Strategic Overview

As part of the broader Welfare Reforms, the Commission has the lead role in these unique reforms aimed at restoring local authority and socially responsible standards of behaviour in Aurukun, Coen, Doomadgee, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge.


Local Commissioners are Elders or respected community members who encourage individuals appearing before the Commission to take the necessary steps to make lasting changes which will benefit their health, wellbeing, home and community life.

The Commissioner and Local Commissioners meet regularly to conference clients and make referrals to community support services, or in certain circumstances, to the Department of Human Services, Centrelink for income management.

Policy context

Our activities support the Welfare Reforms and the Statement of Objectives for the Community published by the Queensland Government. The Commission contributes specifically to the following Government objectives:

  • “Creating jobs and a diverse economy – increasing workforce participation” – by working to reduce passive welfare, assisting clients to increase their financial stability and initiating a continuous improvement strategy in regard to our organisational capability
  • “Delivering quality frontline services” – by providing effective and efficient client services for families, strengthening collaborative cross-agency partnerships to support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authorities, improving access to relevant service provision in the communities and working to increase school enrolment and attendance
  • "Building safe, caring and connected communities” – by influencing the wider acceptance of socially responsible standards of behaviour, promoting Indigenous local authority and nurturing a spirit of inquiry and innovation in order to address the complex problems facing the welfare reform communities.

The fundamental principles of the Queensland Public Service Code of Conduct are strictly adhered to and the principles of natural justice, conflict of interest and confidentiality are established and strongly reinforced with employees and Local Commissioners through the Commission’s Workplace Policy and Local Commissioner’s Handbook.

Our activities also specifically support the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships which is the department responsible for promoting and monitoring the government’s progress in Closing the Gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage. There are eight strategic areas for action established under the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA) for driving the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reforms, each of which the Commission addresses through its conferencing processes and participation in collaborative cross-agency partnerships:

  • Early childhood – improving child and maternal health care, supporting good parenting and strengthening childhood education and care through early intervention
  • Schooling – supporting the improvement of literacy and numeracy levels and year 12 or equivalent attainment of children in our communities by providing guidance, encouragement and information to families on the requirement for children to attend school and by providing better access to educational services in relation to boarding schools
  • Health – closing the gap in health and longevity
  • Economic participation – closing the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples
  • Safe communities – addressing the problem of violence, alcohol, criminal and anti-social behaviours
  • Governance and leadership – enhancing government policies and systems to improve engagement mechanisms, developing and supporting community capacity and leadership and supporting the development of leadership for women and young people
  • Land and culture – promoting and affirming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Our challenge

The Commission delivers services to five communities, all of which are culturally unique and some of which are geographically remote. Each community is different, however, each can be characterised by the entrenched disadvantage of Indigenous community members. High rates of Indigenous welfare dependency and multi-generational poverty has resulted in communities with high numbers of individuals and families with complex needs.

Our challenge is to work collaboratively with partner agencies, as part of a linked service system to engage, empower and enable individuals, families and the wider community to make positive and lasting change.

Strategic Plan