In 2002, Australian governments collectively made a renewed commitment to overcoming the disadvantage experienced by many Indigenous Australians. As part of this commitment, governments agreed to a regular public report on progress — the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators report. This is the fifth edition of that report.
This report is more than a collection of data. It draws on extensive evidence to identify the areas where government policies can have the greatest impact. Over time, the report measures the broad effects of those policies and reveals where more effort is required. This was recognised in an updated terms of reference for this report, provided in 2009 by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG):
"The OID report has been used by Governments and the broader community to understand the nature of Indigenous disadvantage and as a result has helped to inform the development of policies to address Indigenous disadvantage."
This report provides a clear summary of current outcomes, and some examples of programs and policies that appear to be improving those outcomes. However, governments acting alone are unable to overcome Indigenous disadvantage. Meaningful change requires continuing commitment and action by Indigenous people themselves, with support from the private and non-profit sectors and the general community, as well as governments.
The report has three main parts:
• this overview, which summarises the report’s key messages
• the main report, which provides the evidence base supporting the report’s framework, and more detailed information on outcomes
• attachment tables (available electronically), which expand on the data used in the report.
Image: from report, taken by Secretariat during consultations at Warburton, WA, in 2006