Closing the Gap - Northern Territory - community engagement

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Key Elements

The Australian Government will provide $34.6 million over three years to promote ongoing engagement with Indigenous communities, with a particular focus on prescribed communities in the Northern Territory. Funding will be used to employ and develop the skills of 15 Indigenous community members to act as full-time Indigenous Engagement Officers (IEOs) in the Northern Territory. Additional funding will also deliver Community Engagement Workshops for members of prescribed communities on a local government area basis; Leadership Development Workshops that will reinforce the work of IEOs by developing leadership skills in the wider community; and a Community Transition Program for each community with an IEO that will equip these communities to transition to the new environment.

Funding will also be used to develop a range of media and communication activities and tools in order to promote better engagement between the Government and Indigenous communities.


This measure builds on the successes of the 2008-09 NTER - Community Engagement measure, which expires on 30 June 2009. Its purpose is to continue to engage and involve Indigenous people at the community and local level in policy development and service delivery. The measure continues the Government’s response to concerns that there was no significant consultation during the initial roll out of the NTER. The measure also reflects the Government’s commitment to resetting the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia through greater engagement and an evidence-based approach to Indigenous policy making, and responds to a key recommendation of the report of the NTER Review Board.

The measure will employ up to 15 local Indigenous people to assist selected communities in Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory. Their role will be to communicate information on the intervention to their communities, foster greater community input into Government decision making, and build trust between communities and the Government. Engagement Workshops, Leadership Development Workshops and Community Transition Programs will be used to build local capacity and distribute benefits throughout the wider community.

A range of media and communication activities and tools will also be developed to promote and support better engagement.


This measure will begin in July 2009 and will be coordinated through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs national office, with assistance from the Department's Northern Territory State Office. Direct engagement will be delivered through locally employed Indigenous people.

Total Government Funding

$34.6 million over 3 years.

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