Video: IPAA marks 50 years of federal Indigenous affairs policy with PM&C


Watch the full video of a a fascinating seminar marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum that made Indigenous affairs policy a concern of the federal Parliament, presented by the Institute of Public Administration Australia (ACT Division) and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The 1967 referendum that gave federal Parliament the power to legislate specifically for the benefit of Indigenous Australians and included them as part of the official national population was a key turning point in our shared history.

It also marked the beginning of federal Indigenous affairs policy, which first emerged from the three-man Council for Aboriginal Affairs that was set up shortly after the Constitutional changes were passed with 90% support.

On Friday, the Institute of Public Administration Australia (ACT Division) and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet held a fascinating forum to mark the occasion and talk about the way forward at Old Parliament House — not far from the room where the referendum was drafted and re-drafted, as secretary Martin Parkinson pointed out. The full video, presented below, runs just under two hours.

Presentations were given by Parkinson’s new deputy secretary for Indigenous affairs, Ian Anderson, the CEO of the National Aboriginal-Controlled Community Health Organisation, Patricia Turner, and University of Canberra professor Tom Calma — three highly respected Indigenous Australians with significant insight into the world of public administration.

The panel also responded to pre-arranged questions asked by Department of Human Services secretary Kathryn Campbell, ACT Public Service head Kathy Leigh and Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews.

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