- The Parties commit to building formal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sectors to deliver services to support Closing the Gap.
- The Parties acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled services are better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, achieve better results, employ more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and are often preferred over mainstream services. Priority Reform Two received the strongest support in the 2019 engagements.
‘A community-controlled organisation implicitly recognises the strength, the expertise and the right to self-determination by Indigenous communities’
(Engagement participant at New South Wales Meeting)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community control is an act of self-determination. Under this Agreement, an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Organisation delivers services, including land and resource management, that builds the strength and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people and is:
- incorporated under relevant legislation and not-for-profit
- controlled and operated by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
- connected to the community, or communities, in which they deliver the services
- governed by a majority Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander governing body.
- The Parties agree that elements of a strong sector are where:
- there is sustained capacity building and investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations which deliver certain services and address issues through a set of clearly defined standards or requirements, such as an agreed model of care
- there is a dedicated and identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce (that complements a range of other professions and expertise) and where people working in community-controlled sectors have wage parity based on workforce modelling commensurate with need
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations which deliver common services are supported by a Peak Body, governed by a majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board, which has strong governance and policy development and influencing capacity
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations which deliver common services have a dedicated, reliable and consistent funding model designed to suit the types of services required by communities, responsive to the needs of those receiving the services, and is developed in consultation with the relevant Peak body.
- Government Parties commit to building strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sectors and organisations in line with the strong sector elements at Clause 45 to deliver Closing the Gap services and programs, in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives.
- Government Parties will include in their Jurisdictional annual reports information on action taken to strengthen the community-controlled sector based on the elements of a strong sector, as outlined in Clauses 118 and 119.
- The Parties agree that building strong community-controlled sectors to deliver Closing the Gap services and programs requires national effort and joined up delivery against all sector elements in agreed priority areas.
- The Parties agree to identify sectors for joint national strengthening effort every three years through Sector Strengthening Plans which will identify actions against the strong sector elements at Clause 45.
- The initial sectors are:
- Early childhood care and development
- The Sector Strengthening Plans will be in line with the strong community-controlled sector elements and the following four streams:
- Capital infrastructure
- Service provision
- The first four Sector Strengthening Plans will be developed within 12 months for Joint Council consideration.
- The Parties will agree additional sectors for Sector Strengthening Plans in 2023.
- Partnership actions at Clauses 48 to 53 do not limit opportunities for pursuing joined up effort by Parties in other sectors.
- Government Parties agree to implement measures to increase the proportion of services delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, particularly community-controlled organisations, including by:
- implementing funding prioritisation policies across all Closing the Gap outcomes that require decisions about the provision of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to preference Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations
- where new funding initiatives are decided by governments which are intended to service the broader population across socio-economic outcome areas of the Agreement, that a meaningful proportion is allocated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations with relevant expertise, particularly community-controlled organisations. A meaningful proportion is an amount which takes into account the number and capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, particularly the existing community-controlled sectors and the service demands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including through the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled peaks organisations in the relevant jurisdiction.
- Partnership Actions at Clause 55(a) and 55(b) are to be implemented progressively, with implementation complete by 2024. Individual implementation approaches, including identifying jurisdictional proportions for 55(b), will be included in Jurisdictional Implementation Plans.
- In 2025, the Parties to the Agreement will meet and consider progress on Priority Reform Two and make additional partnership actions if needed and the Agreement will be updated accordingly.