2020 Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Report Acknowledges Aboriginal Community Control

3 December, 2020

3 December 2020

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) supports the findings of the 2020 Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage (OID) Report, which detail the vital role that Aboriginal community-controlled organisations play in addressing disadvantage.

The report by the Productivity Commission has found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures create a strong foundation for building wellbeing in 32 key areas, and that successful initiatives shared the following characteristics by:

  • Addressing racism and discrimination
  • Sharing decision-making with Aboriginal organisations/communities
  • Addressing laws and policies detrimental to Aboriginal peoples
  • Including investment, collaboration, and coordination
  • Ensuring access to effective culturally safe services in line with community needs.

The NSWALC Chair Anne Dennis says the findings highlight the important work of the Aboriginal community-controlled sector and organisations like NSWALC as a member of the Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations NSW (CAPO NSW).   

“We are working collaboratively with governments to implement the National Agreement on Closing the Gap so that Aboriginal community-controlled organisations play a greater role in delivering services to communities,  and that mainstream organisations provide culturally safe services, ” she said.

“This report shows that governments must listen to Aboriginal peoples and support and resource Aboriginal community-controlled reforms.”

The report found improvements in many areas, including early child development, economic participation and some aspects of health and education.

However,  the number of children in out-of-home care has almost tripled in the past 15 years (60 per 1000 children in 2018-19), adult incarceration increased by 72 per cent between 2000 and 2019, and there was a 40 per-cent increase in deaths from suicide and self-harm between 2008 and 2018.

“These damning statistics reflect the systemic and structural inequities experienced by Aboriginal peoples in Australia,” Councillor Dennis said.

“Governments must move away from delivering services focusing on disadvantage, to instead facilitating the aspirations, priorities and self-determination of Aboriginal peoples.”

Media enquiries: media@alc.org.au or Gary Highland 0418 476 940

You can access a printer-friendly version of this release here.

The 2020 OID Report is available here.


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.