Project status: Closed


How you had YourSay:

The ACT Government in partnership with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (Elected Body) held extensive conversations with the community on the development of the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2019-2028 (Agreement).

The conversations were held from March 2018 to August 2018 including:

  • face to face conversations with more than 60 individuals including Traditional Custodians, community members, community organisations, and detainees in the Alexander Maconochie Centre
  • an online survey through community networks with a combined reach in-excess of 1,000 individuals
  • an online survey through the ‘YourSay’ and ‘Strong Families’ websites resulting in 70 completed surveys
  • a literature review of several reports.

There were two specific engagement objectives:

  1. to have a conversation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in the ACT about working towards equitable outcomes
  2. to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are supported to live the lives they choose and reach their full potential.

More detail on these conversations is contained in the Conversation Report.

In addition to this, the ACT Government and the Elected Body had a presence at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies community markets in December 2018. The purpose of participating in this event was to speak to the community about what we heard during the community conversations and how it might look when put into real action.

What we looked at:

The previous Agreement (2015-18) was coming to an end and in developing the new Agreement, we took into account:

  • what the community had already provided through many conversations over the past few years
  • what the community felt worked, and what didn’t
  • what could or should have happened and therefore could be improved upon.

The new Agreement reflects priority areas that align with what the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community see as important. Key areas the community told us to focus on are:

  • Children and young people
  • Community leadership
  • Cultural identity
  • Inclusive community
  • Connecting the community
  • Economic participation
  • Life long learning
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Housing
  • Justice

A snapshot of what we heard at can be found in the What We Heard report.

How we used your views:

The Agreement builds on the strength of the previous Agreement (2015-2018) and sets the long term direction in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs in the ACT. It outlines how the ACT Government, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and our community partners will work together to meet the social, cultural and economic needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Agreement includes the ten focus areas identified by the community:

  • Four core focus areas – Children and Young People, Cultural Integrity, Inclusive Community and Community Leadership.
  • Six significant focus areas – Connecting the Community, Life Long Learning, Economic Participation, Health and Wellbeing and Housing and Justice.

The Agreement is accompanied by Focus Area Action Plans describing how we will deliver on the core and significant focus areas of the Agreement. The Action Plans highlight actions across government against all ten focus areas that were identified by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Project Updates

The Agreement will be for 10 years from 2019-2028.

Agreement Phases

Implementation of the Agreement will be over four phases, coinciding with the Elected Body elections. This will allow the incoming Elected Body to work with the ACT Government in setting priorities for the next phase. The phases will include implementation of actions in the Focus Area Action Plans.

Phase 1 - February 2019 December 2020

Phase 2 - January 2021 December 2023

Phase 3 - January 2024 December 2026

Phase 4 - January 2027 December 2028


Two tiers of reporting will support us in monitoring performance against the Agreement. An Outcomes Framework will track our performance against the core outcomes identified in the Agreement. Focus Area Action Plans will track the work underway to achieve the targets set in the Outcomes Framework.

More information on the Agreement and Focus Area Action Plans is available on the Strong Families website.

About The Artwork

Artist Leah Brideson was commissioned to create her artwork titled ‘Strength in Community’ for the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2019-2028.

Ms Brideson’s ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement artwork is titled ‘Strength in Community’, and depicts the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, as represented by the two meeting places next to the centre circle and the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community as represented in the centre.

The pathways represent journeys of growth of understanding and the strong relationship building of our families and community. The four outer circles represent the Ngunnawal people, Ngambri people, their neighbouring countries and the knowledge they hold, share and bring to our community. The central meeting place symbolises our community working together to build strength in culture, family, identity and community. The outer design represents the local ACT landscape, the connection First Nations people have with our land, the importance of caring for country and an acknowledgement of our ancestors who continue to guide us. The painting is rich in the colours of the ACT landscape and the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.