Indigenous Affairs – The Centre for Independent Studies

Indigenous Affairs


The CIS has been publicly 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 program is called Changing the Narrative, and aims to explain in straightforward language what is needed to improve social outcomes for indigenous people with a particular emphasis on indigenous women.



Featured Publication


Mind the Gap: Understanding the Indigenous education gap and how to close it
Glenn Fahey
24 June 2021 | RR41

Indigenous educational disadvantage remains among the most pressing and persistent public policy challenges in Australia. Despite bipartisan and intergovernmental commitment to ‘Closing the Gap’, has done little to move the needle in education outcomes. Dispiritingly poor education outcomes persist despite the best of intentions, considerable…

Back to Basics: A new model for business creation in remote Indigenous communities
Nyunggai Warren Mundine, Elizabeth Henderson
20 May 2021 | AP21

The past decade has seen significant growth in the Indigenous business sector fuelled by landmark Commonwealth policies such as the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy. However, these policies have not succeeded in remote Australia where Indigenous economic participation through business creation is most needed. This paper…

Indigenous suicide: Finding a catalyst for action
Anthony Dillon
06 May 2021 | OP180

This paper aims to provide a catalyst for the actions needed to address the crisis of Indigenous suicide. It begins by examining a major barrier to addressing Indigenous suicide—the politicisation not only of Indigenous suicide, but all Indigenous issues—before discussing some of the likely causes…

Confronting Indigenous educational disadvantage: A Kimberley perspective
Lorraine Hammond
24 March 2021 | AP20

The challenges of education in Australia’s remote majority indigenous communities are complex and persistent. The best intentions and considerable resourcing over decades haven’t translated into consistently higher quality instruction and unfortunately, not a significant improvement in broader education outcomes. This paper documents the challenges faced…

Worlds Apart: Remote Indigenous disadvantage in the context of wider Australia
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
25 January 2021 | PP34

Remote and very remote Indigenous communities have become victims of a ‘wicked problem’. A combination of high impact factors that, when pooled together, are having devastating effects on communities. Education and employment rates in remote and very remote Indigenous communities put them on par with…

Media & Commentary

Business creation can lift Indigenous communities
Nyunggai Warren Mundine, Elizabeth Henderson
07 July 2021 | Financial Review

During the past year, with an economy under siege from COVID-19, lockdowns and border closures, there has been less focus on Indigenous disadvantage and the failure to close the gap…

Jacinta Nampijinpa Price in Senate will be a turning point for Indigenous affairs
Tom Switzer
28 June 2021 | The Australian

The term watershed is often misplaced in politics, but perhaps not so this past weekend. Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s victory in a Northern Territory Senate preselection battle could be a turning…

Indigenous Australians and the prison of selective outrage
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
09 April 2021 | The Australian

This year marks 30 years since the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, initiated on the premise that racism must have been playing a principal…

Countering Indigenous educational disadvantage
Lorraine Hammond
26 March 2021 | Ideas@TheCentre

For decades, and despite best intentions and considerable resourcing, there’s sadly been limited evidence of system-wide improvements in education outcomes for remote Indigenous students. However, armed with the right tools,…

Loudest voices come from the cities, not the bush
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
05 February 2021 | The Australian

Our political leaders don’t live in the bush, they live in cities. Heads of Aboriginal organisations don’t live in the bush, they live in cities. Policymakers don’t live in the…