Indigenous Affairs



The CIS has been publically advocating for improving the outcomes of Indigenous Australians since 2004. Our work has spanned health, education, housing, private property rights, criminal justice, child protection and employment policy reform and had a direct impact on government thinking on Indigenous issues.

Our latest focus is on improving Indigenous economic outcomes.

The Prosperity Project: Strategies for Indigenous Economic Development

The Prosperity Project focuses on the practical measures that will enable Indigenous communities to improve their economic outcomes and bring about meaningful and sustainable change.

While there is much goodwill in Australia to improve Indigenous outcomes, there is a surprising gap in the knowledge about what works.
The Prosperity Project aims to bring likeminded individuals together to help fill that gap and drive the agenda for change.

The Prosperity Project will look at how a more enabling environment for Indigenous enterprise could be created and which models of support and corporate partnerships work most effectively in which context. It will also look at strategies to improve the accountability and effectiveness of Indigenous corporations.

Featured Publication


Submission to the Productivity Commission on the Preliminary Findings Report: Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Identifying Sectors for Reform
Sara Hudson
27 October 2016 | CIS Submission

To improve Indigenous outcomes, there needs to be better management of overall funding and a strategy to coordinate how programs are delivered.

Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze
Sara Hudson
23 August 2016 | Research Report 18

There is much goodwill in Australia to improve Indigenous outcomes. However, too many programs are implemented because of their perceived benefit, rather than a rigorous assessment of what works. This research report maps the number of government and non-government Indigenous programs and potential level of…

Homeland Truths: The Unspoken Epidemic of Violence in Indigenous Communities
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
25 July 2016 | OP148

Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s speech is a powerful personal plea to stop the violence against women and children by men and in particular, indigenous males.  She talks about the need for positive cultural change and for Indigenous people to take back responsibility to resolve entrenched issues.…

Submission to the Parliament of NSW Standing Committee on State Development: Inquiry into economic development in Aboriginal communities
Sara Hudson
12 February 2016 | CIS Submission

In seeking to improve Indigenous economic development outcomes it is important to recognise that high levels of Indigenous disadvantage are not related to Indigeneity but are the result of ineffective policies and lack of opportunity — specifically in relation to education, employment and private enterprise.…

The Kinship Conundrum: The Impact of Aboriginal Self-Determination on Indigenous Child Protection
Jeremy Sammut
08 December 2014 | PM144

This report argues that mainstreaming revolution in Indigenous policy should be extended to Indigenous child protection policy, and that Aboriginal exceptionalism—typified by the operation of Aboriginal Child Placement Principle (ACPP)—must cease. To help ‘Close the Gap’ in social outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians, Indigenous…

Media & Commentary

Know goal before setting Indigenous procurement targets
Sara Hudson
03 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

  The furore that erupted in the past week over the federal government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) could have been prevented if the government had been clearer about the objectives they were…

Closing the Gap Report -- F for failure
Sara Hudson
17 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

If the Closing the Gap Report was a school report, the government would get an F. Of the seven targets, only one is on track to be met — year…

Traditional culture at odds with closing the gap
Jeremy Sammut
16 February 2017 | The Australian

Nine years, tens-of-billions of dollars, and tonnes of national goodwill have not made much impression on the appalling gaps in social outcomes between the most disadvantaged indigenous Australians and other…

New Indigenous Commissioner is sole good news in PM’s Closing the Gap Speech
Sara Hudson
14 February 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE

As expected, the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap report findings were bleak, Centre for Independent Studies Indigenous Research Manager Sara Hudson said. “Only one of seven Closing the Gap targets…

Rudd endorses ‘Stolen Generation’ double standard
Jeremy Sammut
14 February 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE

Kevin Rudd’s description of the removal of at-risk indigenous children from their families being “a new stolen generation” relies on an outdated understanding of the relationship between Aboriginal identity and…