POLICY & ADVOCACY

Congress is here to give our mob a say on issues that are important to us and to be a national voice for all First Nations Peoples.

The expertise and passion of our Delegates and Members, backed by the authority and leadership of the elected National Board, gives us the power to represent the views of First Peoples to government, advocate for change, and uphold the rights of our Peoples.

Click here to read our Statement of Principles which guides our policy and advocacy.

These principles emphasise self-determination and empowerment, The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and courageous leadership.

They commit Congress to meaningful engagement with members and Delegates, innovation, high standards of research and sustainable solutions. They ask that we honour the culture, diversity and unity of our peoples.

POLICY PRIORITIES

Congress is putting into action the priority issues set by Members: health, education, justice, country and sovereignty (including Constitutional recognition).

The Policy Platform document contains Congress’s principles, values, objectives, commitments, positions and policies all in one place. It sets out who we are as an organisation and what we stand for.

Read the Congress 2013 -14 Policy Platform here.

For detail on the individual policy areas click on the links:

HEALTH, EDUCATION, JUSTICE, COUNTRY and sovereignty (including CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION).

Also more detail on INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS and THE DECLARATION .

CONGRESS STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS

Click here to read the Congress Strategic Directions 2012-13 Report.

CONGRESS ACHIEVEMENTS REPORT 2012-13

Congress Achievements Report 2012-13 Click here to read our 2012-13 Achievements Report.

Congress Achievements Report 2011-12: Click here to read our 2011-12 Achievements Report.

POLICY NEWS

Federal Election 2016 Political Party Positions

Congress has summarised the positions of the Coalition, Labor and the Greens on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues during the 2016 Federal Election. Click here to read Congress’ summary. The Coalition has not released an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples policy statement, as result we have brought together the policies announced over the course of the campaign.

For Labor’s full Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs election policy platform click here.

For the Greens’ full Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs election policy platform click here.

Statements & Submissions 2014

Amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act Click here to see Congress Statements on proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

Statements & Submissions 2013

Background Paper: Introduction of the racial vilification provisions in the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 In response to the Government’s stated intention to introduce legislation to repeal the racial vilification provisions in the Racial Discrimination Act, Congress has developed a background paper looking at the history of these provisions. Click here to read the Congress submission.

National Commission of Audit review of the Commonwealth Government The Congress Statement to the National Commission of Audit review of the scope, efficiency and functions of the Commonwealth Government recommends accountability measures to ensure that government expenditure and policies lead to improved outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Read the Congress submission here .
Review of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) The Congress submission to the AIATSIS Review recommends ways to strengthen its role and adequately resource its important functions. Read the Congress submission here.
National Keeping Place Read the Congress submission to the Office for the Arts for a “National Keeping Place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ancestral Remains with no known community of origin” here.• Rights, Respect and Recognition: Congress’s Expectations of Australia’s Political Leadership Read our 2013 Election platform here. Read the letter to Congress members here.
Stronger Futures Laws: First Anniversary Read our statement on the first anniversary of the laws to continue the Northern Territory Intervention here. Our views are supported by the report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights into the Stronger Futures laws. Read the committee’s report here
Congress Statement on the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Bill 2013 Read our statement to the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit in relation to the impacts of this Bill on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations here.
Congress Federal Budget 2013-14 Summary Read our summary of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander money and programs outlined in this year’s Federal Budget here.
Congress Statement to the Joint Committee of Public Accounts & Audit Click here to read this statement to the Committee in relation to its review of Auditor-General Reports Nos. 2 to 10 (2012-13) & related reports. The Committee strongly supported many of our recommendations in its report.
Congress Budget Submission 2013 Click here to read our 2013 Budget Initiatives.

Statements & Submissions 2012

Native Title Amendment Bill 2012 February 2013 Read the Congress Statement to the House of Representatives Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Inquiry here.
Human Rights and Anti‐Discrimination Bill 2012 (Exposure Draft) Read the Congress Statement to Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry here.
Education Working Group Communique Congress has formed an Education Working Group [the EWG] to inform on education policy and action plans for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Read their first communique here.
Early Childhood Education Read the Congress Submission to the DEEWR Review of Early Childhood Education and Care for Children in Regional, Remote and Indigenous Communities here.
National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Plan Read the Congress submission here. Read the background papers; What Success Looks Like and The Right To Health: NHLF Position Paper
Framework for Engagement between Australian Government Agencies and The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Read the document that sets out the operational arrangements for engagement between Australian Government agencies (Government) and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) here
Report on Extractive Industries Round Table 2012 – read the report from the Congress Extractive Industries Round Table 20-21 August in Melbourne here. See more info on the meeting here
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Statement 2012 – read the Congress statement to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder here
Lateral Violence Policy Statement 2012 – the Congress Board endorsed our lateral Violence Statement at the July 2012 Board meeting. Read it here
The Gonski Review 2012 – read the Congress response to the recommendations of the Review of Funding for Schooling (the Gonski Review)
National Anti-Racism Strategy 2012- read the Congress discussion paper
Inquiry into Indigenous Language Learning Read the Congress supplementary statement (May 2012) here.
Northern Territory Intervention: Stronger Futures Bills Read the Congress statement on the proposed Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill and accompanying Bills here and the media release here

Statements & Submissions 2011

Constitutional Recognition – read the Congress submission and Expert Panel statement
National Health Leadership Forum – established. Read the  media statement
Native Title Reform 2011 – read the Congress submission
National Cultural Policy – read the Congress statement
National Tax Reform Forum October 2011 Read the Congress Report here
Inquiry into Indigenous Language Learning – read the initial Congress statement here
Congress’s Statement to the Government’s Review of the Northern Territory Intervention Sept 2011 Read the statement here.

FIRST MEMBER SURVEY

The report of our first member survey of policy priorities.