[by Sharon Williams]
Minister and Cabinet, the board of directors of the Congress had little option but to appoint administrators, Cor Cordis, in recent days. Administrator Alan Walker said a meeting had been arranged for tomorrow (13th June) in Canberra with the Honourable Ken Wyatt to discuss the current situation.
“Since 2008, the congress has relied almost solely on funding from the Federal Government which has been directed at key programs to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” Mr Walker said.
A first meeting of creditors is scheduled to take place this Friday (14th June) in Sydney.
Amongst these achievements are;
The establishment of the National Health Leadership Forum;
Co-Chairing the Steering Committee on the Close the Gapcampaign
The establishment of a National voice for housing and health issues affecting first peoples
The pre-meeting of invites to then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the then Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten’s Kirribilli meeting on constitutional recognition in 2014;
Welcoming the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Australia in 2017;
Developed the Redfern Statement, and presenting it to the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and to the then Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten to highlight the crisis the Indigenous communities were facing.
The Congress has highlighted the need to continue numerous programs including addressing the many housing problems affecting Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders both in regional and suburban areas across Australia.
Mr Little said today the Congress was keen to work closely with the Federal Government to achieve outcomes that had Australia wide benefit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. “It is an important time in our future especially now that the Federal Government has appointed its first Indigenous Affairs Minister (Ken Wyatt) to drive reform in this area,” he said.
“Hopefully we can reach agreement with the Federal Government to continue funding the important work of Congress including the Redfern Statement and bringing together members to facilitate progress and change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
Financial crisis for Aboriginal body
The only national body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is in serious financial trouble.
Without new Federal Government funding, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, representing 180 organisations and 10,000 individual members, will be forced to cease operating.
“This will leave Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples without a strong united voice,” according to Co-Chairman of the Congress, Mr Rod Little (pictured).
With funding running out due to the postponed World Indigenous Housing Conference and a lack of a new funding agreement in place with the Office of Prime
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[Lorena Allam, The Guardian]
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