The National Justice Project recently made submissions to the Productivity Commission on their Indigenous Evaluation Strategy, with the assistance of Uncle Phil Duncan and Aunty Sue at Macquarie University’s Walanga Muru and staff and students at Macqurie University’s Social Justice Clinic.
The submissions highlighted the need to increase the input of First Nations Peoples into policy processes – particularly when gathering evidence about “what works” as regards policies which affect First Nations People. We submitted that without the crucial input of First Nations people, gathering such evidence in a meaningful way would simply not be possible. The NJP also highlighted the need to evaluate policies which greatly affected First Nations communities on cyclical basis after policy implementation, rather than as a separate process on an ad hoc basis and highlighted the need for inclusion consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. We made many detailed recommendations – amongst them a recommendation that the Commission emphasise the importance of a Makarrata Commission as proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
We hope to influence the Commission in the recommendations they make in their interim report, and will likely make further submissions at that point.