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


Risky business: the problems of Indigenous business policy
Charles Jacobs
29 November 2017 | RR35

The Commonwealth’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) has put Aboriginal owned small businesses at the heart of a renewed approach to Indigenous economic development. The IPP has irrevocably changed the space, and the Indigenous business sector has grown exponentially since its introduction in 2015. While the…

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…

Media & Commentary

Politics of the ‘Voice’
Jeremy Sammut
30 August 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

The biggest obstacle facing the campaign for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition remains the lack of detail concerning role and operation of the proposed Voice to Parliament. Supporters of Recognition who dismiss…

Real solutions for Indigenous problems
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
16 August 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

The vast majority of Australians — including many Australians of Aboriginal descent — know very little of the reality of the situation on remote communities and the extent to which…

Power, inclusion and exclusion; my concerns about a 'Voice'
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
20 July 2019 | NITV SBS Online

The Uluru Statement of the Heart proposes a ‘Voice’ representing Indigenous Australians be enshrined within the constitution, to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be formally consulted on…

Indigenous Voice proposal fails to nail down the details
Simon Cowan
20 July 2019 | The Canberra Times

It is interesting how little the campaign to enshrine Indigenous recognition in the constitution was slowed by its political champion, Labor, losing the election. Despite blunt rejection by former prime…

Attempts to shoehorn indigenous studies into foreign language courses makes hard subjects even harder
Blaise Joseph
27 February 2019 | The Daily Telegraph

In education, some people want to try any new fad — except things that will actually improve student learning. The latest episode in this trend is inserting Aboriginal and Torres…