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, Deputy Commissioner and Local Commissioners meet regularly to conference clients and make referrals to community support services, or in certain circumstances, to Centrelink for income management.

Policy Context

Our activities support the Welfare Reforms and the ‘Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities Plan’ published by the Queensland Government. The Commission contributes specifically to the following Government priorities:

  • “Creating jobs and a strong economy” – 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
  • “Give all our children a great start” – by supporting expectant mothers and young families in welfare reform communities to access maternal and child health, early childhood education and care services, and to understand the importance of the early years to the long-term health and wellbeing of their children
  • “Keep Queenslanders healthy” – by working with service providers to support the delivery of effective responses to alcohol and drug misuse, mental illness and violence for our clients in the welfare reform communities and developing self-care and resilience in Local Commissioners
  • “Keep communities safe” – 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
  • “Be a responsive Government” – 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.

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, the Local Commissioners’ Handbook, the Local Commissioners’ Conference Guidelines and annual online training in Ethical Decision Making and the Code of Conduct.

Our activities specifically support DATSIP 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 seven strategic areas for action established under the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA) for driving the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reforms which the Commission addresses through its conferencing processes and participation in collaborative cross-agency partnerships:

Strategic Areas for Action

  • 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
  • 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.

The Commission supports the ‘Our Way Strategy’, formerly known as ‘Towards a Queensland action plan for vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families’ by participating in round table forums and working groups and empowering and stabilising families through the conferencing and referral processes.

Strategic Plan

Download a copy of the FRC Strategic Plan.

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 have 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. In meeting this challenge the Commission is supporting the ‘Moving Ahead Strategy’, a whole-of-government strategy to improve Indigenous economic participation. The Commission interacts with the strategy by referring individuals to public services, assisting community members to gain benefits from available opportunities and improving student transitions to education.

Our Local Commissioners collaborate with the community to identify and resolve critical issues, advocate for their community by meeting with Ministers and government departments, and assist in ensuring that informed decisions are made by the transparent sharing of information.

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