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The Report on Government Services 2012 was released in January 2012. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has identified the performance of mainstream services in relation to Indigenous Australians as a particular focus of the Report, and an Indigenous Compendium collating relevant data from the main Report was released on 20 April 2012.

In April 2002, COAG commissioned the Review to produce a separate regular report on key indicators of Indigenous disadvantage. The Review released the fifth edition of this Report, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2011, in August 2011. The Review also collates performance data for the National Indigenous Reform Agreement, for analysis by the COAG Reform Council. Improvements in Indigenous reporting in the Report on Government Services 2012 include reporting school education learning outcomes ‘gain’ by Indigenous status under the ‘learning outcomes’ indicator, and additional data on Indigenous VET graduates under the outcome indicator ‘student employment and further study outcomes’.

As always, readers should exercise caution in interpreting data on services to Indigenous people. The likelihood of Indigenous people being identified as Indigenous in both surveys and administrative data collections can vary in different situations and over time, and surveys designed to report on the whole Australian population may not include sufficient numbers of Indigenous people to provide reliable data.

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