Territory Stories

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

KEY THEMES AND INTERPRETATION 3.19 Most case studies in the report are based on cooperative approaches between governments, communities and other organisations. Examples include: the Aboriginal Maternity Group Practice Program in WA, under which Aboriginal Health Officers, Aboriginal grandmothers and midwives work with existing services to improve timely access to antenatal and maternity services (box 6.1.3) the Ngala Nanga Mai pARenT Group program in NSW, which operates in partnership with the NSW Department of Child Health to provide parenting support services to young Aboriginal parents and their children (box 6.3.3) the national Supply Nation program, which assists Indigenous businesses to enter into commercial relationships with large corporations and government agencies (box 9.2.4). Cooperative approaches are closely related to the second success factor community involvement in program design and decision making. Community involvement Community involvement in program design and decision-making is closely related to self-determination, one of the determinants of good Indigenous governance (see section 5.4). The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development found that self-determination led to improved outcomes for North American Indigenous people: When [Indigenous people] make their own decisions about what development approaches to take, they consistently out-perform [non-Indigenous] decision makers. (Harvard Project nd) The former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, considered that much of the failure of service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was a direct result of the failure to engage and to support and build the capacity of communities: Put simply, governments risk failure if they develop and implement policies about Indigenous issues without engaging with the intended recipients of those services. Bureaucrats and governments can have the best intentions in the world, but if their ideas have not been subject to the reality test of the life experience of the local Indigenous peoples who are intended to benefit from this, then government efforts will fail. (Calma 2006) Community involvement is a key factor in the success of most case studies in this report. Some specific examples of successful community involvement include: the Families as First Teachers program in the NT, which involves parents and families in young childrens early learning and development (box 4.3.3) the Yiriman project in WA, under which elders take young people on trips back to country to immerse them in the stories, songs and knowledge that are their cultural heritage (box 8.8.3) the Mossman Gorge Centre in Queensland, where the local people were involved in the development of, and providing the ongoing staffing for, the Centre (box 9.1.3).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.