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


Impact Investing: harnessing capital markets to solve societal problems
Josephine Cashman
25 October 2017 | OP158

In the post GFC environment, with the risk and return matrix and reputation risk to corporations and financial institutions, capital markets are attracted to social impact investing. Impact investing, or social impact investing, offers opportunities for investors with a commitment to social responsibility to invest…

Submission to Productivity Commission - Draft report: Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services
Michael Potter, Sara Hudson
14 July 2017 | CIS Submission

The Productivity Commission (PC) released a draft report proposing reforms to increased competition, contestability and informed user choice to human services. CIS responded to the PC’s report with a submission covering two issues raised in the draft report: social housing and remote Indigenous communities. In…

Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change
Sara Hudson
04 June 2017 | RR28

The federal government recently announced it will allocate $10 million a year over four years to strengthen the evaluation of Indigenous programs. However, given that the average cost of an evaluation is $382,000, the extra $10 million a year for Indigenous program evaluations will not…

Submission to the Queensland Productivity Commission on: Service Delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities
Sara Hudson, Heidi Kiekebosch-Fitt
02 June 2017 | CIS Submission

The Inquiry into service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders closely aligns with the CIS’s focus on Indigenous service delivery and achieving better outcomes for Indigenous peoples as part of our Prosperity Project. The Prosperity Project is a program of research focused on the…

Submission to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – Consultation Paper: Indigenous Business Sector Strategy
Sara Hudson, Charles Jacobs
26 May 2017 | CIS Submission

We believe supporting Indigenous businesses contributes to Indigenous empowerment. Unlike program delivery, which tends to be a more passive form of support, supporting Indigenous businesses is an active form of assistance. A multiplier effect occurs when people own a business that goes beyond the financial…

Media & Commentary

White adoptions won’t create new Stolen Generation
Jeremy Sammut
15 March 2018 | The Daily Telegraph

THERE has been predictable whingeing that Federal Children’s Minister David Gillespie says indigenous kids should be adopted by white families because he is a ‘racist critic of indigenous parenting’. But Gillespie…

Indigenous leasing limbo
Charles Jacobs
14 March 2018 | The Spectator

When picturing Indigenous land rights and economic development you typically conjure images of remote outstations, the challenges of developing infrastructure many hours’ drive away from proper towns, and establishing an economy in…

Indigenous child protection regime ‘apartheid’
Jeremy Sammut
09 March 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The recent revelations about systemic child protection failures in the Northern Territory as reported by The Australian  are no surprise — as Jacinta Price has pointed out — to those…

Private sector will build Indigenous construction industry
Charles Jacobs
02 March 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The government’s new  $20 million program to help Indigenous construction businesses stump up the hefty bonds often required to guarantee project delivery creates a significant dilemma. While the announcement is…

Culture can never be used as an excuse for abuse of children
Jeremy Sammut
01 March 2018 | The Australian

Artwork by Eric Lobbecke No child protection regime is perfect, so it is plausible that the case of a two-year-old indigenous girl allegedly raped at Tennant Creek simply might have…