Business School Topics
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Peter Collier has told an Indigenous business conference that government departments must work together to address Indigenous disadvantage.
Speaking at the Indigenous Business, Enterprise and Corporations Conference at the UWA Business School, Mr Collier said he had been frustrated by various constraints when he took over the Aboriginal Affairs Ministry four and a half years ago.
"Government departments have this misguided notion that they know what's best for Aboriginal people," Mr Collier said.
"They work in isolation, they have a silo mentality and quite frankly while the attitude, the intent is honourable and positive, the outcomes are not positive.
"I love this portfolio. I'm a Kalgoorlie boy. But I couldn't in all conscience be an Aboriginal Affairs Minister and not be able to do anything."
Mr Collier told conference delegates the recently created cabinet subcommittee dealing with Aboriginal affairs was a positive way of bringing together ministers responsible for housing, health, education, mental health and other areas.
"At last we've got a situation where I know if we're talking about intervention, overcoming issues, we're actually talking as a government together."
Situations of ‘nonsense' - for example, where a group of Indigenous people living in State housing would lose that housing if they became employed - could be more easily identified and rectified with interdepartmental co-operation, Mr Collier explained.
Mr Collier also spoke about the importance of the state government's economic participation strategy, public sector traineeships, workforce development centres, and procurement policies.
Referencing his role as Minister for Education, Mr Collier highlighted the positive outcomes of early intervention and kindergartens with wraparound services providing parenting assistance.
"What happens then is the child does have a fair go - from birth to kindergarten. At the age of five, six, seven or eight they can read. Imagine the effect on their resilience, their self-esteem," Mr Collier said.
The Indigenous Business, Enterprise and Corporations Conference is being held at the UWA Business School on 1-2 December.
Mr Peter Collier was speaking at the 3rd Indigenous Business, Enterprise and Corporations Conference at the UWA Business School.