Our purpose is to ensure that the rights of the Australia’s First Peoples are promoted and protected. We advocate for solutions to the injustices, disadvantages and impediments that continue to obstruct the development of First Nations. Here you’ll find Congress’ priority policy areas.

We know the rates of incarceration and victimisation experienced by our peoples are unacceptably high and require urgent attention; Congress also understands that our people are more than ‘just statistics’. In order to ensure better outcomes for our peoples, Congress is committed to changing approaches within the justice sector from ‘tough on crime’ to ‘smart on crime’.

What is Congress advocating for?

Within the justice sector, Congress is advocating for:

  1. Commonwealth Government and State and Territory Governments commit to Justice Targets included in a fully-funded Safe Communities National Partnership Agreement as part of the Closing the Gap strategy
  2. National Partnership Agreement on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Assistance Services
  3. A Safe Communities National Partnership Agreement and include standardised national data collection and pilots of Justice Reinvestment strategies in a number of prioritised communities
  4. The Australian government to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as develop the required National Preventative Mechanism

You can read the full Congress Justice Policy here.

Where can I find out more?

Congress is a proud member of the Change The Record steering committee. This is an initiative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Human rights and community organisations to change the record on indigenous incarceration. (Link to Website)

Asserting our rights to land and sea Country, under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we have “the right to the lands, territories and resources which we have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired; including the right to own, use, develop and control the lands and gain legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources.”

What is Congress advocating for?

Within the natural and cultural resource sector, Congress is advocating for:

  1. The establishment of a National Indigenous Cultural Authority to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people assert their Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights.
  2. A reversal of the onus of proof within native title claims. Congress rejects the burden of proof placed upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in relation to our rights to our lands, territories and resources.
  3. More meaningful engagement within the extractive industries sector. A sector that recognises.
  4. The protection and advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander property rights.

You can read more in Congress’ submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. (include link to statement)

Where can I find out more?