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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Specific Policy Funding

Minister, I understand there is a line item in the department’s budget titled ‘Indigenous Policy’ or perhaps ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy’; is this the case?

Minister Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Partnerships:
Can you give us more detail where it is in the SDS so we might be able to find it?

No, it is not in the SDS. The question is: is there an allocation of budget specifically for policy that might not show up in the SDS?

Minister Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Partnerships: 
I will refer that to the director-general.

DG Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Partnerships:
We do have it reflected. Let me get the right page. As I search for that right page, we have separated out the elements of the department so that we can have more meaningful structure to our budget and more meaningful structure to this SDS. If you look at page 8, there are two distinct service areas—one is ‘Seniors and Disability Services’ and the next line is ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Services’. So there are two elements to the delivery of Indigenous or First Nations services in our department.

Again, primarily we are structured as a department to be able to influence other departments so that we can enable the Department of Education to do First Nations education better, and so that we can enable Queensland Health to do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health better by way of the connections. When we come back internally to the two structures within the Indigenous policy sort of frame, there are those of my colleagues who work centrally on things like the Local Thriving Communities agenda, the Path to Treaty agenda, the enabling Voice, the economic participation, the family histories—those teams tend to sit centrally—and then we have outposted FTEs who I often refer to as our community connectors right across Queensland, and their role is to be advocates for communities and be that kind of locking-on point to government, so that there is no wrong door for Indigenous folks in communities.

I am really proud of the role that those folks play. I know that there has been a shift away from doing the programs type activity in the past to a more facilitating, brokering, influencing role, and my colleagues have adjusted to that really well and they are enthusiastic about what we can achieve in the future as part of that reframed relationship and enabling Voice at a local community level, and the minister referred to enabling Voice at a more statewide level.

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