SYDNEY — Australian leaders have pledged to advance the interests of the world’s indigenous peoples by announcing a first ever strategy by any nation.
According to a statement jointly issued by three ministers, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment and Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs “this new strategy provides a framework for Australia to work with our international partners and the United Nations to influence international policy to advance the interests of indigenous peoples in Australia and around the world.”
“Australia has a leadership role to play in shaping the international agenda on indigenous issues,” said Ms Bishop.
“Through this strategy, we will be encouraging greater Indigenous Australian participation in shaping our aid program, building on their experience in delivering services in regional, rural and remote communities,” she added.
The strategy will also promote Indigenous Australian engagement to support our economic integration with Asia.
Mr Robb said there are real opportunities for Indigenous Australian businesses to capitalise on the growth we are seeing in the region around us.
“Indigenous Australians have a particularly important role to play in promoting Australia as a premium tourism destination and in the economic development of northern Australia, in areas such as agriculture,” he said.
“What we have learnt in Australia is that Indigenous program and policies will not succeed unless there is community buy-in from the ground-level. It is great to see that this strategy continues this Government’s approach and delivers practical benefits for Indigenous people,” Senator Scullion said.
As part of the strategy, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will also prioritise recruitment, retention and career development of Indigenous Australian employees.
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August celebrates the valuable and distinctive identities of indigenous peoples around the world and their contribution to society. It also recognises the need for more support for indigenous economic empowerment.