Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration: Can’t we do better?

2017 marks 50 years since the 1967 referendum resulted in the Commonwealth gaining national responsibilities for the administration of Indigenous affairs. This is a shared responsibility with state and territory administrations.

In partnership, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), the University of Sydney, and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) held the conference ‘Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration: Can’t we do better?’ at the University of Sydney on October 9 and 10.

The conference questioned the impact of the past 50 years of public administration and raised issues for the next 50 years in this important nation building area.

The event was attended by over 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, other Indigenous peoples, public servants from state and federal governments, and the academy.

We saw outstanding contributions from a range of speakers including Australia’s Chris Sarra, Leila Smith, Joy Savage, Andrea Mason, Martin Nakata, Ina Anderson, Maggie Walter, Gregory Phillips and New Zealand’s Arapata Hakiwai and Geraint Martin, to name just a few.

You can read a transcript of ANZSOG’s Dean and CEO Professor Ken Smith’s opening address here.



Download the post conference report

  pdf Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration: Can't we do better? Conference Report (5.58 MB)

Read a recap of the conference

Listening to Indigenous voices and knowledge the key to change

Watch recorded live streams

During the conference we recorded and broadcast two sessions. You can now watch them below via our Facebook page.

Government Churn, Institutional Memory and the Legacy of an Experimental Approach

Culture, Representation and Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being – Reimagining the Public Service

Watch videos from the conference

Reflections from the conference

Taking the steps to improvement

Conference videos produced by Griffith University journalism interns Cameron Weightman and Carla Westwood.

Conference partners



"Timeless" artwork by: Jordan Roser