Changed attitudes and behaviours from parents, community Elders, teachers and principals – but particularly from governments – are essential to create the change which will see every Australian child given a fair go in life. Only this will bring disparity to an end.
The Government is implementing a progressive roll-out of measures that address the Creating Parity recommendations in whole or in part and GenOne continues to work closely with all sides of government and Indigenous communities to advocate for these changes. The following provides a snapshot of recommendations upon which we are currently focusing:
Cashless Debit Card
Recommendation 5 – The Healthy Welfare Card
Now known as the Cashless Debit Card (CDC), the CDC aims to reduce the harm caused by excessive drug, alcohol and gambling abuse funded by cash welfare. It has been rolled out in the communities of Ceduna SA, and the East Kimberley WA, and the Goldfields region in WA.
The CDC is working. You can show your support and read more here
Recommendation 1 – Early Childhood
Minderoo’s Thrive By Five initiative works to ensure every child in Australia has the best chance to reach their potential.
Since 2014, Minderoo has been involved in the design of the Federal Government’s Connected Beginnings initiative which was committed in response to the Creating Parity report. Connected Beginnings will be rolled out in an initial 13 communities around Australia.
Connected Beginnings aims to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (in areas of high need) be well prepared for school by supporting Indigenous pregnant women, and Indigenous children from birth to school age. It is anticipated the program will contribute to reducing the difference in school readiness and education outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.
Each year from July 2016, around $10 million is available to integrate early childhood, maternal and child health, and family support services with schools in a selected number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities experiencing disadvantage.
Training in incarceration
Recommendation 16 – Training in Incarceration
GenOne has partnered with Ebenezer Home to pilot a Prisoner Employment Program based on the Vocational Training and Employment Centre model (VTEC).
VTEC, as a national program funded by the Australian Government, has supported approximately 1,000 Indigenous Australians with criminal records into employment over the last four years.
The Prisoner Employment Program stretches this original model by getting employers to commit jobs to people whilst they are still serving their sentences. Job ready training is completed inside the prison system and a suite of wrap-around services is set up to ensure the individual is fully supported upon their release.
The program will support 120 prisoners across a 12 month period. To find out more, email Sharon Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommendation 14 – VTEC
Vocational Training and Employment Centres (VTECs) are currently operating over more than 28 locations across Australia. The contracts for service providers are fully funded by the Federal Government and have just been renewed for 3 more years.
Over 7,500 Indigenous Australians have been placed into jobs through the VTEC program with a 70% retention rate at 26 weeks employment. The VTEC model puts an end to training for trainings sake and supports Indigenous Australians with barriers to employment by engaging with businesses to commit jobs.
Recommendation 2 – School Attendance
We believe that governments must work together to improve school attendance and be measured and accountable to the public for their success.
In keeping with this, GenerationOne’s focus is to enable schools and Indigenous communities to drive an increase in attendance rates and educational outcomes.
In the short term, we plan to collaborate with thought leaders and community representatives to design tailored policy packages that promote school attendance.
Examples of potential measures include: leveraging corporate investment to incentivise attendance rates, re-structuring existing funding models to focus on impact, and providing more effective forms of childhood support.
With support of the Federal Government and from corporate enterprise, we plan to pilot an Indigenous Attendance Covenant program by the end of 2019.
Recommendation 18 – Government Procurement
The Government have had a dedicated focus on procurement targets and are working closely with Supply Nation to support these commitments.
The Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet website indicates:
The purpose of the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) is to leverage the Commonwealth’s annual multi-billion procurement spend to drive demand for Indigenous goods and services, stimulate Indigenous economic development and grow the Indigenous business sector.
The IPP was launched on 1 July 2015 and has three main parts:
- A target number of contracts that need to be awarded to Indigenous businesses.
- A mandatory set-aside for remote contracts and contracts valued between $80,000 – $200,000.
- Minimum Indigenous participation requirements in contracts valued at or above $7.5m in certain industries.
You can read more about IPP here
Public Sector Employment
Recommendation 21 – Public Sector Employment
The Creating Parity recommended that governments each set and enforce targets of 4% across the public sector.
Public Sector Indigenous Employment reforms commenced in 2015 with the Government setting the target at 3% and progress can be viewed here
Employment Parity Initiative
Recommendation 13 – Employment Services
Since 2015, the Government has introduced a range of employment services and replaced the Job Services Australia network with jobactive.
The Employment Parity Initiative (EPI) aims to increase the number of large Australian companies with a workforce reflective of the size of the working age Indigenous population – expected to reach 3% by 2018. Specifically, the programme aims to get 20,000 more Indigenous job seekers into jobs by 2020. EPI will leverage the business expertise, goodwill and networks of companies involved, providing a platform to share experience and knowledge. Employers will also be encouraged to incorporate more Indigenous businesses into their supply chains.
Youth Jobs PaTH is a flexible new approach to youth employment. It is designed to support young people to gain the employability skills and work experience they need to get and keep a job. It also supports employers to host internship placements and provides them with incentives when they take on a young person. Youth Jobs PaTH has three elements: Prepare – Trial – Hire.