C. Support for Indigenous People

C1. Expansion of Centrelink's Agent and Access Point Network


1 July 2003 and ongoing - subject to review by October 2006.

What's New

Centrelink will expand the Centrelink Agents and Access Point network by 50 new sites, over the next four years, to continue to improve equity and access for Indigenous communities in rural and remote locations.

The increase will build on Centrelink's current 147 Agent and Access Point sites, providing vital information services to discrete Indigenous communities.


The Centrelink Agent and Access Point network assists in providing access to Commonwealth Government services for customers living in rural and remote communities. The network helps to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers that Indigenous people face, particularly in remote communities, as it employs local community members with knowledge of language and cultural issues.

Centrelink contracts local community-based organisations to provide these services. The locally based organisations engage staff to assist Indigenous customers to receive their correct entitlements and gain access to opportunities that facilitate social and economic participation. Centrelink provides ongoing training and support to assist in the continued delivery of these contracted services.

The extended funding will be reviewed in 2006-07.

Total Government Funding: $8.2 million over four years

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C2. Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children


1 July 2003 to 30 June 2007.

What's New

The measure will create the first national representative longitudinal study of Indigenous children in Australia. The study will focus on the linkages between early childhood experiences and later life outcomes for Indigenous children living in remote, rural, regional and urban centres.


The longitudinal study of Indigenous children will complement the existing Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, which was announced as part of the Government's Stronger Families and Communities Strategy in the 2000-01 Budget.

The Indigenous study will be preceded by two years of extensive consultation with Indigenous people, communities and organisations to ensure that the design of the study reflects their interests and is done in a way that benefits Indigenous children and their families.

The study will be based on the current Longitudinal Study of Australian Children in its research objectives and broad design. Two age cohorts will be tracked comprising 2,000 babies aged less than 12 months and 2,000 four to five year olds.

Total Government Funding: $8.6 million over 4 years

C3. Continue funding for Centre for Aboriginal Economic and Policy Research


January 2004 to June 2007.

What's New

The measure provides funding for the Centre for Aboriginal Economic and Policy Research (CAEPR) for a further four years beyond December 2003.CAEPR will continue to carry out priority research relevant to Indigenous policy.
Continuing funding to CAEPR supports the Government's capacity to develop evidence-based Indigenous policy.


CAEPR's research to date has provided a strong evidence base, which is essential to ensure that FaCS Indigenous programs and policies are accurately targeted to meet high priority needs and have effective outcomes.

An independent review of CAEPR conducted in 2001-02 found CAEPR's research to be of a very high standard and valued by stakeholders. CAEPR has undertaken a range of valuable policy-relevant research work, including research on community participation agreements, Indigenous families and the welfare system, and Community Development Employment Projects.

Total Government Funding: $0.6 million over four years

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