians of other backgrounds, except where quoting other sources." Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this publication may contain images of deceased people.

Table of contents

Preliminaries -- Overview chapter -- Introduction -- The framework -- Key themes and interpretation -- COAG targets and headline indicators -- Governance, leadership and culture -- Early child development -- Education and training -- Healthy lives -- Economic participation -- Home environment -- Safe and supportive communities -- Outcomes for Torres Strait Islander people -- Measuring factors that improve outcomes -- Appendices.




Aboriginal Australians -- Ecoomic conditions; Aboriginal Australians -- Social conditions; Public welfare administration -- Australia; Aboriginal Australians -- Services for; Closing the Gap of Indigenous Disadvantage (Australia)

Publisher name

Australia. Productivity Commission for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision

Place of publication

Canberra (A.C.T.)


5 volumes (various pagings) : charts, colour map ; 30 cm.

File type



9781740375917 (Print); 9781740375900 (PDF)


1448-9805 (Print); 2206-9704 (Online)



Copyright owner

Australia. Productivity Commission for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445153; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445154; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445156; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445151

Page content

COAG TARGETS AND HEADLINE INDICATORS 4.27 Studies have shown that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children start school at a disadvantage. On average, they have lower levels of access to, and participation in, early childhood education (see section 4.3), have less access to home educational resources, and their parents tend to have lower levels of education (Biddle and Cameron 2012; De Bortoli and Thomson 2010). A childs expectations of their educational achievement are strongly correlated with their parents expectations, with parents expectations strongly correlated with their level of education (PC 2016). Unless quality preschool and early primary school assistance are provided, disadvantaged students are rarely able to keep pace with their peers (Anderson 2012; Biddle 2010; De Bortoli and Thomson 2010). Regular school attendance is important for developing core skills, such as literacy and numeracy (Purdie and Buckley 2010). On average, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have higher rates of: late arrival at school; absence for consecutive months of schooling; and multiple changes of school (De Bortoli and Thomson 2010; Hughes and Hughes 2010; Taylor 2010; Zubrick et al. 2006). Section 4.5 has more information on student attendance. For the general student population, the quality of teaching is the most important in-school factor in predicting student achievement in literacy (Hattie 2002). Section 7.1 has more information on teacher quality. Academic performance can also be affected by emotional distress. Aboriginal students at low risk of clinically significant emotional or behavioural difficulties have higher academic performance compared to those at high risk (Zubrick et al. 2006). Perceived racial discrimination can be a cause of such stress, and its incidence has been found to significantly and negatively predict both spelling and maths achievement (Bodkin Andrews et al. 2010). Section 8.7 has more information on mental health and social and emotional wellbeing issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. NAPLAN student achievement In 2008, national common tests (the NAPLAN) were introduced to assess student achievement against National Minimum Standards. NAPLAN data are not directly comparable with previous learning outcomes data (data for 1999 to 2007 can be found in the 2009 edition of this report). Measuring literacy and numeracy achievement against national minimum standards (NMSs) provides an indicator of progress against COAGs closing the gap target. However, the NMS is set at a very low level indicating that a student has demonstrated only the basic elements of literacy and numeracy for the relevant level. In addition, there is volatility in NMS results, as only a small number of test items fall below the NMS. An alternative measure is the mean scale score (MSS), which is more reliable as it is based on all test items. For this reason, MSS is included in this report as a supplementary measure. Care needs to be taken in interpreting the NAPLAN data, because differences in achievement may sometimes be the result of sampling or measurement error. Confidence intervals are available for all results and are included in the attachment tables. For

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