The Local & Regional Co–design Group met for the first time in Sydney this week to begin work on developing options for a local and regional voice/voices to ensure Indigenous Australians have a genuine say in the decisions that affect their lives.
It was a very constructive start to the local and regional co-design task, with the Group considering how Indigenous Australians and communities could be empowered by developing options for a framework and guiding principles to improve and enhance decision-making.
The Group comprises 17 members with a range of backgrounds who bring different experiences and expertise to the table, and is co-chaired by Professor Peter Buckskin PSM and National Indigenous Australians Agency senior official Ms Letitia Hope.
The Group is committed to building on what is already working well, as well as looking at new ideas, to create the space and flexibility needed to respond to the unique circumstances, history and culture of each place.
The Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP met with the Group and emphasised “one size does not fit all.” This is not about replacing existing arrangements but putting forward options to build on these arrangements to bring together local and regional voices.
A key focus for the Group will be developing mechanisms that support genuine partnerships with governments to improve shared decision making, before going out for broader conversation with communities. This will include ensuring shared responsibility and accountability for the development and delivery of government programmes at a local and regional level.
The Group agreed a forward work agenda, with working groups formed to focus on key elements of a local and regional voice. Importantly, the Group recognised the need to connect and link through to a national Indigenous voice.